Thursday, March 29, 2012

My KDP Select Experiment – Third Time's a Charm!

Hi all,
WVW at #13 in Free Kindle Top 100 List
I am happy to say that I had a very successful FREE promotion on Amazon for my women's fiction novel WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE. This was my third attempt at trying FREE days with my first and second attempts being for my ebooks MEMORIES and OUTLAW HEROES.  Considering the title of this ebook, I really couldn't predict if people would shy away from it or if the title would intrigue them. Considering the number of free books downloaded in only two days, I'm guessing that the title intrigued readers.  Here is how the promotion went.

First Day of Promotion

To begin with, I had originally planned on starting my promotion on Wednesday and running it through Friday that week. However, for some reason or another, after I had set the dates in the system, it was wiped away and the promotion didn't start as planned. I then reset it for Thursday and Friday (March 22-23) and hoped for the best. I didn't want to wait because the next week (March 25-31) this book was going to be a part of the World Literary Café's Read and Review program, so I wanted the promotions to occur back to back.

The first day I was excited to see how many FREE books had been downloaded overnight and was I ever surprised when at 10:00 AM all I saw was 58 free downloads! With my other books, the number of books the first morning had been in the 100s – so you can imagine that I was freaking out. As the day went on, the free downloads trickled in and by 4:00 PM there were still only 297 downloads. At this point, I decided that the title of my book was scaring everyone and I would not have a successful FREE promotion. However, only an hour later the number grew to 654 downloads and by midnight that first night the downloads were 4,032 and my book hit #40 of the Top 100 Free Kindle Books list. I was ecstatic!

Second Day of the Promotion

The second day of my FREE promotion for WIDOW continued to be as exciting as the first. My book stayed in the top 100 Free Kindle Books list for the entire day reaching up to #13 before slowly dropping to #28 by the end of the night. In all, 10,761 FREE copies were downloaded in the U.S., 38 in the U.K and only 1 in France. Also, I sold several of my Memories and Outlaw Heroes books, which was a bonus.

Did I Do Anything Different from Last Time?

The surprising thing about this promotion is that I didn't do anything different than I had for the other two. I hit up all the same sites I used before (see list below) that promote your FREE book for free and I ran my usual ad on Goodreads except I changed it to advertise the free days. Personally, I believe it was the title that drew the people in and when they read the description, I think they liked what they saw. Also, WVW had 6 positive reviews so that may have helped people make up their minds. Of course, I had a lot of help from my friends on Twitter who re-tweeted my promotion tweets to their readers. Thanks, guys!

Has it Made a Difference in Sales?

I know there are still authors out there who are against the KDP Select program, and that is their right, but as far as I'm concerned, the ability to have free days for your books really does help get your book noticed and sell copies. Since the end of this promotion, I have sold 10-20 books a day of WVW and a few each day of the other two. I have also done well with the Prime lending, having several borrows for each book. Let's face it – money is money whether it comes from a Prime member borrowing your book or someone buying it.  I really urge writers out there who are not selling more than a couple of books a month to try this program. If anything, you will sell a few more books than normal and after the 90 days, you can place your books back on the other sites. For me it is a win-win situation, and I think it has been for many indie authors also.

Sites I Use that Promote Free Books



Recent Book Promotions and Reviews

Books featured in WLC's March Read N Review Week.
Hi all,

I wanted to give a shout out and say thank you to the following people who took the time this past couple of weeks to promote two of my books and review one of them.  I've been so lucky to have made many friends since starting this self-publishing phase of my writing career and I appreciate each and every one of them from those who have interviewed me for their blogs to those who have re-tweeted my many tweets during my book promotions. Everyone has been so helpful and giving and I want everyone to know how grateful I am for your help. Here are just a few of the many who I'd like to thank.

WLC Read N Review Week

This week, March 25-31, my book, Widow, Virgin, Whore, is being featured in World Literary Cafe's Read N Review month/week. Before the actual week begins, your book is offered to all of the WLC reviewers to choose to read. There are no guarentees that any of the reviewers will choose your book. Luckily for me, two brave souls did choose to read my book despite the title that sometimes scares people away. Gina from Gina's Library and Gloria Antypowich both gave WVW 5 stars and glowing reviews and I am very grateful for their reviews. I know that some people are put-off by the title - but for the most part I've found that most people are intrigued by the title and click the link to learn more. For whatever reason these two lovely ladies decided to review my book, I thank them for taking the time to read it and share their reviews with their readers and WLC.

Memories Featured on The Cheap Kindle Daily

I also want to thank Tia at The Cheap Kindle Daily for featuring my romance novel, Memories, on her website. She has a wonderful site which promotes Kindle books that stay within a certain price range and her Facebook page is also another place where your book can be featured. Without the help of so many wonderful sites lik eTia's, indie authors would not be able to get the word out about there books. So, thank you, Tia, for helping promote my book.

I know that so many others deserve to be thanked as they have been so kind to either feature my books or review them. I do try to show my appreation through promoting their sites either on my blog or on Twitter. Here are just a few more people who'd I'd like to thank for helping me these past few months:

Becky Flansburg of The Frantic Mommy

Crystal Marie of Crystal Clear Edits

Magda M. Olchawska (Check out her latest movie project and how you can support it)

Ann Swann of Ann's Afterthoughts

And all my friends and fans at Goodreads!

I appreciate each and every one of you!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Widow, Virgin, Whore will be FREE March 22nd-23rd on Amazon!

Hi all,

(3/21 - Update: Sorry everyone, but somehow Amazon wiped away my FREE promotion and I had to re-set it for the 22nd-23rd. You can't imagine how surprised and upset I was when I saw that the book wasn't FREE today. SORRY!)

Just a quick post to let you know that my women's fiction/drama novel WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE will be FREE on Amazon Wednesday, March 21st Thursday, March 22nd through Friday, March 23rd. If you haven't already picked up a copy of this ebook, now is the time to do it! Click the link above and you will be directed to the Amazon page.

You can read more about Widow, Virgin, Whore here and also my post on the background of the novel here.

I hope you take the opportunity to download and read this book for FREE. It has received several very good review on both Amazon and Goodreads. If you enjoy a good women's fiction/drama novel, I'm sure you will enjoy this book. But be prepared - Kleenex is a must when you read this book!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Pleased with the Results of My FREE Days for Outlaw Heroes

Hi all,
Outlaw Heroes #6 in Free Children's Fiction.

If you read this blog, you know that I had three FREE days on Amazon for my children's ebook, Outlaw Heroes, on March 14-16th. I must say, I am pleasantly surprised, and very pleased, with the results of those days. I went into it, already a veteran of Amazon Free days with my book,Memories, not expecting huge numbers of downloads. And while I didn't experiences one of those 10,000 plus download days, I do think that Outlaw Heroes did very well.

The Stats and Numbers

I'm not going to go into major detail about my free days' numbers (don't want to bore you) but I'll just give you a few numbers to get an idea on how the days went. Before the free days started, this is how Outlaw Heroes ranked on Amazon:

     Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,478 Paid in Kindle Store 
#18 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Children's Fiction > Historical Fiction > United  
States > Westerns

Near the end of the free days – I did have to finally go to sleep – here is how Outlaw Heroes ranked on Amazon:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

#6 Children's Fiction
#16 Children's E-Books
#1 in Middle-Grade Fiction
#1 in Action Fiction

As you can see, I got very close to hitting the top 100 in the Free Kindle Store – I just didn't do quite well enough to make it. But that is okay, because I feel like I did very well with my children's novel.

The total number of downloads for Outlaw Heroes for the three days went as follows:

·         3,342 for the U.S.

·         17 for the U.K.

·         5 for D.E.

·         1 for France

My best numbers were in the last day on Friday – between 4:30 PM and 11:00 PM, over 1,000 copies of Outlaws was downloaded. It as really fun to see that number shoot up!

Did the FREE Days Help My eBook?

I do believe that the free days did indeed help my book go from almost obscurity up within the ranks of other children's books so that now it is being seen regularly on Amazon. That is really what the free days are all about – improving your rank on Amazon so you will hopefully stay high and sell more books. Today is the first day back to paid sales and although I am not making a killing, I have sold a few books so far and my ranking is improving with each sale. Outlaw Heroes would not have been seen by this many people if it hadn't been for the free days, so I think they do make a big difference.

What These Numbers Also Tell Me

The fact that this fun little adventure novel for kids did so well with free downloads tells me that parents are still looking for a good book for their children to read that doesn't have sex, innuendo, violence or even witches, wizards, vampires or zombies. A few years ago, when I was shopping this book around to agents and publishers, no one was interested because it was not on trend with what was being marketed to kids at the time. In other words, it was not the next Harry Potter or Twilight series, so therefore it was irrelevant. Nothing against Harry or Bella – I loved the Harry Potter series as much as the next mom – but I really believed there was room in the publishing world for a one-time, fun adventure book as well as those powerful series'. So it makes me feel good that so many people wanted to download this children's books, and hopefully they will enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

I want to send out a big Thank You to everyone who helped me promote my FREE days for Outlaw Heroes and to all my Twitter Followers who so kindly re-tweeted my many, many tweets about the promotion. I couldn't have had a successful promotion without everyone's help.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Outlaw Heroes - FREE Days March 14th - 16th!

Cover created by Tugboat Design
Hi all,

Well, after weeks of e-mailing site after site I have finally liberated my children's ebook, Outlaw Heroes from Smashwords and their partner sites and am now able to add it to the KDP Select program on Amazon. I've set the FREE Days for Outlaw Heroes for Wednesday - Friday, March 14th - 16th. If you are looking for a fun adventure book for your child to read (vampire free) then be sure to mark your calendar to download this ebook. Outlaw Heroes is a fiction, action/adventure novel for children ages 10 and up.

Here is a description of the book:

Outlaw Heroes

Twelve-year old Will Long loves the old west and his favorite stories are ones about Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When he was younger, Will and his father watched old western movies together and read books about old-time outlaws and lawmen. His father worked on a ranch and he and Will would ride horses together, rope cattle and attend rodeos. Unfortunately, this all ended the day his dad died suddenly and Will and his mother had to leave the ranch and move into town. After three years, Will still struggles with the death of his father and is having trouble accepting the new man in his mother’s life.

Will and his mother head west to Spokane, Washington on an Amtrak train to attend a family reunion and the one-hundredth birthday celebration for his great-grandmother. During the train ride, Will is suddenly awakened to find he’s been transported back in time and the train is being robbed by none other than Butch and Sundance. Will joins in with the outlaws and jumps at the chance to follow along with them despite Sundance's protests. Will follows the outlaws on some of their most famous robberies and also gets to meet the infamous Etta Place, Sundance's wife. But when a bank robbery goes sour, Will begins to wonder if being an outlaw is as exciting as he’d once thought.

Join Will as he learns life lessons along the way and discovers a family secret that has been hidden for decades.

I hope you get a chance to download this book on its FREE days. Many adults have also read it and enjoyed it too!


Friday, March 9, 2012

MEMORIES - Now only $0.99 Cents on Amazon!

Cover Created by Tugboat Design
Hi all,

I wanted to let you all know that my romance novel, MEMORIES, is now $0.99 cents for a limited time on Amazon. Why? I have two reasons. I want to give people a chance to read this novel and I want to continue to keep MEMORIES in the upper ranks at Amazon so it continues to get high exposure. In a later post I will tell you how my $0.99 cent days did and if it helps to lower your book price to get the exposure you want. But for now, be sure to download it at this great price - and enjoy the read!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

After My Free Days on Amazon

Memories #55 in Contemporary Fiction
Hi all,

As you know from my last post – My KDP Select Experiment Day3 – I placed my romance novel, MEMORIES on Amazon for three FREE days to try to move it up in the ranks and increase sales once the free days were done. I succeeded fairly well with moving up in the ranks – but I'm sorry to say that the sales did not come fast and furious over the weekend.  Here is how things went.

How Memories Ranked After the Free Days

The morning after the free days ended – Saturday – my Amazon Sellers Rank went from #266 in the Free Kindle Store up to #259,655 in Paid Kindle Store – basically it went back to where I started before my free days.  Throughout the day, however, as sales trickled in, the ranking did get better.  Here's how it did:

Day 1

3:30 PM – After 1 book sale and 1 borrow - #76,171 Paid Kindle Store

5:30 PM – After 2 book sales - #47,651 Paid Kindle Store

9:15 PM – After 6 book sales and 2 borrows - #41,377 Paid Kindle Store

Day 2

1:00 AM – 10 Sales & 2 borrows - #26,564 Paid Kindle Store

12:30 PM – 13 Sales & 3 borrows - #11,972 Paid Kindle Store - #55 in Contemporary Fiction

8:30 PM – 21 Sales & 3 borrows - #10,168 Paid Kindle Store

11:00 PM – 27 Sales & 5 borrows - #10,168 Paid Kindle Store

Day 3

No new sales – ranking went from #12,044 up to #14,061 during day.

Sadly, I had a total of 27 U.S. sales, 2 U.K. sales and 5 borrows for the entire weekend.

So, Was My KDP Select Experiment a Success?

That depends upon what you consider a success – money or ranking. The good news – I did manage to get Memories up in the rankings at Amazon so now it is being recommended along with other books. Bad news – I didn't have the multitude of sales that other people experienced after their free days. However, since I started at zero because Memories is a brand new book on Amazon, the sales I did have over the weekend are a good start. So, was it a success? I think it was. I am now ranked pretty high on Amazon and hopefully I will continue to sell a few books at a time to stay there.

Another positive to consider is that my book is now in the hands of over 1,700 people due to the free days. That means that if even one-quarter of them read it, they may actually like it and want to read my other book, so that will mean more sales. I am already hard at work on my next book which I hope to complete by this fall, so I will have even more to offer readers and that will, hopefully, continue the cycle.

No One Said it Would be Easy

For some people, the free days boost them to the top and help them make a quick buck off of their book. I think it's great for them and I wish them well. For the rest of us, it is a slow climb from unknown author to bestselling author. That's okay. As long as I keep selling a few books here and there, I can wait a little longer until I have a library of books that bring in a steady stream of income. No one ever said this book selling thing would be easy – but at least I'm doing what I love and making a little money – what more can you ask for?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

My KDP Select Experiment Day 3

Memories #18 in Contemporary Fiction
Hi all,

My third and final day of my FREE days for my novel, MEMORIES, was once again a slow, steady increase in downloads. While I didn't achieve a major number like 20,000+ in downloads, I did fairly well with the downloads I did have because they improved my ranking on Amazon. If you remember from My KDP Select ExperimentDay 2 – I ended my second day with a total of 1,288 downloads for two days of my book and at #294 in the Free Kindle Store.  Here is how I did on Day 3:

--10:00 AM – 1,528 total downloads - #209 in the Free Kindle Store and #19 in Contemporary Fiction - #65 Romance.

--12:00 PM – 1,608 downloads - #202 in the Free Kindle Store - #18 in Contemp. Fiction & #30 in Contemp. Romance. I was also #63 in Romance.

--7:15 PM – 1,814 downloads - #238 Free Kindle Store - #19 Contemp. Fiction - #41 Contemp. Romance - #86 Romance.

--10:45 PM – 1,913 downloads - #266 Free Kindle Store - #20 Contemp. Fiction - #42 Contemp. Romance - #86 Romance.

As you can see, the day peaked in the afternoon and then slowed down again by evening. Here are my totals for the entire three days:

U.S. – 1,964 downloads

U.K. – 399 downloads

DE – 41 downloads

FR – 2 downloads

IT – 2 downloads

Was I Satisfied with My Free Days Promotion?

Basically, yes, I really can't complain. When you consider my book Memories was brand new with no rankings or sales, the three free days gave it exposure and will hopefully garner a few book reviews. My promotion didn't break any records and I never made it to the top 100 in the Free Store, but I think I did pretty well by making it into the top 100 for Romance and for Contemporary Fiction. I was especially pleased with the U.K. downloads. I hope this brings in a few sales from the U.K. in the future.

The real test will be to see if I generate sales from my free days now that they are over. I still have two more free days to use for this book before my 90 days are over, but I will wait awhile before I use them. If Memories receives a few good reviews (cross fingers) then maybe the next free promotion days will see more downloads.

I'll let you know in a few days how the sales did now that the promotion is over. I hope I will have good news to report! J


Friday, March 2, 2012

My KDP Select Experiment Day 2

Memories ranked #22 on Contemporary Fiction.
Hi all

My second FREE day with my book, MEMORIES, on Amazon stayed pretty steady but no big news. I had ended the first day at #372 in the Free Kindle store overall, but I started the second day at a much better ranking.  That ranking went up and down throughout the day. Because I was getting closer to the top 100, I decided to add one more day to my FREE days for a total of 3. My reasoning? I wanted to see if Memories could get in the top 100 Free Kindle store. I also decided that breaking up my free days in 3 and then 2 made more sense than 2-2-1 with this book. Memories was brand new without any ranking when it started so it took longer to work its way up (down? I know I should be saying down but it sounds funny so please bear with me). So I decided that going for that extra day might help it overall much better than saving that one day for another promotion.

Anyway, here is how the rankings for Memories changed throughout the second day. (Number of books downloaded is a continuation from day one.)

--9:20 AM – 826 total downloads for both days - #298 in Free Kindle Store, #22 in Contemporary Fiction and #38 in Contemporary Romance

--12:00 PM – 919 total downloads for both days - #279 in Free Kindle Store

--1:20 PM – 970 in total downloads - #250 in Free Kindle Store

--3:45 PM – 1,051 downloads - #241 in Free Kindle Store - #19 in Contemp. Fiction and #35 in Contemp. Romance

--7:00 PM – 1,133 downloads - #266 in Free Kindle Store – I'm moving back up! Not a good thing.

--12:00 AM – 1,288 downloads - #294 in Free Kindle Store.

--As you can see, rankings go up and down all day. The good news is I will start day three back down at #209 – You'll have to read my next post to find out if I ever made it into the top 100!

Overall Totals for the Day

I cannot leave out my totals from all over the world. After Day 2 was over, my figures were:

U.S. – 1,288 downloads

U.K – 226 downloads

Deutsch – 21 downloads

France – 1 download

Italy – 1 download

The downloads in the U.K. were a nice surprise as were the Deutsch downloads.

Another thing I noticed in the evening of the second day is even though my reports didn't show it, I was ranking in the top 100 Free books in Romance – not a division of romance but in romance overall. That was nice to see.

Well, that is how my second day went. I will let you know how day three did when the totals are all in.

Is this the response to my FREE book days that I expected? Really hard to say. A person always hopes to be one of those lucky authors who gets 20,000+ downloads in 2-3 days – but I think the average KDP Select Free Day experience is closer to what I've been experiencing. However, my book is ranked fairly high, so I really can't complain.



My KDP Select Experiment Day 1

MEMORIES rated #35 in Contemporary Fiction.
Hi all,

I've decided to tell you how my FREE days on Amazon did in separate posts so I don't get confused and mix up each day. So, here is day one.

Started Out at Zero

I placed my brand new book, MEMORIES in Amazon's KDP Select program when I published it the end of February. Since the book had only been on Amazon a few days prior to my FREE days, I had absolutely no sales before my free days started. This is mainly due to the fact that I let everyone know right away that I would be having free days for this new book because I hated the thought of someone paying for it one day and it being free the next. So – MEMORIES started out with zero sales and a zero ranking. It could only go up from there.

What Happened in the Rankings?

The FREE day starts on or around midnight (PST), which is about 2:00 AM here, so I didn't check on my book until the next morning. Here is a run down on how things went:

--At 10:00 AM - 206 copies had been downloaded. 

--At 12:45 PM – 313 copies had been downloaded. The book was ranked at #825 in Free Kindle Store and was ranked #62 in Contemporary Fiction and #75 in Contemporary Romance.

--At 1:45 PM – 464 copies had been downloaded and the book was ranked at #464 in Free Kindle Store. #38 in Contemp. Fiction and #59 in Contemp. Romance.

(You can see what a difference an hour can make in the rankings!)

--At 5:30 PM – 477 copies downloaded and ranked at #410 in Free Kindle Store.

--At 9:15 – 652 copies downloaded and ranked #358 in Free Kindle Store

While I didn't have thousands of downloads that first day, the downloads I had brought my book up pretty high in the rankings. By midnight the first day, I had a total of 683 downloads in the U.S. – 94 downloads in the U.K. and 14 downloads at Overall, I didn't think this was bad for a first day for a brand new book by an unknown author with only one review. And best of all, I sold a few of my other two books during the first day, probably as a result of the FREE book.

How I Prepared for My First FREE Day

Before my free days started, I made sure to tell as many people as I could. I Tweeted my 1,000+ followers on Twitter for two days prior to the event. (I tried not to overdo it and lose their interest that very first day.) My tweets automatically go to my Facebook page as well. I sent out an update to my blog followers who have signed up for my newsletter. I placed an ad on Goodreads announcing the dates of the FREE days and I also notified my few friends there, some of whom had already read my first book, "Widow,Virgin, Whore" and liked it. 

A week before, I searched for sites that promote Free Amazon books but didn't find many that do it without a fee. I didn't want to pay a site $10 - $35 for a mention about my free book. I did pay for the Goodreads ad, but that one I knew would reach many readers because I advertise there regularly. I also found a couple of freebie sites that were happy to promote my free book – for free!

On the first day of my freebie – I do admit I tweeted to my followers several times throughout the day. I figured if I hit Twitter at different times throughout the day, I'd connect with different people and try to catch them all at least once. My Twitter followers are wonderful! So many of them retweeted my Tweets and also let me know if they downloaded my book. Each time I tweeted, I noticed a rise in downloads, so I really do think Twitter is a great place to promote your book if you don't overdo it. (I also try to retweet as many other free books or book promotions for other authors to pay it forward!)

My Thoughts on KDP Select After the First Day

I am not at all disappointed with KDP Select and my Free days so far. Yes, I would love to have those mega downloads like some people get – 20,000+ - but if that doesn't happen, I'll be happy with what I get. To see a book go from last place to #358 in the Free store rankings in one day is pretty amazing. And it gets even better the second day! The biggest test will be if I sell any books after the free days are over. But we will cross that bridge when we get to it.