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message 116: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments My strategy is not so much using KDP freebies as a loss leader, but to garner reviews that will help establish my bona fides. Before I spend money on a professional review, I want proof that the story doesn't stink. Insecure? You bet. I'm never going to make a huge pile of dough writing, but writing is a sickness without a cure and I just need to know that I'm not a hypochondriac.



Jon Etheredge


message 115: by Bard (new)

Bard Constantine (BConstantine) | 6 comments Personally I've seen little impact from the KDP giveaways. In fact I didn't even bother enrolling my latest release. I applaud anyone who's made it work for them, but I lean more toward Marjorie's viewpoint. I don't see how giving away 1,000 copies to sell ten is a good tradeoff. Or even a hundred, for that matter.

I've seen some ways that a giveaway works well, but in most of those cases the books were part of a series. If you use the first book or two as free promos, then a sale is much more of a safe bet if your series is any good. The Wool series was a good example -it worked in making me want to buy the the next book in the series. But as already pointed out -giving away hundreds to thousands of copies of the only book or two you have seems to be defeating the purpose.

I also agree about pricing your book for .99 cents. I only have my fantasy short priced for that amount. Anything else, even a novella should be priced more in my opinion. Sure people snatch up cheap books left and right, but will they actually read them is the question...


message 114: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Llorca (virginiallorca) | 26 comments Each time I get better numbers and better cross sales from the Select free promo.

The cross sales last about ten days. The day after I had 8,000 plus free downloads of a book eight people paid cash for it. No returns.

These events are strongly affected by genre and timing so it seems hasty to generalize.

Virginia Llorca


message 113: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments You are infuriating! Just when I thought I had this whole free-ebook marketing thing mastered, you go and change the paradigm!

Still, my last campaign hit pay dirt. Ten hours of work following Ruth Nestvold's checklist, over eighty downloads (pause here for laughter to die down), and I got three great 5-star reviews, one of which came from a non-relative! Woo-hoo!

I did come away with a new hobby - writing marketing blurbs for the "Review Seekers" group on Facebook. This group is pattern-bombed by dull announcements begging for reviews. We'll see whether a little humor livens things up.

Jon Etheredge


message 112: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Bard wrote: "Does it seem that KDP giveaways are losing their steam? I literally see dozens of free novels per day advertised and download none of them most of the time. It seems to me that the nonstop flood of free novels is actually making the trend exhausting intead of the novelty that it once was. Opinions?"

I've advised against too many free giveaways since day one but worse is the 99c price point. I do agree that the saturation point seems to have been surpassed on the KDP Select free giveaway novelty factor--and it was passed some time ago, in fact.

That said, free giveaways will never lose their charm if used as a "special" event and not the "norm" or if used specifically as a "loss leader" for a paid product. It's one thing to give away a first novel in a series when you have 5 books in the series already released. It's quite another (negatively so) to give away the one and only book in a series. It's yet a third situation to give away a standalone book for five (5) days every quarter simply because "it's there." THAT is the saturation point you're feeling Bard. Authors failing to make a giveaway a "gift" of any sort but rather, a regularly scheduled price adjustment.

I keep stressing that the perception of the customer is the critical point, not the price point nor the platform, for that matter. A genius of a guy named Al Ries coined the expression Perception is everything! back in the 1970s (made famous in the 1990s by the Tom Cruise movie). That's still the prevailing rule in effective sales and marketing. If your customers perceive you as a "free" (e.g., worth nothing or "worthless") than that is what you are. Period.

Your perception must shift also. Here's your new paradigm:

You do not SELL books. Customers BUY them.

That's a very subtle distinction that far too many fail to grasp. Those that do, see good sales numbers--even when their book is priced "free."

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 111: by Bard (new)

Bard Constantine (BConstantine) | 6 comments Does it seem that KDP giveaways are losing their steam? I literally see dozens of free novels per day advertised and download none of them most of the time. It seems to me that the nonstop flood of free novels is actually making the trend exhausting intead of the novelty that it once was. Opinions?


message 110: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments Thanks, Marjorie. On my current 5-day giveaway, the first two days (thu/fri) were the most productive. Now I seem to be milking the cow with an UdderVac 5000. I've spammed all my friends (both of 'em), joined review groups, completed the Nestvold Twelve Step Programme, and signed up for grief counseling on Tuesday. I'm still not seeing the response I had hoped for.

The results so far:

1. Either Thursday/Friday is the prime time slot, or the giveaway should not exceed two days in length.
2. When asked for an autographed free book by a Cajun witch woman, just give her one without an argument and don't stare at her teeth.

Jon Etheredge


message 109: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Marjorie wrote: "Giveaways work best when you make a sense of "urgency" and that's better accomplished by a one- or two-day "limit" placed on it."
This makes sense to me. Thanks, Marjorie!


message 108: by Marjorie (last edited Jul 01, 2012 05:21AM) (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Jon, this is just my opinion and I'd note that I have NOT done a KDP Select freebie giveaway yet, since I only have one book out so far and refused to limit myself to Amazon for the novel. I'm writing a short story specifically to use as a loss leader and enter into the KDP Select program.

Giveaways work best when you make a sense of "urgency" and that's better accomplished by a one- or two-day "limit" placed on it. If you make it a one-day giveaway, you can advance promo it by tweeting and posting to Goodreads and Facebook "Look for a special offer on [date]" or "Be sure to come by on [date] to find out how to get your free copy." You know, standard sales-pitchy copy for promo'ing a special event. Make it sound special and it will be special :)

As to day of the week, I see a lot more response on Fridays than I do on Saturdays--but only under my Phoenician Books persona. Actually right now this second overnight Thursday/Friday is getting me more hits but I get a lot of UK, AU, and NZ traffic not just US so it's hard to calculate with time zone differences. Plus I was offline last weekend to move my real life residence and just got BACK online Thursday when I had a serious frenzy of activity catching up :)

Under my real-name identity, I run a lot of pieces of Indie Author Advice and my hits are higher on Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings. I'm getting this from a fabulous web site that tells you when your highest RT time is--TweetWhen run by HubSpot.

It's stilted, only reports RTs which is taken far more from Twitter than it is from Facebook and might not include any Tumblr or StumbleUpon stats but it's still better than WAGs (Wild-A** Guesses) Try TweetWhen and see what you come up with for your Twitter ID (assuming you have a Twitter ID--do you? If not, GET ONE!!)

http://www.tweetwhen.com/

By the way, HubSpot has several useful web sites and always seems to have good SocMedia info. They are my #2 fave site for SM happenings. My #1 fave is Mashable, whom I follow on Twitter and Facebook both but nothing beats visiting their web site for the infographics :)

http://www.mashable.com/

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 107: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments Assuming a homogenous marketing effort each day of the free giveaway, is there a particular day of the week that gets a better response in terms of the number of downloads? I thought Saturday would be the best day.

Also, is there any benefit to running a giveaway for five consecutive days (as opposed to a one/two-day event each month)?


message 106: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Starting today, July 1st, Smashwords is having a site-wide blowout sale where Authors and Publishers can enter our books to be discounted at one of 4 rates (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%/FREE).

I'm entering my SciFi Thriller as FREE for one day then removing it (then re-entering it in a few days for the 50% discount). Get your free copy of Conditioned Response today and shelve it here to read when you have time:

Conditioned Response (Phoenician, #2) by Marjorie F. Baldwin

It's a long book but after the first few chapters, it seems to fly for just about every reader (so far anyway)

Warning: there is sex, adult content and situations, violence and some language may not be suitable for readers of all ages or temperments. But it is one heck of a fun ride! *haha*

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 105: by Eric (new)

Eric Wright | 68 comments In the next week, I will be offering free downloads of three of my books.

July 1st: Revolutionary Forgiveness: How to develop a forgiving lifestyle in a world of alienation and anger. Go to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007RO1261

July 4th: Captives of Minara:
In Captives of Minara Josh Radley travels to Pakistan to write about archaeological discoveries that may unravel a 4500 year old mystery concerning the Indus civilization.

While there he struggles to restore intimacy to his marriage and put to rest nightmares reaching back to his childhood as a missionary kid. Josh expects heat and dust but is unprepared to deal with sabotage, theft, kidnapping, and murder. Tragic events plunge Josh, his wife Stephanie, and his daughter Janice into the dark world of human trafficking. Will they emerge with their faith intact and their lives unscathed?

Go to: http://www.amazon.com/Captives-Minara...

July 7th: The Lightning File:
Reporter Josh Radley juggles marital turmoil and religious skepticism while seeking to crack an Arabic file holding the key to a terrorist plot targeting US interests from Canadian soil.

Go to: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lightning-F...


Enjoy these books and pass on the word.

Thanks,

Eric E. Wright


message 104: by Hannah (new)

Hannah (NormalGirl) | 334 comments Im new author. I published...self published a collection book and am happy to have sold 5 copies. I hope that with the launch of my debute novel that it will gain more readers and lead into the purchase of my collection book. I'm young and hopeful that eventually I will be a known and respected author. For now, I'm happy at being a college student gaining that degree in English and Biology and writing her own stuff in every second of her spare time. Im hoping to get my first novel done before college starts up again. Im a third way done with the manuscript so I am very hopeful.I was wondering if anyone has any advice that you could give to me.


message 103: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Jon, just to clarify, I did not say not to post in groups on GR. What I actually said was to post in the designated areas-folders and discussions as specified by the individual group Moderator-and try to ONLY post promos in those places.

I love Creative Reviews. It's one of my favorite groups because it is already set up specifically to solicit reviews!

Jon, if you look back through this thread you'll find links I already posted with Ruth Nestvold's amazing blog of advice specifically on promoting a KDP Select free giveaway. Follow her advice. she knows what she's doing. It works for her anyway.

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 102: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Virginia wrote: "bookblogs.ning has at least five threads to do freebie promo, some UK. You can do non freebie promo too but be warned it is a very high traffic site and will glut your mailbox."

I'm jotting this info down for my next promo. Thanks!


message 101: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Hi Jon: I posted my five-day Kindle promo for The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis on the discussion group Creative Reviews>Member Giveaways
Creative Reviews describes itself this way: excerpt, 2nd graf: "...Authors!! This group is also for you! Get exposure for your new books by having this ready made set of practicing reviewers review your latest work of art! Announce your latest r...more"

There may be other GR sites for it, but that one even got me a response from someone interested in reading the book. I was thrilled.


message 100: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments OK, this etiquette thing has me worried. When planning my 5-day Kindle giveaway, I sent a message to all nine people on my Friends list. Twice. I tried to keep it lighthearted and informal, but Marjorie has me sweating out the unintended consequences.

I'd like to make all my books available to friends for free. KDP Select provides the platform, so all I have to do is figure how to get the word out. As I understand it, groups and discussions are inappropriate places to bang the drum about a particular title. I put the word out on Facebook to all my friends, but my little 5-day giveaway got shoved to the bottom of the page by SCOTUS.

I'd sure like to get more than fifty downloads chalked up. Did I do a no-no by messaging each friend? Is there a more productive way to do it. I have one more short story and two books I intend to put up into the KDP 5-day freebies. I'm open to suggestion.

And I don't mean "suggestion" in the hypnotic sense, so don't ask me for money.



Jon Etheredge


message 99: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Thanks, Elle. I'm a planner and scheduler. Waiting is my thang (haha) I think the hardest mistake newbies make is expecting "instant gratification." I say it's the "hardest" because it's so emotionally difficult to let go of an expectation once you've set it for yourself, especially when it's tied to your book's "success" or failure. We authors tend to attach our self-worth to our books' performance. We shouldn't but "shouldn't" doesn't stop anyone from doing the emotionally-driven thing, does it?

I don't remember where I ran into Nick Ambrose but he's an amazing guy. I second the endorsement and for $20 and change per format, that's a steal to get 3 useful formats custom-tailored. I just formatted mine (myself) for Smashwords and hoped for the best!

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 98: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Marjorie wrote (message 43) One step at a time, expect it to take 6 mos or a year to really build momentum. Don't expect overnight success and you won't be disappointed. . ."
Great advice!


message 97: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Nikki wrote: "after my 3 months is up on KDP select I plan to e-publish on Smashwords and maybe Nook, although that might be more money out for formatting...

Nikki, I found a man to do three digital platforms (Smashwords, .epub, .prc) for me for a total of $64.95; Everything Indie (Nick Ambrose) The thriller author Robert Bidinotto mentioned him in a blog. Nick's a total perfectionist, and I think he's great! Lives in Essex, England. The whole experience was positive.


message 96: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments @Elle you are quite welcome. Under my "real name" (yeah, Friday is actually a PEN name! Imagine that!) I actually blog a whole series on how to use Twitter. Message me privately if you want a link to yet more.

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 95: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Marjorie wrote: "@Elle - I'm still learning about Twitter but finding it useful to retweet people who are members of IAN (Independent Author Network) and who ask for the RT. Some places to check out at Twitter: #re..."

Marjorie, you are so generous in making that amazing amount of Twitter info available, and I truly do appreciate it! I'm sure others will find it useful as well. Am copying the post and keeping in my Twitter file. Thank you!


message 94: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments @Elle - I'm still learning about Twitter but finding it useful to retweet people who are members of IAN (Independent Author Network) and who ask for the RT. Some places to check out at Twitter: #readers and #books

The new tag is actually #IAN1 (with the numeral one after it) and you might want to try tags like #reading (rather than #reader) since #goodreads auto-tweets many of its 9 million members' status updates using the #reading tag (grin) Then there is #ebooks (versus #books) and #freereads

There's a group/event/Twitter user called @Fridayreads with an associated #fridayreads hash but so many spammers used #fridayreads they basically stopped using their own hash (as did their followers).

There are quite a few good ones for reaching other Indie Authors (#indie #selfpub #pubtip forex) but you might want to check out Kristen Lamb's book We Are Not Alone for tips on how to use Twitter as an author (her associated hash tag is #myWANA btw ;-))

Personally, besides #SampleSunday I used @stephenmengland's #ThrillerThursday a lot (and get huge retweets and sales when I actually participate by tweeting on it AND doing RTs of others - nothing happens when I just tweet my own book once and walk away...nor SHOULD anything happen as a result of such a "user" attitude/action)

There's a new(ish) tag for Sundays that I haven't used #SixSunday is for posting six lines of a story. It's a combo of sampling and flashfiction People seem to post links to their blogs where they have snippets and links to the books on other sites (iTunes, Kobo, Amazon)

@Paul Wow! What great information! Thank you! I had no idea there were review requirements on sites nor had I heard of most of those reviews. I'm going to be focused on starting to solicit professional reviews this summer. I'm totally in this for the long haul, not the one-up so I dont' mind taking months to get the steam building in this little engine that could :)

Oh yeah, Pixel of Ink is huge and amazing exposure if you can get it but she no longer takes submissions so if you keep hounding her with a submission, you're pretty much reminding her not to list you. She is just one person, running a site with 500,000 followers out of the goodness of her heart. Cut her some slack :) Plus she's kind of specific in the kinds of books she likes to feature. She doesn't list any edgy or erotic or overly-violent books or stuff with a clear tendency towards foul language (forex, a milfic book probably will have some swear words in it--or it would if I wrote it! *haha*) She's not restrictive to Christian fiction like she used to be and with her following she has to broaden her horizons a bit but she still likes to only recommend what she, personally, regards as "wholesome" or "family friendly" fiction. I don't blame her. I also don't think she'd be interested in my stuff....yet I follow her everywhere (blog, Facebook, Twitter) and frequently repost her 3-4 times daily free book alerts because not everyone likes the same things I do. Imagine that! (haha)

@Rachel, Gertie is Teh Awesome Sauce (capitalization included!) I wish all Mods were like her. Takes a special sense of humor to do that thankless job as well as she does :)

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 93: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments I'm using KDP Select for all my books/stories because...um. I don't know better, for one, and it seemed to be the easiest way to get my writing out there without spending time, money, and neurons moving it all to Smashwords. That's known as the "Aunt Stella Paradigm". My Aunt Stella would use Amazon, if she had a computer and wasn't dead. Smashwords, however, she would probably not use, owing to the need to learn something new and the fact that she is, after all, dead.

So this week, I'll set up another 5-day giveaway and see what the numbers show me at the end. If I get the same (or fewer) downloads, I will have to reconsider Esperanto as my language of choice.


message 92: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Fisher (Rachel_E_Fisher) | 4 comments Marjorie wrote: "wow travis and bill, you BOTH heard something I definitely did NOT say!

no, do NOT liken your work or be "helpful" to pitch it as an "also bought ." ugh, talk abt spammy!

i said to find similar ..."


This is a great post Paul. And Gertie is a good moderator. I wanted to promote in Apocalypse Whenever and she guided me to the options that were available. Otherwise I love those crazy end-of-the-world lovin' peeps and I learn a lot from interacting with them. I think in self-publishing the goal has to be long-term and too many of us worry that if our first book doesn't see a ton immediately, we're dead in the water. But with my second coming out a small fan group now excited about it, I'm starting to feel momentum. I believe that by the time I get to my fourth and fifth book, I could see sales for books 1 and/or 2. Once you've written it...it can always sell. :)


message 91: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments Kindlefinds.com and Kindle Book Blast each require at least 8 reviews and an average review of 3.5.


message 90: by Paul (new)

Paul | 42 comments Simon wrote: "Marjorie wrote: "Bill wrote: "Paul, I was not aware of any sites that will list books contingent on # of reviews. Would you mind mentioning a few?"

Bill, I don't have a clue where/what Paul was ta..."


I've been away a couple of days - so here's what I was referring to: Digital Book Today requires 10 reviews with a 4.0 rating before they'll list your book on their site. Ereader News Today says they probably won't post your book if it has 0-2 reviews - except they did list mine when it had 2 five star reviews. I've submitted to Frugal eReader and Pixel of Ink several times and never been listed.


message 89: by Simon (new)

Simon Jenner (Simon_Jenner) | 2 comments Marjorie wrote: "Hi, Simon, welcome to Goodreads and this group :)

Something about your mention of Kindle reminded me Ruth Nestvold did an amazing blog recently on how to exploit your KDP Select membership if you ..."


Marjorie wrote: "Hi, Simon, welcome to Goodreads and this group :)

Something about your mention of Kindle reminded me Ruth Nestvold did an amazing blog recently on how to exploit your KDP Select membership if you ..."


Both items are brilliant, thank you, Friday. Thanks to the authors too.

Simon


message 88: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments That is helpful, Elle. When you searched for Hiaasen, did you just look for hashtags or the actual term? I've looked for "humorous suspense" groups (and the like) in Goodreads and have come up empty.


message 87: by Elle (new)

Elle Thornton | 48 comments Bill wrote: "Marjorie, regarding "You need to go find your audience, Bill. You need to actually get to know them. Figure out who they are, what they read, where they go to get it and go there -- but NOT promote..."
Hi Bill: The best thing I've been told about Twitter was to join a conversation about something that truly interests me and then be helpful, ie contribute to the conversation useful things to help others. You like Hiaasen, for, for example, I just did a search for Carl Hiaasen books, and some Tweets came up. And you can Tweet to those folks something you know or think about Hiaasen and see what happens. I'm still learning about Twitter but finding it useful to retweet people who are members of IAN (Independent Author Network) and who ask for the RT. Some places to check out at Twitter:
#readers and #books


message 86: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Virginia wrote: "Select freebies lead to increased cash sales. But I guess you would have to have more than one publication available. And it is gradual."

Definitely need to have more than one -- and more so, the freebie has to be "related" to the for-pay titles or it cannot "loss lead" into it. The idea of a loss leader is to take a loss on one product to lead into sales of another. If the loss leader has no relation to the for-pay product, it cannot loss-lead into it.

Two related products are a minimum (I'm writing a short story specifically to loss lead into my novel) but 3-4 are better and 4-5 seems to be the break point (from what I've heard from those who have 4+ titles) for making significant and consistent sales.

@Jon, you have such a great sense of humor! If you're not using Smashwords (yet) be sure to check it out for use after you finish a 90-day KDP Select enrollment. Getting into iTunes and Kobo is easy enough to do on your own but a PITA and Smashwords advertises your books in their Stanza catalog (fully-integrated and distributed with the Stanza app which is a popular ePUB reader)

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 85: by Jon (new)

Jon Etheredge (JonEtheredge) | 457 comments Until reading this thread, I was adamant about taking my new book to print traditionally. I steeled myself for mass multiple rejections, soul-searing disappointment, and emails telling me "Sorry, you're not what we're looking for." That, at least, is a response. The silence from the rest of the agencies brings up mental images of slush readers frantically steaming the stamps off my SASE to supplement their income.

Then I read about e-book giveaways and the most amazing idea popped into my head. I could GIVE AWAY my books. Almost immediately, the tiny Scot who lives in my wallet started wailing and throwing rocks until I couldn't stand it any more and stuffed him into my shoe. Then I put one of my best short stories onto KDP Select and scheduled a 5-day freebie and told everybody I knew to hurry, hurry and read, and then gather 'round and kiss my ring.

Well, enough readers took advantage of my giveaway that, statistically, 85 percent of the takers clicked on my book as a result of drug-induced muscle spasms. The remaining 15 percent included five Spanish-speaking hikers near Brownsville and a grandmother who thought my name looked familiar. I think one of the spasm-surfers wrote a review, but it was accidentally deleted.

Did I consider giving up? No way! I've never had such overwhelmingly positive response to one of my 99-cent short stories! I'm going to do it again in a couple of weeks! I still have two long short stories, a compendium of short short stories, and a short full length story sitting out there in Kindle land.

Is this a crazy strategy? Yeah, right...crazy like a rabid fox! Eventually, one of the less spastic readers will mistakenly BUY a book, and then I'll have to report the income to the IRS.

You guys know how many folks at the IRS surf the web during any given work day? At last! I've discovered the on-ramp to immortality!


message 84: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments haha, but Friday doesn't blog!!

Thank you, Ruth, for the kind words. My alter-ego (real ego?) is humbled. I haven't sold as many books as you nor have I been nominated for major industry awards...speaking of humble, Missy :) When I have your credentials, then maybe I'll start blogging. In the meantime, I'm just trying to write the next book!


message 83: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Nestvold (RuthNestvold) | 3 comments Heh, it appears I must thank you again, Friday, for sending traffic my way. And I'm nowhere near as good at all this promotional stuff as you! You really should post links to some of your own blog posts. :)


message 82: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Hey, guys, back again one last time before my move tomorrow. I just got the monthly Goodreads newsletter. If you haven't read your copy yet, be sure to check it out. This month's feature focuses on Groups and Author involvement in groups. How a propos eh? :^)

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 81: by Marjorie (last edited Jun 21, 2012 12:38PM) (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Hi, Simon, welcome to Goodreads and this group :)

Something about your mention of Kindle reminded me Ruth Nestvold did an amazing blog recently on how to exploit your KDP Select membership if you do one. She had like a goldmine of links to promo ideas. I think it was ....let's see if I can find it in my browser history :) Here we go:

http://finishyourbooknow.com/2012/05/10/book-promotion-how-to-get-book-reviews-after-publication/

Don't thank me; thank Ruth :) Oops, wrong one (*blush*) That's Gemini's article. I know I have Ruth's around here somewhere....ummm... I saw it posted in Creative Reviews, brb. Got it:

http://ruthnestvold.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/promoting-ebooks-with-kdp-select/

Gemini's article about approaching Amazon reviewers is a good one too though :)


message 80: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Bill wrote: "From what I've read, agents don't like "loglines" (which are like "Hunger Games" meets "The Help"), but they do find author comparisons useful--not that you're saying your writing is similar, but t..."

For movies and music, yes, but books? no way. I describe the genre, the voice, the pacing, and maybe even (if present) the humor style but I definitely don't compare authors. I don't do it with visual artists either. I don't know why I do it to musicians and I probably shouldn't. Movies are not one artist's work, however so yeah, movies, definitely. Actually, if based on a book, I usually say "better/worse" than the book.

My objection to it for Indie Authors, in particular, is that it's a marketing suicide to say you are the next [fill_in_name]. Why would you deliberately commit marketing suicide when you COULD be yourself instead?

Saying your book will appeal to readers of "XYZ" is a little different but you know, you guys have been shifting nuances just from one message to the next. The devil's in the details. Staying focused on precisely who you are is the key to staying YOU and promoting your book as "like XYZ" is going to draw out that double-edged sword again. Instead, say you were influenced by.... or you have thus and such a facet from [originator of the idea--forex Asimov's Robot books, kind of an industry standard] in the robot story of this book.

If you say you're "like 50 Shades of Grey" who the heck knows WHAT that means?!

If you don't know what branding really is (it's not a book cover) check out the guy who pretty much wrote the book 20, 30 years ago. Al Ries and his The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service Into a World-Class Brand. He updated it a few years ago for net stuff but I think he's due for another update. Unfortunately, he's like 70 or 80 years old. His daughter (now middle aged) also is a world-class marketing consultant. Maybe she'll do a new one for social media ;-) we can hope.

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 79: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments From what I've read, agents don't like "loglines" (which are like "Hunger Games" meets "The Help"), but they do find author comparisons useful--not that you're saying your writing is similar, but that FANS of Writer X might enjoy YOUR writing. What's your problem with it? Wouldn't you make recommendations to friends the same way, when talking about books, music or movies?


message 78: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkiBroadwell) | 102 comments Travis wrote: "I have heard somewhere that you shouldn't liken your writing to another author's because it could set you up for failure if the people are expecting you to be just like that writer and you are not...."
so many people say to do that when soliciting a publisher or in marketing but I've always had a problem with it...


message 77: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments Well, what I was saying is completely independent of actually joining groups/participating in conversations, etc. Eventually one will be asked what one writes--IF and WHEN that happens, one will need a response and a way to couch one's writing. I wasn't recommending rushing headlong into these new relationships with these pitches a-blazing. Probably a topic for another thread. As to your last comment, of COURSE I want to be like me, but I am an unknown quantity. I think "file on the same shelf as..." goes a long way toward helping readers get a grip on what they'll find in my books vs. just saying "hey, I'm a brand new writer with a completely original voice--try me!" You're saying that's misguided?


message 76: by Simon (new)

Simon Jenner (Simon_Jenner) | 2 comments Marjorie wrote: "Bill wrote: "Paul, I was not aware of any sites that will list books contingent on # of reviews. Would you mind mentioning a few?"

Bill, I don't have a clue where/what Paul was talking about so I'..."


Marjorie

There is some excellent advice here, some which I will definitely take on board.

I have just self-pubbed a new book on Amazon (Kindle only) and I am trying to boost my review numbers. When I published my last book (a children's illustrated book and so completely different to my latest adult thriller) I swapped reviews with a few people on this site. I am thinking of doing something similar again and wondered if this was still okay or whether it was frowned upon.

I also agree with what you say in a later point about having more in your catalogue. Write more or market harder - it's a hard balance to get right.

I haven't been on the forums here for a while and have only just joined this one so a big hi to all those on this thread.

Simon


message 75: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Bill wrote: "Good question--frankly, it seems helpful to say "if you like Writer X, then you might like my stuff," but I just got a review from a reader I solicited who WAS expecting Hiaasen...and got me. So I ..."

DEFINITELY a sharp double edged sword! plus why do you want to be like someone else? don't you want to be LIKE you? :-)


message 74: by Marjorie (last edited Jun 21, 2012 07:12AM) (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments wow travis and bill, you BOTH heard something I definitely did NOT say!

no, do NOT liken your work or be "helpful" to pitch it as an "also bought ." ugh, talk abt spammy!

i said to find similar books because those readers are pre-screened to be of like mind, then i said GET TO KNOW THEM BY PARTICIPATING IN CONVERSATIONS WHERE YOU DO NOT MENTION YOUR BOOK.

sorry to shout but i hate repeating myself--plus my ipad's virtual keyboard is a pain for shifting back and forth.

travis, i saw you come by the apocalypse whenever group. hi :) that is a super fun grp of people--with next to NO PROMO except in designated areas, not even the passive "oh my book is like that" sideways promo. gertie is great moderator. read her rules.

i think the thing you guys need to learn to do is slow down, get to know people, stop feeling the pressure to sell sell sell NOW NOW NOW and once you do, the sales will start trickling in.

there's a really great thread on al boudreau's facebook stream today about just this. if you aren't alreadyconnected to him, do it. super nice, humble and successful guy with a lot of great advce and discussions.


message 73: by Travis (new)

Travis Simmons | 42 comments Yea, I think people look for similarities, and if they don't find it they could be happy or they could be upset, who knows?


message 72: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments Good question--frankly, it seems helpful to say "if you like Writer X, then you might like my stuff," but I just got a review from a reader I solicited who WAS expecting Hiaasen...and got me. So I guess it's one of those double-edged swords.


message 71: by Travis (new)

Travis Simmons | 42 comments I have heard somewhere that you shouldn't liken your writing to another author's because it could set you up for failure if the people are expecting you to be just like that writer and you are not. However, I see this method in practice with a lot of the ads here on GR. What is the scoop on this, should we tell readers we are like a certain author to get their interest, or not?


message 70: by Bill (new)

Bill Cokas (bcokas) | 23 comments THAT is an interesting idea, Marjorie--find groups reading books LIKE my book. I've been doing something similar, contacting readers one by one who are reading (or have read) a book like mine and offering a free copy in exchange for a review--getting about 30% acceptances (60% no response and the rest don't have e-readers). For the record, I call it "humorous suspense" because that's how I'd characterize Carl Hiaasen, the writer whose style mine most closely resembles. Is this not a genre? Should I drop "humorous" and risk disappointing readers who are looking for nail-biting thriller? Is there an "official" list of genres somewhere I can pick from? So many questions!


message 69: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Broadwell (nikkiBroadwell) | 102 comments Bill wrote: "Marjorie, regarding "You need to go find your audience, Bill. You need to actually get to know them. Figure out who they are, what they read, where they go to get it and go there -- but NOT promote..."
Hi Bill--I've gone to pagan blogs and goddess websites and blogs looking for my audience which is Celtic fantasy..also gotten a couple of reviews on these sites...


message 68: by Marjorie (new)

Marjorie Friday Baldwin (marjoriefbaldwin) | 31 comments Travis, do both. Try to avoid any kind of "either / or" mind set about anything in this business. So many people who go with Smashwords and then want to try out KDP Select (which has a restrictive exclusivity clause) don't even consider the third possibility - do both. Launch a book via KDP Select, then 90 days later, add it to Smashwords.

Join a group, talk to people, add your book/promo to the appropriate folder or introduce yourself on the intro thread (mentioning you're an author but don't mention your book maybe just your genre) and ASK "Where can I post a promo or link for my book? What are the rules for getting picked to be a group read?" YOu'll be amazed what an easy thing it is to get exactly the answers you want if you just ask. But just doing instead of asking first, not polite. Karma's a bitch--and she wears spiky high heels (hahaha) I have GOT to write that book!

-Friday
@phoenicianbooks


message 67: by Travis (new)

Travis Simmons | 42 comments Good luck with moving Friday, and again thank you for the advice. Would you recommend the passive sale completely? Could you post the book in their pormotion folder and leave it at that, just joining in conversation after that, or do you think you are more warmly recieved if you just chit-chat with them?


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