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text 2017-07-29 10:24
The last chance to get my books free - really

The 9th annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale is drawing to an end with thousands of E-books, including mine, offered free or at deep discounts through the month of July, 2017.

 

You might want to take advantage of this offer and download some of my books free since I am resolved not to give anymore of my work away with the exception to my ADVANCE READING TEAM.

 

Why is that, you might ask? And why now?

 

There is a school of thought among book marketeers (no, it's not a typo since I consider them in the same category as racketeers) that giving away your work will create readers who will write reviews that will generate book sales.

 

It's a lie.

 

Take for example this Smashwords promotion. A total of thirty-seven copies of the five books I offered free were downloaded. My other five titles were offered for fifty-percent off. Zero were downloaded. The vast majority of the two hundred and five books that have been downloaded from Smashwords over the past five years have been free. They've generated zero reviews.

 

There are two things about offering your work free to readers:

 

- there's no downside. The reader has invested nothing, so if he doesn't read it he's lost nothing.

 

- free is equated to no value. The reader thinks the work is garbage (and he might be right) and that's why it's free.

 

I think my work has value, but I'd still might consider offering it free during the launch if I thought it would generate future sales. It doesn't so there's no point in continuing to demean it.

 

The exception might be the first book in the Mattie Saunders Series I'm writing featuring an independent young woman with a social conscience and a bad attitude, who loves animals, but not so much people. There's some good evidence that offering the first book in a series free encourages readers to buy the rest of the series. I'll let you know once I have a few more books in the series written and published.

 

Members of my Advance Reading Team will continue to get free and discounted books as well as an opportunity to read new work before it's released to the public. You can become a member by clicking this link

 

http://eepurl.com/cj5wjj

 

No spam, no tips to live by, no click bait,

 

Here's a list and the link to my books, in e-book format, available free or deeply

discounted for two more days during Smashwords sale.

 

Loving the Terrorist - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/579221

 

The Rocker and Bird Girl - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/727720

 

The LOCAL RAG - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/671782

 

End of the Rope - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/655643

 

Harry's Truth - Free https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/649522

 

Saving Spirit Bear - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/575296

 

Mad Maggie and the Mystery of the Ancients - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/700967

 

FOREST - Love, Loss, Legend- 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515038

 

Abandoned Dreams - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/573742

 

The BIG PICTURE- A Camera, A Young Woman, An Uncompromising Ethic - 50% OFF https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/515877

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

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text 2016-11-02 04:03
The launch of The Local Rag
The Local Rag - Rod Raglin

This is my seventh novel, you'd think I should know something about launching one by now. Right?

 

Because I write this blog and facilitate creative writing circles I continue to read books and participate in webinars on book marketing hoping there'll be something new I can pass on.

 

There isn't.

 

There's stats, graphs, media mixes and the occasional ridiculous suggestions like:

- include the title of all your books in the header photo of your various social media sites, and

- post photos of five covers of your books on your Facebook opening page - bottom left column below your intro.

As if this preaching to the converted (since they're already on your site) will make a difference.

 

Currently, the Holy Grail of social media marketeers is "the e-mail list".

 

Building the email list should be the primary objective of authors and this is done through giveaways, signups for your newsletter and any other way you can get a person to divulge their email address.

 

Then, if done right - right timing, content and frequency, these lists can apparently be mined for gold.

 

Without exception these social media marketeers, authors and webinar presenters all have their own marketing company and will be happy to further enlighten you with an online course or program (for a fee).

 

Armed with the experience of six previous launches and now buoyed with all this new(?) marketing information I set forth on October 1, 2016 to launch my seventh novel, The LOCAL RAG.

 

The first thing I did was to enroll my book in Kindle Scout, Amazon's "reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing."

 

https://kindlescout.amazon.com

 

There's a forty-five day exclusive agreement stating you're not selling your book while it's part of the contest.

 

In essence this is an electronic slush pile, but it's free and easy though it provides little indication if your book is popular since, like most internet polls, it can be easily skewed by nominees who rabidly recruit votes from everyone they've ever come in contact with.

Then I sent an email with a free Advance Reading Copy e-book.

 

For the first time I used MailChimp. They offer a free service for lists less than two thousand subscribers. I have two hundred and thirty-five emails from people who at one time or another expressed and interest in my writing. MailChimp is worth investigating and certainly beats sending individual emails.

 

https://www.mailchimp.com

 

I enrolled the e-book edition of The LOCAL RAG in Kindle Select. For a ninety day exclusive Kindle Select offers me greater royalties, wider distribution, participation in Kindle Owner's Lending Library and the opportunity to offer my book free on Amazon for five days during that period. I chose five individual free days more or less spaced equally apart.

I've used this program for some launches and not for others. The results have been the same - zero.

 

https://kdp.amazon.com/select?ref_=kdp_BS_TN_se

 

By the end of the month I had sent out two follow-up emails urging people to vote for The LOCAL RAG on Kindle Scout and read and review my book.

 

Once the Kindle Scout promotion had expired (results pending but not holding my breath) I scheduled a giveaway from November 7th to December 4th on Goodreads for two paperback books, and here and LibraryThing for the same duration for one hundred ebooks each.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/

https://www.librarything.com/

 

I set up a pre-order on Smashwords for January 7, 2017, ninety days out and once my commitment to Kindle Select is over. I'll likely offer it for free for a couple of weeks just for exposure. Smashwords is another non-starter, but what the hell.

 

https://www.smashwords.com/

 

I've joined four Goodreads groups and will endeavor to engage in meaningful and civil discussions during the next three months as well. Social media gurus insist joining and participating in online groups will increase sales - at least indirectly. This by far is the most difficult and time consuming part of the launch.

 

My goal is to get at least ten reviews and sell at least fifty books within six months of the launch.

 

With about one month down I've so far received three reviews (all five stars) and no sales.

 

I'll keep you posted.

 

Stay calm, be brave watch for the signs.

 

30

 

 

Find reviews, blurbs and buy links to my seven novels and two plays at

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Facebook for writing news, my experience as a writer as well as promotions, contests, giveaways and discounts regarding his books

https://www.facebook.com/Rod-Raglin-337865049886964/

 

 

Video book reviews of self-published authors now at

Not Your Family, Not Your Friend Video Book Reviews:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH45n8K4BVmT248LBTpfARQ

 

Cover Art of books by self-published authors at

https://www.pinterest.com/rod_raglin/rod-raglins-reviews-cover-art/

 

More of my original photographs can be viewed, purchased, and shipped to you as GREETING CARDS; matted, laminated, mounted, framed, or canvas PRINTS; and POSTERS. Go to: http://www.redbubble.com/people/rodraglin

 

View my flickr photostream at https://www.flickr.com/photos/78791029@N04/

 

Or, My YouTube channel if you prefer photo videos accompanied by classical music

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsQVBxJZ7eXkvZmxCm2wRYA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2016-09-25 00:00
HOW I SOLD 80,000 BOOKS: Book Marketing for Authors
HOW I SOLD 80,000 BOOKS: Book Marketing for Authors - Alinka Rutkowska A great resource that points out a lot of things. I found two things a bit frustrating

1) She talks about how she sold Children's books. Not a problem, so much as it seems like it should have been mentioned in the description or something. The principles can be applied to other categories and genres, but it would have been nice to see some info comparing her children's books and adult books so the reader could see her use those principles on a wider range.

2) There are some subjects she mentions but just breezes over. I imagine it's because she's trying to get the reader to buy more information from her. She has a course on using Goodreads and her author remake course, which go into these things in more detail. It's fine, but it kind of gives more of an impression of an overview of what she's done, rather than a tell-all of how you can do it, too.

Overall, I think the information is helpful, it just wasn't as thorough as I had anticipated.
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text 2016-02-26 14:41
Honest Marketing

As an independent writer, I strive to be honest in my marketing (which is really limited to some social media posts). Since this is a topic that comes up frequently in blogs on Booklikes, I would like to open a conversation about it in the hopes of helping writers who are not just trying to work the system.

 

Your feedback on what works, what doesn't, and what has a detrimental effect is what I am looking for.

 

In terms of efforts to get my book noticed, I blog about the history of the era, guest blog on related websites, and am an active reviewer myself (this part you guys know). I also post regularly on Twitter and am curious about what you guys think about some of my posts.

 

I use this image when I am sharing a link to a recent 5 star review on Goodreads or Amazon.

 

I use this image when linking to 4 star reviews, author interviews, or other random items related to my book. The recent discussion on what makes a book a best seller made me wonder if I should be using this. Is it a turn off rather than impressive statement? I refer to my book as a best seller in Biographical Historical Fiction because it has been #1 in this category and is almost always in the top 10. It has also been in the Top 100 overall paid Kindle store (UK figures). In your mind, does this justify the use of the term best seller, or am I being one of 'those people'? 

 

I also use images like this, where I quote an excerpt from a review and include a link to the review. Based on several discussions on Booklikes, I wonder if this is something that reviewers frown upon. I do not mind myself, but I have read many comments regarding reviews being personal material that should not be used by authors. Is the fact that I link to the full review enough?

 

There has also been some discussion of indie awards being meaningless to serious readers. Does an image like this one have no impact? I use this with either a link to purchase the book or a link to the full HNS review.

 

And this is the banner I have for events this summer. Does it make you want to stop by my table?

 

I appreciate your feedback because my goal is to be honest in what I put forward. Yes, I want to sell my book, but I want to do it with integrity. I don't write to sell. I write what is in my heart, and I want my marketing, such as it is, to reflect that.

 

Thanks!

 

Addendum: Images used for '1LineWednesday'

 

 

Addendum 2:

So, based on your feedback, I thought some book quotes like these would be fun featuring different people. What do you think? (honestly!)

 

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review 2015-06-19 13:01
Book Reviewer Yellow Pages: A Book Marketing Guide for Authors and Publishers - Christine Pinheiro,David Wogahn

The Book Reviewer Yellow Pages: a book marketing guide for authors and publishers
This book includes why the book is written yearly, author do's and don't when soliciting for a reviewer to read their book, author etiquette,
Top 10 reviewers, Book Reviewer Listings. Each reviewer has their blog listed, email and what types of books they prefer to read along with other information-if they charge a fee, etc.
Nice straight to the point book about where a new author can gain more exposure via reviews for their book.

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