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Stone and Silt
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Big Al's Books & Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards: Young Adult Nominee

A ruthless murder and a stolen shipment of gold.

At school, sixteen-year-old Nikaia Wales endures the taunts of bullies who call her a “half-breed.” At home, she worries about how her family will react if she reveals her growing feelings for the quiet boy next door.

Those are soon the least of her troubles. Nikaia discovers a hidden cache of gold, and when police find a corpse nearby, her father becomes a suspect. Worse, Elias Doyle is circling, hungry to avenge his brother’s death.

Nikaia desperately searches for clues to save her father. In her quest to find the killer, she learns about the power of family, friendship, and young love....

Author Topic: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)  (Read 1557 times)  

Offline DmGuay

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Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« on: November 07, 2017, 08:06:14 AM »
Follow along with me as I relaunch my Guardians of Salt Creek Ya PNR/UF book series. Here's the history:

I launched my first book in May and I did everything wrong.
- I had a bad, homemade cover that I thought was awesome.
- I didn't build any sort of an audience leading up to launch. No mailing list, no zon followers. Zip.
- It's a YA series. Yeah. Hard sell, right? But, I'm committed to finishing, then I'll move onto adult.

The second book in the four-book series launches Nov. 11. My goal is to get enough momentum to get the series out of the 'phone book' on Amazon and at least get some legs on it with KENP, some sales, some future fans.

Both books are in KU at the moment.

Here are the cold hard stats on Book 1
Total sales all time: 71 (26 CS paperback, 44 ebooks, 1 BNN paperback)
Total KENP all time: 6,299 (16 whole book reads)
Total reviews:
-Book 1: 11 Amazon, 8 goodreads
-Book 2 reviews: 4 Amazon, 2 Goodreads, from my small ARC team.

I prepared for Book 2 launch by audience building!
Totals:

Amazon author page followers (estimated): 2,400 via giveaways of my books and other books
Mailing list: 1,500 (super engaged: 224, medium engaged: 403, unengaged: 869, organic:4)
FB fan page: 90
Goodreads followers: 18
BookBub Follows: 1 ! But I'm actually excited about it because it's organic.

The plan:

Book 1: Jess, Rising goes on sale for 99 cents Nov. 12 to Nov. 19.
Book 2: Jess, Resurrected launches as new release at 99 cents Nov. 11
Hired Ya Bound Blog Tours to do a book blast on Book 1 from 11/13 to 11/17

Promos: (Ad for Book 1 at 99 cents, all in YA/Teen categories. All paid promo is on book one in the series.)


11/13 Reign of Reads / AwesomeGang/ ChoosyBookworm / Ebook Armadillo/ MyBookPLace
Sent newsletter to 503/1500 subscribers [/b]
Book 1: 6 sales
Book 2: 5 sales
KENP: 0
Goodreads giveaway entries: 734
YA bound entries so far (estimate): 85 people

11/14 GenreCrave / ENT
Sent newsletter to 130 more subscribers

Book 1: 28 sales
Book 2: 12 sales
KENP: 299
YA Bound entries: 157 (approx)
Got No. 1 in one category and briefly got the bestseller tag! Page reads trickling in.


11/15 Ebook Soda / Booksends/ Ereader IQ/ Genrepulse YA
Sent newsletter to 860 unenganged
Book 1: 14 sales
Book 2: 6 sales
KENP: 96
Ya Bound raffle entries: 184 (approx)


11/16 Ereader Cafe
Book 1: 4 sales
Book 2: 3 sales
KENP:  0
Ya Bound Raffle Entries: 225 (approx)

11/17 Price Dropped Books/Just kindle books/ Ereader Nation/ ManyBooks/ Pretty Hot
Book 1: 7 sales
Book 2: 3 sales
KENP: 738


11/18: Regina's NL cross promo for supernatural mysteries
Book 1: 5 sales
Book 2: 3 sales
KENP: 113

11/19
Book 2: 1 sale
KENP: 206

Grand total
Book 1: 64 sales
Book 2: 33 sales
KENP: 1758 (309 on book 2)

YA Bound Book Blast raffle entries: 315 people (approx)
BookBub followers: 34
New subscribers to organic mailing list: 9
New members of facebook fan group: 22

Book 1 best rank: 9,970
Book 2 best rank: 19,847

Now falling fast. Alas. No stick, just churn


Total promotion cost: $521
Total spend on paid newsletters: $266.50
Total YA bound spend: $88 ($63 plus, $25 Sephora gift card as Rafflecopter prize)
Amazon giveaways to build followers: $106.50
Newsletter building giveaways: $60

These costs were spread out over time. I also bought new covers with consistent fonts and branding across the series. These are a huge improvement over my first cover.

Goals:
-new eyes on the series
-new fans and new followers for later releases.
I'm in this for the long haul, so if I can make each launch better than the last, I'll be satisfied. Of course, I'd also love to sell lots of books, and that is the ultimate goal.

Long term plan:
Book 3 launches Feb. 1, 2018
Book 4 launches in June 2018 (Free run on book 1 then)
New UF series launches Oct. 2018

So follow along with me. This could be a total failure, but it's worth a try, right?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 05:46:27 AM by DmGuay »

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Offline Hal Archer

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 09:07:03 AM »
Best of luck! You have well-stacked promos and if super engaged on your list means they are highly likely to click, that'll do you well too. Impressive # of Amazon followers estimated.

Writer of the sci-fi series, Jake Mudd Adventures and the related collection of Jake Mudd Tales.
Hal Archer | author website | amazon | bookbub | goodreads | twitter | facebook | instagram | pinterest

Offline Sarah Shaw

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 09:10:24 AM »
Looks like a great plan! Eager to see how it turns out!

Offline Kay7979

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 09:18:19 AM »
Good luck! That's a lot of reviews for so few sales, so that's one factor that should help you.

Kay L Ling | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Offline nick74

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 09:31:40 AM »
Good luck! Nice thread. I "relaunched" a thriller series TODAY. Our paths are similar, so I will be following your progress with hopeful eyes.


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Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 10:13:19 AM »
Thanks for being a cheering section, guys. I appreciate it.

I am bracing myself to fail, though, which will be thoroughly humiliating to do publicly, but if anyone can learn from my experience, it will be worth the humiliation.

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Jesse, Redeemed: Guardians of Salt Creek book 3: 100%
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Offline John Anthony

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 10:16:21 AM »
Best of luck! I'll be looking forward to hearing how things went for you.

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 05:39:43 PM »
Good luck! Nice thread. I "relaunched" a thriller series TODAY. Our paths are similar, so I will be following your progress with hopeful eyes.

I know. I've been reading all your launch posts. Good luck to you, too!

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Online brkingsolver

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 07:12:36 PM »
Thanks for being a cheering section, guys. I appreciate it.

I am bracing myself to fail, though, which will be thoroughly humiliating to do publicly, but if anyone can learn from my experience, it will be worth the humiliation.

In this business, failing publicly isn't humiliating, it's normal. Few authors hit a home run on their first try. The authors on Zon's Top 100 list have an average of about 25 books published, most have over 40. It's the quitters who never succeed. Good luck!

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 08:27:14 PM »
In this business, failing publicly isn't humiliating, it's normal. Few authors hit a home run on their first try. The authors on Zon's Top 100 list have an average of about 25 books published, most have over 40. It's the quitters who never succeed. Good luck!

That is SUCH a good reminder. Thank you!

And to the OP, best of luck! I will also be cheering for you!
Warning: Stories may contain bad*ss women, possibly wielding katana
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Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2017, 10:44:10 AM »
The promo goes live today. Results are slowly trickling in. Very slowly. Boo!
I will update the top with numbers as the days go on and the (gods willing) sales tick on.

Strangely, I did have sudden sales and page reads before the promo began.
On 11/11 someone bought both books 1 and 2.
Then on 11/12 two full read-throughs of Book 1 appeared.

Not sure if this is a fluke or if Amazon had sent a new release email?
We may never know!

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Jesse, Redeemed: Guardians of Salt Creek book 3: 100%
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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book.
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2017, 11:11:50 AM »
Good luck! I hope you catch plenty of hungry readers  :D I'll be following along with interest.
Devyn Jayse | website | fantasy website

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2017, 05:25:04 AM »
Numbers are coming in. It's nice to get sales after such a dry spell of nothing, BUT It's also disappointing to see so few sales for the $$$$ I spent on newsletters. If it doesn't improve, I'm gonna have to do some soul searching about whether it's me, the book, the promo sites, etc.

Here are yesterday's results: Also updated in the original post.

Reign of Reads / AwesomeGang/ ChoosyBookworm
Sent newsletter to 503/1500 subscribers
Book 1: 6 sales
Book 2: 5 sales
KENP: 0
Goodreads giveaway ended, entries: 734
YA bound entries so far (estimate): 85 people

I didn't actually see a Reign of Reads email, so if you get that and my book was or wasn't in it, please let me know.

Ya Bound Book Blast: I've only seen three twitter posts about for the Book blast. I was hoping for more, but it's early days so I will update at the end of the week. The giveaway attached to the YA Bound posts has netted some entries and gained me 13 more BookBub followers, so that's cool.

FB ad trouble: I boosted a post to announce the sale, and used a gif animated cover. FB is giving me grief about there being 'too much text in the ad', so they stopped delivering it. I suspect it's really because it was a gif. They played it as a video in the post, so people had to click an arrow to 'watch' the animation. So yeah. That's a fail.

The exciting news is that I booked a ManyReads promo for this Friday. I applied on a lark last week, and I found out they picked me this morning. so yay! One more promo!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 05:49:30 AM by DmGuay »

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Offline Luke Everhart

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2017, 08:30:11 AM »
Good luck! 👍
These kinds of threads are great, so thanks.

I'm a newbie and haven't even published my debut novel (doing books 1-3 in rapid succession early 2018) but from your blurb I was curious if this is right(?):
#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Where We Live > Country Life

That's one of the categories your book 1 is showing on its listing. Your book is UF/PNR so the Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Where We Live > Country Life seems like it has to be a mismatch. On the other hand, maybe I'm totally wrong since it's your highest category rank... so, no idea really but thought I'd mention it in case.

Update Edit: huh? oh well never mind because Forgotten: Book #1 in The Lost Children Trilogy by Krista Street and The Shadow City: A Dark Paranormal Fantasy (The Demon-Born Trilogy Book 2) by L.C. Hibbett are both in that category too (#1 & #2).
I guess it's a good way to distinguish between very urban UF and UF in rural settings.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 08:43:38 AM by Luke Everhart »
Fools Rush In : 100%

In The Details: 12%
Debut series coming early 2018
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Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2017, 10:01:15 AM »
Good luck! 👍
These kinds of threads are great, so thanks.

I'm a newbie and haven't even published my debut novel (doing books 1-3 in rapid succession early 2018) but from your blurb I was curious if this is right(?):
#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Where We Live > Country Life

That's one of the categories your book 1 is showing on its listing. Your book is UF/PNR so the Literature & Fiction > Geography & Cultures > Where We Live > Country Life seems like it has to be a mismatch. On the other hand, maybe I'm totally wrong since it's your highest category rank... so, no idea really but thought I'd mention it in case.

Update Edit: huh? oh well never mind because Forgotten: Book #1 in The Lost Children Trilogy by Krista Street and The Shadow City: A Dark Paranormal Fantasy (The Demon-Born Trilogy Book 2) by L.C. Hibbett are both in that category too (#1 & #2).
I guess it's a good way to distinguish between very urban UF and UF in rural settings.

The small category is by design. The going advice from successful authors seems to be to find a smaller, less competitive category for your book to fit in, so you can gain visibility. I recently change categories, while trying to stick with actual themes in my book. We'll see how it works out.

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2017, 10:21:22 AM »
Thank you for the update. Hopefully today will be better. FYI, I sent out your book in my newsletter. I hope it helps! :)

Link here if you want to see: https://preview.mailerlite.com/c6f4n1
Devyn Jayse | website | fantasy website

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2017, 10:30:55 AM »
Thank you for the update. Hopefully today will be better. FYI, I sent out your book in my newsletter. I hope it helps! :)

Link here if you want to see: https://preview.mailerlite.com/c6f4n1

Oh my gosh, that was so nice of you!
let me know if I can ever return the favor.

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Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #17 on: November 15, 2017, 07:11:51 AM »
Day two results are in:

11/14 GenreCrave/ ENT
Sent newsletter to 130 subscribers
Book 1: 28 sales
Book 2: 12 sales
KENP: 299

This was actually my best day of sales ever. Shows you what am amoeba I am in the publishing ocean, right? And, the small category strategy paid off because I did hit No.1 and get the bestseller tag, although I know it's fleeting.

Thoughts: Book two is selling at a decent clip. Not sure how to interpret this data. Maybe it's my mailing list peeps buying the book they don't have? Maybe some folks are buying both because it's a series?

KU pages reads are also starting to filter in now. 299 yesterday and about 90 today so far. Fingers crossed they keep coming!

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #18 on: November 15, 2017, 09:34:48 AM »
Yay! That's more like it! Keep us posted with updates. Glad things are picking up!
Warning: Stories may contain bad*ss women, possibly wielding katana
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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #19 on: November 15, 2017, 09:59:00 AM »
Am I the only one seeing Jess, Rising at full price?

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2017, 10:15:21 AM »
You're looking good! Your rankings are impressive for both books. Keep on keeping on! :)

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2017, 02:03:12 PM »
Am I the only one seeing Jess, Rising at full price?

It shows as 0.99 to me.
Warning: Stories may contain bad*ss women, possibly wielding katana
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Offline Kat M

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2017, 04:31:24 PM »
I see it as 2.98, looking from Canada. Book 2 shows as .99

Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2017, 04:42:40 PM »
I see it as 2.98, looking from Canada. Book 2 shows as .99

Interesting. I will check into that.

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Jesse, Redeemed: Guardians of Salt Creek book 3: 100%
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Offline DmGuay

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Re: Relaunch thread: How to get out of the phone book. (UPDATED)
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2017, 09:07:37 AM »
Well, I was all excited, hoping for another day of decent sales, then I realized the GenrePulse YA ad I thought was today ran yesterday. Ugh. Which means 1. I only have one promo for today, and it's not a heavy hitter, and 2. the results I thought were just okay for three sites yesterday turned out to be not great considering they were for four promo sites.  :(

Sigh. Tomorrow is the last day of paid promos.
Saturday I have a NL swap.
Hopefully I will get a decent bump. Fingers crossed pretty pretty please.

In other news, I started an AMS campaign today, in the hopes of keeping some sales going after the Kindle countdown and the promo week are over, in the hopes that it will keep me visible on the category pages.

Also, I tried over and over to get both of my books into the contemporary YA fantasy category with no luck. I finally gave up and emailed them and they had me in the category by the time I woke up this morning. Totally seamless.

Still, while sales are no gangbusters, I am getting new eyes on the series, and honestly the Book 2 sales seem to be going alright, considering there's been no newsletter promo on that.

The YA Bound book blitz hasn't shown up as many places as I'd hoped, but it has landed me 22 more BookBub followers, some Twitter followers, and about a dozen people joining my fb fan group, so it's not all bad!

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Jesse, Redeemed: Guardians of Salt Creek book 3: 100%
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