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Category Archives: Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down

Happy Anniversary to me!

Bring on the hearts and flowers! It’s been exactly one year since I took the plunge and decided to self publish Angel of Mercy instead of waiting on my literary agent who was pretty unresponsive in her efforts to try and sell Pretty Witches All in a Row. Since then I’ve published six more books, fired my agent, and couldn’t be happier with the self publishing experience! In the past year I’ve sold over 6700 books (most of that in the past three months), and I’m still learning every day what does and doesn’t work in marketing my own books. Sadly there is no magic ticket to runaway sales, but I’m still hopeful I’ll be able to support myself with my writing at some point.

Nine Steps to Sara should be available in a couple of weeks and I’ve got two other books planned for this year (sequels to Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down and the next Mercy book), so here’s to more success in the year to come!

New Cover for Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down

Despite the recent success from the last Pretty Witches All in a Row giveaway, Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down
has continued to sell the least out of my books, despite the fact that I get the most fan mail about that one.

So, we’ve decided to try and shake things up a little and redesign the cover. What do you guys think?

In other news, I finished my first draft of Nine Steps to Sara and have just started the editing process! Woot!

Spring Has Sprung!

At the risk of jinxing myself, I’m gonna go with the notion that spring is definitely here and we can kiss all the snow goodbye! (Thank God! The white stuff is pretty, but I hate driving in it!) With the month of April, I have another resolution to add to the list. I’m happy to report that since the beginning of the year, I’ve stuck to all of my resolutions, adding a new one each month. So far I’m exercising 5 days a week, I’ve given up fried foods and baked desserts and now I’ll be giving up all fast food barring sandwich places. That’s not to say I won’t get a salad and a baked potato at Wendy’s if that’s my only option, because I don’t think that’s a no no, but no more burgers or burritos and such. April is birthday month for us around the house for myself, my husband and my oldest daughter, so we’ll see how hard it is to stick to the no baked desserts resolution!

I have to say March was a weird month for me. I saw a lot of success from the Pretty Witches giveaway and I published Mercy for the Damned, so the business of being a writer went very well. Creatively, I finished up my Push fanfic, but did little else in the world of writing. I’ve been working on my upcoming book and let me tell you, I can’t remember the last time I was in such a wishy washy mood!

I’m supposed to be working on Let Sleeping Ghosts Lie, a paranormal mystery/ghosty book similar to The Touch. But instead, I’ve been inundated with all manner of other plot ideas, each vying for a spot at my next book. I’ve even gone so far as to do some major plotting on several of these ideas, hoping one of them would pull forward as the clear winner with the hopes of starting it this month.

Well, I’ll tell you, the end of March came and I found myself no closer to picking what project to begin. Each idea has merit, but none of them were grabbing hold in just that right way that tells me it’s the next one to focus on. So, instead of writing a new book, I’ll be dusting off Moonsong, the first book I wrote about two years ago. My writing has evolved quite a bit since then, and it needs a bit of work to get it whipped into shape for publication, but that’s what I’ll be working on next. Hopefully, I’ll have it ready to go by month’s end. That means a jump start on working on the sequel to Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down or letting my other book ideas fight to the death with chopsticks to see what book comes after that, but we’ll see where we are when I come to the other side of this one.

Not So Fast…

Okay, so remember how I said free giveaways are not a magic bullet? That point was definitely proven last weekend when I tried a free giveaway for Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down. I knew it wouldn’t do as well as Pretty Witches, since that’s my best seller, but I only gave away about 2500 copies in three days. Dude. Seriously? I can not give this book away. Talk about depressing.

On the plus side, I’ve gotten some very nice reviews and emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the sequel, so that’s nice to hear. But I can’t say that it really boosted sales all that much.

My numbers are still on their slow decline, but still waaaaay better than they were before the first giveaway, and I’m getting a nice mix of sales across all six books, so that tells me that people are coming back for more, which is nice too.

My 3 month period with KDP select is ending this month, so I’ve got another Pretty Witches free giveaway slated for March 23 and 24th, so we’ll see if that does as well as the first giveaway earlier this month. Hopefully it gives the numbers a little shot in the arm so I can finish out the month a little stronger.

Free is Good!

I thought I’d chronicle my hits and misses with trying to figure out this marketing thing. :) Since publishing my first book last June, I’ve had a slow but steady growth in my sales, averaging 2-3 books sold per day, which is pretty good considering I’m a complete nobody who no one has ever heard of. My marketing strategy was pretty limited to networking on facebook and twitter, blog posts, fanfiction updates and the occasional paid promo. I only have a couple of hundred followers on facebook, so I knew that wouldn’t translate to a cash camel, but I’ve met some really great people so I consider that to be a success.

Paid promotions: I’ve tried advertising on Goodreads.com, with a pay per click set up there ranging from $.20 to $.35 per click. The more people click, the more they show the ad, the more clicks you get to your link… and so on. It’s hard to say if this has had any benefits at all. Some days I’d come home and see I had 11 clicks on a book and no sales. Did that mean they put it into their wish list to buy later? No idea. But I figured any exposure is good exposure, right?

I also advertised through Kindle Nation. This is quite a bit more spendy. It was $150 (now $160) to get an email blast that went out to their Amazon subscribers, pimped on facebook and their own website that is viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Sounds good, right? For Angel of Mercy, I got about 30 purchases the first day. Pretty awesome when I’d been selling just one or two per day, but not enough to cover the costs of the promo unless you consider that people who read it might read some of my other books. For The Touch, I got about 40 purchases the first day, and it has improved sales somewhat since then, so I consider that to be a success as well. I have one coming up in May for Pretty Witches. It’s my best seller, so I’m interested to see what it does with this type of promo.

Free Promotions:

The first thing I tried was to offer a giveaway to people who voted on book covers on my website. So far the response from winners has been overwhelmingly positive, but really in such limited numbers, it’s not like it’s really much in the way of a marketing promotion, just more like a little perk to people who regularly vote on my site.

Free Goodreads promotion. This costs nothing, but only works for print copies of the books and so you have to ship the physical book to the winner which costs around $5-6 each. I’ve given away two copies of Angel of Mercy, Wake Me and have one with The Touch ending today. The benefit here is a lot of people who enter to win end up putting it in their “to read” list. Has it translated into any additional sales? Again, it’s hard to tell.

Free Giveaway on Amazon through KDP Select. I’d heard great things about this from other authors and decided to give it a go with Pretty Witches. I’d been leery to list anyting on KDP select, because it forbids you to offer the ebook anywhere else. That means no Barnes & Noble, no smashwords, I can’t even offer a free copy of it to anyone myself. I went into it hoping for maybe a thousand or two free copies to be downloaded. I ran it from March 3rd through the 5th and ended up giving away 22,555 copies!!!

So, what does that break down to in actual numbers?
February was a very slow month for me, I sold 64 copies of my books combined, but my highest two previous months (Nov and Dec) I sold 114 copies each. The first two days of March I sold 3 copies total. The Saturday and Sunday while the free promo ran, I sold 56 copies of my other books combined. So far, so good! But would free copies of Pretty Witches translate into sales after the promo was over? So far this month, I’ve sold 1094 books! Finally, some numbers I can actually see the direct result of, I’d call that a success!

I’ve seen a slow but steady decline in the numbers as we get farther and farther away from the giveaway, so it’s not like this is a magic bullet and I can now retire. But I’m thinking between the six books I have published, and three more due out this year I’ll be able to keep the giveaways going and hopefully generate more interest to keep it somewhat steady. I’ve got Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down on a free promo on Amazon today and tomorrow, I’m interested to see how it compares to Pretty Witches All in a Row.

I haven’t tried out running a free giveaway by dropping the price on smashwords to zero (which the other two sites will price match) yet, but I’ll try that in the coming months.

What did I learn? Free is good! I’m not saying the same will happen for everyone, but hey, apart from listing on Amazon exclusively, what do you have to lose?

So Far, So Good

Seems to be the theme of the day. Week four of the new year is done, and I’ve kept to phase one of my New Year’s resolution of exercising 5 days a week. They say you develop a habit by doing something consistently for 21 days, so I’m hopeful this is now a habit that’ll stick with me for a long time. Phase two will be to give up fried foods. This one’s gonna hurt, as I love me some french fries. But, I’m still inspired to get healthier this year, so I’m motivated to give it a try.

Mercy for the Damned is coming along well. I’m just shy of the 50K mark, and Mercy is really in the thick of things now. She’s got Adam back, but not without a price, and they still have to rescue Ben and get Azazael out of him without releasing him completely. But they have a plan and the second jaunt into Midian is just about to get off the ground.

I’ve also got a book giveaway going for Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down through Goodreads. You can check it out here, I’m giving away two print copies of the book, the giveaway runs through February 17th. I’m working on getting some cool bookmarks printed up to give away with them too.

So far not so good is the Kindle lending library. I signed up Pretty Witches All in a Row, and have lent a whopping 3 copies so far this year. So far that’s not very worth it for having to remove it from Barnes and Noble and Smashwords, since Amazon demands they have sole distribution rights for the ebook. So, I probably won’t do that again when the period is up.