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Category: promotions

KDP Select Promotion Day 1 Report

As part of the KDP Select program, which I detailed in a previous post, I get five days within each 3-month period where The Redheaded Stepchild is available for free download on Kindle. You can choose to have 5 adjacent days, 5 spread out days, or any combination thereof.

I chose to spread out my days for some maximum effect. The days I chose were mostly arbitrary, the first one being January, Friday the 13th. In case you can’t count, that was yesterday, and here’s how it shaped up…

I tweeted the freeness of the book 3 or 4 times throughout the day, and I posted it on this blog. I also let my Facebook friends know, but more because I knew some of them got Kindle Fires for Christmas, and I feel like a bastard asking my friends to pay money for a book where they know all the characters. That was it. As far as I know, the free-ness wasn’t mentioned in any other tweets (I have a watch on the phrase “Redheaded Stepchild” on Twitter).

Yesterday, I had over 300 people download The Redheaded Stepchild on Kindle. The actual number is somewhere between 307 and 342. (It was 308 when I went to bed and 343 when I woke up, and I know I actually sold one for money a couple days before). I don’t care who you are, that is fucking huge. I mean, I’ve had some sales here and there, but I’ve never had more than 300 even look at my book’s page in one day before, and I usually knew who was buying on any given day. I probably know 300 people, but I don’t know the 300 people who downloaded my book yesterday.

I know, I know, I don’t make a dime on any of those 300 sales. Do I care? No. I know people like free shit. Hell, I like free shit. A lot. The point is, if all of those 300+ people like it, that’s 300+ people who positively review my book, tell their friends about it, or lend it to a Kindle friend. If all those 300+ hate it, I don’t lose any money when they ask for a refund (suckers) and I get 300+ negative reviews, and my book still has the Gigli effect (people will check it out just to see how bad it REALLY is).

But the bottom line is this – I have over 300 new readers, and books in hands is more important to me than money and sales. Not to mention, I still have 4 more promotion days from now until the end of March, so keep your eyes peeled if you missed this first promotional day. Or spend the $3 instead of getting that large coffee.

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The Redheaded Stepchild available on KDP Select!

In case this headline doesn’t mean anything to you, allow me to explain the Reader’s Digest version…

Amazon has a new option with its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program that allows their authors to enroll their titles. For a 90-day period, those titles are available in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, and Amazon Prime members with Kindles can borrow a book a month for free for all titles enrolled in the program.

What does this mean for me? I not only get to offer my book in the Lending Library, I also get to offer my book for free for up to 5 days during this period, getting it into more hands. So if you’ve got The Redheaded Stepchild in your wish list, you can keep your eyes peeled for one of these 5 free days and get it. The only catch is, I have to offer my book digitally exclusively in the Kindle store. Given that I have sold all of 5 copies on my other digital platform, Smashwords, I think I can remove it for 3 months and be okay. Plus, it’s a different way to earn royalties and get more exposure, and this is all trial and error for me, anyway. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

To learn more about KDP Select, go here. To see The Redheaded Stepchild in the Amazon Kindle store, go here.

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2011 in Writer Review

I just got done reading my 2010 review, and now I’m ready to do the same for 2011. It’s been quite a year, and was way different from 2010.

  • I had two manuscripts published in 2011. It was less than 2010, but I’ll still call it a win because I spent more energy on getting The Redheaded Stepchild published and writing my next novel. I also spent more time writing new manuscripts in general than I did in 2010.
  • 2011 came and went, and the two poems that were accepted for publication in February 2010 are still waiting to go to print. And people wonder why print is dead…
  • I forwent the book deal and decided to publish The Redheaded Stepchild myself. I’m still experimenting to figure out what works as far as sales and marketing go, but I’m not in this for the money. I’m in it because I love it and I want to try new things.
  • I tripled my Twitter followers.
  • I once again pimped my writing at South by Southwest. I also submitted a panel proposal for SXSW 2012 which is still under review. Fingers crossed!
  • I used my Kindle to check out works by other Kindle authors. I’m hoping that it’ll be great for you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours kind of sales.
  • I joined a writer’s group, and I’m now leading that group. I look forward to Weird Austin Writers meetings every single time.
  • I began volunteering at my local library. I’m hoping this will help me reach out to readers once I get more established.

Goals for 2012

  • Sell 1,000 copies of The Redheaded Stepchild. I’ll have to figure out what works marketing-wise to make that happen, but it’d be nice to know that my book is in 1,000 new hands!
  • Publish my next novel. I’ve got a lot of rewriting and editing to do, but I’m really excited about the project and I think it’ll be my best work yet. Now if I can just think of a title…
  • Build relationships with readers and other authors. This means I need to keep up with my other author blogs all year round. (Compound goal.)
  • Publish The Other Dentenia Zickafoose. I’ve been shopping this guy around for almost 2 years now. It’s time.
  • Become a contributor on other author blogs. Guest posting, book reviews, whatever I can do. I need to put myself out there.
  • Write 15 new manuscripts. I’ll have the new novel, but I also want to write 10 poems and 5 short stories to add to my repertiore. Can’t be myopic with my manuscripts.

On the whole, I’ll call 2011 a win. I think 2012 is gonna rock.

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The Art of Reviewing as Learned from Charles Dickens

This past week, I received my first reviews for The Redheaded Stepchild since I finished publishing it. (You can read the reviews here.) As part of my advertising strategy to be as non-invasive and un-icky as possible, I am using reviews heavily. What does that mean? Everything I read, I review. On Goodreads, or on the site of purchase (Amazon or Goodreads for me, usually). I try to keep my reviews as positive as possible, and when giving criticism, being as matter-of-fact as possible, offering something that could actually be helpful to the author.

I also make it a point to go through the other reviews posted and Like, Mark Helpful, or whatever the site has available. I find it gratifying for two reasons:

  1. Some of these reviews are just plain hilarious. I just finished Oliver Twist and one of the Goodreads reviews was “Please, sir, may I have less?” Yeah, it’s pretty gorram wordy book. Thank you, pay-by-the word olde English publishers.
  2. It makes me feel like I am in good company. If the great Charles Dickens, a household name known by everyone who’s ever read a book, ever, can get a bjillion negative reviews, I can get my first bad one and not feel like a total failure.

Luckily, my reviews thus far have been very positive, but they were both from friends, so they kinda have to be nice to me. When strangers who aren’t so keen on my writing style start buying it by the bushel (positive thinking, people… positive thinking), I’m sure I’ll get a scathing review or two. And that’s okay. I don’t expect everyone on the planet to dig my writing style, just as there are plenty of people out there who didn’t, and still don’t, like Charles Dickens’ writing style, the wordy bastard. Not to compare myself to Charles Dickens, but hey…

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NaNoWriMo, how’d I do?

National Novel Writing Month is now over. Those of you following my Twitter feed know that I didn’t “win” according to the NaNoWriMo rules, but I did exceed my personal goal. As I enter this NaNoWriMo refractory period after banging away at it hard and fast, I am definitely not going to get down on myself for not making 50,000 words, especially since it took me 3 years to write my first novel, and 4 more years of querying and editing to get it published.

So, I thought I would analyze my executive-friendly burndown chart and assess my performance…

This first week, I had a new client to write dating profiles for every single day. I guess no one likes being single during the holidays. Still, I got a good, steady start and got plenty of research done, too. Oh yeah, and I also was finishing editing and publishing The Redheaded Stepchild this week. That was kind of a priority…

This scary series of flatness was the long weekend that we had a houseguest so that we could tailgate and watch my Kansas State Wildcats beat the 4th Texas team in the Big 12 (why can’t they make NaNoWriMo not fall in the middle of college football season?) so I didn’t get a whole lot of writing done. As you can see, there was a nice spike the day I drove our guest to the airport.

I sprinted pretty fiercely this last week. It helped that we didn’t have to go to three different Thanksgiving dinners this year. These lines should actually be a little smoother, but since I logged a lot of my word counts after midnight, they’re a bit choppy.

So, why was NaNoWriMo good for me?

This writing project (which you can read about in this previous post) required that I actually talk to people to research a little bit. Like a lot of writers, I despise talking on the phone, and typically put off phone calls as long as I can. But because I was on a timeline, I didn’t have the luxury of putting it off. I had to pick up the phone, shoot off an email, or (for certain people) send a Facebook message (seriously folks? this is your primary form of communication now?). And keep in mind, I was asking some of them to tell me deeply personal stories of theirs and then getting their permission, as it were, to mass produce and bastardize these memories.

It did exactly what it’s designed to do – got me to just sit down and write. My typical day is writing tech manuals for 8 hours, doing my freelance writing job for a few more hours, so often the last thing I want to do after all that is write more. Not to mention I have to ship my ass to the gym so I don’t degrade into a complete slob and I have to take care of my family (okay, so it’s just my boyfriend and my dog, but this sounds more like an actual task). So having the looming deadline staring me in the face kicked me in the ass enough to just sit down and write, which is what I need.

Why was NaNoWriMo bad for me?

I’m guilty of edit-as-I-go writing. That’s not to say I don’t typically have an extended editing period once the draft is done (I’m not a complete idiot), but NaNoWriMo doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for polishing. Writing that first paragraph and moving on to the next without re-reading the first one twelve times – that’s a challenge for me. It took me out of my comfort zone a bit and forced me to limit the amount of polishing I could do on what I had already written.

Because life got in the way. I know, me and everyone else who signed up. Boo fucking hoo.

All in all, I’m glad I did it and will probably do it again. The stuff that I’ve managed to punch out in this month is pretty kick-ass, even if it’s not as polished as I’d like it to be. It just means my drafts are really just that – drafts.

I still need to actually fill out my NaNoWriMo page, but was too busy actually writing to do it. As a last note, The Redheaded Stepchild is featured in the Women’s Literary Cafe December promotion this week, so please give this a share to help me get more exposure. Gotta pay down those student loans…

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Support Four Debut Authors and Snag $125!

I am working with a handful of other writers on a promotion for four debut authors I follow. Scratch your back, you scratch mine, you know how it is 🙂 If any of these books floats your boat, pick up a copy.

Four books. Two Days. Great Prizes.

With this contest, there is something for everyone and it’s SO simple to be in on the winning!

On November 28 and/or 29, purchase 1 or all 4 of the debut author’s books listed here. Then forward proof of purchase (the receipt Amazon sends you will do just fine) to : motionsrider@yahoo.ca and get up to 4 entries into a draw for a $100 Amazon gift card!

It’s that easy, no reviews, no hoops to jump through. Just a great .99 book or two. Or three or four. AND, if the person who wins the $100 Amazon Gift Card has purchased all 4 books, an additional $25 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to the winner!

On top of that, 2 random commenter’s picked from 2 of our participating blogs will receive $5 gift Amazon gift cards. So, be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the promo, the books, or the authors.

Winners will be chosen randomly, one entry per person, per book.

All winners will be announced on December 7th on Wringing Out Words

“Between” by Cyndi Tefft

It just figures that the love of Lindsey Water’s life isn’t alive at all, but the grim reaper, complete with a dimpled smile, and Scottish accent.

After transporting souls to heaven for the last 300 years, Aiden MacRae has all but given up on finding the one whose love will redeem him and allow him entry through the pearly gates.

Torn between her growing attraction to Aiden and heaven’s siren song, Lindsey must learn the hard way whether love really can transcend all boundaries.

“Until Dawn: Last Light” by Jennifer Simas

When darkness falls, whose side will you be on?

For the past six years, Zoë has been anything but “normal.” Struggling to accept her immortality and thrown into a war that’s been waging in the shadows for over a thousand years, Zoë must now become who she was meant to be, joining the other Chosen to save what’s left of humanity. When the endless night falls over the Earth, will she be able to save the one man who reminds her of what it is to be human, or will it be too late?

Until Dawn: Last Light is a story of death and despair, love and longing, hope and hopelessness, and the ability to survive and keep going even when it seems impossible – when you want nothing more than to give up.

“The Kayson Cycle” by Jonathan D. Allen

A stranger enters a dying town and makes a desperate plea…

The Kayson Cycle introduces the Kayson Brothers, a pair of faith healers who once wowed crowds in a traveling show but went their separate ways after a night in which a healing took a dark turn. Jeffrey Kayson disappeared into the wilderness and William Kayson, wracked by guilt, moved to the failing mining town of Calico Hills to build a nice, quiet life – one that has lasted for over ten years.

His quiet, predictable life crumbles when a mysterious stranger walks into his tavern bearing a proposal to find his long-lost brother and do the one thing that William has sworn to never do again – have his brother heal a woman. William soon learns that he can’t escape his family – or his destiny.

Includes an exclusive sample chapter of The Corridors of the Dead. Please note that this is a Kindle Single, and around 6,000 words in length.

“Sundered” by Shannon Mayer

A miracle drug, Nevermore, spreads like wildfire throughout the world allowing people to eat what they want, and still lose weight. It is everything the human population has ever dreamed of and Mara is no different. Only a simple twist of fate stops her from taking Nevermore.

As the weeks roll by, it becomes apparent that Nevermore is not the miracle it claimed. A true to life nightmare, the drug steals the very essence that makes up humanity and unleashes a new and deadly species on the world that is bent on filling its belly. Locked down within their small farm home, Mara and her husband Sebastian struggle against increasingly bad odds, fighting off marauders and monsters alike.

But Sebastian carries a dark secret, one that more than threatens to tear them apart, it threatens to destroy them both and the love they have for each other.

Now Mara must make the ultimate choice. Will she live for love, or will she live to survive…

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