Tag Archives: marketing

An Experiment

eob freebie ranking 9-30So I decided last week that I would conduct an experiment. The part of me that is a biology major is screaming, “Insufficient data!”, but I would still like to share my meager yet telling findings with you.

People buy more ebooks during the week than they do on the weekend.

On the 19th, I had made The Earl of Brass free for that Saturday only. I did a bit of hustling online, posting about my sale, making my little graphic for it, and tweeting it with tags to various retweet groups. I only sold 122 copies that Saturday. While that’s nothing to scoff at since now 122 more people know of my book, it isn’t that much. I climbed up the sales rankings, tapping out somewhere around #2,000 in the free Kindle store and #3 in free Steampunk. Not bad at all. I saw similar results when my friends/fellow authors posted about how they did with a Saturday sale and no outside promotion.

Then, I started to think about when I buy ebooks. Did I do it often on the weekend? Not really. When I checked my email on a Saturday or Sunday, I would scroll through my Bookbub or Ereader News Today email, only stopping if something really caught my eye. Most people are busy during the weekend. They’re running errands, driving their kids to activities, catching up on some Netflix. They aren’t scrolling through Amazon’s freebies to find the perfect book.

Well, what day would be better? Friday? Definitely not. People are out and about more on Friday than they are on Saturday. Monday? Nope. That’s the day where you’re all wound-up about work, school, the kids, getting to work/school on time, getting everything together. That left the middle of the week, Tuesday to Thursday. Checking my own ordering habits on Amazon confirmed that I did most of my ebook buying in the middle of the week (you know you have a problem when you can use yourself as a place to gather data). Mid-week you have gotten over the rush of Monday and now you’re thinking about how to escape boredom or even planning what you’ll do later in the week.

I decided to set my next freebie for a Tuesday. This time, there wouldn’t be any roof-top screaming about my book being free. I wanted it to all be organic downloads from people who weren’t influenced by my posts. Amazingly, it worked way better than Saturday, seven times better actually. As you can see from the picture at the top of the post, the best overall ranking I saw last night before I crawled into bed was #227 in overall free, #1 in steampunk, #2 in historical-fantasy. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw those rankings. I was sick as a dog yesterday, so seeing those lovely tiny numbers really made my day. This morning, I went and checked my KDP dashboard to see how many downloads I actually had. 902. 902?! I have never ever had that much downloaded on one day.

I’m sure some of you are screaming, “But they were free!” Yes, they were free because free pulls people in for the rest of your series. People are much more willing to take a chance on a nobody like me if the first book is free. Why pay $3.99 if you don’t know whether my book will suck or not? Free means they’ll download it and if they like it, they may move on to book two. Yes, there are people who just hoard free books. I’ve downloaded quite a few free books I haven’t gotten back to, but the thing is, the book is on their device. At any time, they could read it and discover that you’re one of their favorite authors. A loss leader can only help to boost future sales and hopefully generate a few reviews as well.

Right now, I’m working on my plan of attack for when The Earl and the Artificer is finished. Leading up to it, I’m going to be doing a few more freebie days to generate interest in the series. With Kindle Select, I get 5 freebie days to allocate as I wish, so I’m sprinkling them around. I’m not 100% sure when book 3 will be out yet, but when it gets closer to the release date, I hope to take out an ad in Bookbub or ENT about The Earl of Brass being free. Hopefully, that’ll drive sales toward books 2 and three. This plan won’t be implemented for a while, but it never hurts to plan ahead. I will update you as I go on experimenting with sales and marketing.

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March 2015 in Review

Starting in January, I decided it would be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

While February was a transitional month as I switched from working on The Winter Garden to book three of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices, March was nearly wholly devoted to my latest project.  Beginning to work on book three has been a refreshing change even if it did take nearly half a month.  I feel much better about March than I did about February, and I hope that April will be even better. Continue reading

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February 2015 in Review

Starting in January, I decided it would be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

February was a meh month for all of my work.  While I finished the formatting for The Winter Garden in ebook and paperback and was able to move up the release date to March 15th, I didn’t get much done in terms of book three.  I did make a little progress with all of my projects. Maybe part of the problem is that my hands and mind are in too many places at once.

What I did accomplish: Continue reading

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January 2015 in Review

I’m starting to think it may be a good idea to look back at each month and see what I have accomplished in my writing and marketing as well as reflect upon what needs to be improved in the future.

The biggest thing that happened this month was that I finished The Winter Garden (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2).  I’m still shocked that I can now say I have two novels under my belt.  It’s pretty amazing, considering a few years ago I couldn’t finish anything and had plots that meandered for a hundred pages.  So far, I have finished The Winter Garden and gotten through a major round of editing.  Continue reading

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Advertisement and the Awkward Authoress

Marketing has never been my strong suit.  I always worry about where the line is between good marketing and being absolutely obnoxious. Typically I air on the side of caution and not get on my box with a megaphone and shout about my book like a sideshow barker, but on Sunday and Monday, my book was on sale for 99 cents and I went to town advertising.  I convinced my boyfriend/in-house artist to create an ad banner for me along with a new banner for my Facebook and Twitter pages.  I also paid $15 to have the Ereader News Today advertise it in their email newsletter and website.  From Sunday morning to mid-day Monday, I was hustling.  On both of my pages, I posted the advertisement banner along with a little message saying to please share the picture and spread the word, and guess what, people did! Continue reading

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Wrap-up and Resolutions

Wow, 2014 has been a crazy year for me.  A great year but a whirlwind of insanity at times.

This year, I began graduate school to earn my MFA in creative and professional writing, and now that a full year in the program has passed, I can say that I love it and believe I made the right decision.  I don’t think my parents were terribly pleased when I decided to change my course of study in the second half of my junior year from pre-med to English major, but I’m a lot happier reading and analyzing books and writing constantly than I ever was doing dissections and memorizing muscle groups (though biology and science still hold a special place in my heart and in my books).  In 2014, I also became a graduate assistant at the university I attend, which means I help out the professors and put together the end of semester newsletter as well as work on the department’s literary magazine. Continue reading

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Why Buy Indie?

Department stores are to traditionally published authors as independent bookstores are to indie authors.

We are the small businesses of the writing world.  Unlike authors who have published through traditional means, we are often the editors, marketers, formatters, and creative directors of our work.  Our publishing house consists of one person.  This means every success and failure falls on our shoulders, but it also means so does every cost.  Our resources are our own, and especially in the beginning when we do not have many books or readers (remember book two always sells book one), most of our expenses come out of our pockets.  We pay for the cover artists, the editors, the box of books we lug to conferences and author events.  It can be a hard road, especially when we don’t tend to get shelf space at your local Barnes and Noble or Waterstones.  Just remember that for less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, you are buying something someone worked on numerous hours to perfect. Continue reading

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What I Have Been Up To Recently

I have not been a very good blogger recently. Keeping up with posts is never easy for me, but I have a grand announcement, I published a novel.

The Earl of Brass began as a project for my undergraduate classes, and it is finally out in the world for all to read. The story involves adventure, a little swashbuckling, traveling to distant lands, Victorian England, and a hint of romance. The synopsis is as follows:

When Eilian Sorrell, a promising archaeologist and the eldest son of the Earl of Dorset, loses his arm in a dirigible crash, he fears he will face a bleak future among London’s aristocracy. On a quest for normalcy, Lord Sorrell commissions a prosthetic arm but finds the craftsman is not what he seems. After the death of her brother, Hadley Fenice takes over his prosthesis business but knows it will be an uphill battle as women are discouraged from doing man’s work. In return for building Lord Sorrell an automaton arm, he offers her a chance at freedom by following him to the Negev Desert under the guise of a man. But what lies beneath the desert is more precious than potshards or bones. As they venture deeper, they discover a society where the path of life is not governed by gain but by passion. When imperialistic invaders come in search of a new colony to pillage, Eilian and Hadley are forced to defend their fleeting glimpse of paradise.

The story is available on Amazon in paperback or ebook, Smashwords , and Barnes and Noble

In the coming weeks, I will be writing on self-publishing, my current and future work, and how it is to be a somewhat struggling writer looking for an audience.

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