Snow Blood is an episodic story where each episode is released every Tuesday. Think of it as a TV show, where every week, you get a new episode unveiling more of the story.
This episodic writing was an experiment I suggested to author Carol McKibben and she agreed! Now that we've gotten to 4 out of 6 episodes this is what it looks like:
#97 in the Kindle Store >Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Coming of Age
The time and effort it took to make these episodes was a new and different challenge. I could not have published them and kept every episode straight without the organizational skills I've learned over the years.
Would I recommend doing a series? If you have the stamina to weekly installments for at least 6 episodes, I would tell you it's a fun process. But it's much more work than putting one book up and then promoting just that book.
It's great for getting your name out there and being on the just released lists. It's great for pushing a higher word count. It's also a lot more pressure.
ACTION ITEM: Attempt for 4 weeks of releasing your own episodes each week to see how you like it!
Snow Blood: Episode 4: Rebellion
To protect Selene, Brogio leaves Kane and Snow Blood to guard the love-of-his-life. While his master endeavors to lead the Gods astray, Snow Blood searches for a way for the two lovers to remain together. In his search, Snow Blood displays true sacrifice and unconditional love for both Brogio and Selene.
Find episode 4 on:
Barnes & Nobel
This Tuesday's Tools is more of a thought I had. Let's say that Facebook ads work and you've had some success with them and playing around with A/B ads might be something you're interested in.
What if you could do it for free?
Test which ads might work better that is. Well, why not use twitter and their stats to tell you what works?
Twitter gives you stats of your best posts so why not take that information and use the best tweets as a facebook ad?
Okay here's your chance to laugh at me going--Ha!Ha!Ha! Stephanie--we've been doing that for years!! Or, Ha!Ha!Ha! Stephanie, that's the worst idea ever. Sorry if I'm slow on the uptake but I think I'm going to try it.
ACTION ITEM: Laugh at me while I figure out the validity of such an idea to test with twitter first, then try it on Facebook. Or, maybe do the same thing and let me know how yours works!
See what I've done? I'm promoting my author and giving you an example of the Pay-with-a-Tweet promotion! Yeah, I think I'm slick :)
If you'd like a free ebook download...click the pay with a tweet button at the top of this post and see the receiving end of Pay-with-a-Tweet promotion. Or just click the picture and it'll take you there too.
When you make your own pay-with-a-tweet, they give you a URL as well as html codes so you choose the best button/method of driving traffic to your promotion. The URL you can slap on the back of your book and it's a fantastic way to get the word out!!
Imagine after one of your readers finished your book and there's a little URL with a message saying... receive my novella just by pay-with-a-tweet and receive "book name here" !!
And then they tweet a message you pre-made to go out with a hashtag and a message and a link that promotes your paid book and viola free press!
Am I making sense?
ACTION ITEM: Click the "Pay with a Tweet or Facebook" button and go through the process of the system. Then go to http://www.paywithatweet.com/ and do your own!
Today's Marketing Monday I lead by example!
My author, ULRIKE, has an article in Metaphysical Express February 2014 edition and I get to share it with you early!! ULRIKE's article starts on pg. 16 but let's discuss the advantages of having an article in a magazine. Let me count the ways:
5. Writing practice
6. Confidence builder
7. Promotional material
8. Identify with other authors.
9. Getting your reader to know you
ACTION ITEM: Seek a magazine in your genre and write an article for it. It doesn't matter if you submit it or not--it's good practice. Promote your book in magazines!
If you want another 34 ideas go HERE!!!! (It takes you to Danielle's post)
Yes, I really did steal these ideas. I took the best ones that I would do and collected them here all in an easy info-graph.
Your welcome :)
Rafflecopter has been one of the most pinnacle tools in getting emails. Each time we run one of these, our email list grows! Take for instance this Rafflecopter...each time we run one we get another 200 or so emails.
Those people in turn will get notified before anyone when the next book is out. They feel on the up and up and launches are so much easier! Wonderful way to drive our marketing campaign and gain fans!
ACTION ITEM: Try your hand at a Rafflecopter paired with a special event!
The end of the week (Friday) begins NaNoWriMo ~ National Novel Writing Month ~ and here's why you might want to consider signing up for it.
1. It's something to post about on your social media, giving you a month long campaign to get readers exited about your novel.
2. It allows you to meet other authors, collaborate, find a crit partner and have the encouragement you need to finish.
3. You get to promote participation and if you finish it's a reward for finally getting your draft done.
But why is it important to join & participate?
Because it gives you the opportunity to PROMOTE yourself EVERY DAY.
Remember the difference between Marketing and Promoting?
Marketing = anything that deals with the book or buying the book.
Promotions = anything that allows readers to get to know the author.
Getting to know the author sells books.
I know what some of you professionals are thinking...I've got deadlines for my next novel--I don't have time to start a new project.
I understand. That's why I might cheat...I've started a novel and have been working on it, but I think NaNoWriMo is what I need to finish it. They want you to write 55,000 words, right? Whose to say you're book won't be 95,000 words and you make your goal 55,000 words in the month of November? Effectively "winning" NaNoWriMo.
You have something to talk about on Facebook, and you get your work done. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. If it's the kick in the pants you need to go for it, do it!!
ACTION ITEM: Register here for NaNoWriMo and participate ~ if you dare!
It's very easy. Marketing = anything that deals with the book or buying the book.
Promotions = anything that allows readers to get to know the author.
Now that we have that straight, let's get into the pitfalls of mixing up the two.
Social media is not marketing.
Facebook is where you get to engage your fans. Yes, tell them about your book, absolutely, but Facebook isn't going to buy your book. Facebook is going to be friends with you and it's a great place to be with that rowdy bunch that love you so much!
Amazon "others bought.." is not promotions.
This is where your readers are going to buy. Not every reader is going to see the same "others bought this book and you should too..." section. You get noticed, but you can't make a personable impression.
Promotions is where you can be personable. Marketing is mass wide plastering of your name.
So the point I'm getting at is: if you're on facebook/twitter thinking that's where you need to post things related to your book--you're wrong. This is where you post things related to YOU. Things you like. Things you stand up for. Things that make you laugh or make George Takei laugh. Whatever.
Marketing can be slightly more tricky because everyone asks -- what sells books?
Um... f8 and being there.
Meaning being prepared and putting the book out. But what really sells books is a marketing plan, word of mouth, social proof, making it easy to buy the book and good presentation.
For those who want to learn more about Marketing plans...here's another blog post that addresses that called: Book Planning 101: Marketing
ACTION ITEM: Make a marketing plan and a promotions plan.
If you are an author, you need a team. My team consists of:
You can do it all, but how effective are you?
Plus, while you are creative, another creative person will drive you forward and give you more ideas.
I bring this up because if you have a team, you need coordination. But somethings are easy to track. I'll give you an example.
One author has a bookmark with a QR code on the back. this QR code lets me know it's been "hit" thus seeing if a sale was made by that link.
Another, bitly and other url shorteners, allow you to track how many times they've been "hit" as well.
But the real answer to making sense out of promotions is planning. Have you heard that one a million times already? If you have, there's something to it.
Going into promotions willy nilly doesn't pan out. I've purposely tried both to see results. When your KDP free days come up, do the planning 4 weeks before-hand. Sometimes even a few days is okay, but really, you need to stop "doing" things and plan them. Honest to GOD that is the secret.
There is such thing as the long tail in which I whole heartedly believe in, but people react pretty fast and make decisions TODAY so today's twitter will be seen today. So you know it worked if you (measure) see a rise in sales the day of.
Yes, momentum is valid. I've watched the snowball effect take place. But, for the most part, I've watched promotions go by and notice that people are fast to react.
My overview take is that KDP Select is good for new authors with a little bit of a funnel but once you get more known, you want to give your book value by not giving them away free.
I think there is a threshold where you can only give away so many books before it doesn't justify the means.
Here is what I've found ~ with some promotion, a little hype with twitter we were able to get one under 10,000 downloads with one title and we so far have gotten an extra 13 reviews (so far) from the effort.
I don't think KDP Free is what it was, and it may continue to decline, but doing free in a smart way is still the way to attract new readers to you. I still do a free promotion, but in other forums.
ACTION ITEM: Try FREE in places like Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Kindle.
My efforts are to make this a learning blog where writers can see the flip side of publishing. If you have comments that will improve your experience or have a certain topic you'd like discussed, please contact me through email - HERE.
~ Sincerley, Your Editor
Troll River Publications
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