When Author Events Don’t Work out as Planned

k. rowe booth at comic conOkay, this isn’t supposed to be a downer of a post. But, it’s something writers might have to face. It happened to me March 21-24 this year. Some of you may remember that every year for the last three years I’ve had a booth at our local comic con. This year was no exception. I share a booth with my artist friend and we have a lot of fun.

Last year was a dream come true. Our sales were huge! We each made more than enough to cover our portion of the booth fee for the next year (something of a benchmark we’ve come up with). And this year we were expecting the same. Except, that’s not what happened. Continue reading “When Author Events Don’t Work out as Planned”

Slow Thriller* Writers and Free Books

(*It’s the rate of writing that’s slow, not the pace of the fiction…)

confusing author issues question-mark-1872665_960_720Back in 2012 I tried enrolling a novel of mine in KDP Select, or whatever it was called back then. I booked five FREE days, and was surprised when the book got thousands of downloads, hitting the number one free download ranking in both the US and UK Amazon stores. In the month that followed, thanks to the generous Amazon algorithms at the time, I sold several thousand full-priced copies of the book.

It was about then that I got a mail from a company called BookBub, explaining that they had promoted the title for FREE, without me knowing. That’s how BB started, targeting mainly indie authors as a means of showing how effective BB advertising could be.

I remember saying on Indies Unlimited back then that however beneficial a FREE run on Amazon might be, I didn’t think I’d ever pay to advertise the fact. Pay to give stuff away? I mean, who’d do that? Continue reading “Slow Thriller* Writers and Free Books”

What My House Taught Me About Selling Books

IMG_8907Sometimes the obvious smacks you in the face. I hate it when that happens. But sometimes, lessons are learned where you least expect them. And surely enough, determining a house-selling strategy made me realize I had to change my philosophies when it came to selling my books.

My house is unique and custom-built. It’s in the wilderness, yet convenient to Spokane. It’s considered “green,” yet it’s not rustic. It’s luxurious, but it’s not outrageously expensive. When it went on the market, I knew it wouldn’t sell to anyone in the immediate area. It’s not for them. It’s perfect for city folk tired of the rat race. It’s for wildlife photographers and naturalists and outdoorsmen and retiring business executives and celebrities looking for complete privacy. It’s for a diverse, yet specialized, demographic.

After nearly a year on the market, there’d only been one showing. Why? Because putting a house up on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), Zillow, and Trulia is like putting a book up on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble – and expecting that to be enough. Continue reading “What My House Taught Me About Selling Books”

Experts Talk Marketing Strategies at Virginia Book Festival

virginia festival of the book At the Virginia Festival of the Book, this past March 23rd, several authors and experts talked about the best ways to build platform, as well as some specific marketing strategies. Last time we looked at platform building. Now, let’s look at marketing.

First and foremost, when it comes to marketing, think about trying to reach your reader. This is something that indie authors can do particularly well. Jane Friedman, former Writers Digest publisher who now teaches digital publishing at the University of Virginia, noted that traditional publishers have failed in gathering information about readers. “They’re selling to bookstores, so they don’t have these great email lists or insights into the market,” Friedman said. Authors can look more broadly at readers and try to reach them. Email is an especially effective way. Continue reading “Experts Talk Marketing Strategies at Virginia Book Festival”