KBoards | a community forum for Kindle Users and Authors

Authors' Forum => Writers' Cafe => Topic started by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 04:10:24 AM

Title: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 04:10:24 AM
(https://scontent-a-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/1382172_562573930482399_1508736943_n.jpg)

Why are the numbers always so exciting? And I don't even care about anything else, but I knocked over John Green in my categories. That's like mind blowing.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 04:10:55 AM
Sorry, I don't know where else to talk about this. It's like only a thing writers look at. :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Lydniz on October 29, 2013, 04:23:56 AM
Congratulations!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Linda Barlow on October 29, 2013, 04:26:39 AM
Wow...congrats!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Wansit on October 29, 2013, 05:02:24 AM
That is awesome! Love the new covers
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Dee Ernst on October 29, 2013, 05:06:01 AM
Yay you!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Jd488 on October 29, 2013, 05:11:12 AM
Congrats and enjoy the ride.  :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: elalond on October 29, 2013, 05:13:59 AM
That's awesome. Congrats.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: RuthNestvold on October 29, 2013, 05:29:33 AM
Wow, excellent!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: K.R. Harris on October 29, 2013, 05:31:28 AM
Awesome! Congrats!  :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 05:42:20 AM
It's been a lot of work. I don't know what to do with myself now.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: ElHawk on October 29, 2013, 05:48:20 AM
Yay, that's awesome!!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: S.P. van der Lee on October 29, 2013, 06:26:59 AM
Wow  :o

How did you do that, if I may ask?
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Ardin on October 29, 2013, 06:29:37 AM
Awesome. Now for details!!!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: TK aka BB on October 29, 2013, 06:32:24 AM
Congrats! That's awesome! I love inspiring posts!  :P

Wow  :o
How did you do that, if I may ask?

Seconded.

If you crow, you need to teach.

What are you doing re: marketing?

Mailing list? How many? How'd you build it?
Ads? Where? How much?
Facebook? What'd you do?
Twitter? Other Social media?
Help from here? Help from elsewhere?
Blogs: Your own? Tour?
What did I miss?

TK aka BHB
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: minxmalone on October 29, 2013, 06:35:44 AM
That's awesome, congrats!! I love the new covers, too.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: valeriec80 on October 29, 2013, 06:40:14 AM
Whoo-hoo! 239 now! You're killing it.

Come on, Top 100!!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 06:50:43 AM
The advice I have is standard, I guess. It just works. It took getting to this point to realize how much work I had to put into it.

On writing:

Write a million words. Your first million is practice.

When you've finished one book, write the next one.

Write the thing you love, and it becomes much easier and your readers will love it, too.

Don't read in your genre. Read other books.

Know everything about your characters and love them. If you love them, readers will, too.

You have to know the writing rules and then know when to break a few of those rules.

Don't be afraid to write anything. Don't worry about what the world will think or if some people might not like this. Write what you would love to read.

And for technical:

Write big. Write a series. It can be loosely connected based on an area (Debbie Macomber) or a series of one big book (Lord of the Rings). Don't give them one thing to love. Give them reasons to come back. You want to build the ongoing relationship, not a one off fling.

For me, I gave the first away free. The readers who read it really liked it and picked up the other books in the series.

Anything that isn't Academy related they generally don't buy, so there's a thing. Keep to a genre.

Get beta readers that know what they're talking about. I use Terese over at Scriptland.net. She's very much worth every penny. Not only does she do a really good job, but she's also a private investigator, which works for my series because there's crimes and espionage that she helps me with the fine tuning of. She's also an editor for Entranced Publishing, so you're getting a good one.

Uh... get that newsletter started. Start a Facebook and Twitter, although I mostly use Facebook now. Keep in touch with fans. Fans build slowly sometimes, but you want to keep them interested.

Respond to fan mail. Even if it is just to say thank you.

Be nice to everyone. :) They notice.

I need to get going but will be back.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 06:51:43 AM
Now that I'm back, will answer. :)


What are you doing re: marketing?

At first, I just made book one free, and it managed to get to the top 500 given away free on Amazon and stay there for a month or so. In the beginning of October, it started to drop into the 800s so I started advertising then. May not be the best solution but that's just what I did.

Other than that, I maintain Facebook and occasionally Twitter and monitor emails and have the newsletter sign up in places. I actually need to be better about the newsletter and the website. I get buys and forget.

Mailing list? How many? How'd you build it?

I told people if they were interested in updates to sign up and presented a link at the end of each book, plus the website. I started late, and at first only had like 30 or so sign ups.

Recently, I offered my readers a chance to get a special Q&A and also special spoilers and upcoming scenes from the newest book to come out. That, I think, increased people wanting to subscribe, so they could get those PDF downloads.

Ads? Where? How much?

The only thing I did was pay $40 for that eBook Freebie Notification to distribute the information to different free ebook newsletters. I do also have a NetGalley Co-OP for reviews from bloggers. I prefer that.

Facebook? What'd you do?

There's actually kind of a couple of them. One is fan created and I spend A LOT of time in there as they want some selected spoilers and I answer a lot of questions. It's kind of like a hard core group of fans. The main one I have has around... I think over 500 people. I share announcements and updates and links to the books there. :)

I spend a lot of time with the hardcore fans answering questions and it's been very helpful. I never ask for reviews, they tell each other to do them.

Twitter? Other Social media?

Twitter. I have a Tumblr but don't have too much time for it but I want to use it more. I do have a Pintrest to post pictures and stuff and some people follow but I mostly use Facebook. We're looking at making forums on the website right now, which would make this a lot easier.

Help from here? Help from elsewhere?

Help from friends who beta read and Terese from Scriptland.net. She not only can beta read and edit, but she's been with me since like book two and she knows a lot of what I know. If you bug her, she'll spill the beans.

Blogs: Your own? Tour?

I'd use Tumblr. I haven't done a tour. If bloggers are interested, they find me on NetGalley or can email me personally and I have an open invitation with them. To me, that's better. I know when I was blogging, I felt too obligated to read. With NetGalley, I just picked what I liked as if I were at the library. I don't know, I liked it better.


What did I miss?

The most important part is the writing! You may not connect with everyone, not everyone will understand you, but those that do will love you for it. That's just how it works.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: FireMonkey on October 29, 2013, 08:05:46 AM
Wow, congratulations!  :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: LeonardDHilleyII on October 29, 2013, 08:33:59 AM
Congrats!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: riffelbooks on October 29, 2013, 08:36:05 AM
Congrats.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: SBJones on October 29, 2013, 08:47:48 AM
Wow, very nice.  Congratulations.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: P.T. Michelle on October 29, 2013, 08:59:59 AM
This is fantastic! Congrats and keep on moving up! :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Amanda Brice on October 29, 2013, 09:08:14 AM
That is awesome!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Raquel Lyon on October 29, 2013, 09:17:16 AM
Absolutely amazing!  :o Just had to grab myself a copy of book one, and I'm sure I'm going to love it as much as all your other devoted readers.  ;D
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 29, 2013, 01:54:29 PM
Thank you, everyone! It's been really exciting. I know when I was starting I liked hearing this was happening, too. :) I just wanted to mention it just to add to the collection.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: mariehallwrites on October 29, 2013, 02:01:43 PM
Great job, it's always so cool when that happens  :P
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Desmond X. Torres on October 29, 2013, 05:37:19 PM
Waitamiinit-- what, you think you're King Sh** of Turd Mountain or something?

WELL YOU OUGHT TO!
Great news man. Congratulations!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: LarryNW on October 29, 2013, 05:48:41 PM
Who kicks ass? You, that's who.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: TK aka BB on October 29, 2013, 06:01:43 PM

Thank you for being so generous, CLStone. I appreciate the advice!

TK aka BB
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Lana Lake on October 29, 2013, 06:36:49 PM
Congratulations! How exciting!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Joseph Turkot on October 29, 2013, 08:32:49 PM
Awesome stuff. Inspires...inspires...inspires...
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Alan Petersen on October 29, 2013, 08:52:33 PM
Awesome, congrats and thanks for the tips.

I noticed you link back to GoodReads (forum sig and your website), were you active on GR before the new release?
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Book Master on October 29, 2013, 09:12:05 PM
You can almost hear that amazon cash register going off with the sales.....cha-chinggggggg!

Its good to hear about your books doing so well.

BM
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: A.A on October 29, 2013, 09:48:59 PM
Waitamiinit-- what, you think you're King Sh** of Turd Mountain or something?

WELL YOU OUGHT TO!
Great news man. Congratulations!

heh heh

Happy for you!!  :D
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Riley Graham on October 29, 2013, 10:26:01 PM
Congratulations and thanks for sharing what worked for you!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Irisdeorre on October 29, 2013, 11:04:59 PM
Awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips, I always find every tip on the boards useful!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: legion on October 29, 2013, 11:08:42 PM
Omg, congrats!!
And I really like your new covers. Obviously, I'm not the only one!  ;)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: KevinH on October 30, 2013, 12:23:38 AM
Those are kick-butt results! Congrats!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Hugh Howey on October 30, 2013, 12:34:37 AM
It's been a lot of work. I don't know what to do with myself now.

Buy yourself a drink!

Mega-congrats! Amazing launch, and your advice in this thread has given me whiplash, I've been nodding so vigorously. Best summation of how to approach writing that I've seen in a while.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 30, 2013, 08:04:35 AM
Thank you everyone!

And to answer the other question, I did a quick giveaway from GoodReads right from the start. I like all my reviews, not just the ones I really liked. I don't participate heavily otherwise. I think the place is for readers but I monitor. If someone had a question, I'd answer the question. But I always answered emails from GoodReads if someone took the time out. I try to answer all emails now.

I also actively participate in a fan created page someone made. I dole out spoilers and answer their questions on a daily basis. I need to manage my time and try to scale back so I write more, but I'm ahead of schedule as far as rough drafts.

And after the new release, they had a lot of questions. :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: christianem on October 30, 2013, 10:41:11 AM
Congratulations! Your post's inspiring - especially since you didn't even mention getting a Bookbub ad.

Mind if I ask another question - what was your best initial ranking before Book #4? :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: CLStone on October 30, 2013, 10:54:35 AM
I think I managed to scrape around 1800 mark at some point. I hover around the 2000 rank mark on average.

I'm looking for more opportunities currently to give the first book away wherever possible. I actually am planning a Christmas present for the readers soon.

It just feels like the more people read the books, the more I want to do for them.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: christianem on October 30, 2013, 11:29:57 AM
I think I managed to scrape around 1800 mark at some point. I hover around the 2000 rank mark on average.

I'm looking for more opportunities currently to give the first book away wherever possible. I actually am planning a Christmas present for the readers soon.

It just feels like the more people read the books, the more I want to do for them.

Thanks so much for sharing! :) I'm pretty sure your readers know how awesome you are as a person, too, so no doubt they'll keep on supporting you.
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Anne Frasier on October 30, 2013, 12:33:31 PM
fantastic!!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: ScriptLand on November 01, 2013, 01:31:27 PM
You, Crazy Lady (if anyone wondered what C. L stood for)  ;D (I kid) I found this post through an entry on THE Hugh Howey's website: http://www.hughhowey.com/writing-advice-from-c-l-stone/.

Just very cool  8)  (maybe it's Cool Lady?)

Congrats!

Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: JASchneider on November 09, 2013, 10:52:09 AM
Congratulations, C.L.! You are new to me...where can I sign up for your newsletter?

Thanks and continued success!!!  :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Shawn Inmon on November 09, 2013, 12:07:29 PM
I love it when a plan comes together! Congrats, and thanks for sharing your process.

Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: KL_Phelps on November 09, 2013, 12:16:32 PM
awesome, congrats
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Nathaniel Burns on November 09, 2013, 01:08:17 PM
Congrats and a newbie question:

Quote
The only thing I did was pay $40 for that eBook Freebie Notification to distribute the information to different free ebook newsletters.

Great, but WHERE do I do this?
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: ellecasey on November 09, 2013, 01:09:21 PM
Congrats! That's fabulous!
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Vera Nazarian on November 09, 2013, 02:23:10 PM
That's fantastic!!!! Congratulations!!! :)
Title: Re: Released yesterday, hit top 300.
Post by: Sally Clements on November 09, 2013, 03:11:32 PM
Woo! That's awesome. Congratulations!