Archive | June, 2013

My experience of running a successful Kindle Direct Publishing promo

25 Jun

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When I self-published my first novel, FRY, I chose to take part in the KDP select programme, which committed me to being exclusive to Amazon for 90 days, in return for the opportunity to give away my novel for free for 5 days. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I used two of those days early on and was pleased with the result. For me, this speeded up the process of getting customer reviews and also helped me to get the book into the ‘customer also bought’ sections of some much more prominent books, which resulted in more sales.

I saved the final 3 days for near the end of the 90 day period because this meant I had more reviews, which is important both for convincing readers to download your book, and also for convincing book promotion sites to feature your book. I prepared for the promotion a month in advance by notifying relevant book sites (see AuthorMarketingClub’s free submission tool for a list of these.) I was pleased with the result. FRY was featured on some prominent sites including Freebooksy. This resulted in almost ten thousand downloads and put FRY at number 25 in the Amazon.com chart for free books.

How did this affect sales?

Previous to this, FRY had been selling quite well in the UK, but sales had been much slower in the US. Following my three day promo, I had a good week of sales in both the US and the UK, so I can definitely say there was a sales bump. A few weeks on, FRY continues to sell better in the US. I have also had a few sales on other Amazon sites around the world. FRY has also had an increase in the number of reviews on Amazon.com and these have been overwhelmingly positive.

So what’s next?

Well, here’s the scary part. Now that my exclusive period with Amazon has ended, I have chosen not to renew the deal. My book is still on Amazon, but, it is now on Smashwords also and I will be trying to get sales on other sites. Going exclusive with Amazon worked well for FRY, but I would not want it to remain exclusive as I think it’s important to reach people with other e-readers.

My next novel, May Queen Killers, comes out in May and I will be going exclusive again as I definitely feel that it has been beneficial. But I can’t see myself renewing the agreement after the first 90 days. I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket.

Have you used the KDP select programme for your book? How did you get on? Did you think the free days were worth the exclusivity agreement?

Interview with Demons in the Big Easy Author, Jamie Marchant

3 Jun

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This week I interviewed urban fantasy Author, Jamie Marchant.

Tell me a bit about yourself

 From early childhood, I’ve been immersed in books. My mother, an avid reader herself, read to us, and my older sister filled my head with fairy tales. When I was about six, I started writing stories about the Man from Mars for my older sister. I devoured every book I could get my hands on, and I wrote my first fantasy novel while in high school—not that it was publishable. Taking into consideration my love for literature and the challenges of supporting myself as a writer, I pursued a Ph.D. in American literature, which I received in 1998. I started teaching writing and literature at Auburn University and discovered the excitement of teaching. But in doing so, I put my true passion on the backburner and neglected my muse. Instead, for a few years, I wrote literary criticism. Then one day, in the midst of writing a critical piece, I realized I had no interest in doing so. What I wanted to do was write novels. My muse thus revived, I began the book that was to become The Goddess’s Choice.  I have an entire series planned.

I live in Auburn, Alabama, with my husband and son. I still teach writing and literature at Auburn University.

 What’s your latest book about?

Demons in the Big Easy is an urban fantasy novella. Adventurous in her youth, Cassandra built gateways between Domhan and its parallel realm of Earth. Now she’s too old for that kind of thing. But something is making it easier for demons to pass into Domhan. Not only that, but their behavior becomes inexplicable: whenever Cassandra banishes one, it laughs at her rather than resists, and it promises it will soon devour her essence and that of every resident of her small village. Cassandra is certain such a thing is impossible, for strong wards protect her village.

But then Cassandra’s granddaughter Aine falls through an unstable gateway. Cassandra is the only one within a hundred miles capable of creating a gateway and bringing Aine back. Despite her aching joints, Cassandra goes after her, and the gateway lands her in New Orleans. But something goes wrong with her tracking spell, which indicates Aine exists in four different places at once. As Cassandra struggles to find the true location of her granddaughter in the Big Easy, she discovers the source of the demons’ confidence.  Now, with an unlikely pair of allies—her timid granddaughter and a homeless man who may or may not be crazy—she has to not only save her granddaughter but also prevent both Domhan and Earth from being overrun by demons.

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 How long did it take you to write?

About 4 months. Fast, considering the years it took me to finish my first novel, The Goddess’s Choice.

 Why did you choose to self publish?

 A small publisher published my first novel, but I found that they did nearly nothing to market it. If I wanted it to sell, I had to do all the marketing myself. I decided that if I was going to have to do all the work, I should garner a larger share of the profits, so I self-published Demons in the Big Easy.

 Would you be interested in a publishing deal if it were offered?

It would depend on the size of the publisher and what they were going to commit to in terms of marketing.

 Who created your cover? 

I did it myself. I hope it doesn’t look like it.

Did you hire an editor? If not, how did you go about editing your book?

I didn’t hire an editor. I belong to a writers’ critique group, and they helped me edit it.

What are you doing to market your book?

I’ve been doing a lot of blog appearances. I have also participated in some giveaways.

What’s next for you?

I have all but the final edits done for The Soul Stone, a sequel to The Goddess’s Choice, in which Samantha struggles to solidify her rule, and Robrek must confront a bigger threat to the safety of the joined kingdoms.

I’m also working on an urban fantasy novel, The Bull Riding Witch, which has a princess from a parallel realm switching bodies with a rodeo bull rider.

Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on Selfpublishbible, Jamie!

You can catch up with Jamie on facebook ,Goodreads and Twitter or follow her blog 

 

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