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Topics - K.A. Madison

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Writers' Cafe / I was contacted by Apple regarding their iBooks Store
« on: March 10, 2015, 06:12:38 PM »
I recently received an email from Apple asking me if I would be willing to talk to them regarding the placement of my books in the iBooks store.  I chatted on the phone with one of their reps who told me that she wanted to help promote Indie authors and the visibility of their books.  She was very helpful and friendly and we ended up talking for about 15 minutes.  Today the second of my series (published in iBooks just in February) is featured on their Sci-Fi ďnew and popularĒ slider!  Wow!  Iíve never received a call from Amazon.  For Apple to have a focused effort to reach out to Indie authors is a smart and savvy grassroots campaign that will only help their business.  Iím definitely looking forward to working with them over the long term.

I was Amazon exclusive for the past 3 months and the more I think about it the more I realize that the decision was a mistake and limited my options.  There has been some discussion here that for new authors it may make more sense to choose KDP Select, but it didn't help me that much and limited the exposure of my books.  Just my 2 cents worth as a new author.

I've been in KDP Select for about six months now and was wrestling with putting my books back in the iBookstore.  This latest piece of news I think is the tipping point for me.  There are many, many new people getting used the ease of clicking on iBooks as opposed to downloading and then signing into the Kindle app.  Not that the iBookstore will catapult my sales or anything, but it's another option to reach more potential readers.

I'm running a 2 day KDP free promo and did one GenrePulse ad that started yesterday afternoon.  I woke up this morning to #1 in Hard Science Fiction!  I'm not one of those big hitters so I was pretty impressed by that. 

So in case anyone was wondering about James's GenrePulse offering, it looks to be pretty good.

How do we add a picture to these posts... I can't figure that out!

Writers' Cafe / Best days for a free promotion on Select?
« on: November 30, 2014, 07:25:29 AM »
What's the consensus (if there is one) on the # of free days for a title in KDP Select?  I was thinking 2 to 3 days max, then saving the other days for a different window during the enrollment period.  If it's 2, then which days?  Friday and Saturday with a return to regular pricing (.99) on Sunday?  Any other days during the week better for offering a free promotion?  This will be my first KDP Select Free promotion.  Thanks!

Writers' Cafe / Made a mistake with a newsletter. Should I resend?
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:40:32 AM »
I participated in a promotion where I got a bunch of new subscribers to my newsletter.  I wrote up a new welcome message and offered them a copy of my book.  I put in the book's summary blurb and a few more sentences of what it's about. 

The thing I forgot to do is hyperlink any of my images and titles to Amazon!  Du-oh!  So they cannot click on the book and see the "glowing" reviews on Amazon.  At the risk of these new subscribers thinking I'm spamming them with too many emails (when I told them that I won't email them too often), so I resend with the hyperlinks included?  I was thinking of putting "Correction" or something in the subject.

I think many people want to click and see more about a book in Amazon.  I could be wrong about that though...

As most members of this forum do at some point, they post their marketing strategies and corresponding results as part of their effort to give back to this awesome community.  I'm still new at this stuff and this is my first promotional "surge," so I will take any tips and pointers that you can offer.  I need them... after some healthy sales when it was first released (read --> family & friends), the book has languished and steadily dropped to where it is now - 925,720...  ouch.  I've updated the keywords and improved, I think, the description in an attempt to 'relaunch' the book. Until tomorrow, I've only done one eBooksoda promotion.  So, here we go.

Genre:    Sci-Fi with bits of Fantasy
9/25/14   Kindle countdown deal on The Awakening (book #1) starts on 9/25.  1 week at .99 cents.
9/25/14   Discount Books Daily
9/25/14   Fiverr - Genre Pulse
9/26/14   Riffle
9/26/14   Kboards - Book Discovery
9/28/14   Fiverr - bknights
9/29/14   Midlist
9/30/14   Kindle Books and Tips
10/1/14   October Giveaway Sponsorship (Free Kindle Giveaway) - newsletter promotion
10/2/14   Awesomegang
10/3/14   The Awakening goes back to $2.99.
10/24/14   Moons of Solisticia (book #2) release

I've opened up preorders for Moons of Solisticia starting today.  I've priced it at .99 cents to try and get as big as a boost as possible out of the gate.  I've added a link to the new book at the end of book #1 so hopefully I can get some follow through sales.

As the promos run, I'll post updates.  I hope this helps the community and other struggling authors as they try to market their books.

Writers' Cafe / Suggested genre/reading list for a new ad
« on: August 12, 2014, 05:48:11 PM »
Question for all of you self publishing and promotional masters out there...  The Awakening crosses across different genres.  It's predominantly sci-fi, but brings in other components of fantasy as well as some romance.  Obviously, most books cross multiple genres, but when submitting a listing for promotion, which genre would you guys suggest to get the most bang for the buck?  Teen/YA?  Sci-fi?  Fantasy?  Another one?  Teen/YA is more expensive than the others to list, so I'm assuming that has the most reach?  Or is it that they expect the most click through or sales in those genres?

The Awakening will be featured on eBookSoda tomorrow.  It's book 1 in my new series, plus it's my debut novel, so I'm not expecting much, but I thought it's only a $5 investment and if I can pull more reviews in, that's all I need. 

I will keep you guys posted on the results...  it should be pretty easy to see because after a burst in the beginning when I first published, there haven't been any sales for five days.   

Phew... it's done.  After many late nights and many days stressing about, "is it good enough?," I finally published The Awakening.  8)  As many of you know, I'm a new author and started on this journey only a few months ago.  I've been writing the story for longer, but once I discovered this board, things started to move.  I just want to share a couple big points with my fellow authors on my experiences:

  • kboards is a great resource.  I've gotten so much positive feedback and assistance from the people on this site.  THANK YOU!
  • Having a good editor is very important.  I can't believe how many things my editor fixed that I didn't catch.  When I thought my book was perfect, we ended up going through many, many revisions because she found errors that I missed.  This is probably my biggest tip for new authors - if you want a professional and polished book, hire a good editor.
  • Book covers are important - make a solid investment in them because it's the first thing anyone, and everyone, will ever see.
  • Setting up a website is also pretty difficult and even though I work full time in IT, I too had a hard time.  Although my site is nothing great and more of a web presence than anything fancy, I think I can offer some helpful hints for using Wordpress, stay tuned.
  • You will need more time than you planned for.  This is especially true if you're a new author.  There are always more scenes to elaborate on, characters that need more development or holes that need to be plugged. 

Writing is pretty hard.  Especially when you have a family and a full time job.  I can now fully empathize with all of you out there in the same boat.  We just need to climb the ladder to become a full time, successful author.  Then we can relax with no worries in the world!  LOL..  we all know that's not really true, but from down here, that perch looks pretty damn good.  :)

Writers' Cafe / Are most people on this board full time authors?
« on: April 08, 2014, 10:24:05 AM »
Are most of you guys full time authors or do you have other jobs that pay the bills?  Many people who frequent the Writers Cafe have a bunch of books to their name, so, is that income stream sufficient for you to quit any other jobs you may have had?  I know that there are some shooting stars and people have sold tens, if not hundreds of thousands of books, but I'm thinking those people are the outliers.  For the others, do you make enough money selling books and not have to worry about having another full time job?

And I know the term "enough money" is subjective, so I'll throw a figure out there.  $100k.  I'm coming from an urban area so that is actually not that much these days...

I've been going back and forth on my blurb and wasn't sure if the info I was putting into it was giving too much away.  Here is my blurb:

The year is 2051, ten years after The Awakening.  In this new world, machines have reached a level of intelligence exponentially higher than humans.  While they perceive themselves as benevolent human caretakers, they are ruthless and their true purpose remains hidden.

Drawn into the underground struggle to resist the oppressive bots, Aiden discovers itís not only Earth that is in jeopardy.  The bots also threaten Solisticia, a magical planet in another dimension. There he meets Kyra, an enigmatic young woman and learns that she isnít just another inhabitant of Solisticia, but a soul mate from across the heavens.

From Earth to distant worlds across the universe, The Awakening is a novel about the future, the nature of good and evil, and a love that spans across space and time.

One of my beta readers said I'm giving away much..  their exact quote is: 

"Umm..but from a readers point of view (that's me), if I had read that blurb first, the surprise and exhilaration felt when I read chapter 6 and 7 would not have been the same.  It would be like a description for Star Wars that read: "a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, young Luke skywalker battles the forces of evil including darth vader who he soon learns is his father..."

What do you guys think?  Can you reveal too much?  The book is 36,000 words so there is an entire story about what happens.

Writers' Cafe / Can I get some feedback on my blurb?
« on: March 27, 2014, 04:55:59 PM »
Hi everyone.  The cover is done, yeah!  The book is with my editor!  It's coming along and on target for April!

I'm working on the blurb and from what everyone has said on this awesome site, it ranks pretty high on making an impact on sales.  So, I welcome your feedback.  Here it is:

The year is 2051, ten years after The Awakening. In this new world, machines, or bots as they are known, have reached a level of intelligence exponentially higher than humans. While they are now humanityís caretakers and claim to be benevolent and just masters of a new age, their true purpose remains hidden.
No one has challenged the machines until Aiden, recruited by a secret Resistance group, is drawn into their struggle. But it isnít only Earth that needs saving.  Existing in another dimension, Solisticia, a planet with almost magical and mystical powers, is also threatened by the bots and needs Aidenís help.  There he meets Kyra and learns that she is someone more special to him than he could have ever imagined.  With her help he begins to devise a strategy that will defeat the machines once and for all. 
From Earth to distant worlds across the universe, The Awakening is a novel about the future, the nature of good and evil, and a love that spans across space and time.

Comments on the cover are welcome also.  Thanks!

I'm curious to hear how your significant other handles all the time you spend behind the computer when you write.  Recently, I've been obsessed at cranking out my first book and as all of you know, it takes a lot of time.  With 2 small kids and a full time job, writing time is a limited commodity.  Honestly, it's been a little difficult and I've gotten frowns and shakes of the head more than a thumbs up, so to speak.  I'm in a zone and can spend hours upon hours writing and editing but realistically, there are other people in my life that deserve my attention also.  So I stay up late (it's a few minutes before midnight and my full time job awaits me tomorrow morning) and try to focus when others sleep.  Can anyone sympathize with what I'm going through?  Should I ask for more support (should I even have to do that??) or should I reset my timelines and ambitions?

Writers' Cafe / How important is a website for a new author?
« on: March 09, 2014, 06:56:57 PM »
Yes, I already know that having your own website presence can only be a good thing.  But is it that important in the beginning of an author's career (or hobby ;D )?  I'm finishing up my first book and will hopefully have a fast follower in the series.  But for now, it is only one book.  I've read some great posts about the importance of newsletters so I will have something up.  I guess my question is, how much effort should I place on a professional looking website, now, with only one book to my name?  Should I go all out with a Wordpress template or just something on Blogger?

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