Wednesday, June 21, 2017

IN TOO DEEP Book Release and Kindle Scout advice

Woohoo, it's here!!! IN TOO DEEP is finally available on Amazon.
*Doing my happy dance.*
(If you're here for my Kindle Scout advice, just scan down....but if you happen to detour over to Amazon to check out my awesome new book, that won't hurt my feelings!)

Here's the blurb:
Haley Carter won't let the abusive relationships of her past hold her back. While struggling to pay the bills and take care of her disabled mother, she sets aside her aversion to men in order to break into the forbidden world of coal mining. As the only female working underground she descends into the darkness with a desperation to prove herself. Miles below the surface, Haley faces something far more sinister than gender politics. When she finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy, she discovers two things: someone is trying to kill her, and worse—she might be falling in love.

 I've had a long journey with this book, Wait. All novels are a long journey. But this one was different. It's not my normal genre, and it required ton of research (that part was fun). It's also set in my home town! Please check it out here.

As you know, I used Kindle Scout to kick-start the publication. For those of you interested:
HERE IS THE KINDLE SCOUT PART.
What worked and what didn't in my campaign. 
I generated 70% of the traffic to my page, and I had 2,100 page views. 

Things that worked:
1) Create a team. I created a private group on face book for my Kindle Scout team which consisted of about 20 close friends and family. I asked them before the campaign went live, and they agreed to share my social media posts in exchange for a free paperback copy of my book. They also agreed to advertise for me using any social media outlets they had access to.

2) Give aways! Most of my advertisement was tied to a giveaway. It doesn't have to be much. I did a $25.00 gift card give away. I know of another author who did a $100.00 give away, but we both ended up with just over 2,000 page views. 

3) Facebook! My number 1 source of page views by far came from Facebook. It was 10 times more effective than anything else I tried. I created an event and advertised it with a a $25.00 gift card give away for those people who posted a screen shot of their nomination of my book. I strategically sent invites to everyone on my friends list as needed. (Don't do it all at once.) My Kindle Scout Team sent invites to their friends as well. Facebook caps the number of invites, so just create another event as one fills up. I didn't do this until halfway through my campaign and I wished I had done it sooner. Like I said, I created "events" for this, but I think it would probably do better as a "group" instead of an "event". Events don't show the posts unless you click on, FB will notify people, reminding them the event is coming up.

4) Advertise on your website and/or blog. 

5) Ads placed on local online news sites. I did this the last 15 days of my campaign and was surprised at the number of clicks that came from this. I paid $20 for one news site, and $25 for another news site. Both were online counterparts to my local hometown newspapers.

6) Utilize any and all social media sites through you or your team. I had page clicks from:
Reddit, blogs (I had 2 authors feature me on their blog), Pinterest, Goodreads, Yahoo, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Outlook Live.

WHAT NOT TO DO
1) Don't go on vacation as soon as your book is live. It's much easier to stay on the Hot and Trending if you monitor it and make a big push for votes as soon as you fall off which will bump you right back up. Once you fall off of the hot list for a few hours/days it's harder to get back on. Once you're there, try to keep it there. But hey, Zion's National Park was calling me, and I had a wonderful week exploring one of the most beautiful canyons in the world. It couldn't be helped!

2) Fiverr adds. I paid for a Fiverr add and regretted it. I only received 1 page click from it. One, single, lousy page click, and it probably came from the seller of the ad. I know they have thousands of followers on their Facebook page, but it doesn't work when all they do is advertise Kindle Scout books. There is no valuable content for their viewers. It's just straight ads of Kindle Scout books. No wonder no one clicks through.

THINGS THAT MAY OR MAY NOT WORK
1) Printed business cards. I had 500 cards made up featuring my Kindle Scout book with instructions of how to find and nominate it. It cost $9.00 through Vista Print plus shipping, and they looked FABULOUS! I handed out about 300 of the cards and left a stack at my local library. I also gave a bunch to my Kindle Scout team to hand out. There isn't a way to track how accurate this was. I handed out a bunch of cards out at a writer's conference and then watched my numbers over the next few days, but unfortunately I didn't see an increase in my stats. My opinion--I don't think it's very effective. 

2) Paid Kindle Scout Promotions. As soon as your book goes live, you'll receive some emails from people offering to promote your book. It may or may not work, but I thought it was too expensive. $90.00 for 3-5 days of promotion. They claim that you'll receive 30-40 nominations, and sometimes they'll even give you a discount. I was offered $140 for 2 campaigns lasting 6-10 days.  But I just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money. I didn't want to buy my way onto the Hot and Trending list. My book needed to stand on it's own two feet (so to speak). I've seen books win because of huge nominations, but then they didn't sell very well. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

OTHER THOUGHTS
There are probably a lot of strategies that I didn't try. But I was planning on self-publishing when I learned about Kindle Scout, and I  decided on doing this to kick-start my book launch. It was time consuming and grueling, but I didn't spend near as much time fussing over it as some other authors I know. Competition was steep for the month I was on, and there were some great books. But I had a good ride and spent some good time on the Hot and Trending list. But there were about 3 books that constantly beat out my book and remained on the Hot and Trending for the whole campaign. Two of those books "won". The other one (along with mine), didn't. Darn. But I'm still glad I did it. It was great advertisement to get my book off to a good start. 

If you're thinking of doing a Kindle Scout, I think it's a win-win situation even if you don't "win", so go for it, and let me know how it goes. Good luck, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Now that I've given you all my heart-felt and honest advice (info I wish I had before I started my Kindle Campaign), just hop on over and check out my new book on Amazon.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Kindle Scout Campaign for IN TOO DEEP




I'm down to the last day of my Kindle Scout Campaign. Whew. *Wipes sweat from forehead.* It's been a long, grueling month. I'll do a post on my experiences including strategies that worked and what didn't, so if you're thinking about doing Kindle Scout, stay tuned.

Now for the good stuff! I ran a Facebook contest for those people who nominated my book for a $25.00 gift card to Amazon. I had so many amazing supporters, so if you're one of them...thank you!!! A million times, thank you!!! I used a random generator service to select the lucky person, and...(drum roll)... Abygale Wilkinson is the winner ! Congratulations, Abygale!

My Kindle Scout Campaign is open for a few more hours, so if you didn't get a chance to, please nominate it for a chance to win a free eBook copy!


FREEDOM TO READ BOOK SALE

If you like to read as much as I do, then you cheer and spontaneously burst into song and dance whenever a book sale comes along. Seriously,...