Thursday, April 20, 2017

Facebook in Decline? What Impact Will It Have On Publishing?

I don't understand social media, which I suppose is an indicator in part of my age and Luddite ways. I teach at a "technology school" and have been forced to embrace the use of technology far more than I would if left to my own devices. 

Of all the forms of social media, the only one I have partially come to grips with is Facebook. I have two accounts. An author account I set up in the last year because "everyone" says you need one to connect with your readers and one my daughters set up so they could use it go gain "points" for a game they played on Facebook.

The unexpected benefit was I have been discovered by old classmates, students and players I have coached an its been fun. I don't know if it's helped expand my audience as an author, but that's okay.

So, given the fact I am slowly coming to grips with Facebook and how to use it, it's a little disturbing to find the article in Digiday announcing publishers are seeing a decline in the reach of their Facebook campaigns.

The focus of the story is on major publishers and news media publishers, but if the decline of reach impacts the big boys, it might have an equal impact on Indie authors who rely on the Facebook platform to build and reach an audience. 

Worth reading.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Take advantage of this month's GoodReads Giveaway and win one of three signed copies of The Predator and The Prey!


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        The Predator and the Prey by K.C. Sivils



          The Predator and the Prey


          by K.C. Sivils


            Giveaway ends May 10, 2017.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




    Enter Giveaway

Monday, April 3, 2017

Special Deal - Four Books for .99 Plus How This Works! Book Promotion Opportunity Using Book Boast!

Four books for .99!
Ashley L. Hunt eBook Categories
- Cyberpunk Anthology Adventure
- Science Fiction Action Military Romance
- Dystopian Survival Post Apocalyptic Romance
- SciFi Romance Adventure Thriller
- Mystery Thriller Suspense Occult Romance

The readers who prefer the above categories, they will LOVE this eBook!

Includes 4 full-length, no-cliffhanger stories and 2 Big Surprises!

Thank you for reading!

For more details about this offer just click here!

Why am I promoting another author's work on my blog? It's part of a program authors can sign-up for and enlist the aid of other authors to promote their work. Ideally, this promotion would be going out to a couple of thousand potential readers on my e-mail list.

Unfortunately for A.L. Hunt, my list is not that big. So I promised I would post the information on her sale on the sites I do have so she can at least get exposure there.

To learn more about the "Newsletter Swap," visit 

It's free to join and easy to use. Once you have joined, you search through the list of available authors and find those with similar genres to yours. Contact them using the swap request form and schedule your swap. You include their book promotion in your newsletter and they will include your own promotion in their newsletter.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Comparing Two Promotional Campaigns: KDP Select vs. Goodreads Giveaway

Getting the word out about a novel, especially a first novel, is important. Sales really aren't AS important as building an audience is. The same is true for non-fiction if you are planning on writing multiple books. Loyal readers, and the more of them you have, equals lots of dependable sales in the future.

Promotions are part of how authors spread the word about their novels. Since my first novel The Predator and The Prey has been published I have run two promotions. The first was a standard KDP Select Free giveaway. The second was a GoodReads Giveaway.

For those of you who have not heard of a GoodReads Giveaway, the program is simple. You sign your book up for a Giveaway. You can give away as few as one hard copies up to as many as you want. Set the duration of the giveaway, which includes start and ending dates, add a link to your book on Amazon and include some other basic product information and you're done.

GoodReads will pick the winners using an algorithm to randomly select the winners. You are responsible to mail the winners their complimentary copies within three weeks. There are restrictions limiting the contact you can have. This is not a list building promotion.

How did my novel do and which program worked better?

I gave away three signed paperback copies of The Predator and The Prey. A total of 652 people participated and 262 readers added The Predator and The Prey to their to-read list.

The KDP Select Free Giveaway resulted in 475 downloads. Which program resulted in better results?

To be honest, I wish the results of both had been better. The good thing is both programs are can be run multiple times, giving me more opportunities to gain exposure for my novel.

First, Amazon, who owns GoodReads, doesn't provide some data from either promotion I would really like to have, namely how many people looked at my cover, book description, title, etc, and just moved on without taking action.

Still, data of any kind is important and knowing how many readers were interested enough to download a free copy, register for a contest for a free copy and to add the book to their to-read list is a good start.

Even better data would be to know how many readers who downloaded their free copy during the KDP Select giveaway days actually read their free copy. If I had the time and inclination, I could determine the number of readers who added the novel to their to read list and actually read it later, but I'll leave that up to someone far smarter than me to write the program that does that task.

On the surface, it looks like GoodReads might be better even though it cost me the price of three paperback copies and postage since 652 people wanted a free copy, a difference of some 177 readers. Forty percent of those 652 readers indicated they plan to read The Predator and The Prey in the future.

I plan to run more campaigns for the novel in the future using both promotions. In the case of the KDP promotion I will use all five days at one time to see if that produces better results. I will use a book promotion service to promote the giveaway on the third day in an effort to obtain more free downloads.

For the GoodReads Giveaway I will run a slightly shorter campaign and offer more free copies. GoodReads claims ten copies is the ideal number and I'll test that theory. Why fewer days for the giveaway? Nearly a third of the registrations for the giveaway came in the first few days when the book was easy to find on the Recently Listed page. The majority came when the book made the Ending Soon list while registrations languished while the book was in the middle of the two types of listings. To put it simply, people don't wade through the hundreds of books that fall in between the two listings which is why I'm going to try shortening the length of my promotion.

If you haven't done a GoodReads Giveaway yet let me encourage you to do so. GoodReads has data that indicates roughly two thirds of the readers who receive the free copies leave reviews. That's not too bad. Also, the people who belong to GoodReads are avid readers and recommend books to their friends and followers. If there was ever a place to build an audience, GoodReads is certainly a place to exert effort.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Cover Design for The Predator and The Prey Earns Recognition

I was excited to learn today the cover design for my first novel, The Predatory and The Prey, was a finalist out of 90 designs for the February 2017 cover design contest hosted each month by the good folks at Marin Bookworks, also known as the website The Book Designer.

The real winner is the artist who designed the cover, Robin Ludwig of Robin Ludwig Designs. She really caught the spirit of what the story is about in her design. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

GoodReads Giveaway for The Predator and The Prey

From March 6 until March 24, three signed copies of The Predator and The Prey are up for grabs in a GoodReads Giveaway!

Click here to participate in the FREE Giveaway. You'll need a GoodReads account to take advantage of the giveaway. There is nothing to buy and GoodReads will notify you if you win. I'll mail the signed copy to you within two weeks of your winning!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Predator and the Prey by Sivils

The Predator and the Prey

by Sivils

Giveaway ends March 24, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Monday, February 27, 2017

GoodReads Giveaway Versus KDO Select FREE Days Promotion

I just finished a three day FREE campaign on Amazon KDP Select for my novel The Predator and The Prey. Despite advertising and promoting the campaign, I only had 475 downloads. The book managed to climb as high as Number Three in the Top 100 Free for Noir Crime.

The Predator and The Prey climbed to Number Six in the Top 100 Free in Science Fiction Adventure.

It could be argued I should have used all five days to let the campaign gain momentum. Looking at my data you can see that was not a likely outcome.


February 24 was the best day with 229 downloads. February 25 saw a total of 162 downloads with a total of 84 downloads on the final day, February 26, for a total of 475 copies downloaded. 

I'm not sure what my results were supposed to have been. For the categories my book belongs to this might an excellent result. I've also read a good campaign should result in around 5,000 downloads. With that as a standard, my novel didn't do so well.

Without something to compare to, I have no idea, beyond the comment made by a blogger I cannot remember, to determine if this was a decent result.

Any reader who has data on their novel's FREE KDP Select campaign and is willing to share, I would love to hear how your book did and how you organized your campaign.

There has been no uptick in sales and it will be awhile before any reviews might be forthcoming.

My next campaign to promote The Predator and The Prey will be a GoodReads Giveaway promotion. Starting March 6 and running till March 24, I will be offering three signed copies of The Predator and The Prey in the Giveaway Promotion.

For those not familiar with this promotional tactic, and I wasn't until recently, it might be an effective way to promote your book, fiction or non-fiction, all at a very low cost.

To participate in the program as an author or a reader, you must have a GoodReads account. 

The image above shows the left portion of the GoodReads toolbar at the top of the page. Click on browse and you will see a listing of a variety of possible choices in the drop down menu, one of which will be Giveaways.

The image show above shows the options you will see when you click on Giveaways. Books can be found in any of the four possible categories. If you look at the far right of the image you will see the options you have to choose from, one of which is to list a Giveaway. Click on this and you will see the form below appear.

You will need to read the rules, terms, etc, of the agreement. GoodReads uses an algorithm to determine the winner or winners. You will be notified who the winners are and have three weeks to deliver the prize, the print copy of your book.

If you will note, there is an option that is already checked below the box requiring the reader to acknowledge they have read the terms of the giveaway. That little box will add your book to every participating reader's To Read Bookshelf.

Readers like to see what their friends on GoodReads are reading. Like reviews on Amazon, being displayed on a To Read shelf is social affirmation the book is worth checking out. Data provided to me by GoodReads when I created my first campaign for The Predator and The Prey stated the average number of reviews garnered from a Giveway is 60%. In other words, give away ten copies and you should receive six reviews. 

Before I run another campaign on KDP Select, I plan to collect the data from my March Giveaway program to compare.

I can run as many campaigns for my book as I want so long as they are not simultaneous. This will allow me to generate data I can compare on length of campaign, how I promoted it, the number of readers who signed up for the promotion. Based on the norm, I will also pick up reviews.

Lately I have been reading the FREE campaign on KDP Select has lost a lot of its effectiveness. I can speculate as to why. Kindle Unlimited is how Amazon wants readers to read free books, not downloading my FREE promotional copies. So Amazon just changes its algorithm to reflect that desired change.

GoodReads on the other hand lets me run a promotion that only involves giving away a few paperback copies (as low as one and as high as I want. The supposed best number of copies to offer, signed of course, is ten). I then get the benefit of reviews and social affirmation of having my book, with its cover image, listed on as many readers To Read Bookshelves as signed up for the giveaway promotion.

As far as I am concerned, the only real advantage of having a book listed in KDP Select is the ability to have five FREE days of giveaways. If GoodReads has a better promotion than KDP Select, it opens up the possibility of listing the book on Draft2Digital for sale on other retail platforms (I prefer to use a distributor than to go to the trouble of uploading the file individually to each platform).
Again, if any author has had experience with a GoodReads Giveaway promotion and is willing to share their thoughts about the program, positive or negative, please share in the comments.