eBook Giveaway: “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

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.

To thank those who have followed and supported me over the years at this blog, I’m giving away five eBook copies of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes.

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.

However, I’ve found an easy solution.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #6

Northern SurvivalWhile 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.

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Today I’m a Guest at D. G. Kaye, Writer

Today, my interview with D. G. Kaye appears on her website, D. G. Kaye, Writer.

Debby is the author of several wonderful memoirs, including Conflicted Hearts: A Daughter’s Quest for Solace from Emotional Guilt and Twenty Years: After “I Do”: Reflections on Love and Changes Through Aging. She’s a fellow Canadian, an amazing writer and a lovely person.

When Debby asked if I wanted to be a guest on her website, I jumped at the chance. As Diane McGyver, I talk about my most recent release, Northern Survival. I also share a little advice for writers.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #5

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.

PRICE

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.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #4

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

Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #3

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.

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Introducing Blog Tours on Wednesday’s Word

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.

Focus

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.

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Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #2

Northern Survival

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.

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Today I’m at Indie Author News

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.

Indie Author News ad

Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #1

Northern Survival
The eBook is NOW AVAILABLE at Amazon

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.

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Book Launch: Northern Survival on Sale for 99 cents

Northern Survival

To celebrate the release of Northern Survival, it’s on sale for 99 cents for seven days, starting today. I’m making September the month of intense promotions for this fast-paced read that I identify as fiction – survival – adventure – romance.

For this 7-day sale, my book will be mentioned in the following promotional newsletters, blogs and websites.

I’m waiting on a few other sites to respond. When they do, I’ll make note of them.

I’ll also make posts about the book and the sale on this website, my McGyver website, Quarter Castle Publishing website, the publisher’s Twitter account and my Instagram.

At the end of the Book Launch campaign, I’ll give a summary of the results. That will be October 6th. The only marketing site I’ve used before was eBook Betty, so it will be interesting to see the results the others produce.

From Friday September 4th to Thursday September 10th, Northern Survival will be half price: 99 cents. It’s available at:

Happy Reading.

99 cent sale

A Busy Spring and a Book Launch Sale

I can’t get over how busy the past four months have been for me. While I have been writing a little, editing a lot and formatting books, an equal amount of time (if not more) has been spent offline, away from the computer.

Life is going in the direction I had planned, so I’m far from complaining. However, I am rethinking a few things I had planned.

For instance, I wrote two short novels last year, both under 70,000 words. They were not fantasy and because of advice from other writers and Amazon’s algorithms, I had decided to publish these and others of similar fashion under a new pen name. Of course, a new pen name would create a few challenges of its own, but I was prepared to tackle them.

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Book Launch Update and Locked Out of Twitter

On Saturday June 15th, I launched Revelation Stones at Dartmouth Book Exchange. There were many events and activities going on in Cole Harbour that day, so traffic was intense. While many places were busy, the book store wasn’t. However, that didn’t stop the book launch from being a success, particularly since I went into it with no expectations.

I met several new readers and saw several familiar faces, who stopped in specifically to say hello and buy my book. Thank you to everyone who came.

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Book Launch: Revelation Stones at Dartmouth Book Exchange

Tomorrow, Saturday June 15th, between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm, I launch Revelation Stones, the 3rd book in the Castle Keepers series at Dartmouth Book Exchange, 1187 Cole Harbour Road, Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. I spent the first 29 years of my life in that community and return often to visit family. While I’ve not lived there since 1996, it still feels like home.

I’ll also have paperback copies of Shadows in the Stone (book 1) and Scattered Stones (book 2), as well as book 1 in the Mystical series, a series within a series, Beyond the Myst.

This is my first event in a book store, so I’m going in with no expectations; my goal is to have fun, meet readers and sell a few books.

I laughed out loud when I thought of the fun that could be had if that’s all that’s expected. It’s a good goal in life. I think I’m going to milk it.

If you’re in Cole Harbour tomorrow, pop in, have a chat. The Dartmouth Book Exchange has thousands of used books; you’ll find one you love.

Book Review: The Girl at the Top of the Tree by Barry Corbin

The Girl at the Top of the Tree

by Barry Corbin

Published: 2018

ISBN: 978-1775327905

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 380

I enjoy local stories that take place in rural settings, so when I read The Girl at the Top of the Tree, it struct a nerve. The story takes place in rural Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley to be exact, or as locals call it, The Valley. It starts several generations into the past, but quickly transports readers to the 1960s.

The brief family history tugs at my genealogical nerve, and I’m wondering about the surname and if I can find it on a census record. Details about the First and Second World Wars also pique my interest. I’ve done a lot of research on both because of family members, including my father, who served in them.

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