It was a busy morning so when I heard a knock on the door, I wondered who was interrupting me in getting things done. Oh! A delivery driver. I remembered the proof for Fluid of Life was supposed to arrive today, but I had forgotten until I heard the knock.
Getting the first copy of any book is always exciting. I dropped what I was doing, opened the package and examined the book.
With the release of my first dystopian novel, Natural Selection, I’ve paused to understand exactly what dystopian means. Some might say it’s a dysfunctional society in a dysfunctional world. A world filled with extreme hard times, mostly for the average human being as there always seems to be a higher class that still lives in the lap of luxury.
Or it might be the last remains of a dying civilization with hope balanced on the shoulders of a sole individual or a few individuals.
Or it might be the collapse of society as we know it in the developed countries. This means those living in isolated locations, such tribes and people with little or no contact with modern man, are not affected.
A few weeks ago, the proof for Natural Selection arrived. The plan is to launch it in October. It’s my first dystopian, but it’s not like others in the genre. There are no zombies, gore, lone survivor, mass destruction of the planet, Hunger Games style tyranny or Mad Max desperation.
It’s a simple story suitable for kids 12 and up. I hadn’t set out to write a young adult book, but it happened. There are no harsh curse words, rape or sex scenes. There is mild kissing.
When I think of it, it’s cleaner than most current Disney cartoons aimed at ages 12 and below.
For the past month or so, I’ve been a member of Sophia Minetos’ Launch Team for her upcoming novel, Graves for Drifters and Thieves. One of the perks of being a member is a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of the book to read before it’s released to the general population. My paperback copy arrived Monday.
You’ll meet Sophia in Wednesday’s Word on November 18th and learn more about her book.
I learned about the recruitment for Sophia’s book launch team at Goodreads and signed up because the book looked like one I’d enjoy. I wasn’t wrong. I’m enjoying it. You’ll read my review December 15th, the day of the book launch.
It’s a western, and my brain is thirsty for westerns lately. It’s time to pull out Young Guns and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to watch, and finish writing that western laced with romance with the working title Billy the Kid and Lady Luck.
What is a Book Launch Team?
It’s a group of people who come together to help promote a book during its pre-order stage. While I’m sure there are many ways to give incentives to members to share news on their social media accounts about the upcoming book, Sophia is doing weekly challenges where members have a chance to win fabulous gifts.
Judy’s book is scheduled for release on November 10th and is available for pre-order. If you love mysteries, check it out.
Also several weeks ago, Rita Lee Chapman offered an interview for her blog. I answered several questions, including which of my characters is my favourite and which book did I enjoy writing the most. I also shared an amusing story about the guinea fowl I once owned. They are peculiar birds.
The interview appeared on Sunday (Australian time) and Saturday evening (Nova Scotia time). Rita is the author of The Poinciana Tree, and I interviewed her on this blog for Wednesday’s Word.
I’ve whoaed and hummed, thought a wee bit more about it, hummed and hawed, and wondered if it would work. I’ve never done it before, so I don’t know how smoothly or rocky the experience will be. In the end, I threw caution to the wind. The past year, I’m more of a ‘let the chips fall where they may’ kinda gal. So let’s do it.
Given the restrictions Amazon presents to Canadians, I can’t gift a book to Amazon.ca without a lot of hassle and hoop jumping. Maybe I can’t do it at all. I read the ‘rules’ more than a month ago, and they have become a jumbled mess in my head.
While this was supposed to be a wrap-up post, I’m pushing that to next Sunday because of the activity with Northern Survival this week. I didn’t want to make this post extremely long.
While no paid or free ads were placed, I’ve been busy answering messages about the book and completing guest posts.
I received word mid-week that a review was coming shortly and that the reviewer requested an interview. That review appeared on Thursday. More about that below.
Speaking of reviews, the heightened activity of my book has generated many offers from pay-per-review people. For a dastardly price of usually more than $60 USD (I won’t calculate the Canadian price; it’s a week’s worth of groceries), they will write a professional review and post it on Amazon and Goodreads. I get one or two requests a day. I assume this is normal for just-released books that have generated a lot of exposure. I’ve received them before, but never on this scale. Like any writer, I want reviews, but I don’t want to get them this way.
The promotions for Northern Survival’s book launch are basically over. It officially ends October 15th, when the eBook goes to its regular price of $4.99. That said, I will still promote the book in the coming months, just not as aggressively as I turn my attention to my next release, the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes, and the writing of other stories.
This is the last update to detail what I’ve done. The October 11th update will be a wrap up with results. Here’s what happened in the marketing department this week.
On September 30th, I reduced the price of the eBook to the final 99-cent sale price to prepare for the scheduled ads to run on October 1st and 3rd. The price will return to $1.99 on October 5th. Because the book is enrolled in KDP Select, Kindle Unlimited Members read for free.
The promotions for my book launch for Northern Survival are almost complete.
Here’s the summary of what I’ve done to promote the book and where it appeared in the past week. My price stayed at, what I’m now calling, the launch price of $1.99. On October 15th, I will increase the price to $4.99.
The Laker – Free
About two weeks ago, I wrote and submitted an article about my book to a local online newspaper. On September 19th, it appeared: Author From Milford Releases Latest Book Northern Survival. I love free publicity. I’ve had various articles published in this newspaper (formerly The Weekly Press), including my weekly Garden Tales column a few years ago, interviews of other authors and other press releases for my books. The newspaper has changed form and editors, but it’s still alive.
Hot Zippy – $24 USD ($32.57 CAD)
On September 23rd, I ran an ad with Hot Zippy. I’ve never used this service before, and, as mentioned above, I did not reduce the price of my book.
The website to book the promotion is here. They have a few genre sites, and the one that suited my book the best was Romance.com. Books are promoted through an email subscription and social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest). Continue reading →
I’m half way into my book launch promotions for Northern Survival, and Fall is two days away.
Quick Fact: On September 17th (in some year not long ago, or perhaps it was this year or the next), the four-seater plane, in which Olive and John were travelling, crashed in Northern Ontario. They were only days away from the first day of autumn in a place that greeted winter earlier than here in Nova Scotia and many other places in North America.
Here’s the summary of where my book appeared in the past week. For this week’s promotion, I took advantage of Kindle Select’s free days at Amazon. I used only 2 of the 5 for September 17th and 18th. The other five days, the book was at regular price: $1.99.
The Miramichi Reader – $10 CAD a month
On September 14th, I sent my ad to The Miramichi Reader, and they placed it in their right-hand margin that evening. The website is operated by a local fella in my neighbouring province of New Brunswick. James posts reviews, releases and other news in the local (and sometime not local) book industry. He offered a reasonable price for ad space from now until December 31st. That price fit into my budget, so the ad I made will remain on this site until the end of the year. At that time, I’ll evaluate it and decide if I want to continue.
The link connected to the ad takes people to the Northern Survival book page on my McGyver site and because WordPress keeps track of where visitors come from, I’ll be able to see how many come from The Miramichi Reader.
In my effort to promote my books over the years, I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on various websites. As I search for more avenues to spread the word of my books, I’m finding others who want to do the same. It’s not always easy to find blogs to provide space for advertising, and finding free ones are more difficult. This is made all more necessary due to the lack of opportunities to meet readers personally at markets and other venues.
So, for the unforeseeable future, I’m offering up space on my blog each Wednesday for a writer to promote their book. This is ideal for authors doing blog tours for new releases.
What Can Authors Post?
Introductions to your book. It can be done freestyle or in question format. This is a great way to brag about your new release or upcoming release.
Interview: You create the questions and provide the answers.
5-Question Interview: I’m posting 5-question interviews from now until the end of the year. You can answer those questions and use that as your post. Laura Best’s 5-Question interview has the questions and provides an excellent example of length.
I’d prefer, and it’s in your best interest, to focus on one book: your new release or the last book you had published. If this is a book in a series, of course, mention the series, but don’t discuss the other books.
We’re almost at the halfway mark of the month. So far, sales have been better online for this book launch than previous book launches. However, face-to-face sales are still not happening. Here’s the summary of where my books appeared in the past week. For this week’s promotion, the book is half price, only 99 cents. The sale ended Thursday September 10th, and the book is back to the regular $1.99 price.
Discount Book Man – $15 USD – $5 (coupon) ($13.61 CAD)
On September 7th, my book was posted to Discount Book Man’s website and sent to the subscribers of their newsletter. I’ve never used this service before. After I had bought an ad from Awesome Gang, I received an email message from them to confirm my order. In that message, there were several other ad sites mentioned, some that offered coupons, including one for Discount Book Man. That’s where I found the $5 off coupon to reduce the fee from $15 to $10.
Indie Author News is a paid for service. It cost $25 USD, which translated to $33.92 Canadian (Yeah, our dollar sucks!). I’m hoping for results, but we’ll see. I’ll share my results of all these ad providers when the book launch promotions for Northern Survival are completed: the first week of October.
While ads may only give a small bump in sales, that small bump may translate into a larger bump by the next ad.
You can visit the website to learn more and see how things are presented (Indie Author News), but here’s how the top of the page looks today with my “Book of the Day” ad at the top right.
As mentioned in my Book Launch post, I am trying a few new things this September to promote my book online. Given the current limitations to public events and possibly the cancellation of the annual craft show this fall where I sell a large number (large number as in between 30 and 50 each year) of books, I don’t have the usual venues in which to get my new book in front of readers.
I know, online is where it’s at, but I sell a lot of books in person from a small table at craft shows, farmers’ markets and pop-up markets. I love talking to readers, and I always meet a published or hope-to-be published author at events.
Turning to online means trying new things and investing money in ads instead of gas and table rentals. My Sunday updates will summarize where I appeared online during the week to promote my book. I’ve checked out dozens of sites that offer ads, some free, some that cost money. My wallet doesn’t permit me to spend hundreds of dollars willy-nilly, so I set my budget at around $100 to see what I could do with it. That’s $100 for the entire month.