There's the million dollar question that you won't want to ask of Des Birch. Let's find out why...
Have you ever returned from vacation and have somebody ask you how it was? Have you ever returned from work and have someone ask how your day has been? How many times have you given a one-word answer to these questions? Often when I am relaxing, my wife Julie notices my fixed stare which she attributes to my being in ‘Storyland’. If the TV is on I might be gazing at the screen but she knows I am not watching it. Then I might stand up and head for my computer, writing for a time before returning to Julie’s ‘welcome back’ smile. How has my day been? Exciting, torrid, frightening, loving, exhausting........, but never just OK.
I work in an engineering company with murderers, rapists, drug barons etc, for my colleagues are the real people on which I base many of my characters. I live in a world over which I have complete control. Perhaps my daily work is just a fantasy and Storyland is the reality. Julie of course is the wonderful dream.
Being the wrong side of fifty, I have experienced much of life’s up’s and down’s. I also see cycles taking place in which young people experience the same challenges as we did in the struggle for the rite of passage into adulthood. I began to wonder how other species handled this, when a Storyland trance came over me and I eventually emerged with the idea for my YA book Beyond Dark Waters in which a little boy enters five different species, learning lessons from each. It was such fun to write and each day I would complete a section and read it to Julie and Elliott (an elephant, but you will have to read Different Eyes if you want to meet him). I was lucky enough to win an award for this book and it is my crowning achievement to date. I had written 110 pages of the sequel when this torrid, violent story of drug barons, torture and revenge came hammering on the inside of my skull, ready written and demanding to be put down in words. I told it that it was in a queue and that anyway I had far too much on this year, but to no avail. I’m now 70 pages into it and it seems to have calmed down a little, allowing me to study for the final part of my BSc Hon. Stories can do that!
So who am I? I am a father and a grandfather. I have a basic science degree and I have also spent a couple of interesting years in Europe teaching English. I believe in living life to the full. I currently have three novels and one book of short stories in E-format and paperback. Am I rich? Ha ha ha! I’ll never be rich; I like living too much and I need to be around real people who have problems that money can’t solve. I feel I am very lucky indeed. I have a loving family, great friends, a life full of intrigue and the ability to share that life with the world. Come and join me on Amazon and on my Facebook site.
As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
I've been in a conversation with a couple of fellow indie authors about this issue.
They are wondering, and maybe even scared, to use their free promo days that Amazon gives to us for participating in their Select program.
So, why would these authors be afraid to use something a book GIANT is giving to us?
The sad reality is, they feel like we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. Why? Because there are a ton of fellow indie authors that will tear you to shreds because you want to give a copy of your book away for promotional reasons.
Here's a dose of reality that those NEGATIVE indie authors either miss or choose not to see. Free promos work in EVERY field. I don't care if a laundromat gives away one load of laundry to lure people in, a supermarket gives away some small item to lure business in, or a car dealer gives away a free detail job or some service to lure people in. The end result is the same, regardless of the industry. The business GIVES AWAY something to HOPE FOR DOLLARS in return.
And you know what else? It...WORKS. If freebies didn't work, brick and mortar businesses would not continue doing it. Hell, even internet based businesses do it. David DeAngelo, who works in the dating and seduction field, or pick up artist field, frequently gives away great tidbits. You know what else? He makes more than anyone else in that field. To the tune of $20 million dollars each year. So again, bottom line, freebies WORK.
Now, many indie authors will tear you to shreds if they so much as HEAR that you want to run a free day promo. They will preach to you that you're devaluing all of our collective works. If that doesn't convince you not to do a free day, then you're just scum who can't write a lick to save your life.
Seriously, this is what we call SUPPORTING each other? I think not.
Who cares if you personally HATE the free days. You know what, the other author is not giving YOUR book away. Unless of course you have asked them to. They are trying to promote THEIR book. So lay off and learn how to actually show another human being some honest-to-God support.
Drop the jealousy you're feeling and show a fellow indie true support.
Here's another reality check. I've talked before about Pixel of Ink and ENT and how they are currently the only viable venues to really get your book noticed on a free day. Well...that's not exactly true. It is, but it isn't. The reality is, there are enough authors within the indie community that SAY they will do ANYTHING to support their fellow indies. Well, if all of these indie authors would put their mouse where their mouth is, we'd see a lot more ACTUAL support.
What do I mean? I don't mean you have to go out and spend your hard earned dollars, buying every book that your fellow authors publish. Not at all. And some of you just ignored that last line. You have no idea what I said.
Ok, listen up. WITHOUT SPENDING A PENNY YOU CAN SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW INDIES SO EACH OF US CAN ACTUALLY MAKE REAL CASH.
Let's try this again.
When a fellow indie author has a free promo day, there are enough of us indie authors in all of our communities that we can raise up each indie author on their particular free promo day. That means you simply DOWNLOAD A FREE COPY. Is that REALLY so hard?
I don't care if you only have a PC, a Mac, don't have a Kindle, do have a Kindle, only have a Nook, what ever. It doesn't matter. Period. If you have a PC, download the app for Kindle for PC. If you have a Mac, same thing. If you only have a Nook...I'm sure you have a computer as well. SURELY you see where I'm going without me spelling out EVERY detail.
Ok, now that we're on the same page there...here's the next step.
When a fellow indie has their book up for a free promo day....DOWNLOAD a FREE copy!
"But I already have it" you say.
Awesome for your support! Now....DELETE IT AND DOWNLOAD ANOTHER.
Or, if Kindle won't let you do that, download it to a different device, like a different computer. In other words, there is SOME way that you can download another FREE copy. We're just too damn lazy to help others, it seems.
"But I don't download what I won't read. Period."
Well, that tells me and the rest of the community that you DON'T truly support your fellow indies. I personally do download TONS of books I probably won't ever read. Seriously, what does it COST ME? Nothing, other than a few seconds to make a click.
Then, there are other authors who simply hate the guts of some fellow indies. Yeah, that's really supporting your community too. GROW UP.
Look, here's the bottom line. The reason why Pixel and ENT are SO effective is simply their reach. They have the ability to reach THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of people, individual readers. It takes THOUSANDS of downloads for each book to pop the number one spot in your particular genre.
Thing is, if your book does NOT hit the number one spot, it won't stay afloat as long after the free day. If it doesn't at least crack the Top 10, your free day was wasted.
Here's another part of this reality check. There are enough authors in our communities as a whole to get each individual fellow indie author SEVERAL thousand downloads on EACH of our free days.
So, to recap, drop your hatred, grow up, click a book even if you don't like it (just hit delete), and help that fellow author to hit that coveted number one spot. It hasn't cost you a single penny to show support. Yet, by that author hitting number one, THEY will now have the opportunity to have TONS of new, fresh eyes seeing their work. IF their work has merit, it may hold the Top 10 for a while, while gaining actual paid sales that YOU are paying nothing for. You simply clicked your mouse. If their book does not have merit, it will soon vanish into the ether, therefore not hurting you or your book anyway.
So again...WHY is it SO hard to show TRUE support to your fellow indie author???
C'mon. AS A COMMUNITY WE ARE STRONG. Divided, we fall.
Alright, I've run these free promotional days on KDP Select several times now. I've also had books free through another method that would likely be considered old school now.
I've had exactly one very successful free promotional day.
The bottom line about the KDP Select free days are...the free day in and of itself is absolutely nothing more than a tool. There is no magic in it. Your book absolutely will not jump in the rankings simply because you schedule a free day.
In fact, just as you would normally promote your rear end off when your book is selling for a monetary figure, you'll also need to promote your rear off for the free promotional day or days that you schedule.
"But I thought you said you've had one very successful promo day," you ask.
Yes, you're right. And here's the difference.
Ok, for the promo day I just had, I gave away approximately 150 copies....TOTAL in the US of my book. My ranking peaked at 25 from what I saw. And, during this day, my book was tweeted by myself and a few others through out the day. It was also facebooked by myself and a few others through out the day. Plus it was promoted by Flurries for Words (or something like that), Author Marketing Club or one of their lists, and a couple of other venues. In other words, my book was promoted by a few different venues and several individuals. And that resulted in about 150 copies in the US. Yes, I had some in the UK as well, and 1 copy in each of a couple of other countries. Seriously, one copy. But, I'm focusing on the US numbers because that's normally our bread and butter.
Now, the very successful day I had, I literally had a couple of thousand downloads of my book before I even remembered that it was free that day.
What was the difference?
It kinda makes me sick to say this, because it makes me sick to admit that we authors are dependent on one or two different sites/venues to "make us" successful. But, here's the rotten truth. That one day, my book was mentioned by Ereader News Today.
This round, my book was mentioned by three or four other sites along with friends and myself pimping it all day. for a grand total of 150 copies in the US. When Ereader News Today (ENT) promoted it, it downloaded around 3,000 copies total in one day without me saying a word.
In fact, from what I've gathered, if ENT or Pixel of Ink promote your book, you can actually expect around 3,000 copies to be downloaded in one day.
When this many copies are downloaded in one day, this shoots your book up to the top or near the top of the chart in your genre. My book, All Jacked Up, stayed at the number one spot for a day or two when ENT mentioned my book.
P.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the other venues that you can use for book promotion on your free days. In fact, I think they are doing a great thing...AND I wish they were much bigger than they are and have much more impact than they do. I hate it that the only sites with a real impact are Pixel and ENT. In fact, if you'll look at this very website of mine, I have a section on this for free books. I'm trying to build this site up to have the kind of reach that Pixel and ENT have, and hopefully help more authors get their names out there. So please, check out my page on this site as well.
Back to my original point. Here's the benefit of KDP Select. Once your free day is over, or days, your book automatically goes back to being charged for. If you go "old school" as in through Smashwords and that process to get Amazon to go free, you will have a harder time getting your book back to paid. With Select it automatically goes back to paid.
Other than that, KDP Select does absolutely nothing in and of itself for your book as far as promotional value.
We now have 28 different titles on this website and two of those come from two awesome authors' debut novels.
I believe they have both broke new ground with their stories...but then again, I'm bias, lol.
Claire Simons with Falling From Grace and Heather Whetstine with Twilight's Last Gleaming. In fact, I'll leave you with two reviews from Twilight's Last Gleaming:
Awesome, thought provoking, it could be tomorrow’s news. Twilight's Last Gleaming by Heather Whetstine, takes you on an emotional thrill-ride as Clare, an ordinary college teenager with a passion for truth in journalism is witness to the best America has to offer and the worst it had become. As I traveled alongside Clare, her compelling story caused me to think, and then I became angry, at what I knew to be the truth. Next I wanted to jump up, raise my right hand and scream, YES.
This Book is a must-read for any person that loves their country. Although it takes place in America, it is a wakeup call for anyone who believes in freedom. I am reluctant to give five-star ratings because I am a realist, but I truly wish I had a sixth star at my disposal for Twilight’s Last Gleaming.
Enjoy this book, as I know you will.
Douglas Nelson (PopATop).
5 Stars *****
The corruption and remake of the structure of America is not a new idea, but the author, writing from the view of a naive youth is the catalyst needed to make one continue reading. Well written, quick pace, very good flow between past and present. It was also hard hitting, depressing and frightening with the knowledge all in the book is possible. Whether or not it could all happen in such a small amount of time is a matter worth thinking about. The only part I found a little hilarious is the belief Texas would be a 'safe' place in such a scenario. If you like diaspora this is definitely a book to read.
By Ey Wade
Disclaimer: I'm the publisher for both of the above books. So yes, I make a smidgen on each sale of these two books, however, I believe these books are awesome and should be picked up and read by everyone! So please patronize these authors and help them to build their writing career. They will be eternally grateful ;)
We all have them.
What are yours?
What do you dream about? What gets your heart racing in the morning? What lights your fire through out the day?
What are your demons? What do you fight and struggle with, within yourself? Things that most people don't know about that you struggle with daily. What makes life challenging for you?
Good writers channel both their dreams and their demons into their writing. Writing is an art, and artists channel their inner selves into their work. Those things we struggle with, we put into words and flesh them out into fictional or non-fictional characters to bring them to life on the page...or screen. We attribute our own characteristics and characteristics of people we know and people we meet into these two-dimensional beings to make them seem three-dimensional. We have to live in the character's world for a while, then add heart and soul to each two-dimensional figure head.
We do this so that...
As a reader, you become completely engulfed in this world that we've presented to you. The goal is that we've reached into you mind, into your heart, into your soul, and touched, fondled, even squeezed and yanked your personal dreams and demons and ripped them out of you and placed them on the page or screen in front of you. We've put them right in front of your eyes and make you stand up and take notice of them. We've brought them to life for you to the extent that you can't deny their existence...if even for a few hours.
And we do this....to please you, the reader.
Yes, we bring your demons and dreams to the forefront of your mind and our demons and dreams to them...to entertain you. To please you. To make you happy.
To give you a break from your own life. And to pull you into our life.
Then we'll let the chain drop that we've yanked you out with and let you fall back to your comfort zone, putting all of your dreams and demons back in their safe place.
But just until you read our next book ;)
As a writer, I know why we offer free books.
However, I want to know, as a reader, how do you feel about them?
Do you like, or maybe even love, free ebooks? Do you HATE them? Why?
Some argue that free ebooks make ebooks that cost money, worth less. Some argue that free ebooks make ebooks that cost money, worth more.
I know, as authors, we obviously don't make any money on a book that we give away 10,000 copies of. Not on that particular book, we don't, anyway. However, if it helps to promote our name, our brand, our work, then it's "cheap" advertising.
But again, what about you, the reader? How do you feel about an author that gives away some of their work? How do you feel about the particular book that they give away?
Do you value that work or that author? Or do you view it as a disposable resource?
And, if you don't like free ebooks...how do you feel about sites like Pixel of Ink and Ereader News Today (ENT) which help an author reach a new audience via free ebooks?