Category Archives: Marketing Madness

Look Ma! It’s Working!

Look Ma! It’s Working!

I have approximately 48 hours left in Facebook jail to go. As the hours and days of my six day sentence have ticked by I’ve spent much of that time writing in my blogs, reading about marketing tips and tricks, crafting tweets on Twitter, and obsessively (oh yes, OBSESSIVELY) checking my stats on Kindle Unlimited.

I have to say that, for me, Kindle Unlimited appears to be the way to go. To be able to offer your book for sale through KU, you have to check that box for KDP Select and agree to not market your book elsewhere.*

*Don’t try to be sneaky and get around it, they WILL find out and then ban you from selling on Amazon.

Every morning (and sometimes multiple times during the day) I have been checking the reports section. It looks like this:

The top graph is actual ebooks delivered. See the blue lines? Those indicate free books. I gave away over 1,400 in five days, so that massive number dominates and you can’t actually see the ebooks sold in the days since. I only sold four, but that has netted me $7.87 in royalties.

Let’s talk about that little number for a moment. I am charging $2.99 for the ebook and getting a 70% royalty for it from Amazon due to exclusivity. If I published through a traditional publisher, the most I would get on any paperback sale would be around 90 cents to one dollar. Instead, I’m getting twice that.

The second graph is Kindle Unlimited page reads. Readers sign up and pay $9.99 per month to be able to read “all you can eat” of the thousands of books in the KU section. Amazon pays authors $.00488 per page read, so my Gliese book is approximately 310 pages long or $1.51 once it is read cover to cover.

Write a shitty book that no one finishes? You will make little or no money. I say little or no because I believe that the reader has to make it to at least the 25th page before Amazon will begin crediting the pages read so far. So if you write an unbelievably shitty book and 90% of folks make it to page ten and quit, you get ZERO for those folks and only get paid for that last ten percent. And did those folks like it? Will they write a nice review? Or even finish it?

In any case, you get my point.

And being that I’m obsessive, especially about money and where it is going and how much is coming in, I created this little chart in Excel that I can update daily…

You will notice that folks started reading the book through the KU program on Day 2 of my free giveaway for Gliese 581: The Departure. I ran the free book giveaway from 11/1 through 11/5. On 11/6 through 11/9 I was promoting both Gliese and War’s End: The Storm. On the 10th, early in the morning, is when I managed to land myself in Facebook jail by posting 70 links to  War’s End: The Storm in a rather quick manner (just under an hour).

Now the sequel to  War’s End: The Storm – War’s End: A Brave New World has not been marketed at all – and yet is has page views. Here is a view of just that book…

So, $2.03 in page reads. Income grown organically by writing a book that someone found compelling enough to read the sequel to immediately after finishing the first.

All in all, my tiny little simple goal of making $1 per day for this month looks like it will be exceeded if things keep going the way they are. I have two more days left to serve before I can return to marketing my books through the promo groups on Facebook.

Two more days to craft at least four different book blurbs for each of my books. Two more days to Tweet away and plan my next promo days. And possibly, if I can fit it in, actually write during that time as well.

As I reach the halfway point in the month, my goals for November are:

  • Reach and exceed an average income of $1 per day on my writing
  • Build my Twitter, Facebook page, author website and newsletter audience
  • Market daily
  • Write daily

What are yours?!

 

Details, Details, and Yes, More Details

Details, Details, and Yes, More Details

Mentally I’ve been running through the list ever since Facebook booted me from posting any book promos for six days.

This mental list includes answers to HOW I’m going to take my income from $1 per day to $15 (or more).

  • Professional book covers (thanks to Canva.com, I can do these myself)
  • Re-write all of my book blurbs to be eye-catching and intriguing
  • Slot War’s End: The Storm for a shorter free book giveaway on 12/1 and 12/2
  • Edit and update my two non-fiction books Get Organized, Stay Organized and The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale and then release them a month apart, doing Kindle free days for both of them.
  • Add several chapters to Schicksal Turnpike to turn it from a prequel into a PREQUEL* for The Chronicles of Liv Rowan
  • Finish The Hired Gun, get it edited and get it out there. Erotica sells!
  • Market, write, market, write – rinse and repeat

*I’ve had a couple of beta readers get back to me and say that they wanted to see more about the other world I referenced in passing. I’m going to try and take that to heart and make it happen.

Facebook Says I’ve Been Bad

[sigh]

So I may have gotten a little ambitious on posting on the Facebook promo groups I’m a member of. I think I posted in about 80 of them yesterday – 20 times for Gliese 581: The Departure and around 60 times for War’s End: The Storm before a message came up on the screen…

The message is from today – it seems I still have five days to go before I can post in Groups on Facebook.

Let this serve as a warning to others that, even though I remained in the rules for each of these groups (they all were promotion groups that state “post away” and “no limits”), Facebook was not okay with it.

It looks like I’ll need to do some investigating on the maximum of allowed posts so that I don’t trip their alarms and get banned permanently.

What’s worse is that it appears to be on ALL Facebook groups, including sites like Real Northeast – the community FB page I frequent. It won’t let me post there either – not any post – so I’ve really ticked the great god of Facebook off.

I’m In Love…With Canva.com

I’m In Love…With Canva.com

I recently started listening to podcasts while I clean houses. It is literally the ONLY time when I can pay attention to a podcast and actually get any real information out of it. The rest of my life is filled with input/output – that blast of information I’m either putting on the page, looking up, or dealing with the kiddo and other family matters.

And as we move into winter and I know there will be zero Airbnb prep going on, I decided to turn my focus from the Get Paid for Your Pad author Jasper Ribbers and TED Talks, and focus instead on marketing and writing tips.

Cue Joanna Penn, author of How to Market Your Book and host of the Creative Penn podcast.

Having been used to Jasper Ribbers shorter podcast, all of a half hour less in length, I was taken aback by Joanna just talking for a good twenty minutes before finally getting to her guest. However, in the middle of all of that talking she mentioned Canva.com. And I jotted a note on my phone to check it out today.

I’m glad I did, and sort of wish I hadn’t at the same time! I’ve spent most of the day working on it. And I’ve been up since 3:30 this morning!

I began by re-designing my War’s End covers…

And then I moved on to the sequel to The Storm, A Brave New World…

Aaaaannnnddd that led me to tackle The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale…

I’m going to do some quick revisions and updates on An Old Wives Tale before re-releasing it.

And now I’m considering doing the cover for Get Organized, Stay Organized as well…

It sure could use it, don’t you think?!

I just whipped this puppy up…

I frigging LOVE this cover! I would totally buy this book!

Canva has premium options, as well as free and low-cost images. So far I’m in for all of $11. The site is relatively easy to use and I really like how the book covers are looking. If nothing else, they look far more professional.

What do you think?

 

Giveaways, Marketing and Mindful Eating

Giveaways, Marketing and Mindful Eating

It’s just a whole hodgepodge of stuff, isn’t it?

Kindle Giveaway

My five-day free Kindle giveaway of Gliese 581: The Departure is over, but the regular price is only $2.99. Quite the bargain! And keep in mind that Gliese is part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

During the giveaway, at least 913 copies were downloaded. I kept posting links on the Facebook groups I belong to – all 350 of them (yeah, that was a lot of copying and pasting) – and I also paid a guy on Fiverr to promote to a group of subscribers he has, some 4800 in all.

Marketing and Making My Writing Pay

See, I have this dream. The dream isn’t particularly big, but right now it seems so impossible. My dream is to make enough money to not have to clean houses anymore.

Right now, I make around $1,500 per month, more or less, to clean houses. So a straight up “I need to make $1,500 per month on a regular basis writing” is the obvious goal.

Right now? I make less than five dollars per month on my writing.

So I have a way to go on this goal!

Part of it is marketing, and part of it is writing. Write more, have more to sell. Market more, actually get the word out there about my books, sell more copies.

And I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, and again, and again – until my mind and my “what should I focus on today” mindset catches up.

Write.

Market.

Repeat.

Mindful Eating

I’ve written about my choice to go with direct primary care, also known as concierge care, instead of obtaining health insurance. I did this back in May and for a total $80 per month, both my daughter and I have access to a doctor we know and like.

And for those of you who, like us, have to choose between paying the bills and eating, and being able to afford crummy, overpriced health insurance – direct primary care has really made a difference.

And I don’t know about you, but having the option to call my doctor and ask, “Hey, the kiddo has an earache, do you have time tomorrow to look at her?” and be able to see a doctor, for no additional cost past my monthly fee, is fantastic.

If you are interested in direct primary care, contact Allison Edwards at KCDPC and tell her I sent you.

I received her monthly newsletter the other day and she mentioned she had a blog, so of course, I followed the link and found this great post on mindful eating. And it was quite timely. I just got on the scales today and achieved my 4th weight loss goal – “Get it below 205.” I hope to be below 200 by the end of the year, even with the holidays.

I will be taking one lesson from the post that I have NOT been doing – and that is trying to eat slower. It can be difficult, especially when my dad and I are clashing. All I want to do is eat and get out of there, so I gulp my food down. But if I can slow down, that could also help with my weight loss.

Edits and Free Days

Edits and Free Days
Edits and Free Days

41Ahx1KKJYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Free Days Start Tomorrow

I will be offering War’s End: The Storm for free Kindle download for the next three days. At this time, all of my books are part of Kindle Unlimited, so if you are a subscriber (just $9.95 per month!) you can always read my books for free.

However, if you are not a KU subscriber, then get the book while the getting is good!

If you have read Gliese 581 and are wondering what the references to The Collapse and the Second American Civil War are all about – War’s End: The Storm will explain it. Beginning in 2017, this book serves as witness to the socioeconomic collapse of the United States and the civil war that follows.

In the day after tomorrow, after the socioeconomic collapse of the United States, one young girl fights for survival. Violently ripped from her family, abused and now pregnant, Jess must somehow survive while fleeing those who pursue her. Jess must come to peace with the life growing inside her as she struggles to return home.

So get it while the getting is good – starting Wednesday and ending on Friday!

Kaplaran Universe

Schicksal Turnpike

Dee, my editor extraordinaire, has returned the first draft of Schicksal Turnpike to me. I’m reading through her suggestions now and will begin working on edits this week. My hope is to have the book done and on Amazon by early fall, but we will see what happens. Deadlines are flexible things.

Schicksal will serve as the prelude to The Chronicles of Liv Rowan, which is somewhat of a prequel to War’s End.

And for those of you chomping at the bit for a sequel to Gliese…all in good time, all in good time. There is a method to my madness.

It is still madness, but that’s okay, a writer is allowed some lunacy, don’t you think?

Project Funding

I am doing the last bit of prep on two different crowdfunding campaigns – Kiva and IndieGoGo. The reality of the matter is, I need to do something with The Cottage at the end of our property, and that means raising money. I mention it here simply because I’m mentioning it EVERYWHERE. I’m drumming up support and encouraging folks to contribute.

When it comes to Kiva, you get your money back, 100% of it.

With IndieGoGo, you are receiving perks in return for your contributions – everything from unique art to night’s stays at The Cottage once the renovations are completed.

So you aren’t sending money out into the abyss to never be seen again. I want to stress that because it is important to me that others understand I’m not looking for handouts. This won’t just help me and bring me income, it will also bring worth to my neighborhood and community.

Stay tuned!

Contemplating a Pop-Up

Contemplating a Pop-Up

An author website is primarily for…what?

I’m sure there are ‘rules’ on this somewhere.

I’ve never been one for rules anyway. As we like to say around the Shuck household, “I do what I want, I eat at Red Lobster!”

So I’m reading further in this book by Tim Grahl, Your First 1000 Copies, in which he is now discussing pop-ups. You know what I mean, those boxes that pop up on damn near every website you go to.

I’m struggling with this idea, I’ll admit. Grahl writes about his client Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive,…

How much hate mail did Daniel get for installing the popup? None. How much did his website traffic go down? None. Did Daniel see any negative results whatsoever. No.

Basically the pop-up would invite readers to join my mailing list – which, in case you didn’t know, means receiving a weekly email that includes:

  • Links to all blog posts for that week
  • Any upcoming classes by date
  • News and information on my published books and writing projects underway
  • Tip of the week (gardening, recipes, organized living and more)

Now as I said, I’m struggling with this because I kind of hate pop-ups. Grahl goes on to advise that the following rules still apply…

  1. Be specific with your offer. Make it compelling, and consider giving something away for free.
  2. Put it on a delay. Wait at least 20 seconds before you show the popup.
  3. Only show it once. Don’t have it pop up repeatedly.

So I’m considering doing this on my websites and seeing how it goes. I’d appreciate your thoughts on the matter. How badly do you hate pop-ups?

My Guru

My Guru

One of my dear friends recently gave an interview to Beyond Your Blog on a subject she is quite experienced at…writing for regional parenting magazines.

Kerrie is my guru. She has brought me out of that low funk of “I’m never going to make money writing” to “Damn, I can do this!”

Her book, Make Money to Write About Your Kids is an excellent resource that can be used by all kinds of writers, not just those writing for regional parenting magazines (although I do wish she would make my life easy and publish a book on regional home improvement/gardening mags too!).

51g8SG40bgL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

Here is where you can find the podcast…Beyond Your Blog

I think that what strikes me as the most beneficial is (beyond all of the amazing lists of potential client magazines) her laidback, no-nonsense attitude and advice. She makes it easy…because it is easy…to break into these markets!

Kerrie is my guru. I love how she presents this info and cannot recommend this book enough!

 

 

Round and Round She Goes

Round and Round She Goes

I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for most of the day – creating Facebook pages, Twitter handles, and going round and round with Lulu, CreateSpace, and IngramSpark to try and find the perfect fit for my POD books.

So here are some fun links for you…

War’s End is now on Facebook and so is The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale.

I’ve also got Twitter feeds for both: War’s End and An Old Wives’ Tale