This writing journey began for me on a rainy Sunday afternoon staring at the screen of a windows 98 desktop computer. It was on that day I first typed words for a story and then a book that would become the motivation for the path which would eventually unfold. Only now have I finally finished that book, my everything story about robots in the future. I say everything because all I have done to find myself at this point – the writing of several books, publishing them, figuring out this journey, selling, marketing, social media and finding success I am happy with is for that story.
In my heart is a dream that has resided for over half my life and now I am ready to pursue it properly. I’m going to query this book and subsequent series and aim for the stars. This everything story has and always be my plan and its good to have some kind of plan even if you do deviate from the path like me. On that deviation route I found where I was supposed to be, in the company of fellow creatives who would inspire me, embrace me and above all motivate me to keep going.
Writing stories has always been my truest and first passion. It is within the story of that everything book where you’ll find all of it.
With everything I have learned not just about writing but the business of it, I think I’ve got a shot at success. Then maybe this will turn out how it always was supposed to but then again if it doesn’t, deviation of the original dream is still a great place to be. I’ll never know if I don’t try and so this is it. Time to chase that dream.
In a farmhouse surrounded by acres of sweet corn on a warm summer’s day in late June, Grace Ann Chapman came into this world screaming.
Local paper birth announcements:
The community of Ridgeville Nebraska would like to welcome Grace Ann born June 22nd, 1974 to William and Martha Chapman. Congratulations on your healthy baby girl.
Martha clipped out the announcement from the Daily Sun Newspaper and taped it into Grace’s baby book.
William Chapman worked the land that had been handed down to him from his father. It was hard daily grueling work to keep the corn crops healthy and on schedule for harvest. He took pride in what his family had established over the past three generations of Chapman’s and did his best to keep it going. With the birth of his first child, Grace Ann he knew that there would need to be more children, he…
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It has been a long time since I’ve paid to promote any of my books. Most of my reasoning for this is because my book sales, page reads and reviews have been rising without the real need for any investment in advertising. My last book promo effort was all the way back in September of 2022 and combined the release of my 8th book with my 1st book securing a BookBub Featured Deal. What followed was probably my best ever run of months for sales.
As someone who is constantly analysing things, I predicted that perhaps my run of luck would dry up soon enough and so I decided to book some much needed advertising but from the title you can see this is just part 1 of my April 2023 plans to sell a bunch of books.
You shall find my analysis, results and who I advertised with below. Let us dive in.
2022 was strong…
2022 happened to be my successful year ever as an indie author but it took a bunch of years to get there. It was the year of my best ever book launch and royalties – that is without mentioning the personal sales records I smashed but enough with the boasting. How did I make 2022 my best? There were lots of factors and I’ll link some further reading below but a good book promotion will bring results long after it has happened.
Having a complete book series all available via kindle unlimited has become a lucrative endeavour for me in recent times and my advice for series writers would be simple: get that book series finished – readers want a complete series and they will read them all if they are available. Much like my next bit of advice – backlist is King.
Having a backlist that includes a completed series and then advertising that successfully has brought me rewards that only really tailed off in the early days of April this year. As you can see above, the spike in the first graph represents that BookBub featured deal and then the results kept coming in.
As well as page reads, sales remained consistently strong and the amazing thing about these sales is that they were driven mostly by social media and most likely returning readers. Until April 2023 I had not advertised since September 2022. If you want to know how I sell regularly on via social media, check out my Twitter coaching sessions – they lay it out in detail.
Knowing I hadn’t advertised in a while, I thought maybe it was time to, but this would be a multiple book and multiple week plan of attack. Week 1 of my plan would be to run one of my oldest promo tricks in the book. A free book promo while also linking others in the series and reducing their price. My Order of the Following Series would be the instigator of this method with book 1 Open Evening being free to download while the others in the series were 99 cents or equivalent to download.
My best results from a free promo with other books attached comes from just doing this for a day or two. The factor of time and this being a ‘one off’ or once a year type of deal will entice potential readers and when it comes to a free promo, quantity is key.
The second part of this process would be to then bring the price of book 1 up to 99 cents for day 2 and advertise the whole series as discounted.
On Friday April 7th 2023 Open Evening was free to download with the 4 other books in the Order of the Following Series discounted to 99 cents. Here are the results:
521 total free downloads – a great number.
82 paid sales of the 4 books in the rest of the series with Darke Apocalypse leading the way on day 1. As you can see with this graph sales continued for a few days after as the series remained discounted.
Total combined sales with free and paid came to 676 a week after the promotion. A decent spike in readers for me and probably a much needed influx of potential new readers.
A good book promo will drive sales and potential page reads for some time after. Although it is still early days, this promo brings promise of more.
This promo was advertised by the following book promo sites:
Freebooksy – Horror Series Promotion
My Book Place
E Reader News Today
Other Factors for Success
Advertising was a big driving factor for these results but here are some other factors that helped:
Free promos are a please all and hope to appeal to as many as possible types of deal. No matter what many people say, free promos do result in some readers.
Time – this was a limited time deal, this can tap into urgency or even impulse for potential readers to grab a deal.
Existing reviews/Ratings – the earlier books in the Order of the Following Series have a good number of reviews. Darke Blood hit 70 Amazon ratings just before the promo. You can also see that my books have decent professional covers that I invested in. Visual is everything when it comes to potential readers finding your works.
Social media is something I tend to pick and choose my moments with. I didn’t mention the free promo but the day after I did mention that all books in the series were discounted. I also put a blog post out advertising the fact.
An important a probably needed book promo. The Order of the Following Series sells better during fall/winter months and so I shall put my promotional efforts for it on hold over the spring/summer. Of course this is just part 1 and you can expect the next part to cover another book with another promo – stay tuned and thanks for reading.
Assassin’s linked by their minds seeking redemptionthrough the ChaosNova Universe
The space sci-fi ChaosNova Universe is back and this time tells the tale of two ‘Reclaimers’ who are uniquely linked by their minds and find themselves on a journey.
‘Luna’ and ‘Rogue’ and two very different characters who are banded together in the universe and work as assassins but their latest mission takes them on another path – from being set up to hitching a ride to then eventually being incarcerated but given an option for redemption. Their punishment becomes a mission and their freedom is at stake. An original concept and focus in the story is how these two characters communicate telepathically and it is delivered in a unique way. They use this communication method to talk, fight, get in/out of the occasional bit of trouble and eventually succeed.
Combined with the high end space sci-fi universe already established in ChaosNova universe it makes for an action laced space story with a difference. There is some great description and sequences in this story that is perfect for anyone who enjoys space sci-fi.
‘Rogue strode along the corridor, her movements rendered staccato by the strobing light, like a series of still images strung together…’
Even after all of my time, effort and success on social media it is just social media to me. Recent times and events on the platforms serve as a reminder that it might not be worth all of our time or even effort sometimes. Now it is kind of rich coming from me as a partial addict but even I take a step back every now and then. I do all of this for the writing and my love for stories, that is something I shall never forget.
Saying that, a huge part of my journey is the wonderful people I’ve connected with over the years and they are the reason I return each time.
As for those embroiled in the judgemental partial debate about a blue tick, it is just that, a blue tick and yes there are those out there of the troll persuasion pushing limits – something the little person (me) has no real sway in. It might be the best and worst thing mankind will be known for but social media is here to stay and the antics of one billionaire will probably continue. My advice: endure and roll your eyes occasionally at the circus it has become.
Whether you are an artist, observer or even contrarian – social media is for all and so these times will effect everyone who uses it. But the good times come and so do the bad, but they also pass eventually.
The uninvited and unwelcomed turns in to the unexpected as a blizzard brings much more than the cold…
In Texas, blizzards and arctic storms don’t happen often leaving ‘Dan’ and his family unexpectedly caught up in much more than just weather related problems because the estranged Mother unexpectedly arrives and throws a social spanner in the works. Tension begins to boil but the temperature outside plummets in what becomes a crazy but fun and even brutal affair that I did not expect to go to the places it did, but it was very enjoyable.
Family dynamics and history can be complex sometimes and when ‘Margo’ unexpectedly turns up to see her granddaughter on the eve of an artic level storm, it sets the household on a gradual but declining social path of bitterness and resentment. ‘Margo’ or the ‘Ice Queen’ as she is known is the instigator of most social related problems in this short story packed with so much tension and atmosphere.
‘Bad things always seemed to follow Margo, also known in this house as The Ice Queen, misery and destruction never more than an arm’s length away…’
She’s behind with the times and doesn’t really approve of much – the perhaps vessel towards tensions moving to the murderous but something else, a presence or atmosphere is lurking and when the snow does fall and leaves everyone stranded, it gradually makes itself known.
As the family dysfunctionality explodes inside, ‘Dan’ and his daughter’s boyfriend must venture out into the bitterness of icy conditions to find vital supplies from their next door neighbour and this when the real twists begin. Although brutal and even confusing at first, Matt Micheli leaves us with everything explained and with a story that combines claustrophobic/stranded or even cabin fever themes of being stuck in a storm beside the tense family hating each other dynamic and that all important unexpected twist. Sometimes it makes you wish you’d stayed inside.
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Well-written imaginative and original space sci-fi
Alan K. Dell presents a well-written imaginative and original space sci-fi novella that follows a ship navigated by an intelligent bird-like race known as the Phori.
After this ship, known as the ‘Qesh’Kal’ intercepts a probe from an old satellite network the crew come to realise one particular satellite is self-aware and has even evolved. ‘Satellite 17’ becomes a personality on the ship and even begins to bother the crew by occasionally interfering while also exploring the concept of ‘Synthetic Evolution’. Ultimately, ‘Sev’ becomes a vital part of the ship and even helps during a potential siege from ‘Ancient Wanderers’.
With some wonderful description and plenty of new terminology for the genre (the glossary makes a fun addition) any fan of space sci-fi or action will enjoy this one and it certainly immersed me. I’d definitely be interested in reading the further books set in this universe.
‘A nervous anticipation hung in the hallway, the only sounds being the occasional cough or shuffle of clothing. An oppressive darkness replaced the corridor’s usual warmth…’
Serious results in any creative endeavour is fostered by taking it seriously. There are so many factors as to why one can find success with their creativity but above all, attitude is everything.
To be able to constantly learn from something while participating in it has been the driving factor for me in so many different corners of my online activities and for social media. From showing up daily to reflecting how that has benefitted my growth over time to the all important recording of what works in my mind. We take the good we can learn from and continue forth, much like when it comes to writing and then editing a book – just one more edit is the mindset and at the forefront of a writer constantly improving – to me this a good sign.
Patience is a solid joint first place when it comes to pursuing creative endeavours successfully because you could do everything you can to feel like you should be getting good results but instead you face zeros – patience will serve anyone in that situation well and in the meantime keep building, keep learning and keep going – that’s all I have ever done. Evolution really is a change that cannot be seen instantly but over time and with patience and the right attitude, you’ll get there.
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