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Messages - DmGuay

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Writers' Cafe / Re: Need advice on bundling novellas
« on: November 15, 2019, 12:55:53 pm »
Thanks for replying DMGuay. I think with Christmas coming up, paperback sounds like a good idea.

It's always good to give people options. And, if people are buying gifts, they generally like to buy paperbacks.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Need advice on bundling novellas
« on: November 15, 2019, 05:22:06 am »

Well, I always do a paperback, and I do always sell some. BUT this is an easy add on for me because I am able to create a wrap around cover in photoshop AND format the book myself with reasonable skill. IF you have to pay for these services? It might not be worth it. But if you can do them for not a lot of $$, I saw do.

As for a cover for a bundle. I would personally do a different cover for a bundle. Something on genre that is totally new OR a mashup of the novellas in the bundle. This is what is usually done for box sets, and this is basically a box set.

Just my two cents.

Zombie stories aren't dead. They've been going strong as a genre ever since Bela Lugosi starred in White Zombie! (Based on the Book the Magic Island by William Seabrook.)

Scott Kenemore just got a Bookbub deal for a zombie book in his Zombie Ohio series.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP paperback Pre-Order???
« on: November 09, 2019, 09:58:46 am »
As Justawriter said, you can't do preorders on paperbacks. What you can do, however, is release your finished paperback while the ebook is still on preorder, then link them and send out review copies (ebook files will do fine), giving the reviewers the link to the paperback page. When they leave their reviews on the paperback page, the reviews will automatically appear on the ebook page as well (provided you've linked them) which means you might have a healthy bunch of reviews in place before the ebook is even out.

I have done this on every book and it's worked out well. Both for having a place for reviews AND making sure the paperback and ebook are linked by launch day (It takes Zon a few days to link them.)

We focus on ebooks here, but I always sell enough paperbacks to make it worth it. I get paperback sales through AMS as well, even when the ebook is on sale for 99 cents. WORTH IT!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Viewed V.S. Bought
« on: November 08, 2019, 12:11:10 pm »
If you want to see who your books are pointing to, and who is pointing at your book, use
Set it to Kindle store and type in your book's amazon asin. Give it 5-10 minutes to scan. This will give you an idea of how Zon views your book and what kind of book it thinks it is--based on how closely it sits next to and what books are clustered around it.

Also, the book "Supercharge your kindle sales" by Nick Stephenson is immensely helpful and explains how all the algorithms work and how to tilt them in your favor.

Writers' Cafe / Re: KDP Select with Ebook and wide with PaperBack question.
« on: November 07, 2019, 07:34:43 am »
Yes. It's ebook exclusive to KU.
The paperback can be wide from the start.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Lack of Author social media?
« on: November 05, 2019, 07:02:52 am »
What sells books is good books. All the other frippery is not a prerequisite to selling books, even at a level where you can make a living.

I have a website because I send people there to find stuff I've put there.

I use Facebook only for the groups to talk to other authors.

I use Twitter to talk about politics and rarely mention my books.

I ignore goodreads. I hate that place.

I add my books to Author Central. It's easy enough to do.

None of this stuff, however, sells books. What sells books is to write books people want to read.

Pretty much everything Patty said. As usual. Although, I use twitter to talk about horror movies! And author central to link blog posts and upload book trailers, because why not? It's free.

It's not too late to sign up, y'all!

I'm no expert by any means, but I'm running a campaign now that's getting a fair amount of serving and clicks. What I've learned:
1. Amazon always puts the default bid waaaaaaay too high. They had mine set to $1.25 when I began drafting the campaign. I set it to 40 cents, and it's serving.
2. AS for the up down. You have the option to bid up if it gets you in the first spots of a search result and the first row of spnosored products on a book page. I do this. You can set the percentage from 0 to 100 percent. So if you have a 40 cent base bid, and you says you're willing to go up 50 percent per click for better placement, pardon my math, but that would mean a 60 cent price per click. You can also bid down (which I always do, because duh. Who wouldn't want to pay less?) For my 40 cent bid with up and down, I'm getting clicks that cost 15 cents all the way up to 60 cents.
3. The key is good targeting. Really understanding who your readers are, what kind of book your book is, and who it appeals to. Because Zon will stop serving your ad if you aren't getting clicks, borrows, and buys. (Even if you bid a zillion a click.) And rumor around here is, it holds onto that info about your book, so even if you start a new campaign, it might not serve (much.)
4. Seriously assess your goals. Profit? Visibility? KU borrows? Sales? Populating also boughts. These will influence your strategy.
5. Make sure your paperback is linked to your ebook. (If you have one.) I've sold a handful of paperbacks while running an ebook ad. (A $10 book in a 15 cent click. Woot!) Readers like options.

6. Also, I found that some sort of outside traffic to my book helped kick AMS into gear. I started the campaign and it was getting minimal serves until I ran a BB ad test and sent about 50 sales to Amazon from outside AMS, then magically AMS ramped up my ad serving. Not sure if this is just me, or if it's a thing, but it happened. Anyting that says to Amazon "Hey. People like this book."

24/7 Demon Mart: The Graveyard Shift
A frightfully funny comedy.

Lloyd Wallace is the most clueless crossing guard the intersection of hell and earth has ever seen. So clueless, that he doesn't even realize the beer cave in the corner store where he works is the gateway to hell.

The gate needs a hero, but Lloyd's a zero, a loser with a capital L. He's ten thousand dollars in debt and lives with his parents. He's been fired from every job he's ever had. He was the first thing his ex-girlfriend tossed to the curb when she upgraded her life.

He had no money and no prospects until the night he accidentally slayed a one-eyed tentacle monster hellbent on world domination. And, impressed by his pure heart and bravery, the suave but devilish owner of the 24/7 Dairy Mart gave Lloyd a job.

His coworkers—a karate-chopping bombshell and a talking roach with a really bad attitude—need Lloyd's help to keep the demons in line. Can he man up and become a world-saving hero? Or, will he remain a couch-surfing zero? The fate of the world is on the line. What could go wrong?

24/7 Demon Mart is a new horror-comedy / humorous fantasy series for fans of A. Lee Martinez (Gil's All-fright Diner), David Wong (John Dies at the End), Tom Holt, Christopher Moore (Practical Demonkeeping), Mark Cain (Circles in Hell series), and Heide Goody (Clovenhoof).

If you love Exorcist-level demon vomit, brooding Lovecraftian hell monsters, and plenty of laughs, this novel is for you. The Graveyard Shift is the first book in the 24/7 Demon Mart horror-comedy and dark satire fantasy series.

Get it on Amazon (ebook and paperback):
Or, at Barnes & Noble (paperback):

Um these look awesome? We're running a StoryOrigin promo for KU books like this starting on Halloween. We'd love to have you, if you want to join us!

Hello all!

I've created a StoryOrigin promo for KU comedy/humor/satire books in the horror and fantasy genres. (As long as it's funny and has magic or supernatural elements...) The goal is visibility, page reads, and to create a community of us in this niche market who can (hopefully) work together in the future. The promo runs from Oct. 31 to Nov. 29. Books in KU are eligible, even at full price, and there is no minimum mailing list size. If you're a close genre match, please join us!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are there any horror comedy writers here?
« on: October 17, 2019, 04:03:13 pm »
Hi all. I've set up a Story Origins group promo for comedy/humor horror and fantasy authors who are in KU (or free on Amazon). The goal is visibility and page reads!

Please join us! It starts on Halloween and runs through November!

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ebook - Wide or KDP Select?
« on: October 13, 2019, 11:45:01 am »
6 votes and 80+ views   ::)

Would hope to have more data and insight to draw a reasonable conclusion.

The silence might be because this topic has been discussed a lot. A LOT a lot. On this board, in blogs and in FB groups.

Here are some other places to look for opinions:

Patty Jansen also discusses this in her Self Publishing Unboxed series.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Ebook - Wide or KDP Select?
« on: October 12, 2019, 06:49:03 am »
I start in KU then move the books wide once the page reads are dead.

As a new, unknown author, Amazon is a good way to start.

1. You have only one retailer to learn.
2. You have one ad platform to learn (And AMS is usually only profitable because you get page reads as well as buy.).
3. People will take a risk on an unknown author in KU because it's "free" to them (not really but it feels that way.)
4. It's only for 90 days, so if you don't like it, it's not a huge time commitment.
5. It's easier to do KU first then go wide, rather than to go wide then try to take your books down to KU. Why? Because sometimes the other retailers put your book up on tiny ebook sites you might not know about, and Amazon WILL find them if you try to go into KU.
6. It's 'easier' (read: less hassle and no emails to tech support) to do a free run in KU than to get Zon to lower the price when your book is wide.
7. IF you do a free run you will get free downloads AND KU downloads, which means you will get paid for page reads on those free runs.
8. If you do a 99 cent promo, you might be eligible for a 70 percent royalty instead of 35 percent, which ups your ROI.

Just my two cents!
As a noob, I made (make) lots of mistakes. Having one place and one variable made learning what to do and what not to do much easier.

If you haven't already please do
1. claim your amazon author central page.
2. claim your Bookbub page
3. Claim your goodreads page
4. set up a basic author web site and link your blog rss feed to your amazon and goodreads pages.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Launch Approach Strategy - thoughts?
« on: October 09, 2019, 09:50:43 am »
Thank you.
Just realized you are unable to leave reviews for pre-orders. Oh well. It was a thought.

This is true. The book as to be live to leave a review. I have always released the paperback a week or so before the ebook. Send the paperback link to the reviewers. Once Amazon links your ebook and paperback editions, the reviews show up on both.

Writers' Cafe / Re: StoryOrigins' new review feature
« on: September 30, 2019, 09:59:46 am »
I have to admit that after my first try playing with Storyorigin's review feature, I stopped using it. I joined a group promo, but still only got perhaps a dozen requests. At least half of those were from people who didn't bother to link to a review handle, so I didn't give them a review copy. Of the ones who I sent review copies two, only a third of them reviewed --- one listed their review as a 5 star review on Storyorigin but it was actually a 3 star on Amazon, and the other was a 4 star in both places.

I contrast, when I emailed my list about the same book last week, asking for reviews but not even offering a free copy, I got 15 reviews within the next three days --- 5 4-star, 1 3-star, and 9 5-stars. Clearly, my list is where I should be hunting for reviews.

Thank you for this ^^

Writers' Cafe / Re: Review tools on StoryOrigin
« on: September 29, 2019, 07:23:39 pm »
Indie developer of StoryOrigin here!

There are 3 ways to find reviewers for your book:

1) You can send the link to your own mailing list (this is great if you really only want applications from a pre-existing street team)
2) You can join Review Copy group promos as you mentioned by going to the upcoming group promos and filtering the"type" for "Reviews":
3) You can apply to newsletter swaps with other authors and they will promote your review copy in one of their newsletters in exchange for you promoting one of their books:

Hope that helps!

Thank you. That does help!

Writers' Cafe / Review tools on StoryOrigin
« on: September 29, 2019, 07:48:58 am »
Those of you who have used the reviewers tools on Story Origin:

How do reviewers discover your book page?

Do you have to advertise it to your own list or join a group review promo to get eyes on it?
Is there a way for StoryOrigin review reader to see it otherwise?

There is no FAQ on the site to walk me through this.


Writers' Cafe / Re: StoryOrigins' new review feature
« on: September 28, 2019, 08:21:31 pm »
So... I've been looking at this feature and I'm wondering about the discoverability of review copies. How do new-to-you readers find your book that you've put out there for reviews? I'm not seeing any answers, or any instructions. It doesn't look like readers can cruise individual titles by genre. In the reader dashboard, I'm only seeing group promos designed for reviews?

Writers' Cafe / Re: Are there any horror comedy writers here?
« on: September 28, 2019, 08:23:37 am »
If I created a tightly-focused horror comedy promo on Bookfunnel or Story Origin would any of you be interested in participating?
if so, which service do you prefer and what title would you like to promote?

I'm a freelance nature and sports journalist, as well as a fiction author.  I donate all my action photos to the college league organization for use in calendars, yearbooks, etc.  Then, sell my photos and articles to news and journals ... my fiction proceeds all go to a separate account which supports wildlife protection and behavior studies. It allows me to do my work, and support worthwhile causes as well.  Best of two worlds...  :)

That is awesome.

I'm glad to see so many of us supporting good causes!

I just finished a book that has to do with something going on in my town. There is an activist organization involved. What is in my head is to sell them the books at cost, and they can keep the entire proceeds. But I would like to keep . . . I don't know . . . maybe 50% of the online sales (both paperback and eBook). The organization and what they're doing are important to me, but I would like to make some money off the deal.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm at a loss as to what to do.

I donate half the profits from my book sales to kidney cancer research (I'm terminal, stage 4 and boy let me tell you, you have no idea how many common cancers have no cures and nearly zero treatments until you get one.) At the end of the year, I calculate the taxes and expenses and then donate what's left to two kidney cancer research groups. One funds treatment/cure research, the other funds clinical trials. I have also added Amazon associates to my author web site, with the hope of using any $$$ earned to buy items for the local family homeless shelter (We have a long relationship. They do amazing work.)

You can do good and sell books!

I say, ask the group if they want to sell the print versions. If not, you can always sell both online and donate the $$ throughout the year.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Your chances of success
« on: September 14, 2019, 06:49:52 am »
Wow. Kudos to you for doing all that work!

I'm about to launch a new series in a new-to-me genre. I'm just hoping all of the mistakes I've made (and learned from) the first time around will equal a better launch/ sales record with the new series. Livin' and Learnin'.

Writers' Cafe / Re: Any successful horror authors out there?
« on: September 12, 2019, 05:10:36 pm »
I think what is happening for many of the apparently miscategorized horror books is that the author legitimately believes they wrote a dark fantasy. They get two categories and one might be PNR, but the dark fantasy fits too. That genre is very broad.

If you drill down on the Kindle Store bestseller lists in SFF and chose Fantasy then choose Dark Fantasy, you get pulled out of the SFF general category and put into Horror>Dark Fantasy category. Those books probably sell better than a lot of traditional horror, and so they rise very high on the broader Horror bestseller list.

I will give you this. Often, an author isn't sure or a book could go either way. Many times, though, it is egregious category stuffing. All the advice out there says to find small categories you can rank in, and that, in part, leads to the genre mess we have on Zon.

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