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Messages - Salvador Mercer

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...I got the same Season Deal for the UK with the same dates. Doesn't sound like it's going to blow the doors off anything, but I'm curious to see what happens, anyway.


Ditto here.  I got the same season deal and dates.  Only my first in series was invited and IIR they asked per book, so the OP could have checked yes for the series lead and no for the other book.  My email also mentioned "last minute changes" so maybe they are used to receiving cancellations?

I type directly into this little box on Kboards and have never had this problem before. Not sure why so many are cutting and pasting. :)

Yes, but I don't think I'd write with my name in too many genres.  Sci-Fi and Fantasy are close enough and since my Sci-Fi are categorized as Techno-thrillers too, I'll stick to my name for those when I start writing them later this year.  Don't know for sure if I'd try a fourth genre, three is enough for me as they're my favorites I feel comfortable writing in those.

Gotta chime in on my own UK experience. I'm US based, went wide and got both an International BookBub and a US BookBub for my Sci-Fi/Techno-Thriller. My Amazon UK sales went from like 2% of my Amazon revenue to nearly 40%.  My book is about a space race between the US, Russia, and China.  Other than the fact that I throw the term "Bloody Hell" around a lot, I've noticed that the small microcosm known as the Zon-UK seemed to help my book since I am showing up in some popular A/B's as well as in the top 100 for the Techno-Thriller sub category.  That stickiness has been going on since last October.  I think the market has more to do with the algos, A/B's and pop/bestseller lists than the fact that one indie is British and another is a Yank.  The same book in the US struggles to reach five digit ranking territory despite me being the aforetomentioned Yank.  ;)

Just my two cents, but it was a pleasant, though unexpected surprise, when it happened to me.  To the OP, I'd look closer at your A/B's to start and go from there.

20.   Continue writing. Book three should be done sometime in the next few months, right?
21.   Nah. Start a sci-fi project. That'll be fun.
23.   Oops, you forgot you needed to finish the fantasy series you started

One look at my signature books and you'll know this rang true for me.  Great read, I enjoyed all ten of your steps.  Now off to finish my two fantasy series, one of which I thought I had finished but readers let me know that I was wrong.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Making a living... Everyone is different
« on: March 29, 2018, 10:39:39 AM »
I missed this thread last year. Was busy with the day job and my family. I read every post and it was a real eye opener. I draw a lot of inspiration from those of you who find a certain satisfaction in your own level, or measure, of success and not what others define for the industry as a whole.  I've also noticed some wonderful pieces of advice buried here and plan to employ them forthwith. My own earnings chart is like a roller coaster, but I can at least point to each high and low with a degree of certainty and know the cause of each.  For now, while any financial compensation is wonderful, I'm most moved by feedback from readers who love the stories I tell. Can't put a price tag on that.

Writers' Cafe / Re: My prawny attempt to hit #1 in my categories
« on: March 29, 2018, 09:06:27 AM »
Good luck! :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: My prawny attempt to hit #1 in my categories
« on: March 25, 2018, 09:05:17 AM »
You should do very well on the 29th.  How did yesterday go for you?

Writers' Cafe / Re: trad publishing called and I picked up the phone
« on: March 22, 2018, 02:46:37 PM »
Congrats, Gene!

Wishing you a million sales, and not because my book is second on your AB list...  ;D

Writers' Cafe / Re: I bought a Kboards ad and haven't heard back
« on: March 16, 2018, 11:37:36 AM »

I reported it to the mods, hopefully they will have someone look into it for you soon.  Good luck.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Opting out of KDP Select to try for a BookBub
« on: February 25, 2018, 05:24:33 PM »
Yes, Bill. I'm glad you caught my mistake. I just want to opt out of KDP Select because I read that chances are slim of getting a BookBub if your novel is in KDP Select. Do you find that to be true? I did see one KDP Select author in my BookBub newsletter this morning. Book priced at 99 cents and in KU. But do you feel it is wise to opt out of Select and go wide to increase chances of a BookBub?

I want to add some data for my fellow indies which doesn't mean my experience will translate into something for you, but it should help with facts. First, after twenty five rejections over two years I went wide with my series in the Sci-Fi genre and three days later received my first selection for an International Featured Deal. Two months after that I managed the US only to complement it. It was 99 cent paid deal down from $3.99 and it was wide on all five major retailers that BookBub markets to.

This. Chances that you're accepted are less than 5%, if that.

Yes, you do have a bigger chance when you're not in Select, but first make sure your cover, formatting, editing and other presentation is absolutely top notch. If anyone tells you that you need x reviews of y average, this is BS, but editorial reviews and cover blurbs from well-known authors can help, but are not necessary.

Two months after my US deal, I received six rejections in the fantasy genre for paid/99 cents and free on three of my five books. I just skipped the other two and offered up my newly created boxed set which has zero reviews across all retailers and it was accepted for next month. While the individual books share about 170+ reviews, they took the set at 99 cents down from $9.99.

In your opinion, would going with an aggregator like D2D lessen your chances versus publishing at each outlet separately?

I'm using D2D for B&N and iBooks and had no problem obtaining a featured deal so I don't think this is a factor.

I've been watching a few genres regularly and the two that I am in, Science Fiction and Fantasy, are much harder to be selected for a featured deal than say Action Adventure and Horror. Crime Fiction is another one that accepts quite a few Select titles. I think it depends on the genre, quality of the product, and author/publisher more or less in that order.  The takeaway I have with it is if you go wide for only this reason then you best have a plan if/when the Bub continues the rejections. My plan was that my wide Sci-Fi set would go perma 99 cents and my wide fantasy would go permafree. My third series with much longer books (Epic Fantasy genre) stayed in KU.  Again, key is to have some kind of plan and the willingness to learn other platforms, retailers, and markets.

As others have said, it is damn difficult to obtain a featured deal, though Wayne Stinnett is a legend in my mind on obtaining them especially considering that he is exclusive to Amazon, though the quality of his work speaks for itself.

Good luck and you should really come back here and post an update if you go wide and share your experience(s).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Anyone interested in BookBub from a nobody?
« on: February 24, 2018, 04:36:09 PM »
Saw your book today. Congrats and hope you have a long and successful tail from it. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Okay Bookbub ad sleuths ....
« on: February 24, 2018, 10:36:54 AM »
I'm going to guess that it's a coincidence that at the exact time you changed, several other authors started mass promotions and outbid you. Even with a terrible looking ad you should receive impressions if not clicks. The fact that you have no impressions tells me either there's a glitch in the ad server which includes your own settings/parameters or your standard bid doesn't cut it any longer. Bid higher and see what happens. I like to work my way up in 50 cent increments each day if I'm experimenting and not needing a sales blitz for a promo.

Double check your ad settings to ensure nothing was missed by you (bid, daily budget, payment method, genre, targeting/audience, etc.) and if all good up your bid. Good luck!

Writers' Cafe / Re: First run at USA Today Bestseller List
« on: February 19, 2018, 08:40:34 AM »
Thanks Scarlett. Although I might be foiled in my attempt for the USAT right here at the start. I can only see two links on my listing...Kobo and Apple aren't on there...

Hi Virginia,

It may be your preferences in your email. On the Bookbub website both the Kobo and iBook links are there and both are 99 cents. You should be fine. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: First run at USA Today Bestseller List
« on: February 14, 2018, 01:41:13 PM »
Good luck!  So are the pre-bookbub dates being used for a ramp up to the featured deal? They won't count for the USA Today run so I'm wondering if they would be better used after the 19th so you can count their sales for the run?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Facebook targeted ad tip
« on: February 07, 2018, 01:31:24 PM »
Good to know. I keep track of that relevancy score to see if interaction is good or not and of course the frequency to see if I'm getting oversaturated. I usually run only one or two ads at a time and only scale up for a short run to support a promo at the time.  I do use a trickle ad at $5 or $10 a day to generate interest, but that's about it. I do need to spend due diligence on monitoring them though and I don't always have the time...  :)

If anyone is interested in a peak at some great interior formatting, have a gander at my Ranger Rising book's Look Inside on Amazon. Colleen did all of that and then some. Flawless, elegant, and definitely something worth investing in. She customized the map I provided and even made me my own logo for my publishing arm (You know I'm a huge, one man publishing company, LOL). When I needed a quick update, she was responsive and quick. I'll leave it at that and let the book's interior do the talking. :)

I'm wondering if it's necessary to do the pre-orders at other retailers to hit the list?  I've never tried something like this, but I've noticed that when others have, there seemed to be a pre-order period to 'gather' orders to hit 500 and be reportable on another retailer other than Amazon, or did I miss something? I think it was with boxed sets. I can't remember what Carolynn did on her run, though I think Ploof did no pre-orders on his successful run. It would be interesting to know either way.

Over the last couple of years I've done both. At first, I was all for free. The extra downloads, plus a nice bump in page reads, seemed to give greater visibility and subsequently, more sales. Lately, I've had my free promotions struggle when compared to paid. Even at only 99 cents, I think someone clicking and buying it at that price has a much greater chance of reading it. Once read, if liked, they may very well purchase the next in series. Free did very well in 2016, less so in 2017. Still, my next promo will still be for free since the book is in KU.  For my books out of KU, I'm leaning towards 99 cents. Either way, any promo will help with visibility and then it's up to the book to make you or break you.  Good luck. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Fantasy Cover Art?
« on: December 11, 2017, 02:19:29 PM »
I'm pretty happy since finding my latest cover artist. He's here: and he did the Lich in my Mad Mage book cover plus two others that aren't published yet, though you can find his gallery on either his home page or his deviantart page.  It may, or may not, suit your tastes. I'm pretty happy with his work.  Actually, on this link the second and fourth pics were done for my covers (The Dragon War & Cursed Cleric).

Writers' Cafe / Re: Oh, Amazon ... I hope you get better soon
« on: November 30, 2017, 01:34:58 PM »
I just saw books.. Hell Divers and Hell Divers 2 at 84 cents and 69 cents. On Amazon US. How is that possible?

Either the book was discounted on GooglePlay and Amazon matched it, or it is priced at 99 cents in another market where the dollar is worth more. Those are my opinions on the matter and my opinions are often times wrong, LOL...   :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Underperforming first book - any help?
« on: November 19, 2017, 09:32:18 AM »
Welcome Tizzy,

Well, I like your cover, I don't see an issue there, though I'm no expert in that department. I'd say the formatting looks good and the blurb could be a bit better but everything to initially draw a reader in and entice them to purchase look fine. What the main issue is for any author, especially with a first book, is visibility. No one knows you. You have no cred with any readers. This will take time no matter how well written and presented your book is.

I can only offer you my advice, which I did recently for another author of two books struggling for the same thing... VISIBILITY.  You'll need to get this and the main way that I do this is by discounting my book and running a promotion on it.  It works well enough for me every time I do this.  The myriad of other things that should be done, such as the ones I mentioned, cover, blurb, look-inside, are all important, but in my experience, even books with more than one flaw in them will sell if they are seen by enough potential readers.

Based on what you posted, I'd say you need to manage your expectations as an author competing for the attention of readers with tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of your fellow authors.  I would not say you're doing anything 'wrong' per se, but your issue is visibility and the AMS ads are a good start.

My opinion only, would be to either do what Wayne Stinnett advised, forget book one and write book two, or discount this book to 99 cents and run a promo to get some reviews and Also-Boughts.  Either way, this is how I see it and I'm positive others will see different aspects of your first publication.

Congrats on actually getting to this point, and best of luck with your current book. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon broken
« on: November 18, 2017, 06:26:39 AM »
Ditto, I'm getting puppy dog pages with "Sorry, page not found" message on it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Writing Two Series at the Same Time?
« on: November 17, 2017, 01:31:20 PM »

I wrote three books, each the first in a series across two different genres. That was two and a half years ago. I'm still working on all three series...

Take a break if you feel it helps your mind. I enjoy bouncing back and forth sometimes, though it makes it harder to market.  Best of luck in your decision. :)

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help! Why arenít my books selling?
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:02:45 PM »

First, welcome to Kboards. Second, one of the best things you did for your career as an author (or hobby for some of us) is to post for feedback here.  FWIW, most of us started exactly where you are, albeit with different circumstances, challenges, strengths, and weaknesses.  I won't hash out the information already presented here, but I'll compile a small list of things I did from my first book, which sold almost nothing, after I published it.  Hopefully, this may help you moving forward.

1) Covers (Yours look fine to me now. Later you can review them to best match genre)
2) Blurb (You're working on that. Good, it must have a hook, a compelling story, and not be too long winded)
3) Look Inside (Also already being worked on, good job)
4) Edit/Proof (Already spoken to, but also have everything associated with you proofed at the very least such as author bio, blurb, marketing materials, etc.)
5) Pricing (This is debatable, but my opinion is that as a new writer you need visibility. No one can buy your book if they can't find it. I'd price it at 99 cents for a while)
6) Series (It looks like book two has the same character. Even if the books are stand alone, if they have a common protagonist, world, story arc, etc. get them linked and tagged)
7) Marketing (Run a promo for free on book one. Give that book to readers. Run a KCD on book two. VISIBILITY!)
8] Study (Read posts here, join other author groups, writing groups, marketing groups, anything that will help you write better, market efficiently, and network in this business)
9) Read (Simple, read in the genre you wish to write in. Learn from what you read)
10) Persevere (Evenstar said it best, $15 her first month. I did $20. Keep going, you said you would, so you're ahead of the game there)

Remember, while the indie community is a great one, we are all in the same marketplace which has rules, laws, algos, and consequences. There are authors who will write more books, write great stories, market as if they work for a Fortune 500 company (some do/did), network, study, read, revise, repeat, etc. so hard and so fast it will make your head spin.  Learn what you can and do your best to improve yourself as an indie. You have a great attitude and I can empathize with the English as a second language challenge, which is one of the more difficult challenges a writer can face imho. My wife is also ESL and even simple things frustrate her. Stick with it, take your break and revitalize yourself from so much advice. Best of luck and welcome to club indie. :)

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