Just a quick reminder that I’ll be teaching “Your How-to Guide to Self-Publishing” starting on Monday, September 15, 2014. That’s this upcoming Monday!
It’s a 4-week online course that will help you take your completed manuscript, and format it and upload it so it’s finally for sale. Yay you! Someone asked, if your manuscript is not quite complete, can you take the class anyway and use a test version to go through the steps so you know what to do when you’re ready? Yes, you can!
The class will consist of written lectures with step-by-step instructions for getting your book ready, as well as videos showing you what to do. You may have already read dozens of blogs and books about how this person or that person created their self-published book, so you already know there is more than one way to go about this. I will show you how I do it and, as a class, we’ll all help each other as each person chooses their own tools (software, distributors, etc.).
For only $30 ($20 for OCC members), this class is a great deal! And half of the proceeds go to support the Orange County Chapter of RWA. Tell your friends and sign up today!
Have questions? Email me at Kitty at KittyBucholtz dot com. I hope to see you in class!
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 and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story, “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites. Superhero in the Making will be released this year.
The sales pitch.
You either love it or hate it.
For your novel, it’s called the back cover copy. It can be even more difficult to write than the dreaded synopsis when you’re self-pubbing a novel. But you gotta do it.
The tease. The logline. The character descriptions.
Sometimes it seems it takes longer the write the back cover copy than the novel itself (just kidding…).
So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out my back cover copy and beautiful cover from Covers by Ramona for A Soldier’s Italian Christmas is a finalist in the Novella category in the I Heart Indie contest!
Here’s the back copy cover:
He is a U.S Army captain, a battle-weary soldier who has lost his faith.
She is a nun, her life dedicated to God.
Together they are going to commit an act the civilized world will not tolerate.
They are about to fall in love.
The ravages of combat have taken a toll on Captain Mack Oâ€™Casey, who has lost his faith after seeing the horrors of war as the Nazis fight hard to keep the Allies from reaching Rome. His beliefs are challenged even more when he loses his way and ends up in a mystical place called Monte D’Oro Rose during the cold winter of 1943â€¦and falls in love with the beautiful Sister Angelina.
The young nun has a secret of her own, one she will die trying to protect: the lost Cross of Saint Cecelia. She must find the religious relic first before the brutal Nazi major who will stop at nothing to get it. Even murder. Sister Angelina risks her life to save the cross for the Church, but will she also risk her heart? Falling in love with the handsome American soldier is against the rules, but she canâ€™t deny the stolen moments with him have made her question her vows.
It is Christmas Eve when these two lonely people come together on this holiest of holidays and how faith helps them overcome their greatest fears. A time when the whole world holds its breath as brave men and women fight for freedom.
And a soldier and a nun dare to fall in loveâ€¦
And here is the cover! Check out this extended video excerpt from Chapter One from A Soldier’s Italian Christmas
Most writers are curious about what is and isn’t working for other writers when it comes to selling books. I’m grateful for what others have been willing to share, so it’s only fair to share in return. Even though my results are a bit embarrassing.
I’ve only bought ads three times. I bought an ad last year with The Wordsmith Journal Magazine (online) for Little Miss Lovesick. After one month, I had zero new sales. Ouch.
In August, while Unexpected Superhero was enrolled in the KDP Select program (meaning it was only for sale on Amazon for the first 90 days), I took advantage of the program’s free days option and made the book free for five days in a row at the end of a conference I was attending. I also bought an ad from BookBub that appeared on the first day of the promotion.
There were a whopping 17,561 free downloads during those five days! Over 10,000 copies were downloaded the first day, which I attribute primarily to the BookBub ad. During the next two weeks, I sold only 24 more copies when the book went off sale (back to $3.99). Then the sales dropped back to the 0-3 per week average that has been more common for my books so far.
A month or two ago, I dropped the price of Unexpected Superhero from $3.99 to $2.99 to see if I could see a change in sales. There might have been a slight increase. At 0-3 sales per week, it’s a bit hard to say. 🙂
My third promotion-with-paid-advertisement was last week. I dropped the price on Little Miss Lovesick and promoted it with 19 other lovely romance authors and their books last Friday. I also took out a then-free ad from eBookSoda, a newer email list like BookBub that advertises free and reduced-price books. (The ads were free, then $5, and I’m sure they’ll keep increasing in price as they grow their list. The problem with this ad is that I don’t know if it went to 100 people, 1000, or 20,000.)
I dropped the price from $2.99 to 99 cents a week before the promo with Smashwords so it would be 99 cents at the other outlets by the day of the promo. I decreased the price on Amazon two days before, and it went into effect the day before. I saw that I sold one copy on Amazon a day or two before the promotion, then two more copies total during the weekend of the promotion and ad.
That’s it – 3 sales. At the high end of “usual” for me.
Little Miss Lovesick got a new (second) cover a few months ago, but it’s barely changed the sales. Unexpected Superhero got a new (second) cover at the end of March, too early to tell if it has affected sales yet. I took out another eBookSoda ad (the free ad that went to $5 when I did it this time) for Sunday, May 4 (my third choice date, Fantasy category, same as last year’s BookBub ad). I’ll leave Superhero at its current $2.99 price and see if anything happens when it’s not on sale but advertised.
And that’s about all I know so far. My second superhero book was to be ready next week for WonderCon, and which I expected to help sales of the first book. But my husband’s motorcycle accident and injuries trumped anything and everything that used to be on my To Do list. 🙂
I’ll keep you updated so you get a well-rounded view of self-publishing and advertising. (It’s less embarrassing to write about your successes, so there are a lot more of those stories out there.) It would appear that my experience underscores what other successful writers have said about success coming after you have several books out. Unfortunately, “life” has thrown a wrench in making that happen soon, but as the Brits (used to) say, Keep Calm and Carry On.
And keep writing! 🙂
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 and Unexpected Superhero, and the free short story “Superhero in Disguise,” are now available at most online retail sites. Superhero in the Making will be released this summer.
Life has been pretty hectic since I started down the self-published road. I am so impressed at the energy and innovation I’m seeing in the indie author community. But now that I’m a publisher as well as a writer, it seems there’s always something to do and not enough time for everything.
My latest project was to get involved in one of the popular e-book boxed sets we see popping up at Amazon and other online retailers. I was fortunate to team up with a bunch of knowledgeable and savvy indie writers, and we published the Romance Super Bundle in late September. Our fearless leader, Amy Gamet, has been the driving force behind the project. She also created the gorgeous 3-D cover.
My contribution to the bundle is my historical romance, Rogue’s Hostage. We priced the boxed set at $5.99, but it’s currently on sale for 99 cents. We still hope it will hit one of the big lists like USA Today.
On Oct. 7, we had a dynamite Facebook Launch Party guided by the dynamic and extremely organized Wendy Ely. It was attended by a lively bunch of readers, and the messages were flying fast at times. (It was all this old broad could do to keep up.) The event page is still available if anyone wants to see what we did.
Today, one of the authors, Lois Winston, is at Inkspot where she discusses this new way I’m thinking outside the promotional box, and does it more coherently than I can. I like her analogy of promotion being like “shouting into a tsunami” though I tend to think of it more as a lone voice crying in the wilderness.
At the same time, I’m still working on re-issuing my back list. In the last week, my werewolf novella, Ilona’s Wolf: A Fairy Tale Romance, was published at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, just in time for Halloween.
Imagine a world filled with magic, a tormented knight, a damsel in distress, an evil sorcerer…
While picking herbs in the woods, Princess Ilona is rescued from a woodsman by a wolf. When the creature licks her wounds, it is suddenly transformed into a man. A very handsome, very naked man who makes passionate love to her in a glade. She has dreamed of a handsome knight to aid her cause, but a werewolf?
Cursed by an evil wizard, Rolf was trapped in wolf form until he tasted the blood of a royal. Now he must escort the princess on a hazardous journey back to the castle to stop an ill-fated wedding and face the evil wizard who placed the evil curse on Rolf.
Passion flares between them, but both know there is no future for a princess and a werewolf. Or is there? In a world where magic and passion combine, anything may be possible.
(Previously published by Amber Quill Press)
The beautiful cover was designed by Carey Abbott of Safari Heat.
What is keeping you busy and energized these days?
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