My teen-aged son loves to attend truck pulls at exhibitions. He only has his beginners, but he’s itching to get behind the wheel and has created elaborate schemes that would see him get there before he has his full driver’s license. He has yet to successfully carry out a scheme, but his mind is always working on it.
The videos he captures at these truck pulls are mashed together and posted to his YouTube channel. After a big pull at the end of August, I told him I’d share his link on my Twitter feed, thinking I’d be helping him spread the word so he’d have more subscribers and more views.
“You can’t do that,” he said. “You’d muddy my brand.”
For a guy who has no problem getting muddy on his four-wheeler, he had a real problem with mud on ‘his brand’. He knows little about marketing – or does he?
Many years ago, before self-publishing really took, the goal for many writers was to get a book permanently free at Amazon. It was relatively easy back then but for the past six years, Amazon has been reluctant to set books at permanently free. I was told the only way to do it was to set it for free at other vendors and hope (or scheme) customers would tell on you and Amazon would price match it. However, I’ve tried this several times over the years without luck. Until now.
I checked my sales record this week and discovered the book was being sold for free starting on May 9th. Yet, the book still showed a price of $0.99. Confused, I let it play out, watching my books be purchased for an invisible free price sticker. Last night, I checked again, and the Amazon sites finally revealed the true price: FREE.
Why do authors want a book permanently free? In my case, it’s because I want the first book in the series free in hopes the second book will be bought. Next spring, I hope to publish book 3 in the series, and with this boost in ‘sales’, it should do well. At least that is the hoped for outcome.
Last week I shared David Gaughran’s experience with Also Boughts at Amazon. Since then, he’s written a post to share more information on this subject from a different angle. Gaughran’s experience in analysing data such as this helps explain some of the mysteries behind how Amazon works. Read more about this in David Gaughran’s post Who’s Pointing at You.
Amazon is an extremely innovative company – and usually quite responsive to self-publisher’s concerns – but sometimes it gets things very wrong too.
Today is one of those times.
I’ve received several reports from writers threatened with having books removed from sale, and heard even more worrying stories from others who had their titles actually removed from the Kindle Store without notice.
What were these authors guilty of? What crime did they commit for Amazon to adopt such heavy handed treatment? Something completely innocuous: the Table of Contents was at the rear of their books instead of at the front.
Over the past two years, I’ve heard and read that I should start harvesting email addresses to create a list of individuals who would be interested in receiving specific information concerning book launches, releases and events. I was told by several individuals that it is one of the most valuable marketing tools at our disposal.
Still, I put it off. I had plenty of things to keep me busy (blogging, writing, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if a mailing list would be that effective.
So back I went to Mail Chimp, the service many people (including David) recommended. Even Nimbus Publishing uses this service. I had signed up several months ago, but I got lost in the procedure, so quickly dropped it.
This time I was determined to figure it out and create a Sigh Up Form to generate a mailing list. And I did it. This afternoon.
David Gaughran’s blog title caught my eye today. I love Canadian bacon and books and booze when I’m sitting around the campfire. In fact, I can drink rum, read a good book and chew on bacon all at the same time on a good night. But maybe I’m sharing a little too much of myself.
Back to David. Er David’s blog. His guest today is Krista D. Ball. She’s from Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada. She’s written a terrific book called What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank – A fantasy lover’s food guide.