Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Magic of BookBub - Help for Obtaining a BookBub Featured Deal

It matters not whether you are an indie author or a legacy published author. Show me an author who doesn't what his or her book to land a Featured Deal on BookBub and I'll show someone who is either afraid of success or hates having readers discover their book.

As I type this post, BookBub has over seven million subscribers on its list. Seven million avid readers who want to buy books, discover new authors, and reunite with old favorites. Authors can go from un known to being able to quit their day job, or so the legends surrounding BookBub say.

There is just one small problem.

Getting selected for that coveted Featured Deal.

Nobody is quite sure how the mysterious process works and BookBub is somewhat vague about how the books that make the cut are selected. I suppose I can't blame them.

The service doesn't come cheap. But authors almost always earn out their investment and experience an increase in the sales of their entire series as well as a boost in KENP reads. How many marketing and advertising methods consistently produce similar results?

Having spent time and money trying to figure out this process called book marketing, I can tell you first hand the list is a short one. If you figure out AMS or FB ads, those two companies will change their algorhtym and you are right back where you started and usually out a good bit of money before you realize the change has taken place.

Peter Ralph has spent a lot of time studying the phenomenon that is BookBub. He shares what he has learned in his book The Magic of BookBub: Breaking Down the Wall to Winning a Featured Deal. 

My review is short and to the point. It was money well spent. 


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Create Space is Being Merged Into Kindle Direct Publishing

I saw this coming when CreateSpace announced it was discontinuing editing, design, and marketing services to its customers. Soon afterwards Kindle Direct Publishing began offering POD services. I didn't switch at the time as some authors did. I wanted to see how KDP worked the kinks out first.

Last month I received an e-mail informing me I needed to move my CreateSpace books over to KDP. Amazon made the decision for me. It wasn't a particularly difficult process though one or two of my 30 some odd titles have issues I'm still trying to get worked out as a result of the move. Fortunately, these titles only sell a few copies a year. I'd feel differently about the switch to KDP if it was one of my best selling books.

All of the create on demand services CreateSpace offered, POD for books, on demand for CDs and DVDs, is still available through other Amazon owned services.

The one change I do NOT like is I will now have to wait 60 days instead of 30 days to be paid for my POD sales. I really liked that feature of CreateSpace. 

It was inevitable and given the fact Amazon is focused on scale and streamlining to be more profitable, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.

It was a good run while it lasted.

Available for Pre-Order: An Innocent Man

The fourth novel in my Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller series, An Innocent Man, is available for pre-order now on Amazon. It will become available November 9th, 2018.


500 years in the future, technology has changed. Humanity has not.

One man’s fate lies in the hands of a team of corrupt prosecutors bent on making their prosecutorial mark for personal gain. Standing in the path of injustice is Inspector Thomas Sullivan and an acquaintance from the past.

Murder, political corruption, greed, and scandal combine for danger in Capital City on the frozen world of Beta Prime. At stake is a man’s life, the very souls of others, and the integrity of the entire Planetary Alliance’s justice system.

Join Sully and his team as they try to free An Innocent Man!


Friday, March 9, 2018

The Fractured Man is now available!

The first of two prequels planned for the Inspector Thomas Sullivan Thriller series, The Fractured Man is now available from Amazon and other online retailers!

In the future, as humanity spreads throughout the galaxy, the ideals of justice for all, integrity, and honesty are nothing more than outdated concepts to many who have benefited as members of the wealthy, elitist ruling class.

To the incorruptible lawman, Thomas Sullivan, these ideals are all he has left to cling to. Betrayed by those he respected and admired, the very institutions he served, Sullivan has paid a heavy price. The loss of his mentor, friend, and woman he loved are just the beginning.

In a shadowy future, where the dark ideals of greed, lust for power, and a sense of entitlement govern the choices of many, there are those who still stand for justice. Men like Thomas Sullivan.

With little more than a job he loves, Sullivan struggles to find his way in a universe that increasingly seems to have no place for him. Damaged by the events of his life and in conflict with himself, Thomas Sullivan is The Fractured Man.

Fans of classic crime noir stories and science fiction will love the cross-genre novella The Fractured Man. Mostly human and part cyborg, Thomas Sullivan is a classic noir lawman, tortured by his past and faced with an uncertain future. Betrayal, corruption, and murder await his every turn.

Also available on Barnes & Noble Nook and Kobo.



Monday, December 25, 2017

Goodreads Giveaway to Include Kindle Books! Updated!

Authors who use Amazon owned GoodReads to promote their books using the GoodReads Giveaway promotional program will be interested to know the Kindle Giveaway program is returning.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing authors will be able to promote their Kindle editions using two different packages, the Standard ($119) and the Premium ($599). The new promotional programs go live on January 9, 2018.

Please note: Special introductory prices are available from January 9 to January 31, 2018. The Standard Package will be on sale for $59 and the Premium Package will be on sale for $299.

Taken from the Goodreads Giveaway blog post announcing the new program changes.

What’s the difference between the Standard package and the Premium package?

The two packages are as follows:

1. Standard Giveaway (Print or Kindle ebook format) $119 per giveaway. Introductory price: $59 (save 50%) from 01/09/18 to 01/31/18.
  • (NEW) Everyone who enters your giveaway automatically adds the book to their Want-to-Read list, promoting your book via updates in their friends’ updates feeds, and building an audience for your title.
  • (NEW) The author’s followers and anyone who has already added the book to their Want-to-Read list get a notification, letting them know there’s a giveaway starting. This helps generate even more entries, creating more stories in the Goodreads updates feed.
  • About eight weeks after your Giveaway ends, winners receive an email from Goodreads to remind them to rate and review your book. This will help other readers discover and decide to read the book too.
  • Giveaways are featured in the Giveaways section of Goodreads.com, allowing readers to discover new books.
2. Premium Giveaway (Print or Kindle) $599 per giveaway. Introductory price: $299 (save 50%) from 01/09/18 to 01/31/18. Premium Giveaways include all the benefits of the Standard package, but are designed to give you more opportunity to connect with readers than ever. A Premium Giveaway also includes:
  • (NEW) Premium placement on Goodreads’ Giveaways page with tens of millions of visitors each month, giving your giveaway significantly more visibility and more entrants.
Alas, this also means the end of the free Giveaway program. All Giveaway's scheduled prior to January 9, 2018, will run as in the past until completed. 

Important Update:  Additional communication with Goodreads has clarified the costs involved. If you wish to giveaway physical, print copies of your book, the system works as it has in the past. The author will be notified of the winner identity and is then required to mail the print copies to the winners.

In the case of a Kindle edition giveaway, the author must pay for the Kindle copies given away as well and Goodreads will handle the giveaway.

It is hard to say if the marketing value of this program will be. For many authors, the cost of paying for both the books given away and the price of the program may be prohibitive.

I do like the fact the program now adds the book to every participants Want-to-Read list and the winners receive a reminder to review the book.

Like many things, it will require experimentation. I will budget for one use of the Standard Package in the near future and measure the results in terms of participants, reviews (Amazon and Goodreads), and if there is any noticeable rise in actual sales.

For more information please click here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Grow Your E-Mail List With BookFunnel

"The money is in the list." It's a well known quote from the direct mailing industry and has become axiomatic in the e-mail marketing world as well. For new authors struggling to build a fan base it can be difficult to create that all important e-mail list.

It is important to promote your list in the back matter of your book and on your website. But these aren't going to generate the size of a list needed in a particularly fast manner?

Why?

Because you haven't been discovered yet!

How do you get readers to your website unless they learn about it in your book? How do readers learn about your author newsletter if they don't read your book? 

It's not dissimilar to that classic Pink Floyd line:

If you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding.
How can you have any pudding, if you don't eat your meet?

If nobody reads your book, they won't know about (and sign-up for) your e-mail list.
How can you generate an e-mail list if nobody reads your book?

Of course, the point of the list is to build loyal fans who rabidly buy up every thing you publish.

So how do you build a list quickly?


After seven months I had a grand total of 54 readers signed up for my author's e-mail list. I'd heard about Rafflecopter, investigated it, and ruled it out.

My list, after just two months of using BookFunnel, is now just over 1,200 readers. 

When I reach 10,000 names on my list I might be happy with its size. We'll see.

BookFunnel allows an author to give away their book, or some form of content, in return for subscribing to an e-mail newsletter. It's that simple.

If you use any of the following e-mail services, BookFunnel allows for direct integration of the collected e-mails into your e-mail service contact list.
  • ActiveCampaign
  • AWeber
  • ConvertKit
  • MailChimp
  • MailerLite
I use MailChimp and the integration was easy. So easy, I got it right the first time. I promise you, that seldom happens.

I'm also happy to inform authors interested in this service, BookFunnel's customer support has been great. The two problems I had were both my fault and were resolved for me by BookFunnel in less than 24 hours. 


Here is a comparison of the features for each of the three plans:


I use the Mid-list plan and doubt I will ever need to move up to the Bestseller list.

The one feature that has enabled me to grow my list to over 1,000 readers in less than two months is the Promotion feature.




Shown below are the promotions I have joined. Some have finished. Others have yet to run and still others are recruiting additional authors. Each promo will have its own guidelines. Some will require you have an e-mail list with a minimum of 1,000 subscribers.


Don't worry, there will be promotions that are happy to give authors just starting their list a break. I was fortunate to join several and now that I'm past the pesky 1,000 subscriber's mark it is easier for me to join more promotions.

Each promotion's creator will have their own requirements to join and participate. For example, you might have to post on social media, include the promotion to your existing e-mail list, etc. The promotions are genre specific so you need to make sure your book or story fits the genre.

There are lots of other features worth considering offered by BookFunnel and I plan to integrate them into my marketing as time allows me to learn how to use the various features.

This service is well worth the $10 a month I pay and has saved me untold time and frustration in building a functional list.

Check it out. You'll be glad you did!


Monday, September 4, 2017

Draft2Digital Now Offers FREE eBook Interior Design Templates

The word FREE generally catches my eye. But, if you are like me, you've been burned enough to be wary of anything obtained for free. Let's face it, you get what you pay for.

In this instance though, Draft2Digital's new service is worth the ten or fifteen minutes it will take to see how your ebook looks in one of the available templates. If you have already uploaded your book to D2D, it won't take that long.

For those who only make their books available through Amazon, you can still use this feature on D2D. Simply do not take the last step of publishing your book through D2D's distribution service.

The image below shows the step allowing the author to view their book in different formats.


To the left of the preview image you will see a box labeled Choose a Style. In this example below, I selected one from the Mystery and Thriller category named A Clue. It is simple, which I like and beneath the chapter heading inserts a finger print. The Classy Mystery format uses a magnifying glass as well as ornate artwork around the chapter heading.




Once you have settled on the format you like best, you can download the file in one of three formats, .mobi, epub, or pdf. For Amazon exclusive authors, you then upload that file to your KDP page as your interior file.



Like anything Draft2Digital does, this is an easy to use process. You don't have to download anything or have any special skills.

Below is an example of a page from my novel The Predator and The Prey using the A Clue design.



Here is the same page using the Classy Mystery format.