Archives for posts with tag: feedback

Hi all:

As you’ll remember, a few weeks ago I asked for your thoughts and feedback on paid ads and other kinds of promotions to try and sell your books. I promised to come back with a post trying to summarise the comments. As I shared the post in other places, I also got comments in Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks all for the comments, and although, of course, the numbers and the differences between people’s circumstances and books mean this is in no way scientific, I thought I’d collect common themes and mention some of the points that seemed to come through for me.

By the way, just in case you don’t remember or want to read the original post again, it is here.

Woman's shoe

Promoting your giveaways, special promos:

As I had read before, most people seem to think that Bookbub is a good option, although difficult to get in, expensive and not everybody seemed to make the money back (remember it’s for giveaways or promos, so it might be that sales follow as a result of it at a later date but…). Now it seems that big publishing companies are using it, so it might get more competitive. You need a good number of positive reviews, and the prices vary according to genre (more for more popular genres).

Here is a comment by a writer (thanks Carol Balawyder) about content in Bookbub:

I went on BookBub’s site and these are some of the writers I found: Jo Nesbo, John Irving, Sophie Kinsella, Dan Brown…I would be like a little league baseball player asking to go up to bat in the major leagues.

 

Quite a few people mentioned Ereader News Today that is more economical. For some it seemed to work better than for others.

Exploring new sites that are appearing all the time was also suggested. Of course the reach of those might be limited but a combination of many (if you have the time) might be worth considering. I’ve had good comments about The Fussy Librarian.

If you are offering free downloads, check as there are many places that suggest places that list those for free. I have tried a few but I don’t do free giveaways any more, and as I tried many, it’s impossible to know what worked and what not. In any case, some sites have very specific requirements and you need to submit plenty in advance for a chance, so planning is a must.

Word of mouth:

Big cheers for word of mouth. Personal contact, book clubs, etc… If you’re completely unknown and don’t have a lot of following, getting to that stage where you’re in the mouth of people can be quite difficult  I guess, but yes, this is the best. And it costs nothing (or possibly some free books if you offer them for review). Of course, getting to the point where enough people have read and recommended is the crux of the matter.

Some people get postcards with information about their books printed; try local venues (libraries, book fairs, markets, local press, radio, independent bookshops if you’re that lucky). And of course, use your friends and connections… 

Blog tours:

This got quite interesting replies. I had comments about specific blog tour companies (both good and bad, but as they aren’t my personal experience I won’t mention those), people talking about things not going according to plan (people not posting, things being missed), others who organise their own.

Alina, who has worked in PR for many years and writes herself (she also organises blog tours, but despite her personal involvement in the topic, I thought her reply deserved to be quoted, as it covers many aspects other people brought up) told me this:

Blog tours are not advertising. They are closer to PR actually. Do they help? They do get your name out there. They get a bulk of promo posts and reviews for your book soon after it’s published. They also bring it back into people’s mind later on when you are promoting a second book, for example. And yes, if your book is promoted by some really well known book bloggers, that has an impact. So much so that some authors do exclusive cover reveals for example, where they go with only one blog.

Tours can be a bit hit and miss though, and sometimes it has to do with more than who organizes it and what contacts they have. Some genres are more eye catching than others, for example. All in all, I’ve never heard of an author (and I don’t mean just those I’ve worked with) say they reaped no benefits from tours.

As a reader, I have actually read quite a few books because they got great reviews from book bloggers I knew. I know who has similar tastes and whenever they recommend a book, I tend to check it out.

On the other hand I have read some comments from authors who did not feel a blog tour had done anything for them.

 Amazon ads:

I’ve been reading recently quite a few posts about this. So far the conclusions as to the new PPC (pay per click) ads aren’t that encouraging. You need to pay a lot per click to make sure enough people see them to buy  (as we all know the conversion rate is quite low, although depending on how you choose your add it might not be quite as low) and then it does not seem to be recouped. Of course, with regards to the effect on branding… It’s probably too early to call and it requires much more experimentation, but like most things, the more people get into them and use them, the more difficult it will be to make an impact. (Check out Nicholas Rossis’s blog as he’s been sharing a few posts on the subject).

Chris McMullen has also shared quite a few posts on the mechanics and how to assess your campaign with Amazon. I share one of them here, but check the whole series if you’re seriously considering it. Ah, don’t forget that to use this your books have to be in KDP Select, so if you’re thinking of publishing elsewhere, this won’t be an option.

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/how-to-assess-your-ad-campaign-at-kindle-direct-publishing/

Of course, Amazon advertises many other things and there are other ways to go about getting an ad campaign there, but I think most of our budgets would not reach there…

Ads in other sites (Facebook, Goodreads,…)

I haven’t come across much positive feedback on ads in Facebook. Early on they seemed to be difficult to target. Now some people think it might work for the brand but it does not seem to translate on sales (it might be worthwhile if you’re organising something that requires a certain number of likes, etc…).

Some authors have done fairly well accruing reviews through Goodreads either advertising or giveaways, although number of previous books and a strong following/readership seems to be imperative.

Reviews

Everybody thinks reviews are important, but nobody seems to know exactly how. Some people have got good results from offering ARC (advance reading copies) of their books in groups in Goodreads or to bloggers, others say the bigger blogs with many readers are saturated and it might be months before they get round to your book, if at all. Approaching people directly seems to take time and not everybody thinks the results justify the time spent. (All resources are equally important though. It might be that we don’t have the money to pay for advertising, but of course, time we spend trying to advertise our books, with more or less success also has a value, and we need to weigh that up too. We know life is short but we don’t know how short it might be. Sorry for the philosophising.)

No, no, no paid advertisements

There were quite a few people who said there are far too many other options (social media, friends, other authors, developing relationships, words of mouth…) and publishing can already be quite an expensive business, so no, they haven’t tried and wouldn’t. And there are also those who have tried and consider it a waste of money.

And the readers?

Some said that they have bought books based on Amazon recommendations or ads, also on ads seen in periodicals or magazines.

People still look at covers but some are checking out blogs and discovering new books and authors through them.

 

Suggestions for further reading:

Sorry, I could not help the title of this section. I’ve mentioned some bloggers to visit if you want to check further, but also one of the bloggers who visited my original post suggested two interviews she’d published that dealt with some of these issues and I thought I’d share:

https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/confessions-from-an-american-in-london/

https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/views-and-reviews/

I’m sure there will be more feedback to come and I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime:

Thanks all for the comments, for reading, and you know, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

Ah, due to technical problems with the original image, I’ve changed the cover of I Love Your Cupcakes and I thought I’d officially share my new one (Thank you, Lourdes). 🙂

NOU portada definitiu 5,5x8,5(13,97x21,59cm) ing

 

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Hi all:

I’ve come looking for some help. I don’t know if that’s the case with other writers, but I seem to accumulate beginnings of stories that sometimes get parked because I’m too busy, or because another story comes up in my head, or because I get stuck, or life gets in the way…And every so often I revisit this orphaned stories and sometimes I think…nothing doing, but sometimes I wonder if it might be worth investing more time or carrying on writing and seeing if it gets anywhere…

I’ve decided to try and rescue the beginning of some of these stories and bring them to your attention. I’d be really grateful for your feedback, positive or negative. If positive I’ll put them in the pile of ‘future work’. If negative, I’ll put them out of their misery.

In no particular order…I’ll start with this one….

Xenon

Xenon. Billie always tried to guess things about her patients by their names, even before reading the referral letter, or the notes, but somebody called Xenon…It said something about his parents for sure, but…

It was a referral letter in his case. Very vague. She wondered if it would be one of these cases where somebody who should have been referred to a counsellor, or told to get a life, had been referred to a psychiatrist. No specific symptoms, asking for help…Drugs maybe?

He was a young man, 27 nearly 28, quite attractive, the tall, dark and handsome type, dressed in a casual but expensive manner. He shook her hand and sat in front of her, at the other side of the desk. He appeared quite relaxed.

“Dr Curtis…”

“Mr Taylor…”

“Call me Xenon. Or Xen. Everybody does.”

“Thanks.” She must have looked intrigued or puzzled because he felt obliged to explain.

“My parents wanted to call me X but they weren’t allowed to. The guy at the registry thought Xenon was a real name.”

“Everybody always asks you the same, I imagine.”

“Not always. Some people pretend they know the name or they’ve heard it before. In a human being, not a gas.”

Billie smiled. At that point she wasn’t really sure that it was going anywhere.

“Sorry but Dr Asley’s letter isn’t very specific. Why do you think you need to see a psychiatrist?”

“Oh…I have problems…I don’t mean I’m mad, or depressed, or anything like that. It’s just…I’m different…”

OK. One of those. Nobody understands me, I’m trying to find myself…Bo-ring.

“I don’t mean all that crap… ‘I don’t fit in’. ‘Nobody understands me’. No, I mean…I don’t….I’m not a human being. I’m different.”

Billie knew her face was not showing anything. She was a professional and had heard a lot of things. But now what? Humour him, or send him on his way? Was he genuinely mad? How had he not come to the attention of mental health services before if he was really mad? Had something happened recently?

“I’ve lived with it all this time but it’s getting too much.”

OK, the next question was self-evident, but that didn’t mean it shouldn’t be asked.

“If you’re not a human being, what exactly are you?”

Xenon smiled and as he did opened him mouth wide. His canines had become fangs and his eyes had changed, showing elongated pupils, like a cat’s.

“Oh, I see. You’re a vampire.”

“Yes.”

How unoriginal! Billie sighed. It was a reasonable trick, but she had things to do. Better things to do.

“Have you come on behalf of my friend Cynthia? She’s been talking about secret societies and vampires since we were kids. I’m not that interested.”

“I’m not joking. It isn’t a trick!” He said, holding her by the wrists and leaving marks there. That was much more than she was prepared to take from somebody who wasn’t even a patient yet.

“What do you think you’re doing? I don’t care if you’re Count Dracula in person, but don’t touch me! Do you understand?”

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to…Look again…” He showed her how his teeth transformed into fangs, step by step. OK, no tricks she could see. He then smiled.

“I can do other things too.”

Suddenly the things on her desk moved without his touching them, including the computer and all the papers, lifting up and floating as if not subject to laws of gravity and then twirling around. He then just gave a short nod and all went back to its previous position.

“Telekinesis…”

“Amongst other things. Your friend has been right all along.”

Maybe he should be telling Cynthia rather than her. The guy was definitely different, but from that to needing a psychiatrist, and her in particular…

“Well…What do you expect from me?”

“Help. It’s difficult to live between humans and pretend to be like them when to us they are only…”

“For feeding. Cows?”

Xenon nodded and then a smile toyed in his face.

“You know? You seem very calm and cool about all this. You aren’t thinking about telling anybody, are you? You’re bound by clients’ confidentiality.”

“I’m not sure it applies to non-humans.”

Xenon looked at her with incredulity and menace in his eyes.

“If you try…I’ll hunt you down and…kill you.”

“That’s what I call the beginning of a good therapeutic relationship. Why did you choose me?”

“I sensed something about your name.”

Billie couldn’t help trying to get some amusement out of the situation.

“Shouldn’t you be in your coffin or something? It’s day time.”

“Oh, there’re a lot of things people believe about us that are pure crap and lurid imagination. For some reason we appear to be a never ending source of desire, fear and inspiration to humans.”

The uncanny, as Freud put it. He was right about human’s fancy with vampires and other monsters, although vampires more than others.

“But you suck blood.”

“Sure…”

“That’s a relief. At least they got something right. I’m not sure I could have coped with such disappointment and let down.”

Xenon laughed.

“I like your sense of humour. Very…dark.”

“It helps in my profession.”

They looked at each other. Surprisingly Xenon gave up first and looked down.

“I’ll bring you our book of rules and laws…It might help you understand my issues.”

“Do you have a code of conduct, rules, regulations…?”

“We’re a very ancient…people…Yes, we have some laws…”

“Good…Isn’t all this supposed to be a secret? Aren’t you breaking the rules here?”

“Billie…Yes, of course. But then…I’m trying to avoid breaking more serious rules. There are rules and there are rules…and as you know rules are made to be bent…if not broken. I hope you don’t mind if I call you Billie.”

“I’m not that bothered.”

“Could we meet in the evenings? Yes, we can walk around and all that, but we’re creatures of the night, that’s true enough. We function better at night.”

“I only have use of my office during standard working hours.”

He might be prepared to break or bend the rules, but Billie didn’t want to set a precedent. It was quite clear this was a guy who didn’t take no for an answer if he could help it. He needed boundaries…and many other things, although she didn’t have any idea of what those might be.

“Could I come to your place? Or we could meet somewhere else. I have a nice apartment.”

No way.

“I don’t do home visits…If you insist…If you give me your mobile number I’ll let you know of a convenient evening, if you don’t have any…”

We normally meet on Thursdays, after midnight. I don’t imagine you’d want to meet that late. Otherwise most of my business is conducted at night.”

“Give me your number.”

Xenon gave her a card. Black, red letters, very stylish.

“Very you…I’ll call you.”

He looked at her fixedly.

“I will call you. Honest. Can’t you read my mind? Or is that also part of the folklore?”

“We’re quite good with some people. Some better than others. Particularly if the person isn’t very complicated.”

She guessed that was as close to a compliment as she could expect to get from him. He then gave her a thick envelope. It was full of money.

“What is this for?”

“I want to pay you in advance. Just tell me when you think we’ve run out of money and I’ll keep topping up. It isn’t a problem.”

“But, how many sessions do you think you need?”

“No idea…Anyway, pleasure meeting you. See you next week.”

“Listen, this money…”

“Oh, don’t worry. You’ll earn it. Don’t be concerned about that. I don’t give anything for nothing.”

He shook her hand and left swiftly.

Thank you and don’t forget to leave a comment!

El sabañon

Blog de Adrián Gastón Fares, director de cine y escritor argentino (nacido en Buenos Aires, Lanús)

Mrs. Robinson’s Library

Book Reviews, Music & Life

Frederic Sealey

Frederic Sealey is an American entrepreneur and investor with an extensive experience in capital investment, commercial real estate development and venture capital management. carl frederic sealey

Cage Dunn: Writer, Author, Teller-of-tall-tales

Manic, obsessed, driven to story - all story. Read, write, think, do; dabble, plan, play, do. Do more - More - MORE!

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