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KDP Select Ad Results August 2015 by Kitty Bucholtz

September 9, 2015 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , , , ,
Bringing you another episode of “What Might Be Working in Book Ads.” 😉
You may remember, I added my chick-lit book, Little Miss Lovesick, to KDP Select in March 2015. The book wasn’t really selling, so I figured it would be a good time to do some experimentation. After all, you can’t sell fewer than zero books, right?
I took advantage of the five free days at the end of May 2015 and shared my results with you here. Things went so well that I wanted to continue my experiment, so I left the book in KDP Select and did another five free days August 18-22, 2015. I am happy to report that the sale went even better the second time! Here are the details…
Before the sale:
I applied for the same ads that I purchased in May since they did so well. I didn’t get all of them, but I also asked other writer friends what worked for them and picked up a couple of new ads on recommendation (Ereader News Today and Robin Reads).
In May I paid $14.99 to use Book Marketing Tools™ ebook submission tool to somewhat-automatically apply to 32 websites at once that accept submissions to advertise your free book. (During a promotion last year, I used Ebook Booster, which submits your free book to 45+ sites for $35.) In August, I decided to try the free membership tool at Author Marketing Club to manually apply to about a dozen sites by clicking through from buttons on AMC’s web page.
It’s difficult to know which sites are going to list your book as they don’t all reply back to you. And in the past, I haven’t been able to find my book on all the sites that did reply back. In any case, I’m pretty sure the book was advertised on DigitalBook Today and FreeBooksy, and probably others, but I didn’t double-check any of the sites during the free period.
I applied for the “free ebook of the day” ad at Indie AuthorNews, which appeared to be a good ad for me last time, but I didn’t get it this time. I also wrote down that I used a pre-paid ad credit at The Romance Studio blog page for one day, but I forgot to follow-up and see if the ad appeared and on which day. So I don’t know if I got any traffic from there.
What I did during the sale days:
Tuesday, August 18: 2645 free downloads today
* KENP = 0
* Free ad on ReadCheaply.com
* $45 premium ad in Choosy Bookworm email newsletter to 40,000+ subscribers, on their website all week
Wednesday, August 19: 1963 free downloads
* KENP = 470
* $21 to BKnights on Fiverr to 4800+ active Facebook users for 7 days, “extra” promotion with viral Facebook post for 7 days, promote on website with 2000 visitors/day for 1 day, promote in email newsletter to over 2500 subscribers for 1 day
* Julie Kenner’s Hump Day feature, no charge promoted with other books on a blog post
* $25 Ereader News Today ad in email newsletter
Thursday, August 20: 850 free downloads
* KENP = 515
* $25 InDtale Bargain Book ad to 10,000+ email newsletter subscribers
Friday, August 21: 2080 free downloads
* KENP = 1131
* $20 ad in Robin Reads email newsletter
* Blog post on Tracy Reed site
Saturday, August 22: 561 free downloads
* KENP = 2066
* Blog post on Alina K. Field site
On the last day of the freebie sale, there are always a few copies that get downloaded early the next day before the price goes back to normal, and 9 free copies were downloaded on Sunday. The grand total of free ebooks downloaded in this 6-day period was 8108. In May, the total was 7312, so I’m quite happy with the 11% increase.
Comparison of KENP pages read in Kindle Unlimited:
In May, Kindle Unlimited still counted each title as one borrow rather than counting the number of pages read (KENP) as has been the case since July 1. It also took me six weeks to get my results to you last time, and it’s only been 16 days since my most recent sale. So the comparison here is going to be a bit shaky.
In my prior post, I reported about 138 borrows over 6 1/2 weeks. Little Miss Lovesick has 402 KENP pages, so that’s approximately 55,476 KENP pages if every person read every single page (unlikely).
The above numbers include part of July as well, but the July total alone was 2381 KENP pages read (with a payout of about half a cent per page, which is very close to what I got paid for a “borrow” in the past). In the 17 days of August before the book went free, there were 697 KENP pages read. But from the day the book was free to the end of August, there were 24,899 KENP pages read in 14 days. In the first seven days of September, the daily average dropped 40% with 7831 pages read.
Totals are:
July KENP = 2381
August 1-17 KENP = 697
August 18-31 KENP = 24899
September 1-7 KENP = 7831
Total book sales:
In addition to wanting to get more people reading Lovesick for free, as a borrow through Kindle Unlimited, and as a sale, I also wanted to get people trying my other books. (I have four titles total.)
There are three titles in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke superhero urban fantasy series–the first is a free short story, the second is a long novella (45,000 words), and the third is officially the first book in the series at 100,000 words.
At the beginning and end of Lovesick, and the beginning and end of the free short story, there is a note to join my newsletter and get the novella for free. That means that if someone downloaded Lovesick for free, and followed up to see what else I had, and read the note about how to get the novella for free, they could’ve gotten three of my four titles for free. If they do that, I think I’ve got them as a reader. And they’re on my newsletter list. 🙂
So total book sales are:
July = 12 (0 for Lovesick)
August = 24 (9 for Lovesick)
September 1-7 = 8 (0 for Lovesick)
Total spent on ads to get to this point was $136 in August. I’m estimating that I’ve earned more than twice that so far in the last three weeks. Excellent! Compare that to the first time I used a KDP Select free period when I spent less than $100 and didn’t break even, the second time when I spent less than $100 but did break even, and now this time I’ve made about a 100% or more return on investment (ROI).
This is by far the best result I’ve had so far with any kind of advertising, any kind of freebie/sale. I’ve let Little Miss Lovesick stay in KDP Select for a third period. I’ll let you know what I decide to do this next time.
Meanwhile, I’m going to put Unexpected Superhero on sale for $2.99 (down from $3.99) October 1-10 and use the same Choosy Bookworm feature ad to see how it works on bargain-priced books. I chose to discount it only $1 because anecdotal evidence shows few books sell at $1.99, and the number of books (104) I’d have to sell at 99c with only a 35% royalty is more than my sales history says I can expect to get to cover the cost of the ad. (I only need to sell 17 books to break even at $2.99. I’ll try the 99c test later when overall book sales have increased.)
I hope this has been useful in helping you decide what you might want to try in your own advertising and promotion. Good luck!



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August 5, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , ,

I already hear you saying, that’s a long title for a blog post. I agree, but it’s the truth. A while back I shared how I came to be an Indie Writer and promised to talk about the book that sort of kick-started my writing career. Because the story is a little long and filled with more twists than a rollercoaster, I thought I’d share it over the course of my next few posts or until the book is launched…whichever comes first. God, I hope the book is published before this series of posts becomes as long as a novella.

So strap on your seatbelt and let’s begin the ride.

I’m almost afraid to tell you when I wrote my first book, or as it will from hence on be referred to as Alex One. I started writing Alex One in 2005. Yes…yes…yes…I hear all you judging me, and I don’t care. I’ve already beat myself up several times.

Anyway, I remember I was watching a chick flick…which I love…don’t hate. As I was saying. I thought to myself, I should do that, write a book about people that reflect me…women who love, God, Fashion and Cute Guys [thus the tagline for my writing career]. Let me back up; when I was in college, I did a semester of screenwriting and even wrote a couple of “bad” scripts. I even tried my hand at a few “bad” short stories. Looking back, I wonder if I should have taken some creative writing courses. Probably, but at the time, that’s not what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a sports reporter. I had my own sports segment that aired once a week on campus television and local cable, and I was an intern in at the local Tulsa NBC Affiliate in the Sports Department. I was on my way…nowhere. I couldn’t get hired anywhere after graduation. But I digress.

Back to writing. So no, it never occurred to me to take creative writing courses. Fast forward and I move back home and go to work for a public relations company and then a record company. I figured I’d work my way up the ranks to a high-level executive position. I came close. While at the record company, I went from working in the temp pool to assistant for the General Manager. When he was promoted, so was I. Now I was Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. I was on the fast track. I had the whole package, travel, a great office, an assistant, a very good salary and long hours. All this and with the company less than three years. Then I was promoted to Director of New York Operations. I relocated to New York and remained there for almost two years, then I was downsized and out of work.

Bear with me, this all does tie into my writing career. Remember I told you this is a post in parts.

When I was “Laid Off,” I took a little time off before starting my own business. I’ll skip over that history. I hear you saying, “Thank You” and you’re welcome.

The thought of writing was always deep in the back of my mind. I had even attempted to write long before 2005, picking it up every now and again. I think what nudged me, was my computer. In down times at my store, I would tinker with writing. However, when my old computer died, and my parents gifted me with a new one, I got the urge to try writing again. I had visions of writing an amazing book, signing a huge contract and going on book tours. I’d hire reliable staff to work in my store, and the book money would just be gravy. The fantasy got bigger when I got a laptop; now I could write anywhere.

As I got closer to the end of writing Alex One, I had an epiphany. I needed income for my business and thought, I’d sell the book and use the money for my business. That’s where the story turns. I didn’t have a clue as to how the publishing industry worked and all I knew about Indie Writers is that’s what you did when no one thought your book was good enough to buy.

Up until this point, I hadn’t told anyone I was writing or had written a book.

To test my skills, I conveyed what I now know is called a “Beta group” of friends and one stranger, to read Alex One. This group ripped through my book with a fine tooth red comb. They found things wrong, I didn’t even realize. A crucial error was a pregnancy. I had the character get pregnant and deliver in three months…MAJOR ERROR! Then they said one of the men sounded too feminine. Oh man, this was so not the reaction I was expecting, but needed.

Back to square one. I took all of their comments, processed them and made changes. I finally got the book to where I liked it, and then I started shopping it. See, I thought you wrote a book, got an agent, gave them the book, they gave you a check and waited for the money to pour in. No one told me it could take years before an agent would even request your book for consideration. Here’s the part I never really got, the agent would be working for me, yet he/she has the right to tell me if my book is good enough or not. To this day that still doesn’t compute for me.

I have a friend who is a popular Christian Fiction writer; we met via the internet [we’ll keep that story for a later post] and she suggested I write an ebook. I didn’t want to do that. I had visions of going into book stores and seeing my books on the shelves, not on the internet. I fought that until I finally decided to submit to her epublisher. Once I finally acquiesced, it was too late. They were no longer taking submissions.

I had heard about ACFW American Christian Fiction Writers [in case you forgot, I write Christian or Faith-based fiction with heat] the perfect place for me . . .I thought. I mentioned it to my friend, and she said she was a member and that she was going to the conference. She said if I went, we could finally meet and hang out. I vacillated and finally decided to go. I was pumped. I had my manuscript in a box …literally. I didn’t know you were supposed to wait for someone to request it, and then you send it. That research thing came back to bite me in the butt again. Anyway, I got there, booked an agent appointment and a Harlequin editor appointment.

The night before meeting with the Harlequin editor, I attended a late night workshop she hosted, where she gave a list of what Harlequin was looking for. She also gave a list of what they didn’t want. By the end of the session, I knew me meeting with her was going to be a waste of my time, but I still went. I needed to keep my word. I handed her my summary and like I thought, no. My book was a little too out there. See at the time (maybe they’ve changed their policy for their Christian line) it wasn’t customary for the hero and heroine to be divorced. Strike One. My heroine is divorced. The characters can’t mention how attracted they are towards each other (i.e. no comments about how hot she thinks he is and vise versa). Strike Two. And definitely no hot kisses. Strike Three.

On to my meeting with the agent. I made my pitch, and she said I can write about God or Sex, but not both. With that said, she said she liked my concept and to send it to her. I was over the moon. I went back to my room and called my mom. We were excited someone that didn’t know me wanted my book. A month later, a gut punch. The agent said it wasn’t a romance. I knew that. In fact, I never said it was a romance, but women’s fiction with romantic elements. At the time, that’s how I referred to Alex One, women’s fiction with romantic elements. I sulked for a little while before hitting the internet in search of an agent that understood my style.

I went to ACFW the following year with a tweaked book, still hoping to secure an agent. There were two agents I wanted to talk to. One was completely booked, however, at lunch you had an opportunity to eat with an agent. I rushed inside the crowded banquet room and grabbed a sit at my dream agent’s table. She went around the table and asked us all for our one line pitch. I gave mine and no reaction. Crap! All this time, I’d been following her blog, even occasionally emailing her and nothing. No problem. I ran into the other agent of choice in the restroom and thanked her for being honest in her rejection. She turned me down because her roster was too full. I told her I appreciated her honesty and went on to my other meeting which was a bust. I left the conference without a request. However, I shared a ride to the airport with the editor of a magazine I’d written a short story for a few months earlier and after some small talk, she asked me to submit another story, which I did. I was an official writer with two published short stories.

What does all of this have to do with Alex One? I was a little discouraged, but I kept writing. I say Alex One is the sweetest book I’ve written, that was before I started reading a lot more and the birth of my first published book, GENERATIONAL CURSE.

I’ve told the story about the agent I had and how we came to part ways. By the way, the agent I ran into in the restroom, is the agent that later became my agent. While I was waiting for her to shop Alex One, I wrote the sequel, let’s call it Alex Two. Alex Two would make the editor at Harlequin’s eyes pop out of their sockets. For that matter, the way Alex One was changed would probably make her pull her hair out. I broke every rule they have for their Christian line.

Finally to the title of this post series.

When I wrote Alex One, I wrote it based on what I had been reading at the time …sweet but edgy Christian Fiction …what I thought the Christian Fiction market would like. However, when I went back and reread the series [currently there are three books in this series], the characters sounded a little young, naive and not real. To me, they lacked life. I got my red pen and post-its and went crazy. Then I joined OCC and learned how important it is to read any and everything. I was told by someone not associated with RWA that wasn’t a good thing to do because it could influence what you’re writing, or you might subconsciously commit plagiary. However, I learned at OCC what you read inspires what you write, at least it does for me.

So here’s the first thing that happened.

As I said, there are three books in this series. Let me back up. When the agent and I parted ways, I didn’t know what to do. I felt I had written what God inspired me to write. However, agents didn’t seem to agree with me. I can’t remember how it happened, but Laura Drake suggested I take Debra Holland’s Self-Publishing class. She said, “Debra writes non-traditional and is self-published. You should talk to her. In fact, she’s going to be teaching a class, you should take it.” So I did.

After the first class, my eyes were opened. When Debra gave a list of questions and situations for us to ask ourselves to determine if indie publishing was for us, I had my answer. I needed to self-publish.

The other reason I liked the idea of self-publishing is, I liked my title and knew traditional publishing wouldn’t like my title or the concept of the story. The Alex books are told in multiple POV. I hear you now . . .too confusing. Not to me, but to be sure, I RESEARCHED and found books written this way and it worked. Okay, so I wasn’t weird, and my story is good. The reason I was getting rejected by traditional publishing was the God and Sex themes.

I was on my way. I was joining the ranks of the Self-Published or Indie Writers. I was no longer beholden to the system. I could tell the kinds of stories I wanted. All good things. Now for the overwhelming things. Everything was my responsibility. I had to decide if I wanted to do ebooks or print or both. I wanted to do both. I was pulling my hair out. My mother/cheerleader suggested I not release Alex One first, but go with Generational Curse. I wrestled with this for a while. If you’ve read that book, it starts out very steamy, unlike the Alex books. I thought I should launch my writing career a little tamer. It’s sort of like that go big or go home saying. I went big.

I knew how I wanted the cover to look. In fact I found an amazing image; however, it was going to cost me $2,000 . . .not in the budget. I searched for a very long time for the right image. [see images A and B], until I found something I could work with. Looking for a cover, I decided to broaden my horizon and not just look at African American images, but at anything that fit the tone of my story. I finally decided to go with something more sophisticated and not overtly sexy.

What I also discovered in searching for an image, there are very few black/African American images that weren’t duplicated. I wanted something that had a little sass but didn’t look like every other black/African American cover. I knew my character was honey colored, so I got an image from Masterfile and with help from Photoshop I got what I wanted.

So what does this have to do with Alex One you ask? Everything. When I originally wrote the Alex series, I had a certain vision; however, it changed. Remember I wrote book one in 2005. Then about a year later I wrote book two. By the time I got to book two, I knew the agent and I were probably not going to see eye to eye . . .book two was very hot. That’s why I was fine with us parting ways.

I have revised Alex One so much, it barely resembles the draft I sent out to agents. Here’s what happened. While I was looking for GENERATIONAL CURSE images, I sent revised Alex One to my editor. She made her notes, and I cleaned it up. I can’t remember what happened, but I put Alex One to the side and concentrated on GENERATIONAL CURSE or Kyla as I call her. I dedicated my time to my fourth born. After I released her, I went back to Alex One and reread her and felt she needed a little more tweaking. Keep in mind, I had already sent this to my editor. I even had a cover [see image C].

I liked this cover. However, when I went back and started preparing Alex One for release, I discovered, I didn’t like the cover. I felt it gave people the impression the story was about a man and his friends. The Alex series is about Alexandra Miller and her four best friends. And my cover no longer worked with the story. What’s ever worse, I had this image on my website and on GoodReads as a future release.

Now on top of doing a rewrite, I was looking for a new cover. Again I wanted something a little more sophisticated but didn’t show a face. I didn’t want the readers trying to figure out which of the characters was on the cover.

About this time Bonnie Bliss and I were talking about covers for our Fling Box Set books, and she suggested I try shutterstock.com. Oh my God, after a few visits to the site I found something I thought might work. I did a test and ta da, I had a new cover to match the new story. So here’s a little peak at Alex One all grown up [Images D and E]. I freakin’ love my new cover. I also love Alex Two’s cover, but I can’t show you that one yet. Alex One’s new look is sophisticated, and it matches the revised story.

Thanks for being patient with me on this post, but there’s one last thing.

When I started the revisions or, let’s be real, the rewrite on Alex One, the first six chapters weren’t working for me. I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do to my baby; I deleted them. It was hard, but it was the right thing to do. When I did that, it gave the story new life and really allowed more of the character’s personalities to shine.

I liked those chapters, but they just didn’t work with the book. I told my friend Kitty Bucholtz about my book amputation, and she suggested I turn them into a novella. Ding …Ding…Ding …what a brilliant idea. Then we started talking about marketing tools and free books. Ding …Ding…Ding …another idea was born. I’d do what Kitty suggested and turn those deleted chapters into a free novella. Only problem, they weren’t quite novella length. Fret not, with a little tweaking, they’ve become a novelette.

This “Prequel,” makes use of deleted chapters, plus it gives me time to get Alex One ready, and it’s great way to get to drum up interest in Alex One. So here’s a sneak peak at my next title …The Alex Chronicles: Girlfriends & Secrets.

If I didn’t bore you, stop by next month for Part Two.

Tracy Reed
Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys
Available at
Barnes and Noble
All Romance eBooks

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Ad Results From KDP Select Free Days by Kitty Bucholtz

July 10, 2015 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , , , ,
We all like to know what kinds of promotions have worked for other people so that we can decide which promotions we’re going to try for our own books. With that in mind, here is my experience using the KDP Select free days in May 2015.
My chick-lit book, LittleMiss Lovesick, first came out in 2011. Recently, as I’ve focused on my superhero series, sales have dropped to almost nothing for Lovesick. I decided they couldn’t go lower than zero, so I removed the book from other distributors and signed it up for KDP Select.
In the interest of experimentation, and because I was busy getting my online class on self-publishing ready, I did nothing to promote the book after I put it into Select. (That’s the same amount of promotion I was doing before it was in Select. 😉 ) For the first 2 1/2 months of the 90-day program, the book did about the same as it had been doing. I had a total of one Kindle Unlimited borrow and one sale in eleven weeks.
I decided that to get more downloads, and therefore more reviews, I would use the free days rather than the Countdown Deal. I set five days free in a row from Tuesday, May 19 through Saturday, May 23, the middle of Memorial Day weekend. And to see how that affected borrows, I renewed the book in KDP Select for another 90 days.
A week or two before the free dates, I used the BookMarketing Tools auto-submission form ($14.99) to apply to 32 websites that accept submissions for free books to be placed in their daily newsletter. Using this tool, I was able to fill out the required information for 32 websites in 20 minutes! (Definitely worth fifteen bucks to me!)
As luck would have it, my main computer’s hard drive died in the middle of my sale and I no longer have all the information about what I did and what happened. But this is at least 90% of the information I was tracking. 🙂
Monday May 18:
– day before sale started, no borrows, no sales
– guest blog at Kathleen Rowland’s blog
Tuesday May 19: 1002 free downloads today
– first day of “free” sale!
– guest blog at Alina K. Field’s blog
Indie Author News Free Ebook of the Day ad ($25)  an ad with the book’s cover stayed on top left corner of EVERY page of their website, and they tweeted about it at least 5-10 times (I’d definitely do this again!)
Wednesday May 20: 1389 free downloads today
– there were SO MANY TWEETS from Linda (perhaps automated? I forgot to ask, but on that blog it shows 54 people tweeted about it!), and many people in her circle retweeted her tweets (I definitely want to get Linda’s help again! She should sell a service or something! Haha!)
Thursday May 21: 2517 free downloads today
InD’tale Bargain Books ad ($25) to 10,000+ subscribers; my book was listed first this time (at the top) in the email that went out. I didn’t receive the email until about 4pm Pacific, so I don’t know how many people who saw that ad clicked on it Thursday or didn’t see it until Friday.
Fiverr promo w/BKnights ($15)  I heard about them on the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. I bought three $5 promotions: promoted to 4800+ active on Facebook page (over 7 days), promoted on website w/2000 visitors (1 day), and included in daily newsletter to 2500+ subscribers (1 day)
I know the InD’tale ad did well last time I bought it, which is why I used it again this time. But my numbers this time are significantly higher, so I’m assuming the BKnights promotion did well, too. I’m going to try them both again next month.
Friday May 22: 1407 free downloads today
– first day of Memorial Day weekend; had no idea if that would be good or bad
– Tracy Reed posted a guest blog at The Romance Studio about my book and sale
Choosy Bookworm Premium ad ($38) to 40,000+ subscribers, all week, but I don’t know the start and end date
Saturday 5/23: 972 free downloads today
– no known promo, except possibly Choosy Bookworm as part of their all week promo with the premium ad; possible that one of the 32 sites I submitted to earlier ran the book on this day
– I was enjoying the holiday weekend and didn’t do anything except look for tweets and reply and retweet
Over the next week, through the end of May:
There were 25 more freebies downloaded early Sunday morning before the price went back to $2.99, for a grand total of 7312 free copies downloaded in five days. I thought it was quite funny that two copies were returned, they were free, why take the time?! Haha! But even so, that’s a negligible percentage.
On Sunday, the first day the book was back at full price, I sold 15 copies. I sold 11 more copies over the rest of that week. It’s more than I’d sold for any other non-sale week, but it’s not much. Then for the whole month of June, the book sold 5 copies. No copies were sold during the first eight days of July.
Now since it’s KDP Select, and that means Kindle Unlimited, everyone wants to know how many borrows I had. As I mentioned earlier, I had one borrow in the 2 1/2 months before the book went free. In the eight days of May following the freebie period, I had 71 borrows! 🙂
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that borrows don’t show up on the Prior Six Weeks Royalties, so I didn’t think to make a screen shot of June’s Month-to-Date Unit Sales on June 30. And when the borrows went from books to pages on July 1, the history no longer has borrowed books. Bummer!
Oh, wait! I am using the beta version of BookTrackr! I just went through all my emails and, though I’m missing a few days, it looks to be around 63 or so borrows in June. Excellent! Remember I had ONE borrow before I did my five-day free promo.


[UPDATE: Debra Holland kindly mentioned in the comments below how you can find your prior month’s sales. Thanks, Debra! So the borrows in June were 88 rather than 63. Nice! 🙂 ]

So in the 7 weeks since the free book promotion, Little Miss Lovesick has had 7312 free downloads, 31 sales, and about 138 163 borrows.Total spent on promotion – $118. Total earned – about $339 $389, approximately $63 from sales and $276 $326 from borrows. This is FAR MORE MONEY than I have earned in one month so far from all book sales combined. And if you’re interested in rankings, I think I hit #49 or 47 in all of the Kindle Free Store as my best rank, plus several #1 and #2 category rankings.
If you’re interested in how this compares with my last book promotion, see this post about making Unexpected Superhero free over two periods in October. I spent $80 that month, had 3710 free downloads, 59 sales, and 15 borrows over about four weeks, earning about $88.
I can think of at least three things that contributed to the difference. One, I did five free days in a row, which is what Debra Holland and many of our other friends strongly suggest. I wanted to try two weekends in October, and perhaps that accounted for less momentum. Two, my mailing list has almost doubled since October, and I have more fans. That may have contributed to increased sales and borrows. Three, these are different books in different genres. It’s impossible to replicate something exactly due to that alone.
I hope this gave you some ideas for places that might be good for you to try for your own promotions. And I hope you’ve gained some insight into how the whole process works. Remember, your results will not only vary from mine, but they will vary from one of your books to another!
I’m going to do another free promotion for Little Miss Lovesick next month. I’m going to try to replicate exactly the ads and promotions that I did in May, but also try to come up with additional ideas to increase visibility as well. I’ll let you know what happens!


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Never Stop Learning and Trying New Things by Kitty Bucholtz

May 9, 2015 by in category It's Worth It by Kitty Bucholtz tagged as , , , ,

It has been a crazy few weeks for me! I decided it was high time I put my class, “Your How-to Guide to Self-Publishing,” on its own web site instead of teaching through Yahoo Groups. I wanted to add more content like videos explaining each step, worksheets and checklists, interviews with other professionals related to self-publishing like cover designers, time management experts, accountants, attorneys, and so much more!

This week I finally got all 479 pieces together that were required to do this “simple” task of creating a new web site. (Wanna see? I really want my friends to go ooh and ahh over it because even though it’s not perfect, that’s what friends do. Haha! It’s at WriterEntrepreneurGuides.com.) I’ve attended about three dozen free webinars in the last six months, bought into several programs to help build the site and create the videos, and listening to innumerable podcasts collecting information I want to share with my next group of students.

It has been exhausting but exhilarating! Lots of things didn’t work as easily or as quickly as I expected and my April 27 class start date has been pushed back to June 1. But the experience has reminded me of how frustrating it can be to learn new things without anyone to help you, and that compassion is going to be a focus of my class. So I’m excited about that!

I’m in the process of making lists of things I’ve done so I can share them with all of you. Remember the last time I did a promotion and I told you what ads I bought, how much they cost, how many subscribers they went out to, and how many downloads I got? I just spent most of yesterday buying ads for a free promotion the week before Memorial Day for Little Miss Lovesick. I’ve done some things the same and some things differently, so I’ll share the results as soon as it’s all tabulated.

All that to say – writing is the most important thing a writer can do, but there must always be room for learning how to change with the times, learning how to do new things that will add to your bottom line (i.e., money). The added benefit of that – and I’m not sure that it isn’t of greater benefit than the increased revenue – is that your mind is constantly pushed when you learn new things. This is good for your physical and mental health!

So when you’re done writing today, go learn something new about how you can improve your business. It just might improve your health! 🙂

Kitty Bucholtz decided to combine her undergraduate degree in business, her years of experience in accounting and finance, and her graduate degree in creative writing to become a writer-turned-independent-publisher. Her novels, Little Miss Lovesick, A Very Merry Superhero Wedding and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story, “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites.

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Why I Chose Self-Publishing

January 16, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

Why Did You Chose To Self-Publish? This is the first question most Self-Published Authors are asked. However, what’s really going through the mind of the person asking is, “So you couldn’t get an agent or your work wasn’t up to snuff.” That’s so not true.

I’ve learned a lot on the road to becoming a self-published writer. First, I had an agent. A well-respected agent in the world of Christian Fiction. Let me preface this by saying, she knew my writing style. She’d read the first five chapters of my book. Actually, it was a different book. [That’s a story for another time.] She got my book to ‘Board.’ Two years later and I’m still waiting to hear if that publisher wants to move forward with my book. I think it’s safe to say, they passed on it.

I need to back up. I write what is classed as Edgy Christian Fiction. What is that you ask? ECF [Edgy Christian Fiction], is fiction with Christian themes. What makes it ‘Edgy’ is that it includes elements not common in traditional Inspirational or Christian fiction. In my books, that means the kisses are a little more passionate, there’s sex between the married couples, language with a little bite, lots of physical descriptions voiced by the characters, wine, talk about abortion, divorce, fornication, lust, not liking your in-laws and anything else that goes on in everyday life. The men are hot, the women are loaded with curves and both are quick to render their appreciation of the opposite sex.

As a Christian, I wanted to read stories about women who weren’t ashamed or embarrassed to express their feelings, with strong personalities and business owners. Let’s be real, when you’re sitting down with your girlfriends talking, you’re not talking in prose. No, you’re very descriptive in your comments on how amazing Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, Johnny Depp or Daniel Craig looked in their last movie. So why not write stories from that POV.

I feel it’s a little difficult to convey to the reader the heroine’s attraction is to the hero by not being descriptive in this manner. Traditional Inspiration Fiction, the heroine’s feelings might be described with something like, ‘His thick black hair was beautiful blowing in the wind, brought a smile to her face.’ That’s nice, but in my world, it would have a little more umph, like, ‘She wondered how his thick black hair would feel brushing against her chin as he placed hot kisses along her neck.’ Or maybe, ‘When he kissed the back of her neck, she lost the ability to stand.” Statements like this aren’t necessarily acceptable CBA approved.

In my GENERATIONAL CURSE, I wanted to tell a story about a man who never turned down a drink or a woman. But when he hit rock bottom, he went cold turkey and fell in love with God. His priorities changed and he refused to let anyone or anything destroy that relationship. The heroine, is the complete opposite. She hasn’t had a relationship with God since she was a child. And even then it was more forced. Now as an adult, the only part of marriage she wants, is a married lover. She has no desire to be with a single available man. In her mind, a married man is less complicated. But she is intrigued by the hero and he her.

In order to tell the story, I had to take the reader on a journey with the heroine. I had to show how complicated and empty her life was by detailing her relationship with her married lover. I’m sure the story could have been told without the sex, but I don’t think it would have had the same impact. I don’t want to give too much away, but in the end it all makes sense.

So Why Did I Choose To Self-Publish? I wanted to tell the stories I wanted to read. I met an agent at a conference and she gave me two options: tell the story with the sex and no God or tell the story with God and no sex.

I wrestled with that statement for quite a while. But, I felt God had given me a great platform and I refused to back down. Also, I wanted covers and titles that were a little racy, another thing not really permitted in Inspirational or Christian Fiction.

So here I am, a newbie writer taking a chance writing stories with a little heat and taboo subjects. I know my style of book isn’t for everyone and that’s fine. For those willing to read something a little different, I think they’ll enjoy it.

Funny thing, a few weeks after I published my book, I got a LinkedIn request from my former agent. I’m still deciding if I should accept it.

That’s why I chose to self-pub.

Tracy Reed


Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys


I’m a single Christian Woman who loves God, Fashion and Cute Guys. I live in California, but consider myself a partial New Yorker because of the two and half years I lived there. I own www.thepinkduchess.com, a lingerie site for curvy women. GENERATIONAL CURSE is my debut novel.
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