Neil D. Ostroff's Blog

February 12, 2015

My latest dystopian sci-fi THE END TIME is being featured on Free Kindle Books and Tips. It's on sale today! Please check it out. Combined reviews 4.6 out of 5 stars.

In the future there is a device that will show you how and when you will die. Bob Bradly has forty-eight hours to save everyone on the planet.

http://wp.me/p2b82w-6C2
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on February 12, 2015 12:14 • 8 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

February 2, 2015

It’s Monday morning and my weekend promotional blitz is winding down though I am still selling books. I must say the results of my blitz were quite surprising. Four years ago, when I first started indie publishing my large catalog of titles, I spent a small fortune on advertising on reader-friendly sites like KND and Kindleboards. They were considered the biggies and prices and competition were high.

I never got a return on my investment. Yes, I did sell a lot of books, and I did get exposure, but that huge financial windfall of going viral never materialized. Times have changed. In the year since I last placed a paid advertisement on a book website, the popularity of book websites has grown tremendously. In fact, the whole dynamic of the marketplace is different.

I now believe Amazon is so flooded with books that it is impossible to get noticed by its own internal algorithms. I believe reader’s want help and suggestions in deciding what book to devour next and smart web site owners have come up with solutions. These new sites allow reader’s to pick and choose what they see using their own likes and dislikes. Some of these sites have huge subscriber lists and these subscribers buy the books emailed to them. Think about it. You’ve got 5,000,000 ebooks to choose from on Amazon or you open your email to the books you’ve specifically shown an interest in.

This said, I will continue to purchase more promotions as I prepare another huge blitz at the end of this month. I did sell books with this last one, and I did get a return on investment, not much, but what’s important is the exposure. I’m not going to say which sites sold the most books for me (don’t want a good thing to get out and have them raise their prices) but I will give a few pointers on how to pick them.

1. Of course, the biggies like Bookbub are going to cost a fortune, they are also extremely competitive and sell books. Aim for a lot of smaller sites with cheap rates for wide exposure.
2. Always check the Alexa ranking. I found a site with a worldwide ranking of under 25,000 offering ads that cost less than $25. Most sites under 100,000 should charge no more than $50 for anything.
3. Try to space each individual ad one day a part. A string of ads will not only show you what worked but also sales over time rather than all at once will raise your rank on the Amazon algorithm.
4. Once the promotion goes live you will be emailed links and share buttons. Use them. Tell everyone you know you’re being featured on a site. Get the buzz going.

So, that’s about it. I spent about $150 total on thirteen different spots for different books. I sold a combined @500 books in a three day period and residual sales are still floating in. Don’t just let your books sit on the Amazon virtual shelf gathering virtual dust, get noticed!

To learn more about my books and myself, please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING.

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on February 02, 2015 10:41 • 15 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

January 28, 2015

My promotional blitz for my literary suspense books, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (my newest release) and DROP OUT (my best seller) is now on day two. Today DROP OUT is featured on People Reads http://www.peoplereads.com/ about half way down the site.

The second promotion today is also for DROP OUT. It is with Riffle.com a subscription based site that sends recommended books to readers looking for their types of books. If you subscribe you will see it there.

Both books are also being featured on the DBS Publishing Facebook pages for the entire week. The exposure to readers is huge! I will post the results of this blitz on my blog for any interested readers or authors. Thanks to all who have purchased my books.

ALWAYS WRITING - http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on January 28, 2015 10:16 • 7 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

January 27, 2015

My promotional blitz for my literary suspense books, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (my newest release) and DROP OUT (my best seller) begins today and lasts through the weekend! First stop is Kindle Books and Tips, http://wp.me/p2b82w-6yi where DROP OUT is featured about half way down the site.

The second promotion today is for AS IT IS IN HEAVEN and that is on Bargain Booksy http://bargainbooksy.com/ Again, scroll about halfway down the page or click this link. http://bargainbooksy.com/blog/2015/1/...

Both books are also being featured on the DBS Publishing Facebook pages for the entire week. The exposure to readers is huge! I also boosted my own Facebook page post and I am plastered atop this site. http://thebookmarketingnetwork.com/. This is only the beginning of the winter blitz. I will post my results on my blog as it wraps up early next week. Thanks to all who have purchased my books.

ALWAYS WRITING - http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on January 27, 2015 09:34 • 6 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

January 26, 2015

Now that my latest book is complete I can focus my energies on marketing and promotion. In the coming days my books are going to be featured on numerous websites, blogs, and book listings. I’ve taken out paid promotional spots on some of the top reader’s sites. I’m curious to see how this affects sales.

In the past I have not been a big proponent of paying websites to advertise my books. I was relying mostly on my own developed platform and word-of-mouth. This worked for a number of years and my sales had always been relatively consistent; not enough to quit my day job but enough to buy a few nice things for myself and my wife. Times have changed.

No one would argue that the ebook market is now flooded with unseasoned writers pumping out many sub-par books. I don’t blame that causality for my dwindling sales however I believe I may have exhausted my own channels. To gain new readership I must be available to be discovered. New readers aren’t likely to stumble upon my blog or books without something garnering their attention. I’ve come to believe that paid promotion is necessary in my circumstance.

Before sending your hard earned money to the flashiest, newest, hipster, and seemingly most promising sites, I advise you check the Alexa ranking. Anything below 50,000 is pretty darned good and probably worthy of a paid ad. However, I advise spending no more than $100 on sites other than the really big hitters like Bookbub, you mostly likely will not see a return on investment.

I fully understand that earning a living as a writer is a marathon venture and not a sprint and that any promotion gives exposure. I also understand that brief exposure means nothing if the book isn’t bought and the author is forgotten a day later. My World Wide Web promotional sweep begins tomorrow with several sponsorships going at once. My online writer’s group Enovel Authors at Work is also sending out its newsletter with my latest as a feature. As sales stats begin to roll in I will chronicle my results on my blog. Thanks to all who are interested.

To learn more about my books and myself, please check out my blog: ALWAYS WRITING.

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on January 26, 2015 10:37 • 7 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

January 15, 2015

I’m very proud to announce the release of my follow up to my Amazon best seller, DROP OUT. AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (Literary philosophical thriller) is now available worldwide. Get you copy today! Thank you.
~~~

End of life is only the beginning.


Collin Weaver has died in a horrible car crash. A beautiful woman named Heaven appears at the wreck like an angel of mercy but Heaven is no angel. Transporting Collin into anonymous lives, he embarks on a harrowing journey to observe the final moments of ordinary and extraordinary people. Collin participates in heart-wrenching games of life and death to decode the human experience. He must learn the reason for his having been alive before his soul can advance to a higher state. Until the grandest revelation of all shows him the meaning of everything.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S8KCXKY
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on January 15, 2015 10:24 • 8 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

December 29, 2014

Below is the link to my blog where the first chapter to my latest, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN is up for review. The genre is literary and the sub genre is both suspense and inspirational; though I am not a religious person one bit. Thank you all so much for the support over the years. Happy Holidays!!

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 29, 2014 11:07 • 13 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

December 15, 2014

Finishing a new book is like giving birth to a child (yeah, I know this analogy has been done to death). And as I finish my latest, I’m feeling especially proud of my newest child. Not only for the accomplishment of finishing my twelfth book but because it is exactly the book (and baby) that I wanted to write.

What do I mean by this? Since I indie published my first book in 2011, I’m been slowly catering my plots and stories to what I want to write and not the stories I think will sell the most amount of copies. When I had my NY agent he got disillusioned with me because I could not keep in the same genre. I would write a sci-fi one year and a thriller the next. He even disliked DROP OUT, a romantic suspense, which has gone on to be my best seller at over 25,000 copies sold.

Indie writing is the best of all worlds. I can write what I want about forbidden topics, people, places, and deeds, without scrutiny. I can write in any genre without fear that months of work could be denied even a chance at publication because of simply writing in the wrong genre at the wrong time. I can write for the pure love of storytelling without worry that a scene might be too intense or the message too controversial.

AS IT IS IN HEAVEN is complete and should be available no later than the New Year. It is an inspiration thriller, if there is such a genre? It doesn’t matter that the book doesn’t fit the norm, what matters is the book got written and the message is available for anyone to read without worry if the book will sell enough copies to keep the editor and publisher in business.

Please check out my blog ALWAYS WRITING to learn more about my books and myself.

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on December 15, 2014 11:23 • 9 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

December 2, 2014

Sitting down for the final full read of my latest book AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, I am reminded of the events leading to this point. Although the book is not as long as I envisioned (only @ 20,000 words) the novella has communicated the story I wished to express. It is complete.

I wrote the first sentence to this novella on April 12th 2014. I wrote what I consider to be the last completed scene on December 1st 2014. This is an usually long time for me to write a novella, but the intensity of the subject matter warranted more complex thought than my usual fast-paced, action thrillers and sci-fi. This book will change reader’s lives.

In my complete immersion into this story I have come to neglect my other ten books and have done little in the way of marketing and promoting them. My sales have dropped off because of this. However, I believe the sacrifice was worth it. This latest novella is just that spiritually life changing.

As I get ready for the format and book design process I am excited that I can now spend the cold winter months re-emerging into the indie publishing world. I do have an outline for book #2 in THE END TIME SERIES and will probably dabble a bit with a first draft, but my main drive is going to be promotion.

Discussing AS IT IS IN HEAVEN with Anne Rice (yes, the Anne Rice) I believe I may have a big-ticket winner on my hands. She liked the concept of the novella and especially liked the title. And she is someone who knows the business.

So, as I’m heating up my coffee and adjusting the lights in my office to the highest illumination, I begin the final read. There’s even a few flakes of snow dropping from the sky. Perfect.

Please check out my blog ALWAYS WRITING to learn more about my books and myself.

http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
1 like · like  • 
Published on December 02, 2014 11:20 • 26 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel

November 23, 2014

As I’m putting the finishing touches on my latest novella, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, I am also getting ready to spend the winter months holed up and marketing my other twelve books. I do this intensive marketing every year around this time because the cold weather keeps me inside and guilt free.

I’ve been reading a lot of writer’s forums lately and there seems to be a bit of pessimism in the air regarding the state of indie publishing and publishing in general. Mark Coker CEO of Smashwords just came out with his annual predictions for the industry and it does not shine a very bright light. http://blog.smashwords.com/2013/12/20... He believes the market has become oversaturated. The enormous sales growth of ebooks that indie authors have enjoyed the last few years may come to a screeching halt. What does this mean for me and all the other indie writers?

It is true that my sales have slowed over the last year. When I published my first book nearly four years ago, it was an open market on the internet. Book promotion sites were few and inexpensive to advertise on and I would get tremendous sales from a few small ads. In recent years however, the internet has exploded with reader friendly sites that charge authors huge promotion fees to reach a subpar, book buying audience. Many of these new sites claim the newbie author will see a big jump in sales for an atrocious fee. I have tried a few of these sites out of curiosity and let me tell you, there is almost no return on investment when you have to sell five hundred books to recoup your fee.

So what do we authors do? Giving up the craft is not an option. Either is spending our life savings on advertising. I suggest we just keep at it. If you’re the type of author who cannot stop writing whether you are selling or not, then I say don’t. Keep publishing your books and sending them out into the cyber-world. Who cares if the market is flooded? Who cares if inexperienced authors with terrible books are buying up all the advertising spots? Do the writing because you love the writing. This will give you all the satisfaction you need.

Less than one percent of all published authors make a living solely on books sales. Those who don’t, write for the personal enjoyment. If you’re lucky enough to sell a few books, or many thousands (as I have), rejoice in the fact that total strangers are willingly entering the worlds you created from mere thought. And if you end up selling millions well, you deserve it!

Please check out my blog ALWAYS WRITING to learn more about my books and myself.


http://www.neilostroff.blogspot.com
 •  flag
0 comments
like  • 
Published on November 23, 2014 12:31 • 3 views • Tags: books, fiction-books, literary-fiction-books, romance-novel