Archive for the ‘Self-publishing’ Category

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Much like last October, this October turned out to be less-than-impressive on the everything front. Were it not for the wonderful nation of Canada, I’d be seriously considering another line of way to waste two-to-five hours per day. Here are the pallid-hand-thrusting-unexpectedly-out-of-the-newly-covered-gravesite details:

October pretty much sucked, frankly. August and September (2015) ranked among my best months ever, revenue-wise, and I’d been hoping to carry my newfound respectability into America’s most recent fiscal year. Sadly, our seasonally-adjusted economic numbers sucked egregiously. In unison. Sorry, America (and me).

Thankfully, one of my neighbors to the north bailed me out, averting an economic catastrophe of epic proportions, one which could’ve potentially changed the face of North America forever…

Okay, maybe not so dramatic. But an intrepid reader in Canada (near the end of the month) sampled A World Gone Gray, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I hope he or she is currently enjoying it. I managed a sale of the aforementioned tome in America early last month, too, but it’s always nice to see my friends outside this particular patch of land (potentially) enjoying my stuff.

Trick? Or Tweet?

Posted: October 27, 2015 in Self-publishing
Tags: , , , ,

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Look. I’ve been doing the Twitter thing long enough to learn how to think outside the box in the most curated, SEO-friendly fashion possible. Every random Internet dude and hashtag-happy something-or-other tells me so. So it must be true, right?

Conventional Twitter Wisdom suggests I throw my spindly writerly arms up in frustration and offer Like Life Itself: Ten Short Stories, a collection of (shockingly) ten short stories for free for, oh, let’s say, the last five days of October simply because it’s a collection of dark tales and Halloween’s the latest thing plowing its way down the Hallmark Highway.

Personally, no.

Buy my ten-tiered tale-fest for $6.66, bitches! That’s right. It’ll cost you the Prince of Darkness-ly sum of Lucifer’s Number simply to gaze upon this work of bloody bloody-ness! Perchance your progeny shall not suffer the wrath of my…

Ha! Kidding! It’s free.

Seriously, though. The collection is a collection of dark tales. It’s mostly psychological horror, but there’re also an inexcusable amount of bodily fluids involved. In fact, a disembodied eye explodes on a barbeque grill at one point. For no reasonable reason. So deviant emptor.

Also, the first story is always free. True story.

P.S. Did I mention free? Like Life Itself is free between October 28th and November 1st, 2015. So get thee to an Amazon-ery and download it!

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Breaking News: I’m lazy. That’s my excuse for eschewing last month’s AAR, and I’m sticking to it. No legitimate court would convict me anyway, mainly because skipping a blog post is still perfectly legal in 47 of the 50 states. Anyhoo, to paraphrase the late, great Ernie Banks, let’s blog two [months’ worth of mostly useless information in one post]!

Strangely, August and September ended up in roughly the same place revenue-wise, but took completely different paths to their destinations. August started out with a mostly-ignored giveaway of The Transience of Youth, but plodded steadily forward from there, accumulating a respectable number of sales spread evenly throughout the month. September did its own thing — a couple of early sales followed by a huge spike in KOLL pages read, followed by crickets getting run over by tumbleweeds. All told, September beat August by about 20%. Sounds like great news on the surface, but those aforementioned cricket corpses impaled upon tumbleweed thorns are leaving me feeling a bit antsy for some reason…

On the social media front, I social-media-ed throughout both months. As per usual, I split my social media time evenly; 100% Twitter, 0% everything else. Does a consistent Twitter presence result in more sales? Does a bear speak Polish to the Pope in the woods? Nobody knows.

So, in conclusion, my last two months in the self-publishing fray have left me as confused as the preceding (almost[!]) two years have. I do the same stuff pretty much every month, then scratch my head while banging it against the wall and wondering what the hell the latest batch of information means. Here’s to next month and the wonders that await…

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Ah, Labor Day. It brings to mind visions of entitled, disconnected heir-waiters reminding us plainfolk not to wear white after it, does it not? Well, I’m sure they’d be disgusted to learn that mere hours from now, over 112,000 words of epic apocalyptic science fiction will be available at an alarmingly-discounted price over the entire course of the holiday weekend they’d never allow their butler to spend with his family.

Allow me to elaborate…

A World Gone Gray is doing the Kindle Countdown thing this weekend. It’ll be 99¢ (American) on Saturday, $1.99 on Sunday, and $2.99 on Monday. If you’re foolish enough to wait until Tuesday to purchase AWGG, be prepared to fetal-curl into a heap of self-loathing and tearful regret as you realize you’re gonna have to pay full price. Sorry. But that’s how capitalism works.

On a serious note, Happy Labor Day. As a wholly-replaceable cog in the machine myself, I appreciate those who do hard work for little-to-no recognition. I get it. And, believe it or not, at its heart, it’s what makes the world go ’round. So continued happy laborin’.

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The dog days of August are officially upon us, so what better way to celebrate than with ten tales of varying darkness?

Wuh?

My thoughts exactly. I realize you have questions, friend. I do too. Here, hopefully, are some answers:

Like Life Itself: Ten Short Stories will be full-on free for Kindle users between the dates of August 5th and August 7th, 2015. The first tale, as always, is available for preview here. Simply click on the aptly-named Look Inside thingie and treat yourself to heapin’ helpin’s of creepy gross stuff.

Things lighten up from there. Sort of. If you don’t mind a workplace massacre, a returning wounded warrior denied by his lover, and a man carefully and efficiently planning his suicide. Good times!

But there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. The last story is tangentially baseball-related.

To reiterate: Like Life Itself will be free between August 5th and 7th. The sale is set to begin at 8am PDT (11am EDT). Set your cellphone alarms accordingly. Personally, I’m partial to the rooster one.

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So KDP went ahead and decided to change their whole payin’ the authors thing last month. On the plus side, it gives verbose writers (like me) a chance to get paid per page . On the other plus side, it makes the pizza delivery driver happy to see my address on his delivery app. Explanations follow.

I don’t ordinarily get this deep into the weeds, but what with the changes and whatnot, here are the hard numbers regarding last month’s attempts at selling my fiction of questionable merit:

A World Gone Gray: 2 sold, 4 borrowed via KOLL, 1765 pages read

The Transience of Youth: 74 free downloads

Unfortunately, Amazon doesn’t record the actual KOLL borrow numbers per unit anymore, so I had to stalk my Reports and Bookshelf pages all month and assume a borrow occurred when AWGG (my best- [or, more accurately] only-) seller got a modest bump in the rankings. Last month’s Transience giveaway may or may not have affected AWGG‘s performance; one sale and two borrows took place during the three-day freebie thing. So the jury’s still out.

Bottom line, Broome. How much did you rake in last month?

Enough to order a one-topping pizza and give a struggling kid a decent tip. On a side note, that’s my best month money-wise in about a year and a half.

Pfft, you may say. And I tend to agree with you. However, I made inroads in countries I have a lingering fondness for. So there’s that. Four downloads in Germany and one in Italy. Dankes and ciaos (owing to my limited Italian skills) are in order. So thank you, mystery downloaders.

I’m sure you’re wondering most of all about that pizza delivery dude. Rest assured, he was tipped. Well. I may live in squalor, but I like to pay it forward when I can. Not the squalor, the positive stuff.

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Okay, by “stuff” I mean one book for an extremely limited time. My ticket on the Crazy Train (last stop, Indianapolis) hasn’t officially been punched yet. It’s still a hanging chad. Coincidentally, if you got that last reference, you might be interested in getting this book. Have I mentioned it’s soon to be free? Detailed details follow:

Coming this mid-week, mid-week, mid-week! A creature never before seen on God’s green Earth! A mutant of epic proportions! Consider, if you can, a Kindle ebook consisting of 50% romantic comedy, 50% contemplation of death, and 50% bathroom humor written 110% by a writer who sucks egregiously at math! The horror…And the romantic comedy…And the apologies for the Yogi Berra rip-off…

So here’s the deal. Between the dates of the completely arbitrary dates of July 21-July 23, 2015,The Transience of Youth will be wholly free. It’s yours for the price of a nothing. A seven- or eight-chapter preview is available for your reading pleasure or disgust at all times, but here are a few nuggets from later on in the tale:

Though he was used to rejection in both his personal and quasi-professional lives—from women, from publishers, from literary agents—this one hurt. He and Janice had much in common, or so he’d thought. They were both intelligent and ambitious, and they were more than compatible in the bedroom. They enjoyed the same movies, the same quiet restaurants, and the same love for baseball, crossword puzzles, and crude animated sitcoms. Then what the hell happened? Steve wondered.

****

“I’m a victim of youthism.”

****

“Oh, you’re worried about your personal safety?” Betsy asked, her tone dripping with spurious sympathy. “Mr. Dugan on Mayflower Street was probably concerned about his safety when he served this great nation in World War II. Even more concerned, I imagine, when a German Panzer shell exploded next to him, killing half his squad and rendering his legs forever useless.” She continued, color rising in her face. “And sweet old Ms. Gibson on Downing Lane? I’m sure she didn’t feel quite at home when she and her sister were beaten nearly to death in front of an Alabama church because their skin color didn’t match that of the locals.” Betsy picked a pair of scissors off her desk and pointed their business end at Steve. “If you think for the briefest second you have earned the right to live among people as fine and worthy as them, you are utterly, hopelessly, wrong.”

“Ms. Rogan, I’m just as entitled to—”

“Entitled? Entitled?”

****

“Oh, wah. Cry me a river. The lights go out for a couple of days and you’re ready to throw yourself in front of a freight train? You need to toughen up, son. Things aren’t so bad.”

“It’s just…disappointing. I thought moving here would change everything.“

“There’s no magic wand, kid. You can change your surroundings all you want, but you can’t change what’s in here.” George tapped his temple. “You’re stuck with it.”

****

Steve took a step toward Sarah and grazed her hand with one trembling finger. To his surprise, she inched forward and curled her pinkie around his. She stood close enough for Steve to feel the heat radiating off her body. He licked his lips, swallowed loudly and asked, “Do you have enough time to talk for a while?”

Then some other stuff happens.

Again, free! From July 21st ’til July 23nd. Time zones may vary.

 

 

 

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Congratulations, Great Britain, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland! It’s been 239 years since you cut the Colonies’ cord and sent them floating off into the ether of their own destiny! Well done!

What better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than by settling in for over 112,000 words’ worth of fiction which gleefully chronicles the demise of (most of) those upstart Yanks?

Presented for your perusal is A World Gone Gray, an epic post-apocalyptic novel soon to be offered at a discounted rate. You’ll likely be pleased to know that the original Colonies fare…not so well. The Louisiana Purchase? Let’s just say (and many American homeowners can relate to this), it’s about half under water. So France may like to take a gander, too.

As a red-blooded, credit card debt-carrying, apple pie-lovin’ American, however, I can’t in good conscience offer such a hefty discount on a story depicting the down-sizing of the country I dearly love on July 4th. Seems like some sort of sacrilege. So here’s the deal, UK. You have to wait until July 5th.

Details:

From July 5, 8am GMT until July 5, 8pm GMT, A World Gone Gray is £0.99.

From July 5, 8pm GMT until July 6, 8am GMT, A World Gone Gray is £1.99.

From July 6, 8am GMT until the foreseeable future, A World Gone Gray is prohibitively expensive.

So go forth and save, former overlords! In the meantime, I’ll be on this side of the pond vomiting domestic beer over the side of my party boat on Lake Mead while doing donuts on a quad and shooting Chinese-made bottle rockets at endangered eagles.

*— Please note, handful of readers who read this, the current promotion is only available via the UK incarnation of Amazon. Please feel free to check in every once in a while for promos in other markets.

 

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June is a difficult month for punning. I’m sure there’s a clever June Cleaver or Benny & Joon reference I could drop that would perfectly sum up last month’s goings-ons, but frankly I’m too lazy to Google it. So here, in all its SEO-friendly glory, is some writin’ stuff.

As my mother and three other people may recall, I did the Kindle Countdown thing with A World Gone Gray last month. In my heart of arrhythmically-lub-dubbing hearts, I was hoping to hit double figures in sales\borrows for June, based almost exclusively on the aforementioned promotion.

Oh, so close.

All in all, though, I was pleased with the Countdown promo. There was a noticeable spike in interest in AWGG, and, for some strange reason (perhaps my terminal case of dorkiness), I found it just plain fun. Something different. However, my half-baked master plan of flooding Amazon with elaborate, multi-pronged assaults on potential readers by offering all of my wares at discounted prices next to an honest-to-goodness down-counting clock went a bit awry when I took a look at the fine print. It seems the good folks at Amazon aren’t too keen on you abusing their promotional tools.

Damn.

So, allow me to introduce you to Plan B. No, not that Plan B. This one…

 

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Perhaps you’ve thought to yourself, “Hey, Self. I find you strangely attracted to A World Gone Gray’s lovely cover, engaging characters, and thought-provoking premise. But we aren’t enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, and I don’t think we can spare $3.99 on 112,000 words of post-apocalyptic fiction this month, what with the kids’ diapers and the faulty transmission on the Mazda and such.”

Yeah. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Well, I’m here to cure all that ails you. Okay, that’s a bit hyperbolastic, but isn’t everything? Sales pitch forthwith:

Coming this Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday! A beast not seen in over eighteen months! A gargantuan collection of characters, words, paragraphs, and chapters! All for the practically undetectable sum of 99¢!

But there’s a catch, as is often the case.

A World Gone Gray is only (only) 99¢ for 24 hours. Sad but true. However, all is not lost; it’s $1.99 on Wednesday and $2.99 on Thursday. On Friday, though, it reverts to its heinous, unthinkable, outright ungodly everyday price of $3.99. The horror…

The sale begins at the completely arbitrary time of 8AM PST on Tuesday, June 16th and ends at the equally arbitrary time of 8AM PST on Friday, June 19th. Here’s the breakdown of events:

8AM PST Tuesday, June 16th-8AM PST Wednesday, June 17th: A World Gone Gray is 99¢

8AM PST Wednesday, June 17th-8AM PST Thursday, June 18th: A World Gone Gray is $1.99.

8AM PST Thursday, June 18th-8AM PST Friday, June 19th: A World Gone Gray is $2.99.

8:01AM PST Friday, June 19th: A World Gone Gray turns back into a pumpkin.

Still, that’s a full 72 hours of savings!

Go forth and save!