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Messages - Harald

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Writers' Cafe / Quora ads?
« on: June 16, 2018, 05:52:35 AM »
Anybody doing Quora ads? Results?

Writers' Cafe / Re: GR Self-Serve Ads - experiences? results?
« on: June 10, 2018, 06:46:31 PM »
I feel like I shouldn't speak up here because I know so little about marketing. But I've had Goodreads ads running for years. My oldest one was started in December 2013. I drop money in them and forget them. Results certainly aren't immediate. But what is that saying... something about how a customer has to see an ad three times before they click? I think that's what's going on with mine. And it's not so much about getting instant sales, it's more about people adding my book to their To-Read shelf, which shows up in all their friends' feeds, and then their friends check it out and add it to theirs, which means their friends see it and check it out...
It's easy to set up, doesn't cost me a lot, and it's good exposure to an audience of hardcore book lovers.
Okay, I'll shut up now. ;D

Good point, Kay. BTW, I like your series covers, especially starting with #2. Classy.

So don't shut up. (!)

Writers' Cafe / Re: GR Self-Serve Ads - experiences? results?
« on: June 10, 2018, 10:57:43 AM »
Yeah, my strategy might be bad on Bookbub ads. I'm doing one ad with about 30 keywords and authors, for all channels, but I've heard some people do one keyword per ad and test that way.

I did 4 short (sequential) BB tests. Best was: 1 author target (with 7,335 Followers), 1 book category (historical fiction), 1 day (only took hours), 1,480 impressions, 31 clicks, $12 budget, $10 max bid, effective CPM $8.11, effective CPC $0.39, 2.09% CTR. And an obvious sales spike that I can primarily attribute to this ad test. Not big numbers but for a test it showed me something and it worked fast.

Writers' Cafe / Re: GR Self-Serve Ads - experiences? results?
« on: June 10, 2018, 08:04:44 AM »
To all above: this is excellent feedback and what I was looking for. THANKS! Looks like GR Ads are staying at the bottom of my list.

To Saboth: I also do the Trickle Approach with AMS, and I just let it run over the long term (in the black). But you might want to rethink BookBub. I followed David Gaughran's advice with multiple LIMITED tests, and found one combination that is workable (although sales tracking is a crapshoot).

Writers' Cafe / Re: GR Self-Serve Ads - experiences? results?
« on: June 10, 2018, 03:11:51 AM »
So... no one doing Goodreads ads (and wanting to talk about it)???

Writers' Cafe / GR Self-Serve Ads - experiences? results?
« on: June 09, 2018, 03:17:18 PM »
I'm in full marketing mode on my new book, and am doing/testing/considering the major ad platforms:
-- AMS: am running a foundation base
-- BookBub CPM: have tested to good effect and will do more soon
-- Facebook: used to do and need to ramp up again
-- Goodreads Self-Serve: this is a new one for me. Hence my question. ...

Anybody doing GR Self-Serve (especially in Fiction)? Results? Experiences? Yay? Nay?

And it seems that you can target only Genres or Authors but not both. True??? (BookBub lets you do both)

Thanks for your experienced feedback.

Writers' Cafe / Re: "Verified Purchase" - benefits? pains?
« on: June 07, 2018, 11:25:40 AM »
Prior to thinking about writing a book I  did not visit websites or read blogs about books. I don't look up my favorite authors to see what theyre doing, but I did and do read reviews. I personally weighted verified purchases more than non. I also stopped reading the reviews if I saw the ARC in the review because after reading a few I figured out what they meant.  The only time I will read an ARC review is when I want to know more about the book than the blurb shows.  As a reader, I don't read the positive reviews. What is the point of reading 1000 people telling you how great something is. I read the negative reviews and look for commonalities. Seeing a random I hate it the book stunk is just as useless to me as a loved it review. They tell me nothing about the book. Now if I see 5 or 6 negative reviews that the book was boring, the grammar was terrible, or the story made no sense  then I take note. ...

Now this is an interesting take on this (to me). And also boba1823's above. This is what I'm trying to get a handle on. Thank you.

Writers' Cafe / Re: "Verified Purchase" - benefits? pains?
« on: June 07, 2018, 09:28:53 AM »
That's because you're a trad pub snob who thinks all indie books are useless trash until proven otherwise, judging by your past posts over and over again. You're in the MINORITY, and thank god.

Dude, lighten up. Notjohn: a trad pub snob? He publishes a guide to formatting indie ebooks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: "Verified Purchase" - benefits? pains?
« on: June 07, 2018, 09:08:57 AM »
I probably place more credence in a Verified Purchase, especially if it's a one-line, five-star review.

I recently checked out a newly published book that had half a dozen reviews, every one of them from Vine,...

Good feedback. I had forgotten about Vine. Is that still going on?

Writers' Cafe / "Verified Purchase" - benefits? pains?
« on: June 07, 2018, 07:24:47 AM »
Two wonderings:

1. I've always assumed that AMZN Customer Reviews with the "Verified Purchase" tag had more weight/benefit somehow. Either in the minds of readers, third parties (e.g., BookBub), and or even the Algorithm itself. But now I'm wondering if true. Thoughts?

2. If Verified Purchase ("VP") is a good thing, then getting it to happen is a pain. I know some authors believe that Gifting or ARCs can lead to a VP, but I had a long talk with AMZN Customer Service recently and that rep told me that, no, that's not possible as there is no "purchase order" attached to the recipient's account; so no Verified Purchase, just a "naked" Customer Review. Other experiences or thoughts?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Missing from Store
« on: June 07, 2018, 06:54:39 AM »
Ranks back this AM. But higher from lack of visibility. Sigh.

From AM KDP email: "I'm sorry for the inconvenience you had experienced due to this. I've checked and confirmed that the issue has been fixed and your book "New York 1609" is available on all the marketplaces. You can verify the same through the below link: ..."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Missing from Store
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:49:46 PM »
It's back! 24 hours exactly.
-- correctly linked with PBK
-- reviews still there
-- BUT... all ranks stripped! Showing NADA. Ugh.

At least it's back and I can start promoting again.

Until the next time...

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Missing from Store
« on: June 06, 2018, 12:41:37 PM »
Well, at this moment, of the 13 AMZN stores my new Kindle book is in, 8 are working and 5 are not ("sorry, can't find"). But the biggest, like US, are in that latter group! Argh... EDIT: I'm 13 hours in now.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Missing from Store
« on: June 06, 2018, 09:08:32 AM »
...Have the rest of you gotten an auto reply from KDP after first contacting them?

Read the message I got from them above.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Book Missing from Store
« on: June 06, 2018, 06:08:28 AM »
Great! Fingers crossed for the rest. Really sucks to have this happen on a new release especially...

Exactly my situation. Just got this message from KDP:
"I'm sorry for the trouble for the unavailability of your book "New York 1609: Omnibus Edition ". Our technical team is aware of this problem and is working hard to fix it as soon as possible. So, you don't need to take any additional steps further, as your book will be reverted on Amazon website shortly. Thanks for your patience while we fix this problem."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Stuck in the stone ages
« on: April 30, 2018, 12:00:17 PM »
I was also at a recent book festival and attended one of seminars. And sure enough, most of the talk was about the trad pub model. When it came time for the Q&A, I was about to ask an Indie Self-Pub question when, to my surprise, about half the audience started peppering the panelists with Indie questions. Two of the three panelists didn't know what to do/say, but one was totally on top of it. She was mobbed at the end with walk-ups.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Look Inside for different formats question
« on: April 30, 2018, 11:51:38 AM »
There are random books that show the digital Look Inside. It may be a problem whereby the publisher fails to upload a PDF of the book to Amazon, so Amazon has nothing to work with.

CreateSpace seems to hustle that PDF over to the mother ship without fail.

When KDP Print Beta first came to live with us, the print Look Inside routinely reverted to the Kindle version, though that seems to have been remedied now.

OK. It seems like it should work with each Look Inside showing its respective version. I guess I'll see!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Look Inside for different formats question
« on: April 30, 2018, 07:31:44 AM »
There is sometimes a gap between when the book goes live and when the print look inside appears. During that time, the ebook look inside is used. After that, the typical pattern is for them to be different. I'm not sure what causes the other exceptions.

Good to know. Thanks, Bill!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Look Inside for different formats question
« on: April 30, 2018, 06:35:47 AM »
Normally, the ebook and print Look Insides are different. I have seen it where they are linked to the ebook version, but that's not the default.
The print Look Inside has a random show a selection of pages (Surprise Me) which can get annoying if it shows spoilers.

Hmmm... that may explain some of the goofyness I'm seeing in print Look Insides. Thanks for this input.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Formatting
« on: April 29, 2018, 09:35:54 PM »
text > HTML > Sigil > epub. Perfect.

(and InDesign for print)

Writers' Cafe / Look Inside for different formats question
« on: April 29, 2018, 09:25:50 PM »
Finalizing my Kindle and print formats for new book. Need to keep some Front Matter differences between the two. Now realize that I'm not sure if AMZN will create individual Look Inside samples for each one, or just use one for both? And if so, which one? I've seen examples of both ways of doing this in the AMZN store with different books.

Also, what is AMZN's "Look Inside the Book" print program and how does it differ from the auto-generated "10%/Sample Chapters" in the KDP/Kindle process?


Writers' Cafe / Re: Sigil Previewer?
« on: April 29, 2018, 09:22:51 PM »
For a couple years now, Sigil has for all practical purposes been a WYSIWYG software. I keep three panels or windows open at all times: a narrow one for the Book Browser so-called, the list of files or sections; a larger one (about half the computer screen) for the Code View editing window; and a medium-sized one (about a third of the screen) for the -- wait for it! -- Preview. As I make changes in Code View, they almost instantaneously appear in the Preview. I can't imagine why you'd need anything more than that. [...]

Yep. I do what notjohn does. And use the Kindle Previewer 3 at the end (and look at the Log for warnings). And do the epubcheck. And also check the epub file frequently by double-clicking on it (on Mac) and having it open the whole thing in iBooks, which is very book-like. Works every time.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need Category Choosing Help
« on: April 27, 2018, 07:29:01 AM »
One thing to keep in mind is that the list of categories/sub-cats you can choose from in the KDP dashboard during publication is very limited vs. the sub-cats actually available on Amazon.

It's a good idea to look up books that are similar to yours and note the list of categories they rank in (shown below the sales rank info). Choose the ones that align best with your book, and after you publish you can email KDP support and ask them to add your books to additional sub-cats. They're really good about making the additions.

Excellent suggestion, SallyRose; I had forgotten about that. I had always assumed that KDP auto-generated the Sub-Cats from keywords and other factors (e.g., book description), but to actively ask them for additional Sub-Cats is a point well taken, and I'm now adding that to my Post-Launch Mkting Plan. Thanks for the input.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need Category Choosing Help
« on: April 26, 2018, 07:42:59 PM »
It's always a shame to let an opportunity for visibility go to waste, I'm just cautioning against stepping too far outside your target audience as that can be damaging.

I see what you're saying (and knowing your focus on Also Boughts in launch strategy), but here's the thing: I don't see a natural #2 Category that hits my target audience. "Fiction > Native American & Aboriginal" still seems the closest, even though Native Americans are only a small part of the audience. My core audience is: "livers and lovers of the history of NYC [the city]". And I don't see a top level Category for that. Of course, I've got that covered in my Keywords. So unless I hear of something better, guess I'll just stick with my current #2 Cat. Other opinions welcome.

As for Amazon Decoded - sorry, you should have got a download link either when joining, or if you were on my list already, but I'll PM you a new link now (and let me know if you have any trouble!).

Got the PM and the link to Amazon Decoded. Have already started it. Thanks!!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need Category Choosing Help
« on: April 26, 2018, 02:14:06 PM »
I think you need to be careful here. I remember trying out Action/Adventure with my historicals, and then running a promo and getting a bunch of sales from readers who wanted something quite a bit more like a thriller. And not only did they not enjoy the book, my Also Boughts were scrambled and my halo post-promo was... a dead cat bounce. Tough to rebound from that too when saddled with bad Also Boughts. (And the alternative isn't much better: being visible to the wrong readers who don't buy your book and it doesn't look so hot to the algos then...)
So keep it as relevant as you can, always. Having vaguely thriller-ish aspects isn't enough IMO.

Good advice as always, David. Now I'm wondering if I *need* to pick a second Category. Does anyone just pick one?

BTW, I'm reading Let's Get Digital v3; good stuff! But question for you: How do I get Amazon Decoded if I'm already on your mailing list? Thanks.

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