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Messages - DmGuay

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When creating a manual or Auto ad, select the option for Standard ad. No custom text (ad copy) because there will be multiple products in the ad.

Thank you! I will try that. I'm not sure if it creates what I'm looking for, which is like this: A banner at the top of search results with a tagline and selected books. I'm not sure if I need a different type of account to do this.

Writers' Cafe / How do I make a group ad for my entire series on AMS?
« on: June 09, 2020, 04:26:20 pm »
Okay. I'm having trouble. I have seen AMS ads --one ad, for multiple books in the same series. I've also overheard authors talking about it, but when I am in the AMS dashboard, I get lost.

How on earth do I set up a single ad for multiple books in the same series? I have been through the FAQs and I have poked around on the dash, but I feel like there is something I'm missing.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Writers' Cafe / Re: GoOnWrite
« on: June 02, 2020, 08:24:59 pm »
He designed the covers for my 24/7 Demon Mart series and I couldn't be happier. I gave him a cover I loved and said "Something kind of like this," and he nailed it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Help with UK to US translation of a cliche
« on: May 25, 2020, 09:04:41 am »
Out west in the US they say "big hat, no cattle."

Writers' Cafe / Re: Do book trailers work?
« on: May 17, 2020, 10:59:19 am »
Like others have said, book trailers don't really sell books. But they are a fun extra for you to share on your social, your goodreads and amazon author pages, to your youtube channel, if you have one. And they don't need to be expensive. I use Lumen5 to make videos. The service is free, although I do spend a few $ on stock art.

Writing the next book, a great blurb, a cover, etc. Are the keys to sales.
The book trailer is like a bow on the package. Nice to have but not essential.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Publisher Rocket dead?
« on: May 06, 2020, 05:31:38 am »
What exactly is API? Does this change have anything to do with what happened to Sales Rank Express and Yasiv, where they couldn't access certain data from the Zon?

Yes. The update to Amazon's API is why YASIV and other external programs no longer work correctly. It changed the way outside programs could access Amazon's data. The services we use are all working really hard to adapt.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Bibliotheca and KDP
« on: April 30, 2020, 06:55:16 am »
Yes. You have to wait for it to be delisted.

I would follow up with Bibliotecha and with Draft2Digital to see why the delisting has stalled.

I had a similar problem with 24Symbols , and a direct email to both sped up the process.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Two spaces after a full stop is an error
« on: April 30, 2020, 06:52:42 am »
Two of my relatives were newspaper typesetters. They told me that there used to be many varying style rules for printers in different companies regarding spaces after a period until the 40s and 50s. Some used the width of an M and some used the width of an N or some other combination, the former more or less representing 2 spaces or the latter 1 space. The was a third which is nearer a single space that we now use, but I've forgotten what it was. Anyway, after that and especially with the introduction of computer Typesetting, single spacing became uniform as it is now with single spaces. Basically, it didn't matter what you typed on a typewriter regards the space, as typesetters in the old days had their own rule for Typesetting before it went to print. As self-publishers we go straight to print, so it is important to get it right if we want to adhere to the norm.

The majority of style guides now quote single space after a period, including The Economist, the Guardian, Chicago Manual of style, APA, PA, and the The US Government.

I only use the Chicago Style Manual, so I'm not aware of any who advocate double spaces.

I don't use or understand HTML for formatting, but unless someone tells me differently from an article I read, I understand that HTML ignores double spacing?

Pretty much all of this. I come from a newspaper and magazine background. Single space. Always, when it's destined for print or digital publication.

Maybe the double space standard has always been for term papers, personal typed letters, and such?  Never for publication.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Audiobook for 7K-Word Short Story?
« on: April 29, 2020, 06:56:21 pm »
If you make it, you could always use it for a promotion. As in, a freebie or extra for joining your list or some other use. As well as sell it, if you'd like.

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to go Wide with Paperbacks?
« on: April 24, 2020, 05:09:47 am »
You can also upload your paperback directly to Barnes and noble via
They will give you a free ISBN for your Barnes and Noble edition.

I do this. Barnes and Noble doesn't account for a huge percent of my sales, but the $ does trickle in.

I'm doing Bryan Cohen's 5 Day Amazon Ad Challenge. (He also runs the Amazon ad school.)

Over and over he stresses that Amazon representatives have admitted that the sales tracking tool in AMS was never designed for ebooks and ergo is terrible at tracking actual sales. The only way to tell if your ads are working, especially if you are in KU--since we can't track borrows-- is to use either KDP reports beta or Bookreport to see if you sold books and got page reads during the time your ad was live. (OR more sales than before the new ad, if you're launching a new ad.)

It's crazy that the dashboard isn't more useful, but...

Writers' Cafe / Re: How to get reviews from friends? Is it Allowed?
« on: April 18, 2020, 10:24:32 am »
This is not allowed.

You can post copies for review via many venues, such as bookfunnel, storyorigin, and booksprout, or put up a google form asking for ARC reviewers on your social media or web site.

You have first draft paralysis.
You think the first draft has to be perfect/everything ergo it's taking forever to write it.
Just write the first draft. Don't worry about making it perfect or even good. Your first draft is for YOU, to help you noodle out the story.
Now, when you go back and revise it, THAT is the time to make it shine.
So get out of your own way, stop worrying about making every line/scene perfect AND WRITE THE SLOPPY GLORIOUS FIRST DRAFT!

I think, like any marketing endeavor, a lot depends on how much work you're willing to put into it.  If you're looking for set it and forget it, your odds are likely as good as if you threw you wallet into the furnace.  However, if you are willing to test, retest, keep testing, analyze, and keep analyzing, then you could potentially do quite well.


AMS is working for me.
-I read every book I could about how to make it work for me.
-I spent hours searching the kindle store, identifying books and authors  to target. And I had to be honest about "Would people who liked this like my book?" The answer must be yes.
-And, at the beginning, I couldn't get the ad to serve. I spent $10 a day on Bookbub test ads to send traffic to my book. Only after there was some outside traffic did Amazon start serving my ads. It likely served as some form of social validation to them.
-The ads have to be to a series that hits the mark with readers.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Experience with Smith Publicity?
« on: April 12, 2020, 06:24:25 am »
As a former reporter I will chime in and say a publicist can't do anything for a fiction writer. Writing a book is not news. Non-fiction (depending on the topics) is different. There is almost nothing a publicist can do for a fiction writer so it's essentially a waste of money.

I am also a former reporter and agree. Non fiction authors can be interviewed as "experts" on a story related to the content of their book. No such thing exists for fiction. And, as many newsrooms have cut staff to the bone, there is no longer an independent and locally produced book or literature page in the feature section in most newspapers.

Now...if you want to be in print. Small local glossy magazines do sometimes look for interesting locals to feature. Your wife might land a profile in a county or neighborhood or city mag. It can't hurt to email the editors.

Also, if I were you? Grain of salt, but...I'd spend the money I would have spent on a publicist on Amazon ads, Bookbub ads, and Facebook ads instead. Running only paid promo newsletter sites like BargainBooksy isn't an ongoing sales strategy. It's part of one, but it can't be the entire thing.

These books are helpful, as far as marketing and advertising advice:

I use Lumen5.

They have a free plan and stock art/music. I usually add some of my own art, but it works well, particularly if you're just starting out.

Here are a couple of the book trailers I made with Lumen5:

Mine slowed, but then have bounced back to normal, or pretty close to it.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is This the Perfect Book Launch Strategy?
« on: March 15, 2020, 06:06:46 am »
Ah! Thanks for clarifying that. If they're both done soon enough together, do you know if it the first "spot" simply continues to the next or reappears on the same list when it goes from a preorder to a new release?

From watching the list and my own books, the transition seems pretty seamless. If you're on the list during preorder, then you go live, they just keep on calculating your rank the way they always had been. You don't disappear then reappear, but you do move up and down based on sales.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is This the Perfect Book Launch Strategy?
« on: March 14, 2020, 07:43:48 am »
Thanks for that, alhawke. I think my question is, which we're debating, is if making your book a preorder puts you on that list twice, or, alternately, if it puts you on two different lists.

If it does to either, I'm not quite understanding how. It could just be me having an off day!

it doesn't put you on the list twice, it makes you eligible to be on it longer. 30 days max for the preorder, then 30 days max after release.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is This the Perfect Book Launch Strategy?
« on: March 12, 2020, 01:11:16 pm »
I believe you can be on the Hot New Release list for up to 30 days post release date, plus don't quote me but another 30 days during preorder?
If you go to your category best seller list, there is a link to ANOTHER list that takes you to the Hot New Release list. See it there lurking?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Is This the Perfect Book Launch Strategy?
« on: March 12, 2020, 08:29:56 am »
If it were me?

I'd plan the preorders so you take as much advantage as possible of the "Hot New Release" list. Ideally, you'd want a new book coming on as soon as an old book fell off.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Amazon should let us split test our blurbs
« on: March 08, 2020, 09:27:48 am »
It would be great--for us. For readers? Probably not so much. Amazon is all about the reader and customer experience. Above all else.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Free/99c/2.99 Kindle edition with paperback?
« on: March 08, 2020, 06:33:08 am »
I think the Kindle Matchbook program (get a free or cheap ebook with each paperback sale) is gone. Sadly. Here is an article I found:

What she said ^^^^
Change that password, call Amazon.

Writers' Cafe / Re: First day on KDP was a major disappointment. Advice?
« on: February 19, 2020, 06:20:31 am »
First off, I definitely feel your pain. I spent years writing my first book and then it didn't take off like I'd expected during launch. Or ever, really. Part of it was that I didn't know what I didn't know. I was new at self pubbing, and there's a lot to learn. The good news is, there are resources out there that can help you, and you can still turn this launch around AND make each book launch from here on out better than the one before it.

I really only learned that with my fourth book (1st in new series.) Don't give up. If beta readers like it, it is probably a strong book and well written. But well written and strong is not enough for success these days.

I'm only a lobster, but at first reading, I look at what you've done and yes, you've spent money. But none of it was on book marketing. I define marketing as avenues that put your book directly in front of the readers who will like/read/buy books like yours. IMHO, other than editing and covers, the money was spent on extras.

-Book trailers are nice to have but not essential, then you have to drive traffic to the video. It has no organic reach on it's own.
-Goodreads giveaways are expensive and don't really lead to sales. They were a nice add on when the only cost was the book itself. But now that Goodreads charges, they are generally a lot of money for very little return.
-I'm not sure what you mean when you say character design, but it doesn't sound like marketing.

You can be successful with no following, with a debut book. But Patty's right, it's a long game. It's too early to give up, and it's not too late to change your launch strategy. You can only go up from here. You're still in the Amazon sweet spot, which is the first 30 to 60 days, so there are still things you can do to improve this launch. I'd say an Amazon ad campaign at the very least.

Here are some resources that helped me launch my latest series:
Supercharge your Kindle Sales by Nick Stephenson
Patty's series, Self Publishing Unboxed
Ads for Authors who Hate Math by Chris Fox
Launch to Market by Chris Fox
Mastering Amazon Ads by Brian Meeks
Learn Amazon Ads by Mark Dawson

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