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text 2017-10-19 06:47
A Book Launch case study

 

 I recently received an promotional email (no personalized salutation) from an indie author saying she noticed I'd reviewed a book similar to one she had just written and if she sent me a free e-pub edition would I be interested in reviewing hers?

 

What interested me was how she went about selecting reviewers? It must be an onerous task to go through reviewers on Amazon, even after applying the appropriate filters in regards to genre, and extract their emails. And once you have them there is no guarantee they're going to review your book, or for that matter give you a good review.

 

So I agreed to review her book on the condition she tell me how she got my email address and any other tips she might have on marketing. To sweeten the deal I even purchased her book, very uncharacteristic for me.

 

She responded favorably and has been very forthcoming. Here's what she has undertaken so far in producing and marketing her novel.

 

She says she wrote this book, her second in a series, taking into consideration the requirements and preferences of traditional publishers because she thought she might approach agents and traditional publishers with it.

 

"In the end, after reading several articles and consulting with the other authors in my two writers' groups, I decided that self-publishing is actually the better option. If you're interested in my reasoning, let me know."

 

I am interested and will be asking her why she'd turn down a traditional publisher to become a self-publisher? Her previous book was also self-published so it's not like she switched.

 

So how did she come up with my name and email address and those of other reviewers?

 

The answer is she bought a Book Review Targeter app for $200 (lots are available on the internet).

 

It works like this - you choose as many books as you want that you feel are similar to yours and receive what's essentially an excel list of all the people who reviewed those books. The vast majority don't have an email address but there are plenty that do.

 

So what to do with those email addresses?

 

She down loaded an app called Group Mailer because it makes sending out group emails easy.

 

So how is she doing?

 

"In about three days I've had about forty-five people agree to read and review a free version of the book and an additional twenty who declined the free copy and purchased the book to review it."

 

Now that's impressive, not the forty-five who agreed to review it, but the twenty who declined a free review copy and bought one. Who are these people?

 

She says she has another three or four lists (from additional similar books) she has yet process.

 

She'll be running a 99¢ campaign for the e-book edition for two days on Amazon and one day free book promotions on Pretty-Hot Books and Discountbookman, spending ten dollars for a featured promotion on bookreadermagazine and running a giveaway on Goodreads.

 

She also has had no problem asking friends, colleagues and clients to buy her book and she anticipates reviews from about twenty percent of them.

 

She's asked the other writers in her writers' groups to share information about her book on their Facebook pages and has started looking for blogs to ask bloggers to mention it.

 

If that isn't enough, and it probably isn't, she's considering spending $720 to have BookBub promote her book. BookBub claims the campaign will sell 2700 books, and the members in her writers' groups unanimously support these stats saying they've received three times the return on their investment with such a promotion.

 

There's a caveat here - BookBub only accepts professionally produced, error free books. They seldom accept new releases, preferring you have a proven track record with reviews. If you qualify be prepared to cut your price to the bone. Even if you want to promote with BookBub you may not make the grade.

 

To produce her book she hired two beta readers at $50 each and got a book cover artist from her writers' group to design her cover for $65. No editor was needed as she just happens to be one herself.

 

So far her hard costs have been $375. Results are pending.

 

A lot of what she's doing I've done:

- I have an Advance Reading Team e-mail list of a little over 200 who receive my new books free to stimulate buzz and encourage reviews.

- I have run giveaway promotions on Goodreads, LibraryThing and BookLikes.

- I send a press release to local media offering them a book in return for a review

- I blog, and promote on Facebook and Twitter

- I have three beta readers who read my books free and are recognized on the book's Acknowledgement Page.

- I edit my own books and design my own covers

 

Some of what she's doing I'll never do.

 

I have never solicited family, friends, colleagues or clients to buy my books. In my opinion it's unprofessional. Besides I want my books to be bought because they're well written and entertaining, not out some misguided obligation or as as way for someone to ingratiate themselves to me.

 

My hard costs on my last book were zero.

 

And so have the results.

 

Of course, there's always the elephant in the room - the quality of the book.

 

I'm watching how this book launch does and hoping I can learn something. Maybe you will as well.

 

Speaking of book marketing...

 

CreatorCollabs Boosted Tweets

 

So out of the blue I get a promotional tweet about CreatorCollabs (CC) Boosted Tweets. Basically, post a tweet and share it on CC. Other CC users see your Tweet and share it with their online audiences. In-turn, you need to share content created by others to ensure your points stay high to continue to get access for your tweets.

 

There's a free and paid plan. Of course, I used the free one.

 

For a week I loaded Tweets about my plays, Harry's Truth and End of the Rope, available free on Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin until December 31, 2017. In return I retweeted content about the books of other authors.

 

They have a stats bar so you can check how many people you're apparently reaching. Here's the results of one of my tweets.

- The number of retweets my tweet received from my own twitter followers = 0.

- The number of retweets my tweet received through CreatorCollabs Community = 7

(increase 700%)

- Number of my followers my tweet reached = 50

- Number of followers my tweet reached through CreatorCollabs Community = 10,131

(Increase 20,262%)

 

Increase in books sales in response to this enormous increase in reach = 0

Increase in activity on my website and book sales platforms = negligible.

 

Just another case of nobody being interested in anyone (or their books) but themselves - including me.

 

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

Web addresses associated with this article:

 

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/home/overview.php

Book Reader Magazine http://bookreadermagazine.com/

Discount Book Man http://discountbookman.com/

Pretty-Hot.Com http://pretty-hot.com/

Groupmail http://group-mail.com/

Smashwords   https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/raglin

 

30

 

Author Amazon Page

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

 

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486 -

 

 

 

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review 2017-08-12 01:50
An ambiguous ending to this twitter-y story
Follow Me Back - Bruce A Geiger

Book Title:  Follow Me Back

Author:  AV Geiger

Narration:  Soneela Nankani

Series:  Follow Me Back #1

Genre:  YA, Thriller, Mystery, Romance

Setting:  Mostly Texas

Source:  Audiobook (RBDigital)

 

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  3.8/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  3/5

The Feels:  3.5/5

Addictiveness:  3.5/5

Theme or Tone:  4/5

Flow (Writing Style):  3.7/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4/5

Narration:  4.3/5

Ending:  4/5  Cliffhanger:  I guess so, I didn't think it had a second book...but apparently it will.  I think it could have ended the way that it did, leaving it up to one's own imagination.

Total:  3.7/5 STARS

 

 

My Thoughts

 

The word at or @ is used to the point of distraction in this, but with it being a twitter inspired story, that's unavoidable, I guess.  The @ usage did grow on me while listening to it, despite how annoying it was at first.  There was always a part of me that wasn't completely invested in this story, maybe that's because this story is told almost entirely in IM's. {{{{I don't know}}}}

 

Furthermore, I felt the therapist was not very well written or researched, I'm not sure...what...but let's just say she didn't really come off as therapeutic to me.  The mystery aspect is was ultimately let me down, though, especially with everything involving her agoraphobia…it just seemed contrived for the sake of the story.

 

 

Will I continue this series⇜  Despite my issues, I still might, that ending was rather dubious…

 

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text 2016-11-18 20:11
A Long Hiatus

It's been a while, and alot has happened, and I feel like a different person from the one that started this account, what? A year ago?

 

Something like that.

 

I am in the process of NaNoWriMo 2016, and am trying to get my life back on track after letting myself get derailed. Updating everything is a big first step, but one that I think will be helpful in the long-run!

 

I'm currently looking for ways to hold myself *really* accountable for my hobbies/projects/reviews. It's time that I start taking myself as seriously as I expect others to take me...

 

I started a Twitter account for my reviews, and another for my dog (really, he is that interesting!) and plan on creating a schedule for myself. Beyond that, I don't have a real plan, though...

 

Before December 1st, I plan to change that. Any help is welcome at this point!!

 

 

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review 2016-09-10 17:21
Another social media account that didn't translate to a book.
Still Reigning: Thoughts of a Queen - The Queen [of Twitter]

If you use Twitter you might have come across the @Queen_UK handle. It is a parody of Queen Elizabeth II of what she "really" thinks about various things: politicians, news events, sports games, etc. It's a funny parody and it's fun to think it's really Queen Elizabeth herself (she has an actual account so perhaps not).

 

This is a collection of her thoughts. Unfortunately (maybe not?) it's not in the tweet form. I'm not exceptionally familiar with her but it seems like a summation of her thoughts on various issues from the Olympics to President Obama to the then-leadership of the United Kingdom in Parliament, etc. Most entries are only a few pages long, some are only about a page or two. Some are quite amusing and are actually quite on the nose. On Nick Clegg she says both he and the Liberal Democrat party would pretty much disappear in 2015, which was the next scheduled general election at the time.

 

But these are too far and few in between. It's fun to think about these as her actual thoughts on the Royal Family, Angela Merkel, Eurovision, etc. But it's not exactly amazing or incredibly clever. Initially I found her thoughts on the family interesting but after awhile I found myself skimming or even skipping entire entries.

 

Perhaps for the right person such as a more passionate follower would like this more. I understand that this Twitter handle actually has another, better book in the same vein but I'm not going to rush out and get this.

 

I bought this as a bargain for pretty cheap but I would have preferred to borrow this from the library. Wouldn't rush out to read it.

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text 2016-08-31 22:48
Alice Review
Alice - Christina Henry

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Alice 

Author: Christina Henry

Publisher: Titan Books

Price: £6.99 Waterstones

Rating: 4*

I have the UK edition

 

I had never even heard of this book until I watched a Booktube video and I am really glad that I found this book because it really was a great read. Now the first thing I have to say is that if you don't like dark twisted tellings then don't read this because it is a very dark book that is nothing like the original storyline of Alice in Wonderland which I thought was amazing because I love books that are a retelling but its completely off the original or the opposite of the original.

 

Mr Carpenter, Cheshire, The Walrus, The Caterpillar and The Rabbit alongside Dor. All the original characters are found in the book with their original names apart from in one case, the Mad Hatter, who is now Nicholas The Hatcher of Heathtown, it was great to see a twist to the original characters. Now this book is not for the faint hearted because it could be off putting to someone women because they are brough across as victims because they are only there for men for their pleasure and for sex, it doesn't go into a lot of detail so it isn't too heavy however there is apart in the book where Alice and Hatcher are in the 'butterflies' club and that was a heavy and disturbing. I wouldn't say this is a horror book is more disturbing book because it isn't like the type of horror that has you hiding in your bed thinking something is going to jump out at you 

 

I thought that this book was very well written and I did get very lost in the world and I did buy the second book I can not wait to read. I do have to say there are some trigger warning because of the rape and sexual abuse in this book, I don't want people going into this without knowing kind of what to expect without giving anything away. 

 

This book is Alice but is far from a Wonderland tale.  

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