Friday, January 31, 2014

Where the hell is Zombie City: Episode 4?

Back in December I mentioned I hoped to have the fourth episode of Zombie City out by the end of this month. Well, the end of the month is here, but the fourth episode isn't. I'm still working on it, and have a long way to go before it's ready. Why so far behind schedule? Work and the flu, to put it plainly.

Anyway, I'm sorry I'm behind schedule, and I'm hoping that any readers waiting for Episode 4 won't hold it against me. At the risk of setting myself up for failure again, I'll offer a new tentative release date: I hope to have the fourth episode out by the end of February.

And to show my contrition is real, I'd like to make another offer: when the fourth episode is ready, you can have a copy of it for free. Sign up for my email list--see the white box farther down on the right side of this page--and when the episode goes live, I'll send out an email with a Smashwords coupon code for a free copy.

Sorry again about the delay.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ereader News Today promo results (hurrah!)

I'm still pretty new to the ebook self-publishing world, and I've been picking up information and advice as I go along. One common bit of advice is this: promote your book. Seems pretty obvious, right? But it's not necessarily as simple as it seems.

First of all, as I mentioned in my last post, I spend plenty of time struggling with self-doubt, and it's hard to work up the confidence to try to let people know about your book when you're already sure no one wants to read it. Fortunately, I've recently had a few indicators that there are people out there who want to read my writing, and I've been faring slightly better in the self-doubt struggle since then.

The second thing that complicates the self-promotion efforts is this: there are so many options, it's hard to know what's worth the time and effort. Despite my crippling self doubt, I have actually tried a few different things--from setting up this blog to paying websites for promotion. Many of those efforts have been mentioned in other posts on this blog, and none of them have proven very effective. In fact, it would be pretty accurate to say that none of them have been effective at all!

And so the lack of results from those efforts, coupled with my own lack of confidence, have sort of kept my foot on the brakes regarding self-promotion.

But a few weeks ago I signed up for the Kboards Writer's Cafe forum, and I've come across plenty of authors who have found promotion opportunities that actually produced results. I read their posts, I took notes, and I figured I'd give it another try. (Because I'd already tried doing nothing, and I'd seen the results that brought--none.)

The first promotional website I signed up with was Ereader News Today (also known as ENT). Yesterday they included Blood Brothers as one of their featured Bargain Books (I dropped the price to 99 cents for a temporary sale, in order to qualify), and the results have been excellent. Yesterday turned out to be the best selling day in Blood Brothers six month history. I sold more copies than I had on the day of the book's launch, when I guilt-tripped all my friends and family into buying copies. And selling a lot of copies in one day resulted in the book climbing the rankings at Amazon. Here's a screenshot I took of the book at it's peak.

I'm hoping that rankings boost results in a little more visibility for Blood Brothers, at least temporarily, and a few additional sales because of it. If nothing else, I consider it a success because it's shown me that promotions can work, if you're going through a good provider. And Ereader News Today is definitely a good provider, in my experience.

So now I'm looking at other promotion opportunities, and starting to lay out a strategy. Here's hoping I'll be able to keep stoking the flame, until Blood Brother's has a steady fire burning beneath it.