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Messages - raminar_dixon

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1
Writers' Cafe / Re: Am I marketing in the wrong genre?
« on: July 18, 2018, 09:55:19 AM »
Cover and blurb read like a techno-thriller to me. That's how I'd promote it as-is.

However, if the book reads more like a horror novel with plenty of guts n' gore and screaming and death, etc. and that's how you want to change up how you market it, then I'd advise you to go with a totally different cover and blurb.

2
Lets make some more top 100's.

Bummmmmmmp

3
Got a new release coming up?



Frustrated by the crazy amount of work still left to do?



Wish you could just let someone else handle all the promotions and advertising?



Then what the heck are you waiting for? Order a Book Rank pre-priced package or customize your own campaign with the Promo Stacker service today!


4
Writers' Cafe / Re: Why doesn't Amazon give us buyers' emails?
« on: June 27, 2018, 05:15:59 AM »
Not everyone wants to get hit by emails after purchasing hardcore MFMMMFFFMMM erotica.

"Honey, what's this email from Patty Poundme about buying her extremely explicit XXX extra-moist new release?"

5
Hump day, bump day  8) 8)

Going on vacation or just want a break? Turn "promotion ordering day" into "sipping a cold beverage by the pool day" and let me take care of it for you.

6
UPDATE:

I've added HotRead's Romance Deals Newsletter to my romance venue list. Clients get an exclusive 25% discount from their regular pricing along with priority booking on Regular spots when going through Book Rank/Promo Stacker.

7
Writers' Cafe / Re: Poll - Flat rate for KU page reads
« on: June 09, 2018, 10:46:19 AM »
Well, for starters, there used to be a flat rate, paid out at 10%.** It didn't work because, um. Scammers. Doh. And the people with longer works were upset that shorts got paid the same amount, so grumble, grumble.

Amazon can't manage to pay per page read, because in truth they have no idea how to do it, so it's unlikely they could manage a flat rate system (we know they can't), or a tiered system, which is what I'd like to see.

**Looking at this, I'm probably confusing folks. It was a flat rate paid out once 10% of the book was read. One of the scams was having the book open at 10%, and bingo, bango! Roughly $1.35. Easy money.

Ah, those were the days. So much money was made. If only it stayed that way. I'm sure Amazon planned to change it from the very beginning, though. There's no way there was a long-term strategy to pay authors $1.35 per borrow. I'm convinced the high payout was put in place at the start to bring in as many authors as possible and make their content exclusive to Amazon, thus stripping content away from competitors, which would send readers right to Amazon, to sign up for KU.

Like you also mentioned, I seem to remember the official reason given for KU1 being changed was less because of scammers and more due to input from authors who felt the pricing schema was unfair since a 3,000 word erotica title could earn just as much as a 300,000 word epic fantasy or similar. I do remember the store being flooded with all sorts of super short nonsense books around that time too though- which was likely scammers pubbing something low-effort and then using bots to farm easy borrows. Regardless, Amazon wasn't likely to keep a high payout like that going for long, even if scammers and author complaints weren't an issue.

KU1 -> KU2 was probably the easiest way for Amazon to make life harder for scammers and give authors who wanted the change some satisfaction...while also providing them with a really nice cover for ditching the old pricing model.

And as everyone can plainly see, all it did was slow scammers down for a minute or two. Authors are getting paid WAY less as Amazon continues to test the bottom - and now they are seemingly testing just how much **** we will put up with before pulling out of KU altogether.

8
Writers' Cafe / Re: I'm in tears. Amazon has cut my numbers for May.
« on: June 09, 2018, 08:57:26 AM »
Someone is making lots and lots of money off this scheme and it isn't legit authors. This will continue as long as the current subscription model of Kindle Unlimited exists, because I certainly can't see any way for Amazon to police it effectively with how easy it is to create fake Amazon accounts, obtain stolen or create fraudulent bank and credit card accounts, spoof your location, etc.

I can only imagine it is a matter of time before someone who had pagereads stripped because of this brings a lawsuit against Amazon, too. Many authors are out thousands and thousands of dollars.

In the meanwhile, many authors will leave KU. What sense does it make to stick around if you don't know from one month to the next how much of the money you think you earned will just be stripped away with nothing more than an email telling you nothing more than the pagereads were not legit? How long will it take for Amazon to just stop reporting those pagereads to you so maybe you don't even realize they were taken in the first place?

9
Bill hit the nail on the head. But I'll try to add on to that:

I try to look at promotions and advertising the same way as cover art, editing, etc. - they are all investments. Sometimes your investments pay off and you turn a profit; sometimes they don't. The best basic advice for investing (in anything, really) is to never spend more than you can afford to lose. If it pays off- Yippie! If not... well, at least you didn't gamble with your rent money.

Also, heavy competition in just about every genre makes it much less likely for an author (especially a new one with zero following) to release a new book and not just sort of blend into the background of a thousand other books. Advertising shines a spotlight on your book. If your book matches what the market of readers expects and wants, then you stand a very good chance of increasing your book's ranking and your profit. If your book doesn't do those things, then advertising won't do much to help you.

I will turn away clients and advise them on what to fix first if I feel like their book will not benefit from advertising. This isn't just me being selfless/helpful for the sake of being helpful or something, either. It's important for me to maintain certain standards too- many of the venues regularly use Book Rank like a sort of pre-filter and accept what I send them because they trust my judgement in the quality & marketability of a book. If I start sending them subpar books to advertise, they'll stop being so easy for me to work with.

I should probably also mention that every once in a blue moon I'll see a book that seemingly hits all the marks and still fails with appropriate advertising. Even more rarely, I'll see a book that doesn't align all that well with what readers seem to want but it takes off and does great anyway with just a handful of ads. In most cases, the reason behind the success or failure isn't readily apparent. It happens, it is extremely difficult or impossible to explain, and everyone should be ready for it just in case...good or bad.

To touch on some of your other questions:

-Part of the power behind advertising lies in getting a book into the top 100, category and/or Kindle Store. The chances that a book is successful greatly increases once this happens because more eyes are on it and because Amazon gives additional 'pimpage' to books which rank well.

-Yes, a small minority of authors use advertising at least partially for vanity reasons. Whatever floats their boat is fine by me.

-Many established authors use my service to do regular promotions for their older titles. Promo of back catalog helps keep a pen name fresh and in the minds of readers. It also brings new readers into the fold through series starters or just good books that generate interest in the author and their other works.

TLDR; Promotions and advertising wouldn't exist if they didn't at least sometimes work. Also, don't spend more than you can afford to lose.

10
This thread deserves a big, thick...bump.  :P

11
Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Issues "Bonus Content" Guidelines
« on: June 01, 2018, 05:42:16 PM »
Whether you like this change or not, at least we can all agree that some actual, non-vague guidelines about it are nice to have.

12
Writers' Cafe / Re: BookBub stacking question
« on: June 01, 2018, 08:36:25 AM »
To maximize your profit, I'd recommend ending the deal at midnight on the day of the BB. Lots of people just grab whatever they see in the email when they finally get around to opening it and the difference between 99c/free to some of them isn't that big a deal (or they don't even think about it). This can give you a nice boost when moving from free back to paid rankings.

If your goal is to get more attention on the series as a whole and get more sell-through to it by treating book 1 as a loss-leader, then stretch the free days out longer.

In the end, as long as at least one of the books in your series is sitting at a good rank, it will help bring in readers to the rest of the series.

13
Is that true about the number of reviews that KU readers can leave a month? (not in KU, but I'm curious).

It was my understanding that it was a glitch or something and Amazon has gone back to allowing book reviews as normal.

14
Writers' Cafe / Re: Clean or Sweet Romance Rules
« on: May 31, 2018, 07:48:04 AM »
I think of it like this:

Clean/Sweet Romance: A typical Hallmark Romance TV movie. Safe for the whole family to watch. No profanity. A soulful (no tongue fighting or generally slobbing all over each other lol) kiss between the two MCs is about the height of sexytimes. Anything going past a kiss is deeply veiled and completely off screen. At most you might see two characters in the same bed for like 3 seconds, or they move towards the bed while kissing then there's the old fade to black, implying sex was had. This is less common though and many authors go for a 100% no-sex book...it's a safer way to avoid problems with the readers that want a 'clean' experience.

Christian Sweet Romance: No sex + no premarital sex, + alcohol and drug use is mostly limited to the "bad" characters or the characters you'll later be redeeming. No profanity. Don't forget to throw in some stuff about Jesus.

15
Hump day Bump day  :o :o

16
UPDATE:

Exclusive to only Book Rank & Promo Stacker clients!

You can now get three SOLO romance promotions with the following venues for one massively discounted price:

Shifted Sheets
Ebook Itch
Secret Panty Drawer Romance

...all for $175. Normally, this would cost authors $220!

17
This is a non-fiction book. Non-fiction is a completely different animal than fiction. With non-fiction, particularly self-help type books, a low price can work against you. A low price is NOT the deciding factor in non-fiction. Actual need (real or perceived) is the deciding factor. If a person is looking for help with bullying, they aren't shopping on price. They aren't going to say, "Gee, I can buy these fie 99 cent books on bullying that I am doubtful will actually help me, or I can buy this $5 book that seems to really understand the subject."

Non-fiction consumers are looking for expertise on the subject, not price. A low cost signifies an amateur or someone who may not really understand the subject matter to a lot of people. Or, worse, lacks the confidence that they actually have anything of value to share. And, again, particularly in the self-help area, people don't "take chances" on potentially uneducated or questionable credentials while their mental health may be at stake.

Ah yes, this is true. I wasn't 100% sure if it was a nonfiction or not based on the blurb and some of the genre cats it was placed in.

But- I'd at least make it $4.99 vs. $4.25 or some other odd-ish number like that. Might as well pay yourself a little more while also cashing in on a little consumer psychology 101.

18
It's hard to diagnose an illness when the patient won't take their clothes off.

What if it's just an ear infection?   :P :P

19
Writers' Cafe / Re: Countdown Deal Advice? :)
« on: May 17, 2018, 06:23:41 AM »
Hey everyone.

I have some questions around countdown deals. :) While I understand (at least my perception is anyways) that the real road to success is more books, getting people to start your series with a free download and then buy the next novel, I'm thinking about trying my hand at a countdown deal on June 6th. (My novel did for days in pre-order, so that's the earliest I can start one).

I was thinking about trying to line up a bunch of promotions, discount it to .99 cents for a couple of days, 1.99 for a couple of days, maybe back to .99 for a couple of days, and finish off at 2.99 for a day, while tying different promotions to different days.

Thoughts? Does this make sense? Or would I be better served waiting until later this summer (probably late September) for my next EOTP novel to be finished, and running a ton of promos around a free giveaway then, with a link in the first novel (given away for free) to the sales page of my second novel?

Any advice would be much appreciated. ;)


You can't bounce around the prices like that with a Countdown Deal: https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201293780 Or, at least, you have to spread out your price changes considerably. Not worth it.

I'd say to follow Anarchist's advice above. 99c for the full 7 days, heavy promo throughout, during the launch period of book 2.

Of course, you'd get far more eyes on both books by making Book 1 free for a few days and promoting it instead, but your short-term ROI would probably be lower. As I usually tell my clients, free = the most eyes and sell-through, $2.99 = the best ROI, 99c = a good mix. Let your goals determine your pricing.

Definitely be working on your mailing list now. There is no need to wait. Waiting only makes establishing a mailing list and getting all the parts in place more of a pain.

20
Like Kath said, before spending a dime on any promotions or press releases, I'd advise you to get some editing help with your blurb. Going by the "Look Inside", I'd say you might want to extend that editing help to the entire book, too. The bulk of your readers will be native English-speakers and, as such, will expect something that flows more naturally.

After that, try contacting Bruce Springsteen / his people to see if he has any interest in throwing some of his celebrity weight around to help out with your book. If you don't get a response, post about it on the appropriate subreddits so maybe it will come to his attention that way. You never know... some celebrities have soft hearts when it comes to certain issues and want to be involved.

If you don't get any traction there, I'd probably just promote it like any other book and skip the press releases. Has anyone ever had a really worthwhile result from press releases vs. regular ads on a book launch?

A price like $4.25 is going to look odd to readers who are after a bargain. Plus, most promotional venues won't accept a book priced higher than 2.99. So, I'd go with something between 99c - 2.99 if I were you.

21
UPDATE:  :D :D

I've added Bookorium to my venue lists (both Romance and Non-Romance).

Right now promotions with them are FREE if you have an ASIN. If you don't have an ASIN, it's 5 bucks.

It is likely that they will be offering a reduced rate to Book Rank orders at some point in the future when they begin to charge for all promotions.

Look for more new venue announcements and Book Rank updates in the near future. I'm always on the lookout for effective sites to add to my list(s) and more discounts for my clients.

-

Also, I should probably mention that as part of their grand opening, they are currently doing an Author giveaway with like $8,000 worth of marketing, editing, and various professional services as the prize: http://bookorium.com/authorspublishers/bookorium-grand-opening-author-publisher-giveaway/ (ends June 8th)

They are also doing a reader giveaway with $1,000 of Amazon gift cards and KU subsciptions here: http://bookorium.com/promotion/bookorium-grand-opening/ (ends June 1st)

22
The Book Bazaar / Re: Advance Read - Free Books for Reviewers
« on: May 07, 2018, 06:18:06 AM »
So, I've been quietly observing reader and customer behavior without making a lot of moves with Advance Read over the past month.


READERS

Readers leave a review about 75% of the time. Not bad. I haven't needed to blacklist very many people at all as just about everyone has either left a review or at least filled out the post-read survey telling me why they couldn't. The excuses I get range from the totally reasonable to the completely implausible, lol. You'd think I was asking these folks for a doctor's note for work or something.

The weekly flyer now has a total of 315 readers. These are folks that voluntarily signed up to get this email solely because they want to know what books have been added lately. I did not advertise the flyer or offer freebies/gift cards/etc. or anything like that to get these readers to sign up.

Daily site visits: ~250

Current expected signups by genre:

Non-romance: 0-20 (depends greatly on cover and blurb)

Contemporary, New Adult, Paranormal Romance: 10-70 (usually somewhere around 35 or so)

Historical Romance: 5-20

LGBT Romance: 5-20


AUTHORS

Most authors provided me with their manuscript files on time. Some got extensions and ultimately sent along the files. A handful totally didn't send me anything despite being given extensions and haven't been very communicative. :( This is a source of frustration for me (I'm kind of anal about stuff like this) but whatever. It can't be helped - sometimes life happens and that gets in the way of releasing a new book. I understand, but I'm keeping the deposit.

After the free period ended and those associated ARCs were delivered and then removed from the website, the number of books available for readers to sign up for has greatly diminished.


CHANGES:

To help stimulate authors to place orders, I've done two things:

1) The deposit price has been dropped to $2.00. I'd get rid of it completely, but then I'd get all sorts of requests and people flaking out, etc.

2) The price for each signup has been reduced by 50% to $1.00/each.

(Note that these prices will be applied to those who currently have an open order with me so just because you ordered before the price changes doesn't mean you have to pay more :) )

I can't promise that the prices will stay at this level for very long, BTW. The costs of advertising Advance Read are high. This is quite literally as cheap as I can possibly make the service and still have a hope of growing it and finding a steady stream of new reviewers.

Author response to these changes will determine if I continue with Advance Read or not.

Thanks!

23
Do you have promos for new authors publishing their first work?

Sure, that's no problem. There's no restriction on having written a certain number of books or anything before I'll take you on as a client.

24
Haven't had a weekend bump in awhile!  :P

25
Hi Ram! Quick question, for those who write, let say, Fantasy PNR...what option should we choose? The Romance or non Romance? I mean for some sites, they have a different bookings for fantasy and romance genre...and I'm quite confused what to choose if ever.

Is the main focus of your book on the romantic relationship & ultimate outcome between two characters? Or is the main focus on something else? What's the cover look like? - is it a couple holding each other or a sexy shirtless dude...or is it mostly magic swirls, elves, dragons, or something else very fantasy-esque like that? The answers to these questions may help you hone in on which genre is the predominant one in your book, or at least let you figure out how your book might be perceived by potential readers.

Of course, you can always just mix it up and have some venues run it as Fantasy and some run it as PNR. I can fill the order however you want, all you have to do is let me know.

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