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Monday, November 30th, 2015
I missed you all! So Thanksgiving…does anyone remember Wizard teasing me because I bought a new toy for Bailey Dog since we were going over to Bailey’s house for Thanksgiving?
Well guess who gave Bailey the toy before I had a chance? WIZARD!! He was so proud too and Bailey though he was the best thing since dog treats.
Sneaky Wizard, LOLOL!! Bailey loved his Abominable Snow Monster squeaky toy.
Thanksgiving was small and so nice this year. There are some pictures here on my FB page, but I didn’t take many. I just had my phone out briefly to show my new iPhone cover then I put it away and concentrated on family and fun. By the way, the cover looks like this:
The “wine” in the glass is liquid and moves, it’s pretty cool
Overall, it’s been a good long weekend. But…OMG this book. So I always have this conversation with myself:
Me talking so Myself: Our next book is going to be EASY. We’re going to make it simple and short.
And Self doesn’t say anything until about 1:53am. “Hmm, but I have this idea…and tells me all about it.
Me, “That sounds complicated. And impossible.”
Self, “But awesome, right?”
“No!” Me snaps. “I’m not getting sucked into your trap. SIMPLE!!” EXcept for the rest of the night I’m thinking about this complicated idea. And the more sleep deprived I am, the more gullible I am.
Self says, “But you have the experience now, you can totally pull this off.”
Me, “I don’t know…”
And guess what? Sneaky Self convinces me I MUST WRITE THIS BOOK! Then I try…and OMG it’s hard. So hard. And it’s not working, except I love it so much I will make it work. Eventually. But it’s painfully slow as I keep struggling with the first 100 or so pages and driving me crazy. And yet, I love it even more so I can’t abandon it.
But right about now, as the holidays are pressing down, people are begging me for the next Wing Slayer book, all I can think is why didn’t I just stick to my plan to write a simple book????
Okay your turn, how was your Thanksgiving and your weekend?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
For all those celebrating in the U.S.
Wizard and I will be going to Middle Son and girlfriend’s house. I’m taking a few different things, including my untested Razzleberry Pie. I made a test pie, but that was the day Wizard got sick, and we ended up in the ER and then hospital. The pie was pretty much forgotten until I saw it in the fridge days later. So the only one who ended up tasting the pie was my garbage disposal But that’s okay, the important thing is Wizard is doing much better and I’m so very grateful for that.
Even if he is teasing me because I made a special trip out to buy Bailey Dog a toy yesterday. Because seriously, last time I got him a new toy, he ran over on his blanket and just held it–begging me with his eyes not to take it from him:
Then he carried it with him everywhere he went:
How can I resist it when he’s loves his new toys so much?
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! And since I probably won’t get a chance to post on Friday, have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with all of you on Monday.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015
As I promised, here is an outline of the strategy and promotion I employed for the re-release of the first four books in the Wing Slayer Hunter Series. These books were originally published in 2009 and 2011. Here’s the titles and re-release dates:
Blood Magic, Book 1 (Release 10/5/15)
Soul Magic, Book 2 (Release 10/19/15)
Night Magic, Book 3 (Release 11/2/15)
Sinful Magic, Book 4 (Release 11/16/15)
Covers, electronic: $343.50
Covers, print: $140.00
Editing (proofreading by copy editor): $1,362.00
Formatting (electronic and print): $1,065.00
Total Production Costs: $2,910.50
Some Key Strategies I Used:
- Pre-Orders. I didn’t actually care about pre-order numbers. I needed to set up pre-orders to get vendor-specific links so I could include them in the back of the books, then upload those version with the links before the books released.
- I treated the first book in the series, Blood Magic as a “loss leader.” That means my goal was to get that book in as many hands as possible to hook people into the series. And that is where the vendor specific links became critical. The best time to get a customer to buy the next took is when they finish the first (assuming they loved it) and they will click on the link to buy the next one right then.
- I priced all the electronic books to sell. Paperback is another issue because I can’t fully control the price here, so I’m talking specifically about digital books.
Promotion and Advertising:
- Netgalley for advance reviews
- Share/Giveaways on Facebook
- Facebook Ads
- Street Team support
- Freebooksy Ad http://www.freebooksy.com/for-the-authors/
- iBooks Promo
- Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/partners/pricing
Okay, now I’ll break it down a little bit:
- I put Blood Magic up on Netgalley before it released to get reviews. I was able to do that because I got into a “co-op” of a group of people so it only cost me $250.00 a year. I can have one book on Netgalley at any given time for that fee.
- For every release, I did a “SHARE/GIVEAWAY on Facebook. I offer a giveaway of an electronic gift card for 10.00 or 15.00 dollars. All people have to do to enter is share the news that the book is out (which ever one released that day) then come back and tell me where they shared it in the comments. I also put in the buy links.
- I ran a Facebook Ad for Blood Magic as First in Series only 99cents. Then once I set the book free, I ran the add as FREE First in Series. I linked one ad to the Amazon buy link and another to the iBooks buy link.
- Anna runs my Street Team. She offered them a copy of Blood Magic to review if they desired (we never require it), and asked for support for each release. She also asked them to help “push” the book when I did promos on FB by liking and sharing it. They are awesome about doing it too! But everyone has a life to live so Anna and I try to keep it low-key and not apply any pressure.
- We sent out a newsletter for each release. I did worry about this though as the releases were only two weeks apart. I didn’t want to spam people, just let them know the book was out. It’s a fine line sometimes.
- Freebooksy Ad. Freebooksy is an email that goes out to readers informing them of free books. I chose November 3rd to coincide with the iBooks Promo (see #7).
- iBooks Promo. I was lucky here. Because my previous book had hit the top of iBooks lists, a representative had contacted me. What that means is I now at a rep at iBooks. Once I had all the books up for pre-order so he could see them, I reached out and asked him if there was anything iBooks could do to help me. They did a nice ad promoting Blood Magic for free. I realize I’m fortunate with this – but I had to prove myself with my Plus One Chronicles first before a rep contacted me.
- Bookbub Ad. Bookbub ads are notoriously hard to get. They have a huge mailing list and they turn down a ton of authors. I’ve been turned done many times. But this time they accepted me. Persistence pays off! I was able to get November 10th date and I was happy about that. NOTE: I was “stacking promotions” doing the first two ads to build some momentum BEFORE the Bookbub ad came out. That strategy paid off.
- Netgalley: $0.00 I already bought that spot as part of my overall promotional budge for the year, not specifically to this release.
- Share/Giveaways on FB. $60.00
- FB Ads $330.00
- Street Team, $25.00 for a gift card contest Anna ran.
- Newsletter, $50.00 for two different gift card giveaways.
- Freebooksy $100.00
- iBooks $0.00 it didn’t cost me anything, they did it all.
- Bookbub $205.00
Total promotional costs $770.00
- Netgalley: I didn’t track this well, but I’d say we got about 20 to 30 reviews. Probably more on Goodreads. I have mixed feelings about Netgalley though. It’s expensive and there’s usually a chunk of negative reviews.
- Share/Giveaways: I love them! It’s easy, and they do a good job of getting the word out on social media for a day or two. As a bonus, it creates more interaction with fans and readers on Facebook. I can’t measure the ROI (Return on Investment) in concrete numbers, but I think its well worth the price.
- FB Ads. Good. Less effective than they used to be, but I see steady click throughs. For the last four-day ad I ran to Amazon I had over a 1,000 clicks. Not sure how many actually downloaded the book. I see fewer click throughs for iBooks – about 400 for same amount of time.
- Street Team. Awesome! They help get the word out about a release, do reviews, build excitement and momentum.
- Newslettter. I always get a spike in sales after the newsletter goes out. Yes it’s worth it.
- Freebooksy — it’s a much easier ad to place than Bookbub and worth it for me. For this ad, I have over a 1000 downloads at Amazon.
- iBooks Promo, their promo is a big help. On November 2nd, I had 47 downloads of Blood Magic. On the day the ad ran, November 3rd, I had 251 and kept going up until I had over 3,000 downloads for the week. Definitely worth it!
- Bookbub. This is GOLD for free books. My book was placed in the paranormal romance category. (The contemporary romance category costs a big more.) For Bookbub, I had a huge spike at Amazon the day of the ad—19,786 downloads of Blood Magic. The next day I had 4,614 downloads. I easily attribute 35K overall to Bookbub. At one point, Blood Magic reached #3 in overall rankings for free books. For iBooks, my download 2,630 the day of the ad, and the next day I had 1,063. Barnes and Noble saw a spike too, but I can’t give you exact numbers for that. Right now, there had been over 6,000 free download in total.
That’s how the promotions worked in terms of Blood Magic, which is my loss leader. But how are sales going? I’ll give you examples, using Soul Magic. It released Oct 16, and at Amazon by November 2nd, it had sold 183 copies.
Then after the promotions, total sales of Soul Magic spiked up to 1,533. The other books are showing very solid spikes. It takes time for people to read the book they downloaded, but I’ve seen a very nice increase in sales.
Man I was sweating this. Re-releasing these books turned out to take a lot of time, effort and money. I really didn’t know if I made the right decision. At this point, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I have earned out my costs (production costs of $2,910.50 + promotion costs of $770.00) with some profit. I’m not getting rich, but I can pay some bills :-). I’m very happy with that. If things continue this way, I will be able to write the next two books!
Okay guys, I hope this helps anyone interested. If you have any questions, I’ll try to answer them, with the exception of how much money I make.
Friday, November 20th, 2015
I can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving! It’s going to be at Bailey Dog’s house, which is awesome. However, Bailey isn’t cooking Middle Son’s Girlfriend is an excellent cook, and we’re all bringing side dishes to help.
Bailey’s job will be to patrol the floor for dropped food, and sit with Wizard to make him feel better. Speaking of Wizard, he’s doing great. Looking at him now, he’s hard to believe how sick he was just this last weekend or how serious it was.
So this weekend, I’m gathering some numbers to show you guys on Monday. I’ll outline my promo plan, and how I think it’s worked so far. And I’m writing some. I want to write more but like just keeps interfering.
What are your plans this weekend?
Monday, November 16th, 2015
SINFUL MAGIC IS HERE!! It released today!
Kindle / Nook / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play
However, our weekend was not great, and Sinful Magic slid to the back burner. First came the horrific attacks on France. Both Wizard and I were sickened by it, and our thoughts have been with the French people.
Then Friday night, Wizard grew ill. It happened fairly quick. Saturday morning, the situation became acute and I took him to emergency, Saturday night he was admitted to the hospital, Sunday he underwent a procedure to determine how seriously ill he is. Fortunately, the results came back as a treatable condition and he will be okay. We were so incredibly relieved. We had a very scary wait but are grateful that it looks like he’ll be okay. I brought him home last night and he’ll be resting and doing followup this week.
I was barely home or online all weekend, so I haven’t promoted SINFUL MAGIC, but it’s okay. Right now, I am incredibly grateful just to have Wizard. While I’m pleased to share the Wing Slayer Hunters with the world, Wizard is my world. It was hard to think of anything else except our kids (who were there or in constant contact) and Wizard’s family. Besides, readers and fans have been doing a wonderful job helping to get the word out, which I appreciate even more now.
This week I might be a little scarce around the internet, but everything is okay.
So how was your weekend?
Friday, November 13th, 2015
I just found out something extraordinary! There is a thing called Apple Dumplings! I stumbled on this purely be accident. It all started with the Boysenberry Pie Panic. You see, Wizard wants me to make Boysenberry Pie for Thanksgiving. It’s a childhood favorite of his.
This wouldn’t be a problem—if I could find frozen boysenberries. However I can’t. Not anywhere, I went to several stores and found tons of frozen berries, but no boysenberries. So I began searching online when I found out about Apple Dumplings. OMG they look awesome! Especially with caramel pecan sauce! I must try these. So in my excitement, I told Wizard about Apple Dumplings, and he…I’m not kidding…had a meltdown.
He blinked once like a toddler, then yelled, “I WANT BOYSENBERRY PIE!!! Not Apple Dumplings. What are those anyway? I’m not eating those!”
I’m staring at him in total confusion. First I wasn’t suggesting Apple Dumplings in place of Boysenberry Pie. And second, I’m the ONLY one allowed to have meltdowns in this marriage. And okay…I laughed. Hard. I mean he had a meltdown over Boysenberry Pie! Ranting that if I couldn’t find the berries, he’d buy a frozen pie and cook it himself and I’d never know the difference.
Picture me still laughing! Sure, I should have poured him some wine and been all nice, but I was having way too much fun.
Finally, once I could breathe again, I explained that boysenberries are a hybrid of blackberries and raspberries, and I’m willing to test bake a pie made out of those two berries to see if it’s good enough (otherwise known as Razzleberry Pie, but shhh, don’t tell him that, he might melt down again.) Once I told him that, he got all happy again.
But now I’m thinking about Apple Dumplings smothered in caramel pecan sauce and I’d totally add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to that. I must resist!!!
In other news, I’m trying to write, and whining about how slow I’m writing. Wizard rolled his eyes and said I’m not slow, and I’m being silly. HA! I wish I had a video of his meltdown about Boysenberry Pie!
So this weekend, I’m working, cleaning bathrooms and testing out the pie recipe to satisfy Wizard.
What are your weekend plans?
Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Happy Veteran’s Day for those here in the States. A big shout out to all who have served!
Yesterday was my last paid promo in my plan to re-release the Wing Slayer Hunters. It went well. As I’m writing this before 5pm, Blood Magic is #3 overall on Amazon. Now we will see if the series sinks or swims. (And really, I will do one big blog post on my strategy, I just need a couple weeks to grab all the data to give you guys some concrete results.)
Now for Wing Slayer Worthy Candidate — I pulled out an old one that years ago I thought represented Phoenix.
So what do you think? Is he still worthy? (I’m not so sure, isn’t it amazing how our taste changes?)
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