Free Week Results…so far

I am not a marketing genius; the past 5 free days were my publisher’s idea. Wow it was fun. I printed out the page showing Blue Heaven at the top of the chart. It’s fun being #1. Today’s a different story, of course. Everyone got the book free and it’s down somewhere around 500K in paid lists. However, there has been some unexpected added benefit.

My first book, a writing manual with dollops of memoir, is #75 on the paid list, (which, let’s face it, that’s the one that counts) for adult and community education. I have the whole story of that book, how I came up with the idea right down to how I created a small press and handled distribution.

Your Words, Your Story was printed in ’07, early indie days. The chapter on self-publishing mentions Amazon’s Create Space. I interviewed someone who published with them and she graciously allowed me to use her experience in the book. Today, I could add more now with KDP and the digital book explosion. But the basic facts are there.

I also noted that my indie novel, Sister Issues, is about six times higher on the lists than the two newer books. Both my indies are .99 cents, and that may be a factor in their continued sales. What happened is that those free days for Blue Heaven made me and my back list more visible. And I’m pretty happy with that outcome.


Team Promo

The biggest problem I have with promoting my work is a dire lack of reviews. I know so many people on Twitter and FB and they get hundreds of reviews. One of the first things I heard about finding reviews was to ask people who read the book and liked it to post a short review on Amazon. Ha! I love my friends, but most of them, even if they read the book, are never going to do this.

Just to insert, I do have a few friends who post reviews. You know who you are and you have my eternal gratitude.

So step two is finding reviewers. There are tons of them out there. For my last book, my publisher sent galleys to maybe 20 review sites. I got 2 reviews. I think I might have 8 reviews on one  book, and I don’t know all the reviewers, or I’d send them a big thank you. They could be friends, they could be someone who stumbled upon me by accident.

There’s work to be done to court reviewers. You need to 1. find them 2. ask them 3. send them a galley. And I can’t send to any of the reviewers my publisher sends copies to. That’s called overkill. So there’s a bit of checking and so forth. Does this sound difficult or like a lot of work?

It’s not, it just takes organization and time. I can pay someone hundreds of dollars to find reviewers or I can take a couple hours and dedicate myself to the list I’ve made of reviewers who like the kind of books I write. Contemporary. Small town. Fairly steamy. So finding the right reviewers is like finding the right publisher. Gotta do your homework.

Oh how I wish I had more time to devote to this, but right now I’m wearing two hats. (And my kitchen is a mess. We didn’t even eat at home yesterday so how’d that happen?) BUT happy happy, a new group of people have formed. A small, exclusive group. And I am one of them. We all have a major thing in common, so I know they can be trusted.

I love my new supergroup because these women are team promo. We all have the same goals. Some of us (all of them)  know a lot more than others (me) about the promo game. That’s something I’d tell a new writer: find a group with similar goals to your own and bond. Become a promo team, cheering each other on in various ways.