Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

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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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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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Bear with me for a moment while I attempt to come up with a colorful springtime pun to open this post. I hear I’m pretty litigious, and I’m trying to avoid plagiarizing myself. Let’s see. “April is the cruelest…” Done it. Something to do with baseball and rebirth? Done to death. Ah, here we go…

If April showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? The obvious answer (according to the International Alliance of Archaic Jokes [IAAJ] ), is pilgrims. And in a roundabout kind of way, pilgrims had a lot to do with defining my April, writer-wise. I’m using the word pilgrim a bit loosely here. To me, a pilgrim is a risk-taker, someone willing to make sacrifices in exchange for a roughly fifty-fifty chance of achieving some great reward in the end.

I managed to extend my Cal Ripken-like streak of crooked-number sales/borrows into Month the Sixth. Three intrepid sci-fi aficionados borrowed AWGG using Amazon’s Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, and one independently-wealthy soul slid nearly four dollars to the center of the table, betting heavily on the aforementioned tome. My sincere thanks go out to everyone who took a look at my fiction of questionable merit, and a special hollow in my heart (at no small cost to myself) has been surgically dug-out to house the Fabulous Four who joined me in this April pilgrimage.

I broke another streak of sorts last month. I hadn’t received a review of any of my books in close to half a year, but I noticed a review (Number the Second!) of AWGG on Amazon’s US site circa mid-month. Before my fellow stat-freaks freak out, I’ll let the cat out of the bag to feast upon the spilled beans: Three stars. Although in fairness (to myself), I must add that the reviewer gave me 3.5 in his/her title to the review. One-star, five-star, I don’t care. Anyone who takes the time to discover, buy/borrow, read, and review my humble scribblin’s gets a palm-reddening high-five in my book.

I’m pleased with Kindle Unlimited thus far. Sometime this month (May, for those as forgetful as I), I’m going to test-drive their Countdown and/or free giveaway promotion(s). The caveat continues; I’m new to this. I still don’t quite know what I’m doing, so nothing I type should be taken as gospel.

As always, thank you, thank you, thank you.

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You know you’ve been neglecting your blog when you have to sift through piles of handwritten notes just to find your password. In an attempt to make amends, I’d like to take a moment and issue a formal apology to Writes and Submission: Sorry, Writes and Submission. I promise to give you the attention you so rightly deserve in the coming months. And to my legions of readers (also known as Mom), thanks for hanging in there.

Last month I waved goodbye to Smashwords and their affiliates and decided to go it alone with a humble international multi-billion-dollar conglomerate called Amazon. You may have heard of them. The move made sense at the time. Over 90% of my previous year-plus of sales had come via Mr. Bezos’s brainchild. Still, I was dipping my toe into uncharted waters and didn’t have a clue as to what to expect.

Thankfully, my streak of crooked numbers carried over into March, even though I failed to sell a single copy of any of my ebooks. Before I’m indicted on murder charges for blowing all of your minds, please allow me to explain. Although I didn’t sell any books, I did manage to coax a few adventurous readers into “checking out” my stuff from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Even better, awesome readers from three different countries took a chance on two of my offerings of questionable merit. A World Gone Gray at AmazonUS had been bogarting things for awhile, so it came as a pleasant surprise to see other works and marketplaces working their ways into the mix.

I’m still doing the Twitter thing. I still have no idea how it’s impacting sales and/or borrows, but I figure it can’t hurt. As always, discovering other writers, artists, musicians, comedians, filmmakers, and others of similar ilk is great. I also have this new icon thingy that allows me to see how many people have “interacted” with my tweets. It magically appeared right around the time I sent tweet #5,000. I’m not sure if that’s just a coincidence or if it’s a “welcome to the club” benefit of persistently using their product. In any event, it seems pretty useful.

Again, and I can’t stress this enough, thank you so much for giving my work a look. And an extra-exuberant high-five to the intrepid souls who invested in my scribblin’s in March.

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In between bouts of shoveling unseasonably-heavy amounts of snow and resisting the urge to punch the face of Winter Itself, I managed to do some self-published-writer-ish things last month. Here are the chilling details…

Actually, I can’t complain. I put another crooked number in the sales column, which is always a pleasant surprise. Appropriately enough, golfers in climes more temperate than mine would refer to said number as a snowman. Just like last month, all sales were of A World Gone Gray and came courtesy of the fine folks at Amazon (US incarnation). I’m sensing a theme here…

Speaking of the aforementioned theme, I deleted my books from Smashwords and their affiliates a couple of weeks ago, waited a while for the deletions to trickle their way down the affiliate stream, then enrolled all of my books in KDP Select. Again, nothing against Smashwords. I actually like them and their services quite a bit. I just wasn’t making any sales there, so the logical thing to do (after more than a year of crunching the numbers) was to go exclusively with Amazon. Needless to say (or type, in this case), I’m looking forward to seeing how the whole Select thing will affect sales, exposure, etc.

Again, I failed egregiously at keeping up with this here Web log last month. I’ve still been plugging away at Twitter, though. Again, I couldn’t tell you if 24/7 Twitter equates to more ebook sales or more pissed-off unfollowers. Who knows? As always though, it’s nice to discover other writers and artists (I can’t bring myself to include myself in that category — so alien) there. I mentioned in passing in last month’s AAR that I’m seriously considering publishing AWGG in paperback form via Createspace. I still may or may not do that. So there’s your update. Right there.

In all seriousness, I’d like to extend a cyber-handshake to any and all who perused my fiction of questionable merit in February. To those who spent their hard-earned cash on my words, you get either a cyber-fist-bump or a cyber-bro-hug. Completely dependent upon your level of comfort regarding personal space. Reader’s choice.

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It’s hard to believe I’ve been grinding away at this blog long enough to have to include years with my AARs for clarification’s sake. But there’s the proof, right there in the title. Here’s what happened last month…

On the bright side, I sold more books in January than in the previous four months combined. Unless you suffer (or benefit; who am I to judge?) from polydactyly, you’d be hard-pressed to count my sales of A World Gone Gray at AmazonUS on one hand. I’m sure lowering the price to 99¢ had a lot to do with the boost in sales. Although I didn’t quite crack the NYT bestseller list, it felt good to put a crooked number on the board. As always, thanks to all who took a look at my books. And extra-credit to those intrepid souls who wagered a bit of their hard-earned cash on my fiction of questionable merit.

On the social media front, I’m still lagging (obviously) when it comes to this here blog. I’ve been more consistent on Twitter, where I toss my humble wares into the digital void six or seven days a week. I haven’t discovered a correlation between Twitter activity and ebook sales yet, but I have discovered a lot of talented writers and artists and musicians and actors and comedians and directors…

So what’s your deal, Broome? Are you going to just keep on keeping on, or are you going to make some changes in regards to your writerly endeavors?

Glad you asked, though I kinda wish you’d’ve done it in a less awkward way. But yes. Yes I am. Regarding the changes thing.

Change the First: I’m done with Smashwords. I don’t have a problem with them; I’m just not selling anything there or at their affiliates. Well over 90% of my sales have come via Amazon, so it makes sense (to me, anyway) to put all my ebooks in one basket and take advantage of Amazon’s promotional tools. If exclusivity is the price I have to pay, I’m cool with it at this point.

Change the Second: I’m seriously considering releasing A World Gone Gray in paperback form. It’s by far my best seller (which ain’t sayin’ much), and I’m interested in seeing how it fares in physical form (#AlliterationNation). On top of that, I’m seriously considering releasing I Like Mike in ebook form. It’s a RomCom/political satire type thing that’s awaiting a final round of polishing and a cheap cover. I hope to have both secured by Spring. We’ll see…

Change the Third: I’ve finally started doing that thing where you type words and make a story and stuff. I think it’s called “writing,” but it’s been so long since I’ve done it I couldn’t tell you for sure. Anyhoo, I’ve been doing it consistently for a couple of weeks now. I’m hoping that means this hellacious case of writer’s block is unblocked. Only time will tell (he typed ominously…)…

Once again, many, many thanks to anyone who dared to read the stuff I wrote.

 

 

 

 

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…offer my humble wares at mind-bogglingly microscopic prices-*.

Yep, it’s true. If you (like me) harbor a raging hatred of Dollar General due to their exorbitant prices, I invite you to join me here on Ninety-Nine Cent Island. Tattoo and Ricardo Montalban are present and accounted for, eager to cater to your every whim.

Crave an eclectic mix of ten dark tales for $0.99? 112,000 words of epic sci-fi for $0.99? Your wish is their command.

Perhaps you’d like to delve into a bit of quirky rom-com, but you fear said rom-com will set you back an entire Washington. No problem here. Simply purchase a copy of The Transience of Youth at Amazon for a mere 99¢. A penny saved is a penny earned, is it not?

Feel lucky? Well, do you? Then go ahead and risk a cent less than a buck on Signal Fire. It’s good. No doubt about that. But will its flaky author finish its sequel before 2015 becomes 2016? Who knows. But at 99¢ a pop, can you really afford to pass this opportunity up?

In summation: Lots of words, few cents. Do with them what you will.

And, as always, thanks to each and every one of my readers.

 

* — It looks like the new $0.99 prices are live at Amazon in the US, Australia, and Canada. Not so much in the UK. But then it’s kinda late there… Stay tuned, and feel free to refresh…