Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Kindle Scout Winner Promotion

I thought of waiting until tomorrow to post this since that's when the promotion starts, but decided to post now in case anyone has any suggestions.
I always love promotion threads, but I’ve never posted one before mostly because I’m not very organized, but also because I’ve felt I nothing to say that hasn’t already been said before. So, here’s a different sort of promotion thread. I booked a small number of relatively inexpensive ads to promote my YA Kindle Scout Winner, Witch Ways. Some of you will probably feel that this isn’t useful, because I’ve the mighty Zon doing my heavy lifting. You are right. But some of you might wonder how the Kindle Scout program helps or hinders, so I’m sharing.
Because WW was published by Amazon, I didn’t write the blurb, set the keywords or the price. It was published in August and in October they notified me that they’d be lowering the price to 0.99 for the month of November.
In the past, I haven’t found 0.99 promotions to be very successful. I have had much more traction with free promotions, so I hesitated to spend any money on it. I reconsidered, and now I’m regretting my hesitation because I wasn’t able to get an ENT ad. (They told me they were full and asked me to reapply at a later time.) I was also turned down by Robin Reads. (Like ENT, they have always performed well.) I ran a KB&T ad earlier in the month. They have also been good to me. I wish I could say I have a Book Bub ad, but I’ve never had the pleasure.
 I don’t have access to the actual sales until the end of the month, so I’ll be posting the book’s ranking. I’ll also be sharing the sales of Witch Winter, the sequel. Comments and criticisms welcome.
Here it is:
11/18     Betty Book Freak              $8.
11/18     Booktastic                        $10.
11/19     Awesome Gang                $10.
11/19     Sweet Free Books              $5
11/20     Booksends                        $20
11/20     BKnights                            $5.
Starting rank as of just now:
Witch Ways: Witch Ways
33 reviews                         
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: # #9,618 Paid in Kindle Store
#35 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Fantasy
#54 in Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
Witch Winter: (Which I self-published, wrote the blurb, set the price, chose the keywords, etc. I should also mention that my amazing daughter designs my covers, and Amazon didn’t ask to change them.)
6 reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,431 Paid in Kindle Store
#13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Folklore
#14 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Collections

Not really near the end of day one, but since I've things to do tonight, I'll update now. Here's the rank info for Witch Ways.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,866 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#32 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Fantasy
#46 in Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
#91 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
 Plus 1 5 star review. (Yeah!)

And five sales of Witch Winter. Here's her stats:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,012 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Folklore
#13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Collections
#155 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

It's the morning of the 19th. Today we have Awesome Gang and Sweet Free Books. Here's W. Ways rank: (Which--no pun intended--makes me happy.)

            It's the day after the promotion and my numbers are the best they've been. Go figure. Does that mean my last two ads were the best? Or is Amazon helping me out? Not sure. Witch Ways, November 21

       Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)


    Tuesday, November 10, 2015

    2015 Business Plan and 2016 Projections

    It's interesting to compare last year's business plan with what actually happened. Here's what I wrote about my 2015 plans:

    Last July I created a business plan. You can read it here. My Business Plan. Although it's only been a few months, I'm super excited about 2015 and how my business plan has evolved.

    Here's what hasn't changed:

    Mission Statement: Create stories that inspire, and encourage spouses  to hug and kiss each other, parents to laugh and play with their children, friends whisper kind words to each other and strangers to exchange pleasantries and practice charity and goodwill.

    The Five Year Goal: Twenty published novels. Hundreds of blog posts. Travel books. (I should probably modify this since I already have 12 published books and two others that near completion.)

    Market and Focus: Female audience (except for my brothers and cousins who read my books) over the age of thirteen. Predominately well educated, older women who are looking for something to take on the plane, or on the beach, or who just need an escape. My books are the equivalent of a bath without water—a totally immersing, relaxing, mood enhancer.  My books are meant to be shared with anyone, including but not limited to, grandmothers, daughters, priests and yogis.

    Competitor Analysis: Continue to watch and learn from fellow writers by lurking on online writer forums, groups and blogs. Scrounge good ideas.

    Strengths: (Why I Will Be Successful): Limitless time, discipline and an incredible imagination. Support from family, friends and writers’ groups.
    Writing Schedule: Four hours a day, five days a week with a weekly goal of 10k words, drafting.  That equates to a first draft in six to eight weeks, depending on the length of the novel. One month, same daily schedule, for editing and revisions. Goal: three to four books published a year. A summer vacation. A Christmas break.
    Promotion: At least one hour a day, five days a week. This entails blogging, querying review sites, guest posts, newsletters, give-aways, contests, book trailers, how to guides, sprinkled with a select few personal forays where I actually have to leave the house and interact with humans.

    Conclusion: In a world swimming with entertainment, I will provide wholesome, witty, and romantic escapism for my family, friends and any who may find me and my books.

    This year, 2014, I published:
     Beyond the Hollow (January)
    Stuck With You (June)
    Beyond the Pale (August)
    The Witching Well (October, a novella in a clean romance anthology that will be the beginning of a time travel romance series.)
    The Highwayman (which is the novel that grew out of the The Witching Well)
    And I will soon publish:
    Anywhere Else (a short story in the Hugh Howey Indie Anthology)

    My changes:
    I love how my marketing plan has become more defined.
    Currently, I have four series:
    Seattle Fire (Historical Romance)
    Stealing Mercy, Rescuing Rita--it probably needs a third book to be considered a series.
    Rose Arbor (Women's Fiction, Mystery, Suspense)
     A Ghost of a Second Chance, The Rhyme's Library, Losing Penny
    Beyond (Young Adult, Paranormal)
    Beyond the Fortuneteller's Tent, Beyond the Hollow, Beyond the Pale
    Witching Well (Paranormal Romance)
    The Highwayman Incident (Maybe you can't call one book a series, but the sequel is one third finished, and the third book is outlined so I'm including it in my plan.)
    Each series has a distinct category, but I'm hoping because all of the books have a strong romantic story-line, that readers will cross genres. Some will, some won't, and that's okay. 
    This year I've learned that:
    The first book in a series drives the sales of the other books
    Free promotional sites are often just as, if not more, effective as paid advertising.
    So, here's the goal:
    Each month, I'll mark each beginning book in a series at .99 cents. I'll also have novellas marked at ,99 cents. Here are places  to advertise. promotional sites
    Monday: promotional sites
    Tuesday: Facebook
    Wednesday: Twitter
    Thursday: Pinterest
    Friday: blog

    Do you have your own plan? I would love to see it. Feel free to share a link to your business plan. If you don't, as you can see from mine you need these basic components: 
    A Mission Statement
    The Five Year Goal
    Market and Focus
    Competitor Analysis
    Weaknesses (and how to overcome them)
    Writing Schedule
    Marketing Plan
    As I said, I'm very excited about 2015, and I hope it will be a banner for all of us!

    What actually happened:
    Books published:
    The Cowboy Encounter
    The Pirate Episode
    Witch Ways
    Witch Winter
    Love at the Apple Blossom Inn (novella)

    2016 Projections:
    Witch Wishes
    Little White Christmas Lie
    Shell Charms (This is a book I wrote eight years ago.)

    This year I will shift my focus from writing to marketing. I plan on having a number of my earlier releases re-edited and re-released by the end of January. Beginning in January, a book will be discounted and promoted each week. The promotion schedule will look like this:
    Monday: submit books to paid advertisers
    Tuesday: blog post
    Wednesday: schedule and post 50 tweets
    Thursday: blog post
    Friday: pinterest
    I feel that 2015 has been really good for me, books-wise and otherwise. 2016 is shiny, new and full of promise.

    Monday, November 9, 2015

    Main Street’s Holiday Promotion!

    Contemporary romance writers, would you like to participate in Main Street’s holiday promotion? On November 30th we’ll be sending out a newsletter promoting free and nearly free contemporary romances with our 3,600 Main Street followers.
    To join in the fun:
    Please send a buy link, log line, and cover image to kristyswords@yahoo.com by November 23.
    Make sure your book is either free or .99 cents by November 30th.
    Once the post is live, you must be willing to cross-promote on all your favorite social media platforms. The more participants, the more the merrier.

    Monday, November 2, 2015

    Free Books! Thanksgiving Sale!

    I'm completely in love with this cover. I think it's Bethany's finest. The Pirate Episode, book three in the Witching Well series, is now available on Amazon. And book one, The Highwayman Incident, is free until Wednesday, November 5th. Get it here

    And if all this wasn't enough, Amazon--the publishers of my Kindle Scout winning Witch Ways, has marked down Witch Ways to only 99 pennies for a limited time. You can get it here. (When I scheduled my promotion of The Highwayman, I didn't know that Amazon would also be promoting Witch Ways. So, sort of sad for capital loving me, but lucky for all of you.)
    Stay tuned, because tomorrow I'll be providing a link where you can get 52 science fiction and fantasy books for free!