Monday, November 19, 2018

Not Giving Up

Okay, so you may have noticed an increased number of book discounts around here lately.  I've had Kindle Countdown Deals for Project Hermes, Sleeping Ugly, and Blink of an I

This is because I'm trying to be more active out there.  I'm trying to encourage readers to buy my books. 

Thus far, it hasn't worked out so well. 

But then again, I haven't paid for much advertising.

Today starts the KCD for Accidental Death.  I did pay for advertising this time.  We'll see how that goes when the ad comes out on Wednesday.  I'd like to at least sell enough books to pay for the ad, but if it only serves to have some of my rankings boost up a little, that'd be great. 

I'm not giving up.  Sometimes, I'd like to.  Not give up writing, but give up with these blasted sales and the marketing and... Well, that's just stupid.  Marketing's part of the biz and I knew that when I took it on. 

I just wish I was better at it.  Or rich enough to hire someone to do it for me. 

So, anyway, if you haven't read Accidental Death yet, now might be a good time to pick up a copy.  And while you're at it, grab Natural Causes, too.  It's only $2.99.  So, you get both Dennis Haggarty books for under $4. 

See?  Not giving up. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Paying it Sideways

Okay, if you follow me over at The Writing Spectacle, you may have read that I do this thing where I find new-to-me, underappreciated authors, buy their books, read them and review them. 

I do it because I like to help authors like me.  I also do it to find new and interesting things to read.  Books the establishment wouldn't give a whit about.  Books readers might not necessarily gravitate to because the author is unknown or the premise is slightly different from what they're used to.  (For example, a book about a guy who creates magic using garbage or a book where the zombie is the hero.) Books people might not want to take a chance on because they are unknowns and they have so few reviews. 

I don't like the phrase 'paying it forward'.  And I don't think it necessarily applies here anyway.  Maybe this is paying it sideways.  I get a book to read, they get a review and maybe it encourages them keep writing books for me to read.

Sometimes I hit on a dud.  Buying books this way can be a crapshoot, whether they're self-pub or trad-pub.  More often than not, though, these are good books that haven't taken off yet.  Occasionally, I'll download a book that meets the criteria, but by the time I read it, it has taken off.  I'm okay with that, too.

Every rare once in a while, the author will contact me after I review.  I've gotten some positive exchanges from them.  And once, after the author contacted me and thanked me, he read the whole SCIU series in KU.  He liked DE and wrote a review.  Yay.  Not what I'm hoping for with this, but hey, I'm not against that, too. 

Now, I don't want you to think every book I download gets a review.  Sometimes, like I said, they're duds.  I don't finish books I don't like and I don't review books I don't finish.  Plus, I don't want to harsh an author that way, especially when it's subjective.  One bad review could tank the author's sales, or worse, tank their ability to keep on facing this business we're in.  Why do that to someone?

Mostly, I snag the books while they're free.  I'm a tightwad, okay?  They offer a free book, I give them a review.  Win-win.  Sometimes I'll buy them, if budget allows.  If they're really good, I'll buy the other books in the series.  (If they have other books.  Sometimes, they're so new they only have the one book, in which case, I hope my review gets them to write more.)

Anyway, it's a thing I do as a writer and as a reader.  I've already read ten of these kinds of books this year.  I try to average about one a month, so I'm on track for this year.   I'll definitely reach 12 for the year. 

I hope you'll join me this coming year.  It really is fun and I like to think it helps all us little, low-list authors.  Paying it sideways, eh?  ;o)


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Facebook Groups for Marketing & Finding Books

Okay, so I may have done this before.  I don't remember.  But here's a list of the Facebook Groups I've found and joined that you can use for marketing or just to find interesting books to read:

Amazon Kindle Goodreads - all genres
Indie Authors International - all genres
eBook World** - all genres

Self-Published Crime Fiction Writers - mystery, crime, thriller
Crime,Thriller, Mystery Readers' Café - mystery, crime, thriller
Kindle Unlimited - all genres in the Kindle Unlimited program
Thriller Mystery Suspense Book Club - mystery, crime, thriller
Thrillers Killers & Suspense - mystery, crime, thriller
Kindle/ Book Club - all genres
Mystery & Thriller Publicity Book Club - mystery, crime, thriller
Free Kindle Books - all genres as long as the book is free

* special – see requirements before posting.
** has to be approved before they’ll let the ad post

Read the pinned posts before you join the group to make sure it's a group you really want to be in and then follow their guidelines before you post ads to them.  Most of them don't want you to post more than once a day, which is only right.  Otherwise, it's spammy and no one wants that.  

I've had some minor successes here and there with these groups.  Can't hurt, right?  

Oh, and be prepared for your newsfeed to blow up with book ads and recommendations.  If you're like me, they'll be both annoying and exciting.  I mean, 'gah, so many book posts' and 'hey, previously unheard of books to read!' 

Good luck.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Chugging Along.

I started re-reading what I'd already written in Ugly and the Beast yesterday.  And it's not as bad as I thought.  I do need to have some kind of something or other between chapter 2 and chapter 3.  It sort of just skips from one thing to another.  :shrug:

Anyway, I'm not quite sure what the something is that needs to go there, but I'll figure it out. 

I was afraid the rest was drek, but from what I read, it isn't.  Yay.  Just needs a little somethin' somethin' right there.

I'll have Unequal back on December 1st, so I should probably put these three weeks to good use, eh?

Chugging along.

What's on your plate these days?  Chugging along, too?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Finish the Darn Book

So, this morning, I got the cover mock-up for Ugly and the Beast.  It looks awesome and I approved it. It's super cute.  Jeni doesn't look pissed this time.  And there's a kitty involved.  I am hesitant to show it, though, because the darn book isn't finished yet. 

But the cover definitely encourages me to get off my dead butt and get back to work. 

After I finish editing Unequal, which I really need to do like yesterday.  Today will be a marathon editing day again.  I'm still looking at having this to the editor by the end of the week.  Which is like three days from now.  Which means three marathon days... :panics a little: 

Once I get Unequal off my plate, I can get UatB back on track.  Which, unfortunately, means scrapping most of what I've already written and starting over.  I can do it, but ugh.

Of course, as luck would have it, I also received a packet of work from pay-job that I need to complete ASAP.  Busy busy.  Good thing I don't have any other tasks today.

And there's my life in a nutshell.  Get off my butt and finish editing Unequal, so I can finish writing the darn book and then you can see the cover and then you can read it sometime in the first quarter of next year.

You know, if I don't burn myself into a crispy critter before then.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Torn

It's that time again in editing when I'm torn between loving the hell out of this book and wanting to print it all off just so I can send it through the shredder.

"Man, this is awesome."

"Gah, this book is total drek.  Why did I ever think I could write?"

So, what am I doing about it? 

Motoring along.  I know it's not total drek.  I also know it's not totally awesome.  Not yet.  And the only way to get it there is to keep working on these edits.  Once I get them done, it will be closer to awesome.  Then my AWE will mark it up again and send it back so I can get it as close to awesome as I can get it. 

Which, at the rate I'm going, will not be this month.  Sorry about that.  I'm still shooting for 'before the end of the year', though.  I think I can hit that.  Just in time for Christmas?  Give the readers a prezzie. Or something.

Such is the life of a self-pub writer.  On the bright side, it won't be a year from finished to pubbed.

Also on the bright side, amidst the pink spurts of edit suggestions my AWE is leaving loads of "LOVE IT!" notes as well.  So I got that going for me.

And on a happy, ego-stroking note, my one face-to-face fan was super excited to get a copy of Sleeping Ugly and told me she needs to reread Project Hermes again because she loved it so much.  Sometimes I stop in to see her just to get a much-needed boost.  (Under the guise of needing feed for the deer.  "No, no, Hubs, it's no trouble to pick up feed today.  Happy to do it.")

Anyway, the torn part will pass.  It happens every book.  As Unequal gets closer to publication-ready, my mood will shift and I'll stop wanting to trash the whole thing.  So, I'll keep moving forward.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Postcards

So, I finally got off my dead ass and created some new marketing materials.  (Considering my last materials were missing three books, it was about time, doncha think?) 

Since twelve books don't quite fit on a bookmark - unless the graphics are really small - I went with postcards this time. 


Simple stuff, really.  Well, creating the graphics is kind of a pain in the buns, but I'm used to it.  Ordering them is easy once you have the graphics in place. 

I use Overnight Prints.  I used to use Vistaprint, but after a particularly irritating glitch there, I tried OP and found their postcards to be of a better quality stock.  I get 25 4x6" postcards for $18.80 out the door.  With about a two week turnaround.  (If I want them quicker, I pay extra for shipping, but I hate having to do that.) 

OP also can do bookmarks.  Which is awesome.

They aren't perfect.  The last postcard order I placed, I ordered 50 and they sent me 500.  Lucky for me, it was the Once Upon a Djinn series postcard, which isn't going to change, because it'll take me eons to pass out 500 postcards.  Also lucky is that they didn't try to charge me for their gaff.

But if you're going to screw up, better to screw up to the benefit of the customer, eh?

Anyway, these should be here on or around the12th, I think.  If I already have your snail mail address, expect to get one.  If I don't and you want one, shoot me an email with your addy and I'll pop one out to you. 

If you're interested in doing these yourself, I can probably help you with that.  Depends on the amount of work involved and whether we're close.  If we're close, I'll be happy to help.  If we're not, maybe we can work out a payment arrangement thing.  While I can usually make time for my friends and loved ones, I can't afford to work for free for people I don't know, ya know?