Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Keep selling books!

In the last week my novel, DROP OUT has recently soared in the Amazon rankings below #1,000 in the paid store and #25 in romantic suspense. My sales bump started with a free Ereader News Today sponsorship and has continued with the novel staying in the low 20,000’s in the rankings this week. So, how do I keep up the momentum?

Well, first of all, I continue to answer each and every inquiry, thread post, and reader email that comes my way. I’ve found that readers really do get a thrill when an author personally answers their messages. Though it is time consuming, it does sell books.

Second, I continue posting articles, blogs, and promotions of DROP OUT on the numerous writer websites and online communities to which I belong. Again, the one-on-one interaction with writers and readers really does get interest in the book. I can’t tell you how many sales I have made from being a part and taking part in discussions with these communities, but my sales do slow down if I don’t participate for a few days.

Third, I continue writing my two new novels when I’m not marketing and promoting my available ones. This keeps me grounded as a writer and I don’t feel that loss of not creating when I spend so many hours that I could be, marketing. I think it’s vital for a writer to always be working on something new and creative. It’s very easy to sink into a depression if existing book sales begin to decline and you don’t have another book on the way to lift the hope-spirit.

And lastly, I think the most important factor in keeping the sales momentum continuing for DROP OUT, is that I truly believe in the story and the powerful, sometimes life-altering affect the book has had on readers. The unsolicited, unbiased 5-star reviews I’ve been getting promote the book more than I ever could myself. Here’s the latest from yesterday. Check it out on Amazon.

5.0 out of 5 stars Drop Out, July 29, 2013

This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)

Ostroff hits a home run. Drop Out is a truly inspiring story of heartbreaking loss, survivor's guilt, and the healing power of unconditional love. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Affecting readers!

Success for a writer can be defined in many ways. For some, success can only be defined in monetary terms. For others, world-wide recognition and fame are the incentives. But every once in a while an unsolicited review from a total stranger can put all my time and effort into perspective.

This is one of them. New review on Amazon. Please check it out.

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most emotionally moving books I have ever read.
July 28, 2013

By: Mary Lou Transue - See all my reviews
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Drop Out (Kindle Edition)

Since I am 82 years old I read this book rivited to the story line with so many deaths. I have had most of my friends pass and many with Hospice Care so I was attracted to learn what Hospice does to ease the end of life.

The book was fast reading and very very moving. In a way it was extremely spiritual and it made me realize how lucky we all are for every breath we take and every day we live.

Although I have been depressed lately this book actually cheered me up. We create our own happiness was something I have known all my life but it brought it back into focus for me.

I do not rate many books five stars.. So to award this book that star rating and write a review is indicative of how I feel about it. Buy it and read it. You will not regret it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Best book promotion ever!

If you follow my blog, you know that recently my book DROP OUT  was listed under bargain books on the website Ereader News Today. This was unlike any promotion I had done before. Instead of paying an upfront fee for the sponsorship, the website takes a small percentage of sales that come from clicking on the site’s buy link.

I know what all you authors are thinking, “more of my royalties down the drain”. Believe me, I hate more hands in my stash as much as anyone, but I somehow sensed this promotion was going to be different. The website must believe sales will come from this sponsorship or they would be wasting ad space, which does not make good business sense.

So a few weeks ago, I filled out their application and amazingly (I’ve heard they are nearly filled for the year) DROP OUT was listed just two weeks later. That was on Tuesday.

Well, the book posted on the site and I quickly promoted and marketed the sponsorship on all my websites and social media. I spent the remainder of the day writing my newest novel and occasionally checking my sales figures, which were about average except for a few extra copies of DROP OUT sold. I then received an email from Ereader News Today, informing me that the book was going to be introduced on their social media sites and for me to expect the majority of sales to occur then. I went to bed that night hopeful, but doubtful.

I woke up on Wednesday morning and headed into my office to check my email and such, as I always do. When I clicked on KDP and checked my sales, I almost had a heart attack. I had sold more books in those overnight hours than in the last three months combined. I was a bit in disbelief so I went on and checked the stats for DROP OUT. I was in awe.

For a brief couple of hours, DROP OUT was ranked below 1,000 in all the millions of books in the Kindle paid store. It ranked 45 in romantic suspense. I almost couldn’t believe it. For a time, I was ranked alongside many of the big-wig, high-selling, publisher-backed authors. Once again, I quickly announced this fact to all my social media.

Now, a few days later, the book is still selling and I’ve been asked to do interviews and guest blog posts. One of which was booked today. Though the rank is now going back up (I believe it’s about 5,500 as of this post) the exposure and sales resulting from this “free” sponsorship have been enormous. Sure, I had to hand over a bit of my royalties to make it happen but it was well worth it.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More success!

Here is the Amazon ranking for DROP OUT as of this morning. The free Ereader News Today sponsorship definitely has weight. The requirements and competition to get sponsored is tough, but well worth the effort, as you can see.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

going viral continued

As of right now, for my friends who are monitoring this free marketing from Ereader News Today in real time, I've sold 84 books (DROP OUT) this last hour. Will give the final stats when the free promotion is complete.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Another shot at going viral

I've just been notified that DROP OUT will be featured in Ereader News Today as a bargain book. I put DROP OUT on sale for just $0.99 until Thursday night at 9 P.M. Now's your chance to read the book Kindle Nation Daily called "the sleeper hit of the year" for a great price. Tell all your friends.

I'm very curious what kinds of sales results I am going to get because ENT doesn't charge any upfront fees for this placement, though they do have strict guidelines about the books they will accept. They charge me a percent of every book I sell during the twenty-four hours that it is featured.

I know that means I am going to get even less royalty per book, (down in the twenty cents a copy range) but the exposure should be huge. I've heard of books going viral because of ENT and selling thousands of copies.

I will report all my stats after the promotion is over.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Selling books and getting noticed!

          I recently had my first sit down interview with a magazine reporter and she asked me the question, “once an author indie publishes a book, how do they get that book noticed?”.

          I told the reporter the standard replies of using social networking and placing sponsorship ads on reader websites, but then I thought about what has helped me sell the most books. And I replied, “communication with my readers”.

          It is well known among the indie writer community that the best way to sell books is through word-of-mouth. No paid advertisement can beat a real live human being praising your book to another reader. So, how do you create word-of-mouth?

          I spend a minimum of two hours a day personally answering every email, comment, or fan question that comes my way. I’ve joined dozens of Facebook writers clubs and Google+ clubs and actually interact with real readers and people who love books.

          I’ve watched my sales grow steadily as I discuss my books with readers and see my fan base grow. There’s nothing more personally and artistically satisfying then someone telling me they are buying one of my books and then writing me later telling me how much they enjoyed it. This is how you build readership! This is how you sell books!

          Yes, it does take away a tremendous amount of my writing time to personally answer each and every inquiry, but I wouldn’t trade interacting with my readers for anything in the world. Go ahead, drop me a note or pick up one of my books and let me know what you think. I will get back to you.

          Click here to drop me a note.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Beat the heat!

If you’re a kid, or have kids, or just want to read an adventure that’s out of this world, check out SILENT INVASION, Book One of The Imagination Series.

Thirteen-year-old Tim Madison is the only person who knows about and can stop the ruthless creatures who are working deep inside our planet constructing a massive extermination army. Tim’s ordinary life turns upside down when a strange visitor takes him aboard a magnificent spaceship to train for a future alien war. Returned home with new skills and this terrible knowledge, Tim confides in his two best friends about his experience. Now, they’re in a race against time to prevent an all-out attack on Earth.

The authorities would never believe their story of course, because they’re just kids. Bearing humiliation at school and ramifications at home, they hop a bus and journey to the Grand Canyon where they locate an alien army many thousands of times greater than what Tim had expected. Caught up in escalating danger, Tim and his buds must make a choice. Try to climb back out of the canyon without being seen or take the aliens head on. Can they stop ruthless, spider-like creatures from constructing a massive extermination army deep inside our planet? Or will we all perish?

Readers can expect deadly creatures, technical marvels, and in the end, something surprising to play a key role in winning the epic battle.