Yes, I'm unprofessional. Very much so. And this post will prove it, haha.
Alright, time to thank the sweet Katie Jennings for the award she gave me yesterday. That's the most professional thing you'll see in this post...so brace yourself.
By the way, her blog, and her mention of me, is located here:http://katieajennings.wordpress.com/
There, now that my plug is out of the way...
I'm supposed to follow this format thingy to return this favor. Well, I've never been one for following the rules, guidelines, or any kind of formal format. So, with that in mind...um, do you have a safety belt? Now would be a good time to use it. Just sayin.
Rules, rules, rules. BLEGH. Er, bah humbug even. Though it's not Christmas. Well, Christmas in July at some jewelry store, I'm sure, so I'm safe there.
Sigh, 7 things that you may not know about me:
1. I like to grumble a lot. Er, I mean, write a lot. Shhh. Write a lot, yeah, that's it. Engrave that on your mind. *Passes my hand over your head like a souped up magician*
2. David Copperfield, David Blaine, Chris Angel, etc. I am not. I'm just your normal, everyday, average guy who's blazing his own trail in this world. Shocking, I know.
3. I truly do like to help others. As long as...it's appreciated, paid back in some way to someone who truly needs it (that may even be me one day), and I'm not totally burned in the process. Which I have been. WAY too many times.
4. I want MASSIVE success. But then who doesn't, when you're truly being honest about things.
5. I absolutely crave dark chocolate. With Almonds. Or Swiss chocolate. Can't leave home without it.
6. I absolutely love city life and beach life. So much so that I want to have a place in both California and Florida when the day comes that I see my book numbers actually...moving. And not making the sounds of a cricket. When I'm in the position of an Amanda Hocking, J A Konrath, John Locke, Gemma Halliday, CJ Lyons, Andrew E Kaufman, or tons of others, that's when I'll be looking at getting a place like that. In case you don't recognize all those names, here: http://ireaderreview.com/2012/05/03/top-100-indie-authors-for-may-28-authors-to-watch/
Then I can truly sit back and enjoy life whilst writing. And hopefully write MORE.
7. Though I get aggravated by them daily...I truly adore my family.
Now, the other part of these arbitrary "rules" are...I'm supposed to tell you about and link you to FIFTEEN other blogs. Ummm...I don't READ 15 blogs! LOL. I don't have time to. So, with two kids running around that just woke from slumber, three WIPS on my desktop that I need to wrap up and push out, marketing to do, food I need to eat, and a much needed mental break from it all, here a couple other blogs you should probably check out: http://wade-inpublishing.blogspot.com/http://nicolestorey.weebly.com/
Having said that...enjoy your weekend!
As always, check some of the books in my right hand column. You just may find a new author you like ;)
I've written about this recently, but it seems the need is still out there to have attention called to this matter.
Do we really WANT to support one another in our MUTUAL pursuit? I hope so.
I've just created a new facebook group for FREE books. http://www.facebook.com/groups/369867503068226/
Join it and help support each other.
It's like this...we can run around spamming our own wares to every other author and be upset when they don't bite...because WE aren't biting on theirs. OR...we can actually support the others first, so that when WE want support, they are more likely to oblige as well. When we run around spamming everyone else constantly with an "take mine" attitude without us giving anything in return, people get sick of seeing us.
Is THAT helpful for our marketing? Not so much.
So let's grow some guts. Have a tiny bit of courtesy. Of human decency. Of mutual respect. Of...common sense. Too bad common sense isn't common at all. Wonder who came up with that term anyway...
Let's change the trends...TOGETHER. Let's stop just spamming our books to every fellow author we come across. Let's band together and each author simply point and click to download the free wares to raise our fellow author's ranking. Let's help one another raise in Amazon's precious rankings so that ACTUAL paying customers will then see our individual wares. Let's help each other make actual cash. Let's stop pimping our own wares to every other author. Oh wait, did I already say that one?
Let's stop only pimping our own wares to every other author.
Wait...I feel like I'm repeating myself.
Well, maybe if some authors would listen...maybe if some authors would listen...maybe if some authors would listen...*slaps recording*
Help me create a new recording. Help me create a recording that says "All indies actually, honest-to-God support each other, it's awesome!"
Here's an idea from the Twilight Zone. How about we each make a commitment to start pimping other author's works and not touch our own. I will say this...from my own experience of doing just that, I've sold a copy of each book in my Jack series when I wasn't pimping them myself. However, when I pimped them myself every single day...they books were broken. Stuck. In the mud. Going nowhere fast. Zero to sixty in...well...in infinity because they never hit sixty, haha.
And that is a series from which the first book is in over 10,000 readers hands/kindles currently.
So, let's enjoy our personal Twilight Zone and flip the conventional thinking scenario on it's head. You just may be PLEASANTLY surprised. Give it a shot and see. What do you have to lose?
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 mean to make this post yesterday, but things got so hectic I didn't get it done.
I had a great response this week for our Summer Comedy Event and the #finishtheline contest. Thanks to ALL who participated!
I combed through the entries and narrowed them down to four that struck me the most. Then, the task of figuring out which one struck me as the best of those four.
It wasn't an easy choice, let me tell ya. I loved the absolute simplicity of three of these final four. I loved the play on words with one of these final four. In the end, I went with the choice that sounds most like what Jack would say, and since he is the main character in the free book, I felt that was fitting.
So...my line for #finishtheline was:
I jumped over the barbed wire and...
That's when I lost my pants. Honest, Officer!
And the winner is...Mariah from facebook!
Congratulations to Mariah, and follow me on twitter @LATripp2818 for the next contest which starts TODAY!
I hear the hypnotizing hum or the lawn mower.
The freshly cut green plants emit chemicals that waft in on the brilliant breeze flowing through. Some land around me and I smell the familiar aroma of freshly cut grass. Which reminds me of childhood, just a bit. Then reminds me of when I had to cut my own grass. Then makes me thankful to live in an apartment so now it's done for me.
Then...I think about what this afternoon has in store for me.
And I'm dreading it.
So, what does your day have in store for you?
Meet Jim Kukral. He knows marketing. Below is an interview I did with him. Yes, it looks like he's pimping his own service, but these are actually the questions I asked him. For anyone wanting to market their books more, these answers could
help you. So, here you go:
1. How many eyes are typically needed to land on a book for an author to expect one sale?
There's no way to answer that question. The reader might be looking for something different than what they found. They might not really be ready to buy. The best advice for an author is to target potential readers that fit their niche and industry and do a really good job of communicating what the book is about through the title and the cover.
2. What is the typical lag time between a potential reader seeing a new book and actually buying that book?
I believe books are mostly impulse purchases. People go to the Internet for two reasons only. One is to have a problem solved (think non-fiction books), and two is to be entertained (fiction). Either way, people buy books for a specific reason.
3. How many times does a normal future reader need to see a book advertised before they decide to buy?
Again, there's no way to tell that. Advertising gurus will tell you that repetition is key though. As an online marketer myself, we know that if you can put your message in front of a consumer more than five times you have a much greater chance at them taking an action. That's why email lists and social media follows are so important. You can to continuously market. You can't assume people are going to buy at first exposure. They won't, typically.
4. What should an author do to avoid landing in the category with the books that sell a maximum of 500 books over their lifetime?
Build your own platform. Email list. Social media, etc... There's no way around it. You have to have fans and followers. Or spend a lot of money on advertising. The choice is yours. There is no secret to it. It's all hard work. Boo, I know that sucks to hear.
5. Where are you available for authors to easily hire you?
My firm, www.digitalbooklaunch.com
helps authors create and market books for the purpose of driving sales, leads and publicity for their business or brand or career. Got an idea for a book? We'll help you make it a reality, in a way that makes sense and actually provides some return on investment for you. Otherwise, what's the point?
6. Do you offer payment plans?
We'll work with anyone's needs. Contact me for a no-cost, no obligation consultation today. Just visit DigitalBookLaunch.comI hope this interview will help some fellow authors.
Check him out if you like what you see.
And again, don't forget our Summer Comedy Event. Follow me on twitter for more: @LATripp2818
Don't forget to join in our Summer Comedy Event!
Follow me on twitter @LATripp2818 and follow the other authors participating in this event as well. We are trying to bring fresh eyes to talented humor writers. You have a chance to win a free book by a great author simply by participating in this contest!
You know never, you just may find your next favorite author!
The contest kicked off today, so check out my tweets for the line...and #finishtheline !
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.
That's right, the book that kicks off the awesome series "All Jacked Up" is free just for today. So if you could find it in your heart to do a fellow author a solid...you don't even have to spend any money....just down load a free copy of http://amzn.to/rrInyy and urge your friends to do the same!
Ok, now that that is out of the way (and I hope my numbers actually move now, lol), I'm left to consider how Amazon's algorithims and other scientific hoo-haa has changed and how that will affect my promotion and my "after-effect".
Time will tell. Of course, the more help I get today, the more I may be able to tell you a week from now ;)
Don't you love my hints? :)
Y'all have a great day now...ya hear?
(And enjoy Jack while you can!)