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Wish Granted! Tips, Tools, and Templates to Write a Winning Grant
by Holly Rustick

Kindle Edition published 2017-08-22
Bestseller ranking: 95983

Product Description

Grant writing shouldn’t feel like a trip to the dentist. Take the pain out of the process with this innovative and fun, yes fun, guide. Learn all the inside tips and tools of the grant-writing trade in this easy-to-read and upbeat book.
This book is definitely for you if:
•You break out in a cold sweat when your boss mentions the word ‘grant’.
•You’ve been tempted to throw your computer against the wall while writing a grant.
•You happily tell stakeholders there’s plenty of grants out there … but haven’t the faintest idea how to write and get one!
•You think you can send out a bog-standard letter to a bunch of organizations and get funded.
•Your eyes glaze over when you’re presented with grant writing jargon and acronyms.
•Your organization’s grant success A-game has r...

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Messages - Harald

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Question about the equipment POD services use.
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:20:28 PM »
Quick answer: HP Indigo press. ~$200k or maybe less. I used to consult for HP and knew the details but am too busy writing to keep up with the tech on this. Hope you have a thick wallet! Good luck with it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Pls Comment on Christmas Book Cover
« on: September 28, 2017, 08:13:32 PM »
Two quick ones: lower the contrast on the mountains (darken the white snow) and increase the contrast on "A Mind Reader's", which doesn't pop enough against the background.

Good luck with it!

Hey, interesting idea, abgwriter! I'm a longtime art/creative director (and now fiction author) who's worked with tons of photographers (and done more tons of photo licensing deals). A couple of quick thoughts:

1. Not sure why you're calling it "crowdfunding" nor why the need for Kickstarter. What you're really suggesting is getting a few authors together to split custom photo costs in a genre-specific way, right? That could all be done outside of a crowdfunding platform, although would take some work (much of which you've already put in). The OP would basically become the "Managing Client."

2. If people are worried about the images ending up back in stock and then diluting the original idea of having semi-exclusive images, you could always engage the photog under Work for Hire, i.e., no stock photo sales and the Managing Client (or an entity set up for this) owns the copyright. The photographer's fee will be higher, for sure, but it might be worth it if you want more exclusivity.

3. The trick I see to this, as expressed above by several, is to get the right kind of poses with the right kind of accessories and props (and for a reasonable price) that satisfy the authors' needs. One easy way to help this along is to make sure to include "from the back" or obscure-face shots. This is popular in some genres, less in others. But the more obscure the model's face is (turned away, in shadow, cropped, fog, etc.), the more you will solve some of the concerns.

Good luck and keep the conversation going!

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: July 17, 2017, 05:29:35 PM »
Had to look both idioms up. Learned something.
It's all a game, but at least by doing these ads I'm in the game instead of watching on the sidelines.

Right on! (and another idiom  ;)

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: July 17, 2017, 03:08:44 PM »
Even though my books are urban fantasy, there is a strong romantic thread through the story. So 1 of my keywords is 'romance'. Since beginning AMS in May, I've had plenty of impressions but no clicks on that word and was about to pause it. However, several days ago I had a sale and when I checked, I had a click and a sale for romance and I'm chuffed to buggery. It's a low bid yet I'm reluctant to put it up incase it alters the algorithm.
Maybe if you wait long enough, the algo eventually sweeps you up for a bit.

"chuffed to buggery" eh? Ah, you Brits! :)

I've had sales on super-general keywords like "fiction" so if your bids are low and you're not getting many clicks on 'romance' then not much of a damp squib, is it?

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: July 12, 2017, 08:32:10 AM »
Curious about the math:  15.6 clicks at 2 cents gives 31 cents ad cost per sale.  At $0.99 sale price the overall aCoS looks more like 32%? 

* Avg cost per click (ACPC) is Total Spend divided by # Clicks. And I'm at 0.02 on that. Average cost of sales (ACoS) is Total Spend divided by Total Sales. I'm at 23% on that. The difference here is how "efficient" each keyword is. I've got some keywords that are 100% efficient, i.e., 1 Click = 1 Sale = 2.02% ACoS. At least half of my selling keywords are under 10% ACoS. Maybe that explains?

More important question: how do you get a decent number of views at the 2 cent acpc?  Is historical fiction less heavily bid on, or more intensively viewed, than other genres?  At the 2 to 5 cent level I struggle to get 1 views per keyword per day, which would suggest, with your 400 keywords and 8000 views per sale, a single sale every 20 days or so per title.   My math is based on false assumptions?

* Yeah, I think (guess) that bidding prices are very genre dependent.
* My range of Impressions per Keyword are (daily avg): 250/day down to 0/day, although hard to gauge exactly with newer keywords having less time on the board. I'm guessing that my Selling Keywords average about 20 Imprs/day. (my overall campaign for this book averages about 2k Imprs per day)
* I might go several days without an AMS sale (on this one book) but then rack up 4 AMS sales on one day. My average over 99 days is about 1 sale per 3 days (on this book). Not enough to pay the mortgage obviously but that's the raw baseline. Add KENP Reads, follow-on sales at higher prices for other books, etc., and it starts to look better.
* Bottomline for me is that AMS is paying for itself and then some. Not a lot of Some but some Some. And with more titles in the pile (coming), who knows what will happen. On va voir, mes amis. On va voir.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: July 11, 2017, 09:20:25 PM »
99-DAY UPDATE: Here's a quick summary of a single running campaign for a $0.99 series opener (historical fiction novella):
* 402 keywords, 22 of which are selling
* still keeping my bids low: aCPC is $0.02; range of selling keywords: 0.02-0.05
* all selling keywords (except one) are under 35% ACoS; the lone exception is barely above
* overall campaign ACoS is 23% so paying for itself in "raw" terms (+ bonus of KU reads, follow-on sales, etc.). Trickle Effect continues to work.
* 560 Impressions per Click; 15.6 Clicks per Sale
* am busy writing so just letting this one run while I keep an eye on it and doing "constant gardening" as keywords rise and fall.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 29, 2017, 10:15:26 AM »
Looks like my question got lost in the shuffle so I'll ask it again.
What sort or impression to click ratio is considered good?

For me, Clicks per Sale is more important than Imprs per Click, but "good" to me is:
-- 500-700 Imprs per Click
-- 10-15 Clicks per Sale
And that's in Historical Fiction genre. YMMV.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 28, 2017, 09:29:05 PM »
My last post on this: "That's it! Thanks. Am re-enabling keyword now and hoping the sales lag on AMS will prove it a wise decision. On va voir, mes amis!"

RE: my Click-Bomb update: AHA! Sure enough. There was no change in my AMS Sales this AM, but right after Noon EST (for U.S. store), 7 new sales suddenly appeared on the Campaign line. And with no change in the Spend and no more Clicks, I was pretty sure those sales were delayed reports from AMS (and they matched well the KDP Sales of two days ago). But, adding to the mystery, the actual "Sarum" keyword was still showing 0 Sales, and with no additional Sales showing beyond what I already had, that told me that the Keywords list metrics were also lagging (the Campaign metrics). And whaddya know: when I checked at the end of the night just a while ago, there were 6 new Sarum-keyword Sales and a new one from another keyword. And my CoS nicely dropped. So what I originally thought was a scam was really an unexpected benefit to a keyword I only added as a long shot. So you never can tell with these keywords -- when in doubt, add them!

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 27, 2017, 05:13:43 PM »
Sarum has been advertised on BookBub and possibly also on ENT this week. Can't remember if I saw it twice but I think so. Could be on other ad newsletters as well. That's the source of the traffic for that title, and for your clicks.

That's it! Thanks. Am re-enabling keyword now and hoping the sales lag on AMS will prove it a wise decision. On va voir, mes amis!

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 27, 2017, 03:32:37 PM »
Okay - so different people see different things in the carousel based on how they got there (for example through a search etc) - and don't forget that AMS keywords are "broad"  - so just looking at that exact book probably doesn't give you the whole picture on who sees the ad based on that keyword. I think it's kinda cool when I see my book underneath other books, too - but I always remember that other people on that same page might see something different while people on completely different pages I know nothing about might also be seeing it and also that I might show higher or lower in the carousel throughout the day.

Good points. At first, I thought for sure this was a scam since I have this author's name and his more recent and closer-to-home titles also in keywords, and those keywords are acting normally (and not great). But digging into this, I now see that this particular title in Kindle is an official "Amazon Best Seller" (orange banner) while the others are not. And this one has a REALLY low price currently: $1.99 vs. his other similar ebooks at ~$13.99 -- these are 1,000+ page books. AND, this book title (OK, it's "Sarum" by Edward Rutherfurd) is ranked #22 OVERALL in the Kindle store, and it's #1 in all the listed subcats. So it's undeniably really popular right now. And I'm linked to it, apparently, by AMS keyword. So I guess it's possible that my AMS ad is showing on this really popular book. And maybe I should not have paused it! But because my AMS dashboard is still showing 0 sales in last 24 hours, I just don't know. But if the sales suddenly appear, then this could be the reason. And when/if that happens, I'll be unpausing that keyword! (if I don't just do it now)

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 27, 2017, 09:35:56 AM »
... Are impressions (keeping your books in front of potential readers) a good enough reason to continue a campaign? Or should the measure of success be the sales you've gotten from the campaign be the real measure?

Well, AMS sales (with an ACoS at or under your royalty %) is the "pure" measure of campaign success, but there are the "soft" measures that only you can attach value to. Like sales bumps from KU borrows, increased reads (if in KU), and the general visibility you talk about. But I look at Clicks way more than Impressions. If you're getting clicks, you're at least connecting.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 27, 2017, 09:24:51 AM »
SNIP... Just out of curiosity - did you check to see if they had a release or promo or something that could have resulted in more exposure? And your sales wouldn't show up for three days due to the normal lag...

Hmmm... to your first question, I can't see anything. That book was published in 1987, and googling around doesn't show any promo activity. BUT... I had forgotten to check my KDP dashboard (distracted with another issue), and sure enough, there's a sales jump on the same day (and resulting drop in Sales Rank). So yeah, I might see that reflected in the AMS sales in next day or two; we'll see.

But here's another curious thing: on that keyworded book, I'm NOT in the Sponsored carousel NOR in the Also Boughts. What would explain that? (other than that I'm looking now, 12 hours after I paused that keyword last night, but that wouldn't affect Also Boughts, unless they're also delayed; ADDED: and my book's Also Boughts do NOT show this 1987 book)

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 27, 2017, 08:40:34 AM »
So I got click-bombed yesterday. I do an end-of-day check and saw that one keyword (an old title from famous same-genre author) had suddenly jumped from what should have been (based on earlier campaigns) ~600 Impressions to 15,000! And from probably ~3 clicks to 31! And no sales. And all overnight. So I immediately paused that keyword. All other keywords looked normal (and look normal today). Luckily, I have a $1 daily spend limit on this campaign and a minimum Bid on this specific keyword, so the damage was controlled. But it jumped up my aCoS.
Anybody else notice something similar recently?

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 19, 2017, 05:37:08 PM »
From 10:19 a.m. (ad creation) to 3:51 a.m. (ad approval). 18 impressions so far, no clicks. That's okay. I'm patient.

17+ hours? If so, close to my 14 hrs.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 18, 2017, 10:52:52 AM »
... BTW, I have never been approved in 15 minutes, and I've launched more than a dozen ads.

I'm a 14-hour guy. Always 14 hours. Like always. Weird. And no geckos in sight.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 18, 2017, 07:38:35 AM »
Unlike ads with Manual Targeting, when I run ads with Automatic Targeting, I don't get a list of suggested keywords, don't get to see what keywords Amazon is using, and don't have an option to add my own keywords.

I also don't know how many keywords are being used, but I suspect there are more than the 25 to 50 keywords suggested with Manual Targeting.

My current Automatic Targeting ads are outperforming my Manual Targeting ads.


Ah... I misunderstood what you were saying about "Automatic Targeting." I see now that that's one of two options when setting up a Sponsored Products ad. I've just never used it. Based on your experience, might be worth a try. Thanks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 17, 2017, 07:41:30 PM »
I'm reluctantly coming to the conclusion that nurturing successful AMS ads campaigns is much more an art than a science.
However, coming to conclusions is something I am striving to do.  I keep a list of conclusions, only to find I have to later discount them due to latest results.
[...] 2.  Running Sponsored Product ads with AUTO selected keywords usually results (in 66% of cases) in far cheaper clicks than manually selected keywords with similar bids, while maintaining a good number of daily impressions.

Thanks for your updated conclusions, Philip. But I'm wondering...

A. What about the combination of Amazon's Suggested Keywords and manually added keywords? I do this, and I assume most others do too. Do you?

B. With my first AMS ad, I didn't know any better so I accepted Zon's 25 suggested keywords and at their suggested bid price ($0.25 for me). That was a mistake as it quickly wiped out my Spend budget, and I had to ratchet down my bids quickly. Now, I still accept their suggestions, but at LOW bids that roughly equal my manual keywords.

C. On the whole, I don't find the Amazon Suggested Keywords that much better than my best Manual Keywords (although both work in terms of Clicks).


Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 14, 2017, 10:11:11 AM »
Now granted I started them yesterday but none of them have a 100 impressions yet much less clicks. I've read in the thread that people have experienced thousands of impressions in the first day or two.

Definitely try increasing the total number of keywords per campaign. Amazon itself suggests 25, as I recall, so you should easily be able to triple that and more. My current campaign has ~350 kwds, and I got ~2k Imprs on Day 1 (at extremely low bids) in my historical fiction genre.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 13, 2017, 01:46:04 PM »
My ad is about five days old with 26k impressions and 25 clicks with no sales estimated. 321 keywords.
This has cost me 1.21 total so I've had my bid rate low. Not sure if I should keep it running, but my standalone is getting alot of page reads per day, but it seemed was before the ad.
Should I try more keywords or increase the bid on other keywords?

1. Give it another five days.

2. Clicks and no sales? Besides waiting a bit, might mean you're not closing the sale (or they haven't been reported yet). Take a close look at your product page.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 03, 2017, 07:48:00 AM »
You can get impressions and clicks, even with really low bids, but in much lower numbers. That means that sales will be lower as well. If the ad is intended to prop up ranking, it won't do that with just the odd sale here and there. You need to get sales pretty much every day, and that means bidding higher. How high you need to bid depends on your genre. So it rather depends on what the objective of the ads is.

Mostly agree. First, it's very genre-dependent. No way I could do this in Romance! But HF seems to work. I get clicks every day, although not sales from those clicks every day. With this book (and these low bids), I'm usually bouncing in and out of the Top 100 in at least one of my subcategories. For my current strategy of testing AMS while I'm working to finish the final book of the series, that's good enough for now. Once the series is finished, I'll try stepping on the bidding gas. It's all a work in progress.

P.S. My bid range is actually 0.02 to 0.06 (currently), but average CPC is 0.02.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: May 02, 2017, 09:02:05 PM »
One month in on my revised ad copy test for my $0.99 series opener (historical fiction). Was looking slow in April then picked up right at end. KU reads for series also picking up a bit last few days.
* still keeping my bids low: aCPC is $0.02. "Trickle Effect"
* 584 Impressions per Click; 12.8 Clicks per Sale (a little high for me but not bad)
* aCOS is 26% so campaign is definitely in the black
* will keep this one running and continue to do constant gardening with my trowel in hand.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: April 30, 2017, 08:55:55 PM »
I've now run hundreds of AMS campaigns.  So far, they are the only advertising source I've found that that can provide me with a sustained positive return on full-priced books.

But it has taken me constant tweaking of my campaigns.  It's a bit like gardening - constant planting, pruning, trimming and weeding.  I feel like 'the constant gardener'.  That is, raising and lowering bids on selected keywords, adding and pausing various keywords, tweaking blurbs, etc. [...]

This is a fascinating report, Philip. I'm a Constant Gardner, too.

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:22:25 PM »
Well, for me, I'm at Day 24 on the latest series-opener historical fiction campaign, and things don't look that far out of whack:
-- 587 Imprs / Click
-- 11.5 Clicks / Sale
-- ACoS in low 20s (%)

Maybe it's a genre thing?

Writers' Cafe / Re: AMS Ads Learning
« on: April 19, 2017, 09:58:34 PM »
So as of right now (mid-April) is the general consensus that Amazon ads are less reliable and effective than they used to be?  I'm sure it could vary by genre (among other factors), so what genres are still effective?  Anything in action/adventure? (Specifically, not romance, not SF or F.)  I'm thinking of running an ad, but not sure if it would pay to wait a bit or if that category is worth bothering with.  I do have books in other categories but this particular series I have in mind could use some love.

My suggestion: try it. Do it for your series opener using the Sponsored Products type. Make your daily budget only as much as you can handle; start with $1. Start with low bids. You pay only for clicks, so there's little to lose. If you're in KU, your reads will probably increase (mine did a lot in Historical Fiction), and your sales rankings will drop (the good way). And you'll gradually learn how the system works. In other words... just do it.

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