Showing posts from June, 2015

An amorous disappointment

The film High Fidelity was on television the other night and it brought back memories of a rather disastrous date I had with the girl I took to the cinema with me to see it. A bit of background first. I've never really been one for dates. My preferred way of meeting people has always been through contact in every day life, which for most of my single life meant the pub. However, from the conversations I have with my single friends now it seems that on-line dating has become hugely popular. Does it work? Well it didn't work for me on the one and only occasion I tried it - and that was way back in 1995. At that time internet users consisted primarily of Star Trek fans and people who didn't mind waiting roughly the same amount of time as a ZX Spectrum loading screen for a naughty picture to download on a 28.8k dial up modem. It is very possible that I was the first ever person to go on an internet arranged date in Oxford. A friend based at the University had just se

ENT & Choosy Bookworm promotions

Yesterday was the 3rd day of my Countdown Deal and I had 3 partners lined up to promote my book. These were Booksends, Choosy Bookworm and ENT. How did it go? Absolutely brilliantly - compared to Monday I saw some serious uplifts in sales. But is it possible to identify from which partner? Let's deal with them one at a time. Booksends  - I am unsure about how effective they have been. The book appeared on their website as promised, but a couple of things concerned me. Firstly, I have twice signed up for their daily email of bargain books but have received no emails. Secondly I noticed on checking out their social media pages that they suddenly stopped posting tweets and Faccbook updates on November 15th 2014. Obviously the site is still active, but these things don't inspire confidence. Bearing in mind I paid $25 for this ad, with no tangible results I don't think I'll use them again. Choosy Bookworm  - this site is a delight to use, very user friendly and the p

Kindle Countdown Deal Day 1 Results

Yesterday, the first day of my week long promotional campaign for My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday began. I have reduced the price for a week to 99c in the US and 99p in the UK, and supported this by taking out advertising with seven different promotional sites. These were cherry picked after much research as I felt that they were the ones that could give my book the best possible exposure. The prime focus of my campaign is to build awareness and ranking though increased sales during the promotional period that will position my book for long term success. Whatever I achieve in sales during the promotion itself is fantastic, but it is what happens afterwards that really counts. A recap on where I am in June so far. My target was to sell 1,000 books this month. By the end of yesterday (the 14th) my sales stood at 283. This was some way behind the target figure of 466 at this stage of the month, but with all the promotional activity to come, I'm confident of catching up. So how did t

On yer bike, son.

Yesterday I did something I haven't done for at least a year. I went for a bike ride. Yes, my poor unloved bicycle had been sitting in the shed all that time, neglected and unloved, with tyres going flat and a colony of spiders building webs among the spokes. This is a crying shame, because for as long as I can remember, I've loved riding my bikes, and there have been a fair few over the years. Why haven't I ridden it for over a year? Because it's just turned into one of those many things on the ever growing list of things that I "used to do". Growing up and growing older is a strange thing. There are all manner of things that we stop doing at various points in the process, without perhaps realising at the time we last perform them that it is in fact the last time. For example did I know, growing up, that I was having my last game of "tig" with my mates? I can't remember when the last one was, but I subconsciously stopped at some point. It&

The Magnificent 7

Well, I hope they are going to be a Magnificent 7. Eventually, after many hours of research, I was left with a list of 7 sites that I decided to apply to for my big promotion on MTYY. As mentioned in previous blogs, a large amount of research went into this, largely looking for anecdotal evidence based on other's experiences. Here's another tip that might come in useful: When I was assessing the sites, I subscribed to all of them so I could monitor the performance of the books they sent me as their daily deals. This is a great way to gauge a site's effectiveness and something I'd definitely recommend if you are considering signing up to one of them for a promotion. What I suggest doing is as soon as the daily email comes out, go to (better than the UK as most of the sites are based in America) and check the book's rank before the promotion kicks in. Let's say for example, it's #50,000. Then go back the next day and check again. If it's

Planning book promotions

I'm preparing to embark on the biggest ever promotional push I've run on any of my books. My Tomorrow Your Yesterday is going on to Kindle Countdown Deal for the second time on June 15th. The first time was back in the spring, soon after launch when it was a lot less established than it is now. Even so, I was very pleased with the results. Despite very little promotion on my part, sales soared during the week it was reduced, and have continued at a very nice level ever since. This time, I've decided to go in all guns blazing and invest some serious money in the promotion to get the word out there. This is not as straightforward as it sounds. It is very easy to spend a lot of money on book promotion and not get results - there are literally hundreds of advertising options out there which can be quite daunting for an inexperienced author. How can we make sure we are investing our money wisely? Something that might only cost $5 might not seem much of a risk but is it reall

1000 sales in June - Day Two

Things got off to a flier on Monday with 25 copies sold/ borrowed. Of these, 13 were borrows and 12 were sales. Kindle Unlimited has worked wonders for me, it has really helped to open my books up to a wider audience. It is probably worth noting that in order to reach 1,000 sales for the month, I need to be averaging 33.3 recurring per day, so 25 leaves me lagging behind, but I'm not at all worried about that at this stage. As I said yesterday, things won't really start moving until the 15th when my big promotional campaign kicks in. Speaking of campaigns, I've seen many people on forums remark that Kindle Countdown Deals don't work. As I've said before, I think this is true of books that aren't selling well to begin with. Dropping the price makes little difference. My second book, Austerity Dad, went on to a deal yesterday for a week and is yet to trouble the judge. I'm not really expecting it to do much, to be honest, and I haven't even mentioned t

30 days in June - The 1,000 sales challenge

I've had a tremendous response to the last blog entry I made on marketing and selling Kindle books. One kind respondent on one of the Facebook groups I participate in even went so far as to say:  "that was one of the best blog articles on marketing books that I have ever read" Encouraged by this, and with the risk of ending up with egg on my face, I've decided to put my money where my mouth is and "go live" throughout the month of June when I'll be tracking what I'm doing via this blog. Apologies to readers who don't follow me for the book stuff but I'll endeavour to entertain too. To make it more interesting, I am going to set myself an extremely ambitious target, that target being to sell 1,000 copies in total of all my books during the calendar month - that is including borrows which pay out at just under a quid a shot, so they all count. If you'd said to me a year ago I'd ever be contemplating selling 1,000 books in a mont