Seeking ARC Readers for “the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes”

I mentioned Booksprout in my Marketing Northern Survival Sunday Update #2. I stated I had never heard of or used the service before this date. Wanting to give this service an opportunity to see what it could do, I uploaded a copy of the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes (PDF and Mobi formats).

Unlike Northern Survival, this is truly an ARC (advanced reading copy), and I’m sure when the paperback is reviewed when it arrives in two weeks, I’ll find things I need to correct and want to change. Keep this in mind if you decide to participate.

A few organic copies will be snatched up, but I’m interested in seeing if I can generate more interest by promoting the service and book. There are only 20 copies available.

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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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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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The Over-used Trope for Character Development

Over the weekend, I watched Good Will Hunting. No, I’ve never seen the movie before even though it was released in 1997. That was the year I was working 40 hours a week at a garden centre, giving birth to my first child and settling into a new house, so I didn’t watch much of anything.

Throughout the movie, I was waiting for the inevitable. I say inevitable because many of the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched the past 20 years have used death to jolt the main character out of their ‘destructive’ daze and into change for the better. I’ve seen it so many times, I can often pick which character will be sacrificed for the good of character development. If it’s a character I’ve invested emotion in, I pull back before the death, knowing it’s coming. If I’m unaware, it feels like a betrayal by the writer.

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Amazon Reviews

EllsworthWe all know how important reviews are for authors and books. They can help sell a book, and they can help deter others from buying a book. Some authors call reviews the life-blood of sales. However, I’ve visited a few book-sellers’ pages and looked at popular books and found no reviews—not one. I know they sold well, so why wouldn’t they have reviews?

Reviews sell books to a certain audience, but not to the readers who don’t go online and seek reviews.

Readers look to reviews for an honest assessment of the story to help them to decide if they want to read the book or not. When there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of reviews for a book, there’s usually a wide range of ratings. I’ve seen popular books with many four and five star reviews, but they also have one-star reviews. That’s because one book doesn’t please everyone.

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Publishing 101: Reviews

Publishing 101During the Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge I’d like to try a few new ideas I’ve seen other writers/publishers implement. One of those ideas is to get quotes for the back cover or an inside page of the book. I’m going to take that a little further and look for reviews before the book is published.

So…I am wondering if anyone is interested in reading Fowl Summer Nights and providing a review I can post on my website.

Above each review will be a short (two to three sentences) biography to introduce the reviewer. The bio can contain one link to a website, blog or Facebook page. If the reviewer is a writer, they can mention a title or two of the book(s) they’ve written. If the writer wishes, they can send along a photograph of themselves to accompany their biography. Images of a book will be permitted in place of the reviewer’s image, but I’d prefer a picture of the person, so I can ‘meet them’.

If a book image is submitted, it cannot contain graphic sexual content. I have an eleven-year-old over my shoulder most days, so I don’t post anything to my website that I don’t want him to see. I have the right to refuse book covers I deem inappropriate for a young audience. An author photo would be more appropriate under these circumstances.

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The Importance of Good Editing

EditingEditing. That’s the mammoth task every writer must face in the process of publishing a book. I know some writers don’t bother—you can easily spot their eBooks like you can an elephant in your corn chowder—but editing is the one essential task that must be done and done to a specific professional level to gain success and respect in self-publishing. It can’t be half-assed, sped through or done with no knowledge on how to do it.

Readers will notice. Other writers will notice too. Even my ten-year-old can spot a spelling mistake.

Unedited books also become fair game to reviewers. Some will politely tell the author there are mistakes or that “this is a good first draft” or “it has potential”, but most will not be so kind.

Here are a few actual one-star reviews from Amazon

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