Posts Tagged ‘A World Gone Gray’

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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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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!

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Here we are again, mid-month. That can mean only one thing — it’s time for another installment of What Happened Last Month in the Writerly Life of Self-Published Author #894752487652378465? Fear not, as there are answers anon. And below. Observe:

Not much.

Okay, that’s probably a little succinct. But things have been remarkably steady since I enrolled my humble scribblin’s in KDP Select a few months back. I’m not burning up the bestseller charts by any means, but a fair (to me, anyway) number of readers are taking a chance on my stuff via the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and parking my fiction of questionable merit in line behind the digital works of writers exponentially more talented than I. And for that, I bid them thanks. And a high-five. Couldn’t resist it.

The Age of the Crooked Number continued into May, and I may have found a way to continue it into June (he said foreshadowingly). A World Gone Gray, much to its cousins’ dismay, is still lording over them in the sales\borrow department, and seems to have firmly established itself as the alpha ebook of the pack. No news there.

On the social media front, I’m still social media-ing. Which in my case means Twitter. I’m up around 3,500 followers, which may or may not mean something. It only took me a year and a half to come up with the novel concept of adding a cover image to my tweets, and that seems to have increased the number of engagements I’m getting per tweet. Before you lapse completely into a coma, I’ll get to the point: there is none. I haven’t noticed any corresponding increase in actual sales and\or borrows. Sorry.

Remember that gun on the mantle way back in paragraph four? Well, it’s about to go off. But in a good and nonviolent kinda way. In fact, it could save you 25%, 50%, even 75% on A World Gone Gray. If you play your cards right…

Well, it’s that time of the month again.

Obviously, I’m talking about the last gasp of a 28-, 30-, or 31- (okay, sometimes 29-) day chunk of time conveniently standardized by the good folks at Gregorian, Inc. lo these many years ago. June is preparing to become July, and I’m preparing to take a financial hit in exchange for a couple eleventh-hour sales before this sixth month of the year comes to a close. In that spirit, I’m offering a dollar off each of my offerings at Smashwords.

“Only a dollar?” you ask.

“Yes,” I say. “But a dollar equals 25%-33% off when you translate it into math and stuff.”

“My hero!”

Coupon codes and links below:

 

A WORLD GONE GRAY COMPLETED DESIGN200x300px Regular price $3.99. Use coupon code ZL78Q.

 

TransienceOriginal Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code YM84F.

 

LIKE LIFE ITSELF COMPLETED DESIGN200x300px Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code VC86J.

 

SIGNAL FIRE COMPLETED DESIGN_thumbnail Regular price $2.99. Use coupon code AB26F.

 

Since I’m a patriotic sort, all coupons are valid through July 4, 2014. That’s almost an entire week of savings! Enjoy.

 

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I really don’t put much thought into the timing of my…well…anything. When it comes to book releases, however, I try to make them coincide with something resembling sense. I released my debut novel, A World Gone Gray,  in mid-November 2013, just ahead of the Christmas feeding frenzy. Since it initially fared well, I released Like Life Itself a week or so later.  I published Signal Fire in March, hoping it might end up on some discerning reader’s post-Winter TBR list. Most recently, I released The Transience of Youth last week. It’s a Summer-y Rom-Com type of thing, and I thought a mid-June release might suit it.

Turns out I’m one-for-four. A World Gone Gray continues to be my most consistent seller. It’s outsold the rest of the bunch about five-to-one. Combined. Which raises the question: Why? Is it the cover? The description? The content? What makes five times as many readers choose AWGG over the rest of my humble offerings?

Here’s the honest answer: I have no friggin’ idea. AWGG is the first book I ever completed. It has its moments, I think, but it ain’t no Faulkner. It’s my baby and I’m oh-so-close to it, but I fail to see why it beasts the rest of my books. The Transience of Youth (working title: Summer. Ha!) is my Number Two novel. Signal Fire came third, and my yet-to-be-released political comedy is number the fourth. Ideally, a writer improves as time marches on; more experience yields better work, and all that. But it seems I blew my load (so to speak) way back in November of 2013. Again, why?

Again, I have no bloody idea. I write stuff, I upload it to the Interwebs, and stuff happens. After that, your guess is as good as mine. If anyone can elaborate, I’ll gladly give you $1 (American), and a high-five.

And since I’m a glutton for punishment, I’m releasing my political comedy, I Like Mike, in September or so, just ahead of the US mid-term elections. I’m sure that’ll work out just fine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Big List of Things I Abhor Doing, self-promotion falls somewhere between scrubbing the shower and waiting in line at the DMV. Unfortunately, aversion to self-promotion is probably the second-worst quality a self-publishing author can have, right after procrastination. Lucky me, I’ve been cursed with both of the aforementioned attributes. In an attempt to slay these twin demons of mine, I’m going to make a concerted effort this week to increase the visibility of my work. I just hope I don’t come off sounding like some two-bit carnival barker.

Well, here goes:

Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Step right up and feast your eyes upon the greatest, most amazing, most splendiferous collection of words ever amassed in ebook format! A World Gone Gray has something for everyone! Action! Adventure! Suspense! Romance! All of it’s included in one handy dandy package! “But Mr. Broome,” I can hear you say, “isn’t your novel’s asking price of $3.99 American a bit steep considering this stagnant global economy of ours?” Glad you asked, fella! Glad you asked! For one week and one week only, you can save yourself 25% (that’s a whole buck!) off A World Gone Gray at Smashwords simply by entering the coupon code QA99V. It’s just! That! Easy!

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According to yore and to lore (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. For your humble blog guy, sales-wise, March came in like a lamb and went out like another lamb of equal or lesser value. To put it more succinctly—meh.

Somehow, someway, A World Gone Gray sold around thirty copies during its first thirty days of existence way back in November-December of 2013 before the predictable tail-off began. I was hoping for similar numbers for Signal Fire when I published it on March 4th, but the ebook-reading community responded with a collective yawn. I can count the number of Signal Fire sales thus far on two hands. And if I’m involved in some catastrophic industrial accident tomorrow that costs me both of my thumbs, I’ll still be able count the number of Signal Fire sales thus far on two horribly-mutilated hands. As far as AWGG and Like Life Itself are concerned…yeah, they still technically exist.

Rather than drive myself nuttier by over-analyzing Signal Fire‘s disappointing debut (Was it timing of release? Pretentious “By the Author of…” tagline by an unknown author? Poorly-chosen genre categories/search keywords? Plain ol’ crappy writing?), I’m going take a deep breath, crack open a beer, and remind myself yet again that sales don’t necessarily equal success. (Feel free to stop laughing at any time. I’ll wait).  Although I didn’t get rich last month, I did make progress.

For one thing, I received my first four (four!) reviews. They were a bit mixed (more details here), but to summarize, I got one five-star, two four-star, and one two-star review for various books over various platforms. For my fellow baseball-dork statheads, that’s an overall average of 3.75; a perfectly-acceptable ERA in this day and age. I’ll take that any day of the week. I also attracted about 25 Twitter followers. Way back in February, I set a goal of six posts per month on this here Web log. I swatted eight posts over the fence in February, then circled the bases a Ruthian eleven times in March. Although you can’t see it, I’m giving myself an incredibly painful high-five with my horribly-mutilated hands right now.

All in all, I’m happy with where I am on the self-publishing front. I’ve earned back the cost of my covers (my only monetary expense to date) with enough left over to fuel the POS car that takes me to my real job every day. And if all goes at least reasonably according to plan, I’ll have another three novels out by the end of the year. Can’t complain.

 

 

 

 

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As evidenced by the blog post title you just read, one of my many weak points as a self-publishing writer is my inability to come up with clever, original, pithy strings of letters that make people want to buy my books. Exhibits A through C? All of my book titles suck. A World Gone Gray sounds utterly pretentious, but it winked into existence in my brain at the same time 75% of the novel did seven years ago. So it stuck. Signal Fire? I called it Beacons for four years, then decided a week before I published it that it looked too much like Bacon. So I opened my handy-dandy thesaurus to “beacon,” closed my eyes, and pointed. I’ll have to consult with my team of lawyers, but I’m pretty sure I owe the Roget estate half the royalties. I pulled Like Life Itself completely out of my ass. Obviously.

Well, the internal saber-rattling between my suckitude at marketing and my desire to sell books escalated into all-out war the other night. I happened to log onto Twitter, and #Kindle happened to be the top-trending topic (still is, last time I checked). Naturally, I thought, this is a golden opportunity to have my promotional tweets be lost among the millions of other ones being sent out by other self-publishers doing the same thing I’m doing. In a word (well, two): Mission Accomplished. Okay, it wasn’t a total loss. I picked up a few followers, some of whom seem to be actual existing humans. Some of them may even be readers.

Before I dove into the gladiatorial arena that is Twitter-trending-Kindle, I had a game plan. Don’t be that over-eager spambot douche who Tweets every nanosecond, I told myself. People see right through that. But even if I had wanted to be a spamming douchebot, I couldn’t have. It turns out that my desire to compose an original, compelling 140-character self-advertisement trumps the ol’ copy-and-spam method every time. And it takes (me, anyway) ten or fifteen minutes to obsessively edit one of those bad boys into something suitable for cyberspace. But I also figure a ten- or fifteen-minute break between tweets gives any potential readers time aplenty to discover my awesomeness, so I’m golden. And that’s the story I’m sticking to.

To make a long post short, I think this bodes well for my writing. If I can obsessively edit throw-away Twitter posts at 3am on a Tuesday, odds are the rest of my work will be pretty well-scrutinized. For now, however, I’m off to peddle my wares on Twitter. Excelsior!