This weekend wasn’t the best time to try an ebook giveaway. I really should have known though, because if I’d checked on what happened this time last year, I wouldn’t have bothered.
So what happened? I hear you ask. Especially after the (northern hemisphere) summer giveaway of The Silver Locket did so well: 292 copies downloaded and up to #7 in the genre hit parade (albeit briefly).
Oh, but how quickly I’d forgotten the November 2018 debacle. A five day giveaway of the same book had resulted in just 20 copies downloaded. Now this year, buoyed up after the happy surprise of last August, disappointment reigned supreme again.
I was all over LinkedIn and more than a little bit on Twitter. I pitched in on Instagram and posted all over my personal Facebook page. Loyal friends locally liked and shared: one more download!
Of course it didn’t help that the Facebook Elves took 6 hours to approve my US ad. Maybe they were busy approving the million other ads (or were they busy giggling naughtily over the slightly racy start to chapter ten?). Or, when I tweaked the UK audience demographic yesterday morning, the edit was still under review 10 hours later, well past the Great British tea-time.
Two days of ‘bigging it up’ and busily checking the KDP reports. All for just 17 bites. Couldn’t I even give these away???
No! No, because everyone’s in a Massmart store filling their shopping carts with improbably-sized flat screen TVs, so huge that they totter precariously over the edge of the super-sized luminous pink trolleys they wheel, dodging and weaving through the slippery-floored over-peopled mall. (Or so my friend Jonathan told me. You don’t think I ventured out that day? Are you mad?).
Still, after a tiny flurry of downloads in Canada, You’ll Never Walk Alone peaked at a heady #47 in Romance Action and Adventure.
All wasn’t lost anyway. I have three free books from other indie authors to read on my Kindle.
Just remind me next year to concentrate on the last few days of NaNoWriMo and give the Black Friday thing a miss.
With all of the unauthorized harvesting of our posts that is going on at tygpress.com and seemingly not much that can be done to stop it, I created this badge that I will attach to all of my blog posts going forward.Please feel free to grab this image and post it on your blog. By doing so, this image should show up on your posts that have been stolen by tygpress.
If you were wondering how to jump aboard the ‘author’s helping authors’ band wagon, this makes it so easy!
You can see from the side panel that I regularly read and review books on Goodreads. I also post the review to Amazon for the books I’ve downloaded and read by indie authors. I know how important it is.
So, all of you ‘indies’ out there, time to help each other out. Share the message and post your book links!
And to all you gallant readers: let’s have your reviews! Pretty please?
This afternoon we’re packing our bags and heading off up country for a few days. This is the kind of thing we’re hoping to see, so maybe there will be animal adventure stories next week. After all, this is Africa!
In the meantime, be warned. A deluge of chapters from my work-in-progress novel for younger readers is scheduled. I hope you have the opportunity to dip in.
This article gave me a little prod of encouragement when it comes to marketing. I’m clearly not putting enough energy into my efforts and I need to re-double this for my forthcoming novel ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.
I know a couple of folk who are up for #PitMad tomorrow – good luck to you guys!
Here’s some useful advice should anyone be considering entering a future contest, plus a bit about the etiquette on how to respond to people’s pitches on Twitter.
If you’re a writer on Twitter, every now and then your feed is going to blow up with book blurbs for a day. If you’re wondering what the heck is going on, the answer is…a pitch party. This is an event where writers share a one-tweet length description of a completed book, in hopes of attracting an agent or publisher.
I’m not pitching..what do I do!?
It may sound counter-intuitive, but DO NOT LIKE PITCH PARTY POSTS. Agents and industry professionals use the like button to indicate interest in a pitch. YOU, as a friend, should show your support with comments and retweets ONLY. Re-tweeting raises the post’s visibility, and it becomes more likely to catch an agent’s eye. It’s also a great way to make new friends and build your following.
The building stands proud and prominent on a history-dense corner in the commercial district of the Big City. Not a member of a countrywide chain in a modern mall, this proudly independent book store has character. The floors are wood and mosaic and a rickety stairway leads down to the basement (children’s books and non-fiction, coffee and cake).
The author enters. Staff members are all busy with the stock. She peruses the shelves studiously. Virtually all of the fiction they carry is literary fiction. There is no ‘populist’ or mass-market stuff. Actually, these are the books which the author likes to read.
Awesome company surrounds her.
She ventures downstairs. The children’s books are for early middle grade and below. No YA at all. The coffee smells good and there are lots of comfy seats. A couple of students are chatting quietly and, at a rough wooden table, two women are deep in conversation over a laptop and a sheaf of closely typed pages.
The author sits down with a coffee and a rather dusty chocolate brownie. She selects a literary magazine from the low table in front of her and listens in to the two women. Eaves-dropping is second nature to an author, after all.
They are discussing which new books they are going to take for the store!
Dare she disturb them?
She thinks about the Margaret Atwoods and the Zadie Smiths upstairs. The beautiful book covers with their multiple reviews and recommendations. She hears them reject the latest Alan Titchmarsh.
She is intimidated.
She buries her head in the literary magazine. Time passes. She listens and ‘people watches’. For a Monday afternoon there are a surprising number of customers. She pigeon-holes them for future reference.
Finally, the two women finish their meeting and go upstairs. The author abandons the remains of the brownie; her mouth is dry enough as it is. She takes a deep breath, then takes the stairs.
One of the women is leaving, but the other smiles at her from behind the desk. The author approaches and enquires in general terms about the store’s purchasing policy. What the owner has to say is interesting, but not exactly encouraging. She explains how they know their purchasing clientele and what will sell in their store.
And here it comes. The woman’s guessed what’s she’s really asking. The author owns up and bravely tells her about her book.
The owner is very pleasant. She explains that they select less than one percent of Indie Authors’ work each year. Anything they do pick has to have a local ‘buzz’ about it. The author’s novel clearly doesn’t fit.
The woman is kind. Another might…one day.
The author reflects. It would be nice to have her book in a bricks and mortar store. But one book, amongst all these… and in just one store..?