If in doubt there’s probably a self-help book out there for it and so this post is dedicated to some of the self-help books I highly recommend. From writing craft to the finer details of marketing to even changing the way we think, let us dive in.
‘Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing’ By Catherine Ryan Howard
If there was one book that paved the way for this blog’s very existence, it would be this guide by Catherine Ryan Howard who has since gone on to have massive success with her writing – I’m talking six figure publishing deal kind of success, and my journey was inspired by Self-Printed which is a guide for both authors and bloggers. The writing style is fun and its a great insight into what it takes to self publish.
‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’ – Stephen King
Say what you like about probably the greatest American story-teller of a generation and seemingly it appears to be the fashion to not like him in some circles but Stephen King has put together a fantastic guide that is both craft and practical based. I’d say that anyone who is looking to get more from their writing should invest in this one, its not even that long for a King book, so win win.
Break Them All!!: A Modern Era Awakening! by DRTao
Keeping to the theme of shorter guides, ‘Break Them All’ refers to unlocking the potential of your own mind by overcoming things such as ego and ambition in a positive sense to be a better person. Easy to read and also intelligent, this different but great guide is well worth a look.
‘Lazy Creativity: The Art of Owning Your Creativity’ by Kyle Bernier
I discovered this guide via Reedsy Discovery and ‘Lazy Creativity’ kind of normalises the fact that its okay to be lazy in your creative endeavours. Its detailed and covers many different types of creativity from the view of an artist who is also therapist. It certainly opened my eyes.
‘Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon’ by Dale L. Roberts
Another Reedsy Discovery find and it’s an incredible eye opening resource for those published via Amazon – most reading this are and this book focuses on the power of Amazon’s search bar/key word optimization. This is just the tip of a big iceberg that deep dives into how the world’s biggest book retailer functions. Highly recommended.
‘The Art & Business of Writing: A Practical Guide to the Writing Life’ by Chris Jones
Chris Jones lays out his tenured journey in the writing industry while generously passing on his wisdom in an easy-to-read guide full of resources that will either help or reassure the modern writer or both. Many other guides suffer from over informing or throwing way too much at once to the reader but here we get a fine balance between just the right amount of information and a tone that is friendly and consistent.
And so that wraps up my self-help book rec’s. Thank you for reading!
The results are in for my latest book promotion efforts and loyal Rock Star Patrons got to see it before anyone else but now its available for all. Let us dive in!
Its good to lay down a plan and my plan was simple this time around; to celebrate the one year anniversary of Consistent Creative Content being released by running a weekend price reduction promotion with a little paid advertising. Using a few different advertisers over a few days I even had the grand vision of the book reaching #1 and Best Seller status on Amazon. There were a few other promotional things planned for the weekend and run up to it also.
I’ve been eyeing up this anniversary for a little while now and so I booked my advertising at the end of April – some advertisers tend to get booked up so planning in advance always helps with that.
The Price Promotion would be $0.99 and run from Friday the 20th to Sunday the 22nd with the usual price being $3.99 – a considerable drop so I was hopeful for this one. A few days or a weekend is more than enough to run a price promotion, I tend to only run them in short bursts to create some urgency, plus after day 2 or 3 I run out of the energy required to keep tweeting about the same thing.
For the Friday I used Robin Reads and their $0.99 Non-Fiction Feature that cost $65
For the Saturday I used E Reader News Today ($55) and Bargain Booksy ($35)
(Give these sites a Google if you want to find out more)
These advertisers I have used previously and generally bring good results. As you can see they have a cost which is something that you need to be prepared to do if you want serious results.
The wonderful thing is I paid for this advertising with the royalties I’ve earned so far this year from book sales.
For many years, I’ve run these promotions at a loss but there have been other returns in the form of Amazon chart movement, reviews, further sales, social media follows and new readers. Plus this isn’t my day job, so there is no pressure to earn actual money.
Other Promotional Things
To tie in with the anniversary I put together a reflective blog post about the first year of Consistent Creative Content and I also released a special presentation of yours truly narrating some of the book which was made free to listen.
These other promotional things tend to help just a little and the more platforms you are active on, the better chance you have of reaching just a few extra potential readers. So in theory, the more you do, the better chance of reach.
My initial plan was to keep things discreet on Twitter until the Saturday because the platform tends to figure out that I would be trying to sell things and therefore the algorithms would kick in or start kicking me and reduce my visibility – I can’t say Twitter does this 100% but I have a feeling something happens beneath the curtain when anyone gets a little too advertisey. On this weekend in particular, it was looking like I’d be reaching the 30,000 follower milestone on Twitter.
As you can see, day 1 brought in the most sales. There were even a few full priced sales the day before over in the US which gave Consistent Creative Content a great start.
Day 2 saw 23 sales and then things slowed down on the Sunday to just 3 sales.
For the time CCC was discounted it sold over 60 copies!
By the time Friday evening rolled around CCC shot all the way up to #2 in the US Amazon Charts under the Writing Skill Reference Chart. Usually its in the 1000’s which is an incredible result and will help with visibility.
Pro Tip: If you are looking for more visibility and perhaps even thinking of applying for a BookBub Featured deal, getting your book higher up the charts just before applying will help.
Because of the surprising chart position over in the US by Friday evening, I decided to take the plunge into tweeting. I got a little excited and hoped that maybe CCC would reach best seller…
Now the book never got to #1 which would have been awesome but perhaps another achievement for another day. I did spend the weekend tweeting quite a lot about CCC which effectively killed my engagement and visibility for the time. Even with a following as large as mine being sales focused constantly will reduce my reach or that’s how it seems anyway. Here’s an insight into that:
Friday Organic Twitter Impressions: 42,000+ (less book plug stuff)
Sunday Organic Twitter Impressions: 16,00+ (more book plug stuff)
This is also another reason why just a few days for a promo is enough.
I’m happy with this one year anniversary promo. CCC is becoming my most successful book but that success takes some time and time is a book’s best friend. Perhaps in a few years time the results will be even better!
Thanks for reading.
Quite soon I’ll be recording a new Twitter Coaching Sessions which is a celebratory glance at how I reached 30,000 Twitter followers and it will be free for all to listen!
Book Promotion Activated! Hello kind readers and followers, I have decided to take the plunge into some book promotion to celebrate reaching 27,000 Twitter followers and you’ll be able to grab my debut horror novel Open Evening for free today but that’s not all! You can also grab the three other books in the same series for a discounted price for today only. Details are below!
Open Evening was my first foray into indie/self publishing and serves not just as my debut but a tribute to horror films from the early 2000’s. If you enjoyed ‘Jeepers Creepers’ and ‘The Faculty’ you’ll most likely enjoy this one. Fans of ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and ‘Alien’ will also find something to enjoy about this book which is also a partly semi-autobiographical tribute to my own school days.
“As soon as you open this book, it will grab your attention!”Recent Review by Ellen Khodakivska
This book is also just the beginning of my wider occult Order of the Following Series with the 5th book planned for release soon. The three titles from that series are exclusively discounted today in digital format.
Head on over to Amazon and give one of the above titles a search to grab yourself some discounted or free goodness and if you do, remember to leave a review! Peace out!
For today only, my three most popular books are 99 cents or equivalent to download.
From an author/blogger guide book all the way to a fun super hero comedy, there’s even a short powerful ghost romance you can pick up for a fraction of the price. Details and things are below. If you grab a copy of anything, remember to leave a review!
The Ghost Beside Me – Paranormal Romance
Regular Price $/£2.99
Today’s Price $/£0.99
In recent times ‘Ghost’ has been doing most of my authory heavy lifting and is becoming an author’s favourite. Just 60 pages long, this powerful but short romance captures everything about love in the moment.
The Teleporter – Super Hero Comedy
Regular Price $/£2.99
Today’s Price $/£0.99
KABLAMO! 2021’s most successful Lee Hall title has far surpassed my expectations this year with over 10,000 people downloading it in a single day and the 140 new ratings/reviews. Not all of them were favourable and that’s plenty of reason alone to check it out. And if you didn’t like it, the book is only a few hundred pages anyway…
Consistent Creative Content: A Guide to Authoring and Blogging in the Social Media Age – Self-help guide.
Regular Price $3.99/£2.99
Today’s Price $/£0.99
Considering the usual price, for 99 cents or pence you’ll get the best value for money in a guide that tells you everything I have learned to be successful in this author/blogger game and how you can too! With 20 ratings in the first year of release CCC is becoming my most successful title.
I’ve been promoting my books again and for the first time I had seven to play with. It is my belief that the more books an author has, the more promotional things one can do with them.
September 2021 served as a milestone month for me as it is five years since my words first graced publication. It is also a crucial month for many of my books as their genres tend to pick up around this time of year and look at that – a promo tip in the damn intro, horror, thriller, occult, spooky, ghosts, gothic – all of these start selling rather well from Labor Day onwards – that’s a public holiday weekend over in the US and for me the spiritual beginning of spooky season.
Like all of my previous book promo posts this will look into my plan, my results, how I got them and of course the most important part of any book promo – the longer term results. That’s part of the reason why this post has only just dropped, exclusively first on Patreon and then to the awesome followers on my blog. Let us dive in!
In any type of promo run its good to set out an overall aim while also setting a realistic or at least an achievable expectation but first of all and for beginners, what do I mean by promo run?
To me a book promotion run is when I advertise my books in order to sell them over a short amount of specific time. There are many inputs and ways to promote books and my process consists of paying for some advertisement every quarter or so while also reducing my prices to hook in new readers for just a few days. This quarterly or so method keeps sales from completely tanking to zero and while I am continually active on social media, newer readers are in theory always arriving onto my authory shores. I tend to sell books regularly via social media or mostly Twitter but not in huge numbers so I like a nice burst of sales every four or so months.
So on this occasion I would be running two price promotions simultaneously.
- The e version of my debut high school creature feature horror ‘Open Evening’ would be Free to download celebrating five years since publication, for one day.
- And the rest of my e books (6 others in total) would be reduced to 99 cents or equivalent for the whole of Labor Day weekend. In this category there are some books which are stand alone and others that are connected to ‘Open Evening’. Most of which are spooky season appropriate or popular all-year-round sellers.
Promo tip: Setting one book for free and advertising it will bring eyes onto all other books if you have any. Time and time again I have sold other books on my shelf while another was free. Discounting these titles pretty much guarantees some interest.
My overall aim was to sell as many books as possible to try and make an effort towards paying for the advertising I was going to use.
The Results Pt.1
The results of an effective book promotion run will last for days after the initial advertising dates but Pt.1 will look into the results of the first few days. So first of all let us look at the total.
As you can see the blue bar represents the free downloads for ‘Open Evening’ which managed 377 in one day across 6 different territories.
So that day broke a new record for me personally. This is the first time all 7 of my books were downloaded in 24 hours and every other book on my shelf although discounted made paid sales on the next day also.
Paid sales for Labor Day weekend are as follows below with my newest release and self help authoring and blogging guide book ‘Consistent Creative Content’ being the top seller followed by ‘Darke Awakening’ my newest release after ‘CCC’.
131 Paid sales makes September 2021 the 2nd greatest month of all time for sales. The 1st being April 2021 – you can read how I got those numbers here.
Let us briefly look at some chart movement which is an often overlooked part of these promo runs because good chart movement equals more visibility from passing trade.
Seeing as it was my top seller of the weekend ‘CCC’ made the best progress by hitting #10 in the Amazon US Writing Skill Reference chart which is a huge achievement because this chart is super competitive. I’m talking authors who do TedTalk’s normally head up the top spots.
Overall. I was happy with the sales of this weekend which led into several days after of sales which we will look into soon. But first let me break down what I did to get these numbers.
Methods of Promotion
My biggest tip when it comes to advertising books is to invest money. If you want serious results then you need to advertise seriously by spending. This is probably why I do this every four or so months. These days, I let my royalties accumulate and put them into advertising. It is also worth noting that being an indie author isn’t my primary source of income so I can afford to make losses financially with these promos – but to me there are no losses, just opportunity to find more readers and gain more traction as an author in the market – that’s what I’m really paying for.
Here are the book promotion sites/services I paid for:
‘Open Evening‘ – Free Booksy Horror Series Promotion. Cost $65 and this gives you an option to link all 4 books in the series which I did.
‘Consistent Creative Content‘
Bargain Booksy 99 cents Promotion. Cost $30.
Bookrunes. Cost $25
E Reader News Today – Humour Category. Cost $45.
Book Doggy. Cost £20
Total Advertising Cost: $185
As you can see my budget focused on evenly spreading the advertising. I could have run ads for every individual book but these three at the time were my most popular.
What else did I do?
Of course advertising via book promo sites is just part of my efforts. I also put out a blog post on here and various tweets throughout the weekend sharing various visual things. My Twitter following is over 15k which is a big opportunity for book sales. For those visual things I used these book banners in particular:
Book Banners are relatively easy to put together – I make my own using free stock imagers and Pixlr. Banners add just that little extra dimension to the visual appeal that may grab a potential readers attention.
The Books in my Order of the Following Series also have their own series page on Amazon – this helps for whole series visibility especially when one of the book in that series is free and the others are discounted.
Random Promo Tips:
Most book promo sites will ask you to include a brief description of the book that isn’t just the blurb. This is an opportunity to get creative and even mention that it could be a part of a series or that the rest of your works are currently discounted.
On social media think about terminology such as ‘For Today Only’ or ‘Exclusive Discount’. Stuff that embraces the gimmick of selling and stirs impulse. I always run a promo for just a few days to add a sense or urgency. Although Amazon will let you run a free promo for up to 5 days, 2 is enough.
Weekends tend to work really well post pandemic and so I like to include at least a Saturday as there is way more traffic online.
Existing reviews for a book really help sell more books – this is part of the reason why you see me put out a weekly Tweet saying how important reviews are. Most of my books have at least 15 reviews. This helps, big time!
The more books you have, the better things should be. Having just one or two books is much more of a challenge as readers tend to gravitate towards authors with more releases so get writing those books. This deal gets better with time.
The Results Pt2
Now it may seem like a paid quite a large sum to pay for some advertisement but all promo runs aren’t just about sales. Let us take a look at the most important part of a promo run – the aftermath…
From the 2 days before the promo and to the 8 days that followed I had at least 1 paid sale. This is 10 consecutive days of paid sales and new record. As you can see the rest of the month sales of the paid persuasion trickled in. Now if we compare it to the month previous…
The coloured bars may seem bigger but the numbers are drastically smaller for that month previous and this is just one of the things I am paying for with this promotion – extended visibility which in turn drives so much more.
September 2021 almost became another $100 royalty month and its not quite covered the cost of the promo but still a good portion of it has been recovered. Now let’s take a look at the wider scope in terms of royalties…
This 90 day graphic looks a little more promising but sales is not all that I am paying for because there is something else these promos drive and they are gold dust to authors and maybe worth more than a lot of money.
Reviews started appearing a few weeks after the promotional run, in fact 8 ratings for several different books came from this promo run which is a new monthly record and confirmation that this money investment was very much worthwhile. You can read a breakdown of the other reviews here.
Making money, getting more reviews, and sales takes time to master in the world of book promotion and this post is only just a snippet of years worth of work I have put in to figure all this out, that is without mentioning the work that goes into writing more books but, there is hope because this post above all shows that indie authors can sell their work and make money from it.
To me, book promotion runs are just a portion of what I do, perhaps even a small slice of a much larger cake that includes social media presence, blogging, reviewing other authors books and being a brand. There is always some work to be done in order to sell my brand and my works and remember that the more social you are on social media, the more someone will notice and eventually invest in you. Build trust and engage with others, that sells more than anything. Thanks for reading and peace out!
Introducing fellow author Erik Meyers who reviews Fee Simple Conditional by H.C. Helfand
I don’t remember exactly how I found how about “Fee Simple Conditional”. While that’s not really important, I loved the book so much, I wish I knew where I had discovered it.
At first you think ‘what a funny little phrase’. Then you begin reading and are pulled into a glorious story that grows and grows and grows on you.
Besides learning a lot about deeds, property and the history of such, you follow the ups and downs of Abigail Fischer.
A chance side-job takes her to places and people she never thought she would connect with.
I loved the twists and turns and surprises on every page.
What really stuck out though are the quirky characters. None of them are what you would expect. And that’s what makes the book so sensational.
They aren’t perfect. They have their good times and their bad times, like real life.
I read the book in an afternoon turning page after page faster and faster to find out what happened and the whole time wishing Abigail gets the life she deserves. She sounds like a wonderful person I would actually want to meet.
The ending is a beautiful cherry topping on the cake that will blow you away.
No spoilers here. You will just have to devour this book like I did to find out what happened.
Planned as a series, I can’t wait to read book 2!
I haven’t had a book touch me like this is a long time.
Thank you to Erik Meyers for sharing this awesome review of ‘Fee Simple Conditional’ by H. C. Helfand. You can find Erik over on Twitter here and be sure to check out his books via his website or click on the book covers below.
For the first time ever all 7 of my books are being price promoted simultaneously to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Open Evening being published.
Without my debut novel nothing else would have followed and seeing as I have a plethora of books, they are all discounted except for Open Evening which is FREE to download today only!
Some thoughts, details and links are below. As always thank you for the continued support of your local neighbourhood indie author!
It’s kind of scary how time flies when your busy and trying to get the world to read your words and somehow it has been 5 years since my publishing journey began. Those who have been around a while will know in 2015 I basically started again with a project based partly on a bad dream and mostly on my own high school days of struggle. Add a little creature feature horror, scratch that, a lot of creature feature horror and somehow Open Evening was born. Originally taken from six sides of lined paper full of scratchy writing after my fourteen year old self tried to recollect the events of that bad dream, I somehow fashioned it years later, into a fully fledged book that probably means the most in all of my works.
Before Open Evening released in 2016. I kind of got caught up in the whole querying thing with sub-par science fiction that wasn’t ready and in truth I wasn’t ready so starting again paved the way to where I am now. Someday you might see that science fiction which has grown with me and I have a huge amount of books to offer the world but until then enjoy the ones I have available.
Some of the books on my shelf may be different in comparison but for today they are all the same price.
The Ghost Beside Me is a paranormal romance about an introvert who struggles with loneliness until something not of this mortal world tries to reach out. Based partly on my own paranormal experiences and a ghost story my late Grandfather told me its a short but powerful read. Perfect for the coming spooky season of Halloween and beyond.
The Teleporter, many of you will already know and this book has become my most successful title this year. With over 160 Amazon ratings in six months I think I can class it as a hit. Kurt Wiseman is a mid-twenties slouch who is suddenly thrown into his own super hero tale and has to make a choice in order to save the day. Full of comedic wit and fourth wall breaking fun, it is bound to make you laugh at some point.
Consistent Creative Content is basically the culmination of my journey as an author, blogger and social media personality. Part-memoir part-guide, this book is designed to show you what I’ve done to find success that I am happy with and how you can do that too. Follow my words.
Of course Open Evening is just the start of a wider series known as the Order of the Following. Every other book in that series is discounted for today!
Click on the banners for the links!
Time flies when you’re reading books and I’ve been reading a lot of them in recent times. Last year Reedsy Discovery; a platform for reviewing indie books approached me to be a reviewer. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and it that time I have discovered some gems, and so here they are…
‘American Blasphemer’ by By John Gillen
‘A masterful labour of modern honesty, told through the lens of a lonesome soul trying to figure out this world and life…’
‘The Sawyer Shepherd Chronicles: Rites of Passage’ by Chad Lehrmann
‘A twisting unpredictable creature feature set in a small town with a big secret…‘
‘The Dreamophile’s Diary’ by Shazrina
‘A descriptive collection of tales that capture the very essence of dreams from surrealism to their deeper metaphoric meaning…‘
‘Senescence’ by Denver Scott
‘One giant leap into the future of humankind via the cosmos through the vessel of science that makes for a fascinating read!‘
‘Noxious’ by Bruce Knapp
‘An enjoyable yet sinister tale of the macabre that’ll keep you turning pages…‘
‘Fly Fearless & Fear Less: Eliminate your Fear of Flying with Knowledge!’ By Peter Brandt
‘A concise, insightful and reassuring read that’ll help you cope with the irrational fear of flying…‘
‘Big Noise’ by J.P. Biddlecome
‘A tale that walks the fine line between survival and madness through solitude…‘
‘A Diary in the Age of Water’ by Nina Munteanu
‘A truly important once in a generation read that flows like a wild river right through your imagination and heart...’
‘Awake’ by Andrew Palmer
‘An original techno-psychological thriller that captures the essence and surrealism of dreams with a sinister edge…‘
‘Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon’ by Dale L. Roberts
‘Essential reading for marketing books effectively while gaining a better understanding of Amazon key words and beyond..‘
‘Deadly Odds’ by Allen Wyler
‘He’s in deep with the big fishes and the odds are hardly in his favour…‘
‘Raven Woman’s Tavern’ by Laura Koerber
‘There were many things the people of Warrentown didn’t know about Raven…‘
‘Sex, Violence, Mars’ by Walrus
‘A short but fun sci-fi story with great world building, action and some laughs…‘
‘Operation: Palmetto’ by R.T. Breach
‘The chase is on for one man on a mission to prove his worth and the stakes are high…’
‘Spook City, U.S.A.: A Shadybrook Community Patrol Novella’ by Drew Purcell
‘un, unconventional easy-to-read comedy that never takes itself too seriously while delivering a good story with plenty of laughs…
‘Wonder Rush’ by Dan McKeon
‘An immersive and suspenseful teen spy thriller with some darker edges, a positive message, originality and depth…‘
There are some fantastic indie books on this list that were indeed awesome discoveries. Reviewing books has become the central pillar to my blogging and authoring brand and without it I would never have connected with so many awesome creators. Some of these books made me laugh, made me think, informed and inspired while most importantly they got me through the past year. You can find me over on Reedsy Discovery here.
Thanks for reading!
Emma Jordan is back to talk about Romance Indie Author Monty Jay.
I first discovered romance author, Monty Jay, earlier in 2021, when I bumped into the release of her latest novel, Courage for Fools, a rock star and US road trip romance that tugged, but didn’t sever, the heartstrings: who doesn’t need a happy-ever-after in their fiction?
From the first couple of pages I was hooked on Courage for Fools. Rhett and Quinn leapt off the page, and their road trip and romance are just gorgeous. He’s the reckless rock star on his way from the east to the west coast; she’s on a road-trip with a purpose. Emotion + banter = happy reader.
As I confessed to Lee’s readers recently, I’m a little bit of a music fan – I loved the book so much I had to see what else Monty had written.
That’s when I discovered her 4-book hockey romance series and promptly lost a weekend underneath my Kindle. I was immersed in the fictional world of the Chicago Fury hockey players, starting with the two main characters from book one, Love and Romance. Valour Sullivan (Vallie Girl) and Bishop Maverick (B) have known each other since childhood. Both characters live for hockey and are destined to follow in her father’s footsteps, becoming the best hockey players in the NHL. It was great seeing the perspective of both Men and Women’s hockey, and following other Fury players in books two, three and four.
THEN Monty announced that author merch is available from her online shop.
Now, as a fellow indie romance author, I always have an eye on unique marketing opportunities. (I recently encouraged readers to download one of my free books so that I could treat myself to a new coffee machine). What better way than for a writer who has created a fictional rock star and a fictional hockey team to enhance the reader experience than by offering hoodies and shirts in a shop that ships worldwide? I was more than happy to help out and treated myself to a Vallie Girl sweatshirt which is so comfortable, whether I’m writing (or editing) at my PC or on the school run! Supportive AND practical.
As Monty told me, ‘I love being an indie author because I have the freedom and control over my own work. It’s hard to build readership, but when you do you know it’s because you did it your way. I can write the stories that inspire me, and brand and market myself the way I want others to view me!’
Why shouldn’t authors who have created worlds for their readers be a bit rock star and offer readers clothing, bags, stationery, home items, to celebrate their characters? I’ve started to notice other authors offer swag bags or reader-themed goodies, or authors who have an Etsy presence. The marketing opportunities for independent authors are phenomenal.
What will you come up with to share your character’s stories with readers?
Monty Jay has a new, supernatural, series on the way, out in September 2021.