Introducing the biggest paperback discount promotion I have ever run. Three, yes three of my most popular books are exclusively discounted to $5.95 in paperback! You shall find the details and links below!
My Amazon Best-Selling Super Hero Comedy The Teleporter was $9.99 but this weekend it is $5.95!
What are readers saying about The Teleporter:
‘The perfect antidote to the monotony of superhero movies.‘
‘Quick refreshing comedy‘
‘You will laugh (a lot) and above all, find yourself rooting for the underdog!‘
Writing and publishing a book is an incredible achievement and then comes the daunting task of actually selling it to readers. The truth is, that part is really hard sometimes and finding ways to sell online and through social media really is a challenge.
Marketing is often dismissed by authors because they tend to think they are no good at it and that’s okay. For many years I thought I was terrible at cooking until I followed a coherent and simple recipe to realise with some practice and effort, cooking isn’t that hard. The same can be said about book marketing. With some perspective and a little consistency, selling books online is possible and even fun. I’m someone who regularly sells their books through social media and I’m going to share with you my lessons and observations that will hopefully help you.
We will look in detail at using social media as an author and selling books online while also analysing why some authors struggle.
Whether you are self or trad published, you’ll probably appreciate the work that goes into firstly putting a book together and then the wider journey of marketing. Authors are expected to do a lot of that work but there is a slight misconception or at least a lot of advice that is over simplified or out of date.
‘Write a book and share it to your social media audience – Instant Sales‘
This statement although paraphrased is probably why a lot of us fail or at least feel like selling books is a struggle. Oversimplified advice from 2009 is just a Google search away and social media tends to echo stuff like this. On Twitter, authors in their droves share their book links every day and then newer authors see that and do the same and so forth. The truth is, and I realised a while back is this:
Just because your book exists and is published doesn’t mean it will sell a single copy. Take that expectation away and your view on the whole deal will be a lot easier. I know you worked hard and I know you love that story which is okay because the first person who should appreciate a good book is you. But to me, most of the time, dropping that link on social media is in vain. Yes there will always be exceptions and there will even be some that live by dropping their links but from my experience, I sell my books with the link holstered most of the time. Dropping links can still be valid on occasion but it does tend to bury my engagement on twitter at least.
Analogy: Just because there is breathable air doesn’t mean your body will just absorb it. You need to work for it by using your lungs and wider circulatory system to deliver that breathable stuff around your body. I know lungs function mostly without us being conscious of them but you hopefully get my point. And so the same can be said about that book of yours. Social media is an opportunity to make readers firstly aware of you and then your work. I like to say social first and media second.
The Basics: You and Your Book
Social and media are two separate entities and so are the basics in book selling which are you and your book. Firstly when it comes to social media, conduct takes precedence over anything else. And by this I mean day to day behaviour and general presence. Attitude good or bad sticks out on the platforms and for Twitter where I spend most of the time, it is quite easy to read between the lines of someone’s profile and tweets to gauge their attitude. I often have authors interact with me who say they are struggling with sales and have tried ‘everything’ for me to see their recent interactions were arguments, heavy opinion and generally an attitude that doesn’t help their image. Or their recent activity is just book links over an extended period of time.
While it can be great to share and of course freedom of speech is something I support, social media tends to make you visible and that is both good and bad. Being an author in particular will put you in a glass house sometimes, especially if someone takes offence to what you have said. Now you are published it is time to really really think about what you say online.
Over the years I have conducted my own set of rules when it comes to being an author on social media. These include:
No real heavy opinion on anything that can lead to passionate discussion/arguments. My seat on the fence is comfortable;
Be approachable, supportive and mindful for others and mindful of what I am posting at all times;
Do my best to inspire, inform, entertain or give some level of value;
Be consistent – show up regularly.
If you follow most of these basics, you will eventually find followers which in turn may become readers. And the wonderful thing about social media is the quick results – when you post something you’ll pretty much know if it was good or bad by the end of a day if not sooner. Those with smaller followings may struggle with this to begin with so remember to use relevant hashtags to boost visibility. And because there are so many users on social media, there is always opportunity to reinvent yourself for newer people. This method is long term and takes time along with some patience. If you are looking to sell masses of books quickly then you are in the wrong place.
So if you conduct yourself in the ways stated above you are set for at least more positive social media interaction and visibility which go hand in hand and also contribute towards selling books eventually. The main problem we all have is spreading awareness to the masses that our books exist. We will look into the finer details of expanding visibility below but in order to sell your media or have a higher chance of it selling then it will need to have a decent anatomy.
The basic anatomy of a book is something I mention in my guide book Consistent Creative Content and if yours has it, then eventually it will sell. These are:
A stand out or unique title that fits the genre well;
A professional attractive cover;
An enticing blurb;
A reasonable price;
Editing/proofreading to the point that is reasonably practicable.
Some of the above can be outsourced for a reasonable price. I have always invested in a professional cover using the services of Design For Writers. They also offer book formatting and even website construction among other wonderful things. For some who might be on a tight budget you can find some wonderful creatives online who might even help you for free – my most recent release was proofread and beta read by some awesome connections I have made online and for free.
The Everyday Things
So you’ve got the basics and now it is time to face the daunting task that is marketing yourself and that book of yours. There are so many ways to get yourself noticed along with that book but I would suggest picking a handful of methods at a time and seeing what works. Over time you’ll find what suits you and this really is a voyage into the unknown for many.
When it comes to social media all you really have to do is stand out to get noticed. Getting noticed will result in visibility and visibility will equal sales or engagement .
Easier said than done right? But how?
I turn up on social media every day. I keep my visibility boosted by using Twitter and have built a following of over 20,000 by putting in the time. The majority of that following trust me and have got used to me being there all the time – I’m not addicted honest…
These Everyday things increase my visibility:
Timing – know and understand when the majority of your following is online – this is huge for visibility;
Visual content such as screenshots of recent reviews, excerpts, book banners and covers, paperback selfies or pictures, memes – variety is key here and don’t over share the same thing;
Well wishing/positivity – reaching out to your following and hoping they have a good day will bring you closer to your followers and increase engagement on your posts. This also proves that you are human and when everyone else is sharing book links a little variety of the pleasant kind can be nice;
Supporting others – being supportive of a fellow follower is a great way to earn trust, get some visibility for you and others while also building some trust. Plus for me it feels good helping others;
Reply back when you can – this became a revelation for me but if someone puts in the effort to comment on your post, do you best to think of a reply, even a simple ‘thank you’ will help boost both parties;
Sharing links in a tactical way – Instead of sharing a link on a post or tweet I either drop it in the comments/replies below or tell my audience that it can be found via my bio/profile – this is huge on Twitter especially;
Use relevant hashtags – there was once a time where I would always include hashtags on all of my posts and they help boost visibility. These include #writingcommunity #author #booktwitter #booktwt #writerscommunity
Book Selling Related Solutions
Having all of the above will eventually and most likely lead to sales but what about specifics? Here are some things you can try to help sales:
Run a price promotion – from a free promo to a price reduction they are usually effective with some advertising and the right terminology (today only);
Share a plethora of content about your book – from cover art and banners to the blurb and even the first page, this stuff makes for some great material to attract readers;
Write a stand alone book – marketing the 3rd or even 2nd book in a series is difficult and attracting new readers is a huge challenge. A stand alone story will eventually attract new readers. This also naturally leads into having more books available will increase the chances they sell.
The Longer Term
Time sits above everything and I firmly believe there are no real quick fixes to selling books on social media unless you have stacks of cash you are willing to throw at it and even then there is no guarantee. Over many years and books I have grown towards regular sales, reviews and social media followers by spending time doing the above. It isn’t easy and there are so many authors like you and me who want the same thing. Even that can help us because our togetherness sometimes makes us stronger.
Social media is an opportunity to succeed but requires work to figure it out. If you really want readers and success then you’ll find a way to get there. Find your crowd, earn their trust and stay visible – these things will eventually help you sell books. Of course there are always exceptions that are good and bad. Try and keep trying because eventually you will succeed. That’s all I have done and here I stand selling books on average every two to three days.
This post is long enough without really dipping into the physical selling side of being an author and I run the risk of repeating already published information which can be read on this site for free. Below you’ll find some links to guides that I have created through the many lessons I have learned over years. Thank you for reading!
The following guides will help with physical book selling:
And for those who want a more detailed view of my journey, this book lays out how I published 6 books in 5 years and how I use social media to sell them regularly. Available now in both paperback and digital.
Somewhere in the desert east of San Diego, California.
“Joshua, don’t be a dick. Okay? Humor me,” Marta Guerrera said.
The weapons dealer of choice for terrorists worldwide wore a long-suffering expression. She braced a hand on the warm metal skin of the mobile tech unit, her voice low. An awning shaded her and Joshua from the worst of the searing afternoon sun.
“You have an odd definition of ‘humoring’. You’re asking me to kill four people.” Joshua squinted out over the monochromatic tans and browns of the desert. Far out over the next hill, he could see vultures circling. The sweet-rotting smell of death floated in on a tepid breeze.
“You and I want the same thing. We want Zosar’s money, and he wants a complete demonstration of the Maelstrom’s capabilities.” Marta wasn’t a nervous person, but Joshua noted the tension in her stiff posture, the tight set of her mouth, the pinch at the corner of her eyes. She didn’t like the change in plans either.
“Dead bodies attract the wrong kind of attention.” Joshua had come outside to compose himself before linking his brain to his experimental weapon. He needed a moment, but Marta didn’t seem willing to give it to him.
“They’re scumbag implant counterfeiters.” Marta gave a stiff one-shoulder shrug.
“That’s not the point, you know it.”
“How many hundreds of people are dead because of them? You’re doing the Federal Implant Directive a favor.”
“Doubt they’ll see it that way. We should put this demo on hold. Let me talk to Zosar.”
“Not happening. I know you, and you have no filter. By the time Zosar finishes listening to your bullshit, he’ll want to drop a nuke on this state just to shut you the fuck up.” Guerrera took a breath. “This deal has taken me months to set up, and this is it for me. I’m retiring, so I’m not watching our money storm back to wherever the fuck Zosar hides in between his little wars.” She pursed her lips and watched a lizard sunning itself on the top of a nearby boulder.
Joshua watched Marta walk to the edge of the awning’s shade and cross her arms. Tall for a woman, with a compact frame and dark hair peppered with gray around the temples, she was an ex-marine, and about as endearing as a hungry wolverine.
“Look, we don’t have to like this, we just have to like his money. Do your job, demonstrate the weapon and be a good boy.”
“Good boy? You sound like my fucking mother.”
“There’s a reason I don’t have kids.” She drummed her fingers on her forearm. “It’d be my luck to pop out an asshole like you, and I’d rather not have strangling my kid on my conscience.”
Curbing his irritation, Joshua pressed a palm against the tech van’s security reader and the door slid open. He walked inside, the air conditioning a welcome reprieve from the heat. Guerrera followed, the door closing behind them. Kevin Maitland, Joshua’s best friend and weapon co-designer, sat in front of a half-dozen inactive holoscreen disks and a control panel. He was a slender, dark-skinned man with a halo of black hair and a pleasant, expressive face. His blue t-shirt read, ‘Science is Like Magic, But Real’. Kevin reminded Joshua more of a college student preparing for a math competition than one of the world’s foremost weapon engineers.
Kevin gave Marta and Joshua an absent wave. Kevin had designed and outfitted the mobile tech unit, the size of a delivery skyvan, to support Maelstrom’s operation. The U-shaped console with the holodisks allowed a tech to monitor data. Next to the console was an integrated Virtual mainline rig for the weapon’s operator, its pure nanogel material engineered to block out any outside stimuli. Typical mainline Virtual rigs nanogel material provided virtual sensations, but Joshua’s connection to the Maelstrom depended on nothing distracting him, a complete absence of sensation.
Marta’s gaze darted to a Deimos machine pistol on a stainless-steel table. The automatic pistol’s digital readout displayed a full magazine. “Where the hell did that come from?”
“I got it from one of your people. I told them to put it on your tab.” Joshua couldn’t suppress a fleeting ghost of a snarky smirk.
“Of course you did,” she muttered under her breath. “Are you expecting trouble?”
“It’s only trouble if you’re unprepared.”
“I need that on a t-shirt,” Kevin said, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms behind his head.
Joshua could hear Marta’s teeth grind.
“Well, it looks bad to our clients, like we’re expecting problems.”
“This is my ‘I don’t give a fuck’ face,” Joshua replied with no inflection.
“That’s Z’s normal face,” Kevin chuckled.
This is an exclusive excerpt of ‘Zero-Day: A cyberpunk action adventure: The Sommerfeld Experiment #1’ by Al Davidson which is discounted today and available here.
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!
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.
Hello loyal followers. Today is my 32nd Birthday so I’ve decided to significantly discount the price of my authoring and blogging guide book Consistent Creative Content. I know many of you either write, blog or spend some time on social media and this guide will help you with all three, plus it’s available today for a fraction of the price.
Yes kind reader you read that title right because today and today only you can grab my recently released self-help authoring and blogging guide book for just 99 cents (or equivalent)!
This is a one-time super fun happy book discount* and it is unlikely we’ll ever see a discount like it again. The usual price was $/£3.99 and today you can download the book for a fraction of said price. Click on the banner below for the Amazon product page and if you need a little more persuasion there are few things below which might be of interest!
* Super fun happy not included…
A few things that might be of interest…
You might be thinking yes that’s an awesome discount but where’s the real sales pitch other than a discounted price and I’m with ya so here’s not one but two exclusive excerpts of Consistent Creative Content…
“There are more than shadows lurking in the darkness of those trees.”
Blake Malone is in search of a new start and arrives in the remote forest town of Darke Heath. The memory of his past mysteriously becomes a blur as he discovers this place isn’t what it seems.
Malone shares a romantic encounter with a woman named Caitlyn and she reveals herself to be a ‘creature of the night’. He learns of her story which intertwines with the history of the ‘Heath’. Together they must face the evil forces of vampirism and witchcraft that await them in the Darke forest.
But just who is Blake Malone? That’s something even he must fight to discover. Because ‘you’ve never known true darkness…’
At the Hall of Information we believe that sharing is caring. Especially when it comes to book promotion methods and results. We don’t keep secrets from fellow authors in fact we promote helping the efforts of others in every possible way. We’re all crawling through the shit storm of life together so we might as well help each other right?
Here are the official results of my latest book promotion that ran last week and more importantly how I got them…
For 2019 one of my top objectives was to get more exposure for my vampire novel ‘Darke Blood’. The plan always was to make the e-version free to download in September and so I did that – (beginners you can make any title free for a brief time via Kindle Direct Publishing as long as it is enrolled in KDP select (ask the google for more info) )
Like my usual book promo runs, I set ‘Darke Blood’ to be free from Wednesday to Friday – how you arrange days may have some effect on sales. Weekend dates can be good sometimes, Sundays have worked well previously but I normally adopt the weekday method.
The last time I had made ‘DB’ free was back in February of 2018, so it’s been a while, the results back then were north of 1000 downloads. So taking into account it had been a while and the fact my readership has grown since then along with the accumulation of a few more reviews I had some optimism that ‘DB’ would do quite well.
Side note: Vampire stories are no way dead (no pun intended), even after the monstrosity that was Twilight, they are still a pretty popular niche, trust me. And I salute anyone who enjoys stories of this genre along with those who write them!
During the promotional run ‘Darke Blood’ was downloaded 3,402 times!
All previous free promotional records were broken on the Wednesday. (Day 1)
With reference to the below screen grabs you can see things jumped up a notch in the space of an hour on day 1.
This is without mentioning the chart placement it got over on Amazon US.
Not once or twice but THRICE charts… This is a big tip for those looking to get more eyes on your books. There are plenty of charts out there that aren’t as ‘busy’ or populated making it easier climb and get number 1 or even ‘best seller’ status…
By the close of Day 1 ‘Darke Blood’ came near to 3000 downloads but I had to settle for 2,933 – an impressive feat.
Day’s two and three were less impressive but still commendable with 369 and 97 respectively pushing the total past 3000 in total but on day 3 it wasn’t the only book of mine up for grabs!
I sneakily set my super hero comedy novella ‘The Teleporter’ for free on Day 3. And the booziest hero of them all stole the day with a total of 88 units downloaded.
This is impressive because I hardly promoted ‘The Teleporter’ apart from a cheeky Facebook ad and other social media shout outs.
So overall in 3 days my books were downloaded 3,402 times!
How I got these results and factors which governed them…
Every book is different, and the success of a free promotional run is governed by a ton of factors such as:
Amount of reviews good or bad – having all good reviews for a title isn’t necessary a good thing, in fact ‘Darke Blood’ is one of my most subjective books, it’s rating isn’t exactly the highest which may have helped.
Recent reviews – If your title has some recent reviews, people know it’s recently been read, I’ve had the luck of getting some higher profile reviews this year for ‘DB’ from awesome bloggers Thinking MoonMullen Crafts and Feed the Crime – this helped big time!
Current Events – Only days before putting ‘DB’ up for free I pondered via a blog post about whether or not the sequel will ever see the light of day. This post unintentionally stirred up some interest. And yes the sequel will be happening in 2020.
Timing – The transition from Summer to Autumn brings the promise of Halloween, folks love a spiced latte and a good spooky book to read; ‘Darke Blood’ is just that and another top tip for anyone writing horror, thriller or occult – I have made the most sales of these genres in September! People love the build up to Halloween!
Following – As opposed to last year my following is way bigger, people won’t buy your book if they don’t know about it, this may be the greatest lament and struggle of all authors everywhere. This blog has been nominated for 4 awards this year and we now have 400 plus followers. My Tweet machine following is in the high 2000’s – way more than last year.
Investment – If you want a book to sell, for free or at a price, you have to invest money in doing so…
So how exactly did I get 3000 plus downloads? With the above combined factors and my big secret… Book promotion websites – this isn’t really a secret.
How do book promo sites work? Essentially you pay them to tell people about your promo – they all boast to have access to several thousand followers via email and social media so you are simply paying to use this mode of distribution and the truth is, it works! There are even some sites who take on submissions for free.
My tip when dealing with such sites is to always pay via paypal.
The whole concept with using promo sites is to ‘stack’ the promotion by using multiple sites over the days…
The big secret – Book Promo websites (paid and unpaid)
I invested around $100 for this promo – probably the most I have ever spent. It sounds like a lot but the results were awesome and worth it.
There are other ways to spread the word about a promotion. Amazon offer their own ad service which I didn’t find much success with previous and even though Facebook aren’t the most reputable bunch they do have access to a lot of people if you place an ad with them.
I boosted two of my posts from my main author page and as you can see ‘DB’ did quite well. The ad set up in FB is pretty complex and detailed but if you can figure it out you can target the right folks.
It’s especially effective for free promotions, convincing people to vote Brexit and getting Trump into power… I deleted my FB app last year for a while, it did me the world of good, even now I don’t look at FB that much. But all satire and opinions aside, the ‘DB’ promo did quite well.
The hope is that some folks now read Darke Blood and then leave a review. The KENP page read tracker is already showing numbers and I have since sold more books.
For those looking to take on more of my work both ‘Open Evening’ and ‘Cemetery House’ will be available for free sometime in the next month or a little after.
If you missed the free run of Darke Blood or The Teleporter get in touch and I shall send the e version out to you for free in exchange for a review!
And so that wraps up my latest book promotional efforts. Let me take this opportunity to thank everyone for sharing the links, leaving reviews and helping the efforts of your friendly independently published author!
These aren’t my words but words from a recent review of my words known as Darke Blood. I feel as if I have said ‘words’ too much but I’m not kidding when I say Darke Blood is free to download today until this Friday and I give you my word…
This is a limited one time deal and Darke Blood probably won’t be free to download for quite some time. I’ve also said Darke Blood too much haven’t I?
It’s a pretty looking cover, but admittedly most folks don’t just judge a book by its cover these days, especially well read cultured types such as yourself. So you’ve seen the front cover, but what does the blurb say?
In the past year I’ve managed to convince just a handful of awesome folks to review ‘DB’.
One of those recent reviews came from awesome book blogger Blair of Feed the Crime and she had these thoughts to share…
“This book wasn’t the cliche of a dark stranger arriving in town and rescuing the damsels. Blake doesn’t even know who he is, never mind taking on vampires and witches!”
“I was blindsided by the last 20% of this book, like where did all these revelations come from? Mind = Blown”
From the inspirational mind of Billy Mays let me say….
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
And so here’s another recent review from Hall of Information Hall of Fame Supporter Jaycee Lynch of Thinking Moon Blog. Trust me when I say this book has got some very important admirers…
“I usually have very high standards when it comes to vampire novels (loved King’s Salem’s Lot, did not care for Meyer’s Twilight), so when I say Darke Blood is an interesting vampire novel, believe me. There is intrigue from the moment the book starts and although you are mainly focused on Blake Malone’s exploits for me the true protagonist is Caitlyn. The mystery unfolds page by page and you are hooked until the last word. A fun yet thrilling read.”
Final Attempt at selling you something that is FREE….
Darke Blood is set in a wider universe that also contains two other books I have written. If this current promotion is a success and enough folks download it and review it, then there will be a sequel. You can read yesterday’s post where I poured my guts out about this subject…
Disclaimer * No real guts were poured out. I am fine. I think.