Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - TheLemontree

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 41
1
Writers' Cafe / Discount codes for books? (preferably paperbacks)
« on: May 18, 2018, 09:24:47 PM »
Hi all,

I just caught up with Createspace having dumped their discount codes, so am looking for an alternative.

Background: I have a couple of non-fiction titles, and am writing a course on the same topic. As a bonus for my students, I want to offer them a discount on my paperbacks, among other things.

As far as I can tell, my options now are:

1. Offer a smashwords code instead for the ebooks
2. Upload to something like Gumroad, and allow people to download a discounted ebook there (can offer a choice of formats)
3. ??

I'd *really* prefer to offer a paperback discount, because of the higher perceived value, but as I live in New Zealand, shipping direct is out of the question because postage is absurdly costly.

Is there any online retailer that deals with physical books that I can offer a discount code through?

Anyone got any better suggestions?

Thanks all <3

2
Writers' Cafe / Re: Beware of Maxim Kislyi
« on: May 16, 2018, 06:36:28 PM »
Far out!

3
Writers' Cafe / Re: Ups and downs of a long self publishing career
« on: May 09, 2018, 10:16:37 PM »

... But it is so not-to-market: sensual but not smexy, 50+ year old woman, and a Night Elf *koff* vampire *koff* who has an existential fear of spiders.

ding! ding! ding! SOLD!

I am SO sick of books where the author describes her own actual heroine as a bit old and tired, when she's 30. Or ones where the pretty young 24 year old has an 'elderly' mentor in their 50s.  SO. OVER. THEM.

I've just added your new book to my kindle (and book one, too, because, yanno, it's mothers day this weekend and I'm gonna treat myself ;) )  I loved Loki, and I am looking forward to this one too.

4
Writers' Cafe / Re: Website help, please?
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:35:42 PM »
I by-pass this altogether by using the books2read link.

There may be reasons not to use it that I don't know about, but it seems to be working for me :)

https://www.books2read.com

It's a Draft2Digital product but they let you add links to any retailer you use, have got the icons for most of them, and are happy for you to use your own affiliate links as well.

5
Writers' Cafe / Re: GDPR
« on: May 07, 2018, 09:43:56 PM »
It's as easy to fix as
1) installing the wordpress plugin "The GDPR Framework" by Codelight, and following their steps to make sure your Privacy Statement is up to scratch on your website
2) finding out what your mailing list provider has already set in place, and following their advice.

It's not hard, it's not violating anyone's FREEDOM (except possibly the freedom to screw people over without their permission), and it's not worth doing anything extreme like trying to geo-block whole continents from accessing your website.

6
I don't know about twitter or instagram,

But facebook clicks are expensive these days. My gut feeling is that unless you're selling a pricey box set, or you're shooting for sign-ups to your newsletter so you can sell a long backlist to people, then facebook is going to cost more than you'll get.

Some people have them down to a fine art, though - but they do tend to have lots of money to quietly work through the initial optimisation and testing stage, and then be able to *really* chuck money at a good ad, once they've identified it.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: How do you use Pinterest?
« on: March 31, 2018, 06:54:16 PM »
I just posted this on the other pinterest thread, but it probably belongs here as well :)

Regarding the analytics, if you click through to Overview > Activity > Clicks then that shows you how many actual clicks your website is getting from your pins. That's all that really matters. That combined with your Google Analytics or Jetpack stats on your website will show you which pins are driving the most traffic, and which posts are working for you.

-----------------------------------------------
I'm just getting started with using Pinterest methodically, but here is what I have gleaned.

Pinterest isn't social media - it is a search engine, and it has its own SEO rules. (Search Engine Optimisation).

You use pinterest to drive traffic to your website. Make sure pinterest browsers have something to do or read when they get there. (a lead magnet, a great article, a sale on your books, a discount voucher). Decide whether you want to direct traffic to book sales or newsletter signups (I'd recommend the latter).

Make a pinterest business account - they have analytics etc.

Make a decent number of boards. Have one board as your 'best of' board, and a good variety of related boards. I am non-fic so it's pretty straightforward, but if I was, say a historical mystery novelist (which I will be as soon as I get the damned thing finished), I would have a variety of boards like "historical San Francisco" "1930s medicine" "1920s fashion" "favorite whodunnits" "fictional sleuths" etc etc - you want twenty boards.

Make content on your website that you want people to visit, and that you can create pinnable images for that will go on your boards. Have at least three pins per blog post. Pinterest likes long vertical images. Find out their current favourite dimensions and use them.

Pin each of those images to your 'best of' board FIRST. Then pin from your best of board to your other boards. 10 per day. Also, pin other people's beautiful, relevant pins to your boards. 20 per day. This helps pinterest acquire information on what your boards and pins are about, who will like them, and who to show your pins to. Don't pin the same pin too many times in a row because pinterest sees that as spam and will punish you.

Make sure your profile, boards and pins are all properly keyworded. Pinterest now allows hashtags on pins. Use them.

Look for group boards in your subject area and participate in them. (You'll need to contact the owner and ask to be added - you will need to 'follow' them on pinterest and supply them with your pinterest URL and your pinterest-associated email address for them to add you) Don't spam them. one or two per day, following the group rules.

Traffic will follow.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: How to Use Pintrest to it's Fullest Extent
« on: March 31, 2018, 06:41:58 PM »
I'm just getting started with using Pinterest methodically, but here is what I have gleaned.

Pinterest isn't social media - it is a search engine, and it has its own SEO rules. (Search Engine Optimisation).

You use pinterest to drive traffic to your website. Make sure pinterest browsers have something to do or read when they get there. (a lead magnet, a great article, a sale on your books, a discount voucher). Decide whether you want to direct traffic to book sales or newsletter signups (I'd recommend the latter).

Make a pinterest business account - they have analytics etc.

Make a decent number of boards. Have one board as your 'best of' board, and a good variety of related boards. I am non-fic so it's pretty straightforward, but if I was, say a historical mystery novelist (which I will be as soon as I get the damned thing finished), I would have a variety of boards like "historical San Francisco" "1930s medicine" "1920s fashion" "favorite whodunnits" "fictional sleuths" etc etc - you want twenty boards.

Make content on your website that you want people to visit, and that you can create pinnable images for that will go on your boards. Have at least three pins per blog post. Pinterest likes long vertical images. Find out their current favourite dimensions and use them.

Pin each of those images to your 'best of' board FIRST. Then pin from your best of board to your other boards. 10 per day. Also, pin other people's beautiful, relevant pins to your boards. 20 per day. This helps pinterest acquire information on what your boards and pins are about, who will like them, and who to show your pins to. Don't pin the same pin too many times in a row because pinterest sees that as spam and will punish you.

Make sure your profile, boards and pins are all properly keyworded. Pinterest now allows hashtags on pins. Use them.

Look for group boards in your subject area and participate in them. (You'll need to contact the owner and ask to be added - you will need to 'follow' them on pinterest and supply them with your pinterest URL and your pinterest-associated email address for them to add you) Don't spam them. one or two per day, following the group rules.

Traffic will follow.

9
Writers' Cafe / Re: Mailchimp sending blank emails??
« on: March 28, 2018, 06:32:48 PM »
Thanks Patty, hugely appreciate your answer.

That sucks balls, but at least it's not just me. I was half looking for an excuse to migrate everyone over to MailerLite, but couldn't see myself doing it without a *reason*.

I think I just found one, though.

Thanks!

10
Writers' Cafe / Mailchimp sending blank emails??
« on: March 28, 2018, 05:26:22 PM »
Hi everyone,

I'm wondering if this is a more widespread problem, or if it's something that I've done myself.

A set up an autoresponding sequence to my mailing list with mailchimp about 6 months or so ago. Tested it and it all was working fine. Then over the weekend I got an email from a subscriber saying that the email they got was blank.

I did a bit of googling (I'm on the free plan at mailchimp so no support for me) and there was no clear reason - a few from several years ago with Outlook and Yahoo not being able to read them properly, but nothing recent. So I figured maybe it was a problem with this particular subscriber's software or something.

I subscribed to my newsletter with a gmail address that hadn't interacted with the newsletter yet. The sign up and confirmation screens and emails all worked normally.

Today I got another email from the same subscriber saying the *next* email was also blank - and I checked my own inbox, and it was blank too.

Like. Completely blank. There's the subject line, and then just nothing in the content at all.

Which may explain my completely dead-in-the-water sales for the last 5 days. I have been getting a steady trickle of sales (one to three per day) - mostly from my mailing list. But zero sales for five days now.

Any suggestions??

I'm *this* close to switching to MailerLite, but would rather spend my Easter weekend doing something else :D

11
Quote
I'd love to see a thread with the consensus opinion on which newsletters are worth the time and money.

The problem is that every newsletter performs differently for different genres and subgenres, and one person's results don't translate into someone else's.

Nicholas Erik has got a short list of ones that have worked well for him in the last year on his website, and his marketing guides are worth their weight in gold. But because books are not interchangeable widgets, marketing is very much an art rather than a plug and play process.
http://nicholaserik.com/promo-sites/


12
Writers' Cafe / Re: Help out Diane Duane, author in trouble
« on: February 15, 2018, 03:53:23 PM »
Are her books on Kindle?

When you buy from her store you can request the format you want - kindle, ePub etc.

13
Writers' Cafe / Re: Streetlib: Yeah or Nay in your experience?
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:17:15 PM »
Quote
My main questions are (feel free to just leave an impression and skip these questions, if you prefer):
1) Are you making as much money as you expected on the site?
2) Is the site easy to use? Is it easy to upload your books?
3) Is the customer service good when you have a problem?

I've been with them for a year or so, a little while before they got their US side of things up and running, but after they had become StreetLib.

1. Sales - yeah, I am a very low but steady seller. I use Streetlib for Google Play access and that's about it. My sales are about the same with Google through StreetLib as they with Apple through D2D.

2. uploading is easy. There are some website quirks where you occasionally have to imagine that it's poorly translated Italian into English, but they are getting fewer as their US side gets more into gear.

3. Customer service is great. I've always had a reply within 24 hours, from a REAL person not a bot, who genuinely looks into your question or problem and gets back to you with a solution or information.

For example, I asked if it would be possible to make sure that the "more by this author" offering on Google was actually my other book, not just by an author with a similar name - and they investigated and got back to me (it's an automated system within google - no ability to change).

And recently (second half of last year) they asked for a particular type of tax information that I've never had to supply before (I'm in New Zealand, and deal with the US store, so my situation is not the cookie-cutter situation they had framed their request for). I queried their request, explaining the exact situation and telling them precisely what D2D and Amazon both did in the same situation. They promptly let me know that they would investigate and that my payments would not be affected in the meantime and a week or so later they replied that all was well and they didn't need that information after all.

Sometimes the reporting is bit slow - but that could be because google's reporting is slow, rather than StreetLib's own reporting. I don't know.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Help out Diane Duane, author in trouble
« on: February 14, 2018, 07:31:51 PM »
Oh wow, my family just discovered her Young Wizards books at our local library 2 weeks ago! They're a lot of fun.

Off to do some purchasing.

15
Writers' Cafe / Re: Strugglers' support thread
« on: February 04, 2018, 02:41:02 PM »
Hi everyone. Found my crew!

We've just finished Summer vacation here, and this morning was my first morning without the kids home for two months. I actually did some writing!! A thousand unpaid words on a non-fic article for a low-distribution magazine that *might* lead to a handful of newsletter signups for me. I'm still small potatoes enough that this is a good deal :D

I'm looking ahead to the year, though, and am already disheartened at how little time I am able to set aside for my fiction and non-fiction projects. Last year I achieved half of what I set out to, and this year is looking comparable. Sigh. Still haven't even finished the first draft of the first novel due to focusing on the non-fic stuff.

Still. Better than not achieving anything, right?

16
Writers' Cafe / Re: Prawny successes! :)
« on: December 21, 2017, 10:25:41 PM »
Please forgive my question but how do do define a prawn or a plankton in this field? What other terms are there?

Really sorry but I just published my first book during the last week of September 2017. Still a babe in the woods.

It's a term from the early days of this forum. I think it's based on the saying "a little fish in a big pond", except that we aren't even little fish. We're smaller than that.

It's a largely self-defined term, and if you feel like a novice in an area, and you earn not anywhere near a regular or even modest income, then you can claim prawny status.

17
Writers' Cafe / Re: Keyboard cover for the Alphasmart Neo?
« on: December 21, 2017, 03:46:31 PM »
As for a carrying around case. You can buy a sleeve or something but quite frankly a padded mailing envelope is ideal because it is cheap, and no idle thief would ever think to swipe it.

Genius. You've just solved one of my packing-for-the-holidays problems. Thanks!

18
Two goals. The first is my money goal. I want to earn a decent part-time wage. I've given myself five years to hit that target, and I'm one year in (from setting that goal). This is from my non-fiction and fiction combined. I'm a fairly long way off achieving that income, but it's a work in progress.

The second goal is my craft goal. I'm a fiction n00b. I want to learn how to craft a hooky genre fic novel that leaves people feeling good about the world. I’m yet to finish the crappy first draft of the novel. Baby step goal: finish the first draft.

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Links to Amazon store still not working on Paperwhite?
« on: December 11, 2017, 08:53:02 PM »
I think the link has to go to the kindle e-store rather than amazon.com.

I know on my paperwhite the links from the Amazon-generated backmatter take me somewhere I can buy. Links from inside most books do not, And the store fronts have a different appearance, too.

No idea how to do that, though, sorry!

20
Writers' Cafe / Re: Google Adwords?
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:31:10 PM »
Elizabeth Ann West was using Google Adwords for a while. Not sure if she still does, but if you do a search you  may find a thread or two where she talks about it.

All I recall is her saying she used Google Adwords Express, rather than normal Google Adwords, and was finding that it was making some money for her.

21
One of Jana deLeon's series is a ghost mystery one.

http://janadeleon.com/books/trouble-in-mudbug/overview

Jana is epically successful. Like, off the charts. But I think I recall her saying here a while back that her ghost series wasn't nearly as popular as her Miss Fortune series. I really enjoyed reading it, though. And "not as successful as Miss Fortune" is still possibly selling like hotcakes :)

Good luck!

22
Writers' Cafe / Re: AUTHORS: Your best form of book advertising is...
« on: November 26, 2017, 05:27:25 PM »
This time last year people were saying that Facebook ads were getting really expensive - due to all the competition for holiday spending at the moment. Are people seeing that again? If so, delay Facebook ads until after the new year.

Blog hops etc, as you mentioned in your first post, are dead. Lots of work for no sales. And even the paid newsletter lists like bargainbooksy etc have decreased in effectiveness. Except bookbub.

Building your own list, and direct marketing to them seems to be the current front runner. With AMS ads ticking along in the background.

23
Donated. Good luck. We're with you.

24
Writers' Cafe / Re: Being both a fiction and non-fiction author
« on: October 25, 2017, 05:33:07 PM »
I do both. The main problem for me is that Iím very time-poor, so having three writing projects on the go (blog, non-fic book or course, novel) means that my writing time gets divided and I can feel like Iím making no progress on anything.

Cassie Leighís comment about non-fiction books being a steady seller reflects my experience too. And I sell a high number of paperbacks of the non-fic titles - probably one paperback for every two or three ebooks - sometimes more - so thatís worth doing too.

25
Writers' Cafe / Re: Stay-at-home parent/authors!
« on: October 22, 2017, 02:17:35 PM »
Four kids, youngest is a toddler. We attend a parent-run co-op style preschool, which means super cheap fees, but lots of hands-on stuff from me, but now that toddler is a bit older he can have a couple of independent sessions each week.

If I leave the preschool right on time, go straight home and sit straight down at my laptop I get 2 hours until I need to head back and help tidy up etc. This is a lifesaver compared to before!

Regarding grandparents, my mother is dead, my father is in his mid 80s and was never very hands on anyway, and my in laws live a 2 hour flight away. They do what they can, but our kids are not their only grandchildren, and they both still work. And they are entitled to their own time, lives and choices.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 41