Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Selling books.


I’ve been an indie writer going on five-plus years now and on a whim I decided to try and calculate the number of books I have sold throughout my career. Results were a bit unexpected. Combining my eleven published ebooks with my print versions (when they still existed) I have sold more than 100,000 books.  Another 120,000 books have been given away as free promotions. That’s nearly a quarter million copies of my stories circulating the world.

 

So why aren’t I rich and my name world famous? With those kinds of numbers you’d figure I wouldn’t have to work a conventional job. Excluding that I like having health benefits and a nice retirement portfolio, why aren’t I living off my royalties?

 

The same technology and global reach provided by the internet also has a few pitfalls. The major one being, my books are electronic. They can be shared. They can be copied. They aren’t tangible materiality. They exist merely in cyberspace. In other words, readers aren’t willing to pay the price for a paperback or hardcopy that they will for an ebook. It’s an ethereal commodity.

 

I accept these facts and the loss of income from a low royalty rate. I don’t write because I believed it would answer my monetary aspirations and bring me fame, I write because I have too. The inner voice never goes away; never quiets its incessant ranting.

 

Thousands upon thousands of readers have discovered my stories and the reviews have been overwhelmingly flattering. Yeah, a $3 - $5 dollar royalty per book would be nice, but would readers have purchased my stuff hardbound in a brick and mortar bookstore if the internet and Amazon didn’t exist? It’s a trade-off I’m happy to live with.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Nice new reviews!



Got a couple of nice new reviews for DROP OUT and IMAGINATION from some awesome readers! Thanks for taking both books to the #1 bestseller spot on Amazon!


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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story.
By paula on June 7, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


I loved this book. Makes you stop and think. Not take for granted the life we have. Bad things happen to good people, but we must carry on. With kindness peace and love. I will be reading more from this author.


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
By Patricia Romano on May 16, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


Different, engaging, and worth the read!




5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


Surprising self-reflection colorful details and language.


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5.0 out of 5 stars Before you go
By bobbie ventura on April 27, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


What if your life was only someone else's imagination? What would you do, think, say. I wasn't sure I would like this book but once I started reading I couldn't stop reading. I recommend this book to those of us that like to think what if and outside the box,


5.0 out of 5 stars WHO AM I
By Robert Gale on April 22, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


Very well written.
You won't want to put me down


5.0 out of 5 stars Imagine...
By Linda on April 14, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase


This is THE most imaginative book I have ever read: a world within a world, within a world, etc. It certainly gives a new perspective on imagination. Good read.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Judging success?



Neglecting to market my books and myself has always been my weakness. While I love the process of writing (creating new characters, worlds, and plots) the arduous task of promoting my work can seem dauntless at times. After writing consistently for 25+ years, I recently made the conscious, and I must say extremely difficult decision, to take a break from it all. I have gone thirteen months without publishing an original book and as of right now, two months have passed without me writing an original paragraph. It’s a horrific truth to admit!

That’s not to say there haven’t been some exciting moments in the past weeks. My last two major promotional campaigns brought four of my books to the Amazon #1 spot in their genres, and several hit #1 in their sub-genres. I write dystopian, sci-fi, paranormal, action thrillers, and literary fiction… so I am quite pleased with the results. I have a wide-ranging audience and have received enough 5-star reviews to believe that I possess some talent beyond the mediocre. For this, I am proud and thankful.

But how does one judge success? What were my original goals when I set out in my early teens to be a writer? At what point do I proclaim I have achieved “IT!”? My entire twenties, thirties, and half of my 40’s, were spent plugging away at my keyboard 30 – 50 hours a week; week after week after week. I lost friends, missed out on good times, neglected my family, all to achieve what I believe is my purpose in life. To write stories that effect change in a reader’s perspective on the world.

Contrary to the way this post comes across, it is not my farewell message to the world of imagination. This post is not a resignation letter that I have exhausted my creativity and said all I need to say. Rather, it is an airing of dirty laundry of sorts. The guilt of not writing has weighed heavily and for a few months I feared I had lost focus on my purpose as a human being. Life, especially as enriched as mine has become in recent months, can change your perspective of what’s really important; happiness vs. purpose vs. self-fulfillment?

When I finished my last book, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN, I took my own advice I had written and concentrated on doing what makes me most happy; mainly gardening, fishing, landscaping, and hiking. After time, I realized that what my happiness boils down to is the process and ability to take these life experiences and create something from nothing… to write about them in fiction form. And as soon as I publish this post I will be starting a new novel.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Reviews… what do they mean?



The free promotion for my book, IMAGINATION is long over and now, as I had hoped, reviews are starting to roll in. This got me thinking as I read people’s opinions of my story… what do reviews really mean?

If you’re trying to do marketing on major sites such as Bookbub or Booksends, reviews mean you must have a minimum of them to even be considered for an ad spot, and the majority better add up to four stars or more. Logic being, higher reviews helps weed out books not quite up to par. Seems fair, right?

What if I ask twenty of my friends to buy my book and leave reviews? (Better yet, I buy it for them! At $0.99, it’s a bargain for twenty fresh, glowing 5-star reviews). Or maybe, if I’m a college student, I’ll ask my class, or my dorm, or maybe everyone I work with, etc. You get the point. Reviews are like plastic flowers, they may look pretty displayed on the mantle, but they have no true substance.

I got my first ever 1-star review for one of my books (out of hundreds of reviews for my eleven published novels) and the very same day I got a 5-star for the very same book. One reviewer said it was unreadable while the other said it was incredibly well-written and he/she couldn’t put it down. Who should I believe? These readers are not my friends, but total strangers. Another example is my book DROP OUT which has 60+ reviews, all from complete and total strangers. 92% are four or more stars with the large majority being 5-star. Nearly everyone who reads DROP OUT is affected by it and many people write me personally, yet, there it is at the bottom, a single, solitary, lonesome, 2-star review.

Everyone in the world has their own personal likes and dislikes for books. It is the same with movies, and sports teams, and food. (I hate sushi!). Does my review of the awful sushi I had at a restaurant mean that restaurant serves awful food? No! It is a matter of personal opinion. With stories, each one will affect a reader differently because each reader relates and identifies to different things in life!

So, when that first 1-star review comes in and smacks your brain leaving you wondering how this person couldn’t have liked the story you’ve poured your heart and soul into, remember… not everyone likes everything all the time! It is what makes us unique as individuals.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Good results!

After three days as a free promotion, I can finally give a few results. As of this post, IMAGINATION is at #2 in its genre and hit #37 in the entire Kindle store for freebies. That's pretty amazing! There are literally tens of thousands of free books every day and to hit so close to the top ten in the country is a huge accomplishment. Now, if I can just get all those downloads read and reviewed I'll be able to take IMAGINATION to a new level of promotion.


MY RANKING IN THE ENTIRE STORE---

 MY RANKING IN ITS GENRE---


Thanks everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blow your mind freebie!



When I first began writing IMAGINATION, I envisioned a book which would propel readers beyond the norm and into realms where the utterly unbelievable was possible. I wanted to blow their minds! Fascinated by the physical and psychological endurance experienced by POW’s during times of war, I knew prolonged periods of isolation and injury invoked defense mechanisms of the mind. Part of this defense is to escape inside one’s own thoughts and memories. Tiniest details of imaginary worlds become crystal clear. Immersion becomes so deep, the lines separating reality and imagination blur. I pondered, “what if the people and relationships inside this created existence don’t know they are composed of thought?”. A story was born. Enjoy your free copy today!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ATFC3JM

 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Results!

It was a wild ride on March 30th when a multitude of sponsorships and promotions for DROP OUT occurred at once. Though I did not hit #1 as I had hoped, I did get quite close in my genres. Lining up these promotions was tough, but not impossible, and I will be attempting another blitz with a different book in the near future.

Coming up soon is a huge free promotion for IMAGINATION occurring from April 11 - 15. On April 12th Ereader News Today and several other major sites will be announcing and featuring this opportunity to sample my work for FREE! Ereader News Today has been very kind to me and I'd like to thank them for taking such interest in my writing career. The goal is to gain new readership and hopefully enough new reviews for this mind-bending story to hit up some of the more exclusive ereader sites.

Here was my ranking in the first twenty-four hours.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Stats!

DROP OUT ... This morning... Not bad so far. Under top 25 in all my genres and under a thousand in the entire Kindle store and every book they sell. AS IT IS IN HEAVEN remains at #1 in its genre for freebies.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The day has arrived!



After weeks of planning and coordinating efforts, today is the day my books and myself are being promoted on more than twenty of the top ereader websites in the U.S. with a total subscription base of 3.5 million opt-in readers. Just a few of the biggies are :






Thanks all. Will be updating Amazon rankings throughout the day.