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Topics - Jen Rasmussen

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Writers' Cafe / Promo thread #8459024
« on: October 20, 2015, 05:49:34 AM »
I've just released the third book in the Trinket series (CROOK OF THE DEAD) and am running Countdown deals this week on books 1 and 2 in conjunction. I've only got promos running on book 1 (GHOST IN THE CANTEEN). Here is the lineup, will keep updating with results!

Tuesday 10/20 Fussy Librarian -- promo book: 7 sales; other books in series: 1 sale
Wednesday 10/21 eBook Soda, Sweet Free Books -- promo book: 12 sales; other books in series: 4 sales
Thursday 10/22 Betty Book Freak promo book: 1 sale; other books in series: 0 sales  :o :o :o
Friday 10/23 Booktastik

I did not apply for ENT for this week, because I applied to them for a Rising Fury promo in November instead (haven't heard back yet). It'll be interesting to see how a promo week goes for me without them to anchor it. I haven't used any of these sites before, having just met some of their review requirements, but I've heard good things about all of them.

Writers' Cafe / Free days strategy, looking for input
« on: May 18, 2015, 02:02:29 AM »
I'm doing some planning for a 4 part serial I'm releasing in July and August (actually it's 8 parts but divided into 2 seasons, with the latter 4 not coming until fall). The episodes will be 99 cents each, so free is the only viable Select perk. My initial thought is to do 2 free days for episode 1 when it's released to give it an initial boost, then the other 3 free days for episode 1 when episode 4 is released and the season is complete.

I've read people on this board saying you have to expect 1 star reviews on serial episodes from people who just don't like serials. How big a problem is this (assuming SERIAL is written all over everything)? Is it actually big enough that I should be worried about doing those initial 2 free days, for fear of the wrath of serial haters mucking up my rating before I have enough counterpoint reviews to balance it out? Going into the episode 4 promotion with a low rating on the first episode seems like a bad idea.

The season 2 episodes should be in a new Select term for that first episode, so I don't need to save any free days for then.

How would you spread out your free days in this scenario?

Writers' Cafe / Subtitles
« on: May 18, 2015, 01:39:07 AM »
Darned if I can find an answer to these five questions (Galahad: three questions) three questions in KDP help!

1. Will Amazon format a subtitle entered into the subtitle field as Title: Subtitle or Title (Subtitle)? So many people just put everything in the title field that it appears both ways while browsing and I can't tell which is the official subtitle formatting.

2. Is it possible to add or change a subtitle after a book is published (Kindle, not print)? EDIT: If anyone else would like the answer to this, it seems I missed a help page and this one says you can change the title after publication. (It doesn't say subtitle specifically but I can't imagine any reason you could change one and not the other.)

3. Do you advise just putting everything in the title field to get it formatted how you want it? It seems like a lot of people do this, but I also have the impression KDP vaguely frowns upon it.

Writers' Cafe / Removing titles from Scribd and Kobo (D2D)
« on: May 12, 2015, 06:50:05 AM »
I delisted my books via D2D this morning. D2D says they're delisted at Scribd. The Scribd product page says the book will available until June 10, which I gather is only for people who currently have it, because it also says on the same page that the book is currently unavailable. If I search for my name or titles they don't show up. (And incidentally I've never had a borrow through Scribd.)

I did a search here at the KBoards and saw some people talking about this, but nothing about how it turned out. Anyone who's experienced this, did you put your books into Select before that 30 days of Scribd limbo was up? If so, were there any problems on the Amazon end?

I also see that people were having problems last fall with Kobo magically relisting their books for no reason, causing them to be booted out of Select. Has anyone had this problem recently? I'm hoping they've worked out that glitch.

I'd prefer to get my books back in Select sooner rather than later, as one's still got a little tail (hee) from a promotion and I'd like to take advantage of that increased visibility for borrows. But I have a serial coming this summer that I'm depending on having in Select, so I don't want any glitches with putting these current books back in to get me hit with a big bad Select ban stick or anything. :)

We've got enough of these threads that they don't need introduction, so I'll get right to the nitty gritty. :)

Title & Price: Ghost in the Canteen, 99c

Amazon Categories: Paranormal Fantasy, Paranormal Suspense, Ghost Suspense

Baseline: this book's starting rank was 410k. Anything more than 3-4 sales in a given day would be a noticeable bump that I'd expect there to be a reason for.

Mon 5/4: Awesomegang (free), Choosy Bookworm ($8), 11 sales

Tues 5/5: eBook Hunter ($15), BKnights ($10), 17 sales

Wed 5/6: Pretty Hot (free), eBookLister (free), 1 sale

Thurs 5/7: GenrePulse ($10), 9 sales

Sat 5/9: eReader News Today ($15), 39 sales plus a tail of 10 on Sunday

Total sales: 87; no uptick in sales of book 2

Peak ranks:
#6,914 Paid in Kindle Store
#13 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Ghosts
#33 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Suspense > Paranormal

There were a couple of the more popular sites that I wasn't able to try this time around, because this book was regularly priced at 99 cents and they require your book to be discounted.

It's tough to gauge success because what I'd consider the real benefits--sales of book 2, mailing list signups, reviews--can't really be measured. TBR piles vary too much in size for those kinds of results to come at any predictable intervals, and when they do happen they're impossible to attribute. For all I know, I might get more sales of book 2 from the 9 people who bought book 1 through GenrePulse than the 49 who bought it through ENT.

But a few conclusions I could draw:

- True to its reputation, ENT was the highest performer by a very large margin, accounting for over half my sales for the week, and the only ad to recoup its cost during the promotion itself.

- Pretty Hot and eBookLister don't reach my audience.

- I set a largely arbitrary goal of 100 total sales, which I wasn't able to meet, but this was also my first time with a 4 digit sales rank (which is already gone), so that part was good.

As a side note, despite the ENT ad linking to every retailer, I didn't sell a single copy anywhere but Amazon, nor have I ever in the 3+ months since I've gone wide. Now that I've done roughly equal amounts of time both ways, I need to think about whether I want to stay out of Select or go back in. On the one hand, on paper I don't think Select is the best way to go for full length novels, and I didn't get many borrows at all when Ghost was in it. On the other hand, taking advantage of free days and countdown deals might be a bigger benefit right now than selling nothing elsewhere. It may be that going wide makes more sense when the series is done and I have more books to offer.

Writers' Cafe / Also bought image super blurry, fine everyplace else
« on: April 26, 2015, 01:13:13 PM »
I wrote to KDP support about this, but I'm not confident they'll be able to offer a solution, so I'm wondering if you wise and knowledgeable K-Boarders can help. The cover image for my book Ghost in the Canteen looks as it should on the product page, series page, author page, etc., and even in my KDP dashboard where it's tiny, the words are still legible and the image looks like something other than a pointless blob. (As opposed to all those blobs with points?) But the image when it appears in an Also Bought section is just an ugly hot mess. Blurry, illegible text, not a thing anyone would click on ever. You can see it on the page for Peak of the Devil, since Ghost is its only Also Bought:

I don't know how it could be a problem with my jpg if it looks fine everywhere else, but much like Jon Snow, there are a lot of things I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. Is this indicative of a problem with my image that I can solve on my end? Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Any advice?

Also Boughts are too important for my cover to look like that.  >:( And I have no idea if it'll be an ongoing problem with all my covers, not just this one, because I don't know if it's something I did wrong. ???

Any thoughts or theories appreciated!

Writers' Cafe / Categorizing a serial
« on: April 16, 2015, 05:45:15 AM »
I'm mulling the idea of doing my next series as a serial instead, releasing 20-25k installments a couplefew weeks apart, mostly to diversify my offerings and have something that takes advantage of KU. I searched the Writers' Cafe for threads on serials and have found a lot of great information to help me explore the idea. (Best tip: be a few episodes ahead so your release schedule need not be interrupted for silly reasons like sudden death or dismemberment.) But I have one question I haven't found the answer to, maybe because it's obvious and/or stupid?

How do I actually categorize it or handle the "shelving" from Amazon's perspective? Do I just put each installment in its proper categories (paranormal/urban fantasy for me) and put in the description that it's a serial? Or is there some way to tell Amazon it's a short read to get it to show up in the Short Reads section? I don't see anything in the title's page through my bookshelf that allows me to do that.

Also, do you check the box that it's part of a series and use that feature to number it/tie it together, or since a serial-series is a bit different than a series-series, do you use subtitles instead?

Just looking for opinions on how to best organize. It's obviously important that it be branded and as clear as possible.

Writers' Cafe / Anyone know- Also Boughts in the print store?
« on: November 12, 2014, 04:27:47 PM »
Question for anyone who has more experience (which would be any experience  ;)). I have a new release and oddly enough, my paperback has outsold my eBook. I've sold about 30 copies, which I thought was enough to get those algorithms kicking in. (Because OF COURSE I read Let's Get Visible.) But there are no also bought's or also viewed's on my paperback's product page. Are the rules different for the Books store than for the Kindle Books store? Or is this just one of those mysterious things that you have to sacrifice a goat for and/or just not worry about?

Writers' Cafe / Any advice if my book disappeared from the store?
« on: November 05, 2014, 05:52:04 AM »
I mentioned some of this in another thread so sorry for repeating myself, but the support response has brought me back asking for advice.

Okay, so, my book's been out about five days. I made some changes to categories and keywords yesterday. This was obviously a stupid thing to do given they're having problems right now, but I figured it might just take a long time, it didn't occur to me how badly it could screw things up. What can I say, noobs make stupid mistakes, right?

When the changes went live, here's what happened:
- A search in the Kindle eBooks store, even for the exact title of my book, will produce no matches. (It will still point you to the paperback in the regular Books store, which is some consolation, but not enough. There's no evidence of a Kindle version when you search, although it's there on the product page.)

- My book is not in any of my categories, if you browse those categories in the Kindle store. It's just not in the Kindle store, period.

- My book has no categories listed on the product page, that area is just blank.

- Direct links to my product page still work, and people can still buy it, if they happen to know it's there or get to it via the paperback. The only other way to find it is that it's still a hot new release in dark fantasy (which is pretty impressive for a book that doesn't exist, no?), but my rank is dropping after my first initial push, and with nobody able to find it to buy it now, it won't be on that list for long. I also have also-viewed on my product page now, which means I might have a chance of showing up in the also-viewed of other product pages?

So naturally I wrote to KDP support. They sent me a very nice response that said they'd try to get me an answer... by November 13. I sent them a hysterical reply begging them to do something before then, because this is just like how first time mothers think every single gurgle their babies make is a sign of illness and call the pediatrician. Obviously it's all about me me me and this is an EMERGENCY.  ;)

But I honestly don't think I can afford to have this glitch eating up that much of the time I count as a new release. The number of people who want my book badly enough to hunt for it even when it doesn't turn up in a search is... well... those people already bought it.

So, should I...
1. Republish the book and hope the changes stick? Or might that make things worse? Can it hurt?
2. Wait for support to respond to me again, because they usually are really great?
3. Just eat some chocolate and let it go, because who do I think I am and no searchers or browsers are likely to care about my book anyway? (I'll probably do the chocolate thing either way.)

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