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Archive for April, 2012

Okay, so I’ve promised some hard numbers to let you all know if it is a good idea to make your first book of a series free and here it is. Due to so many different price points were experimented with, borrows, and different royalty rates, I’m only going to report the quantity sold to avoid confusion.

(Please bring your expectations down a bit before I divulge since I’m in no ways a bestseller at this point, but I’m so pleased with the progress this promotion has brought.)

Before this free promotion, I’ve sold a total of…

(wait for it)

9 ebooks of Infinite Devotion since publishing in mid-February to mid-March!

(I know pretty underwhelming.)

Since publishing Infinite Sacrifice since mid-November—not including free promotions—I’ve sold 50 ebooks.

So, up until my prolonged free promotion, that’s a total of—hold on I need to whip my calculator out to compile such a monstrous number—59 sales!

Since the free promotion began mid-March I’ve given away 7,070 copies of Infinite Sacrifice.

Yay!

I’ve sold 73 ebooks of Infinite Devotion since the promotion, with an additional 2 copies of Infinite Devotion and 6 copies of Infinite Sacrifice in the UK (still hasn’t price matched there yet).

Yippee!

So, I’ve sold more and made more money this month than I have since November.

Plus, I’ve received stellar reviews and ratings on Amazon, Goodreads, and Shelfari. (Priceless!)

Wahoo!

(It doesn’t take much to make me happy)

I saw increase in the second book immediately and the sales have been steadily increasing. If even 10% of the 6,700 people who have downloaded it this month alone, return to buy the second book that will be 670 sales!

Well, I probably shouldn’t count all my eggs yet, but I’m hopeful that this trend will only improve.

This only makes me wish I had Infinite Loss to release since my sales would probably double, but I can’t rush it out. It is motivation to finish it since the more books I have out, the better my sales. If sales continue at this rate (or increase *crosses fingers*) then it will chip away at the $3,000 expense of getting both books out. Once I pay that all back, the rest will be profit from then on. That is the beauty of ebooks, once you pay back your investment it can continue bringing in income without additional expense.

So will I be continuing this free promotion?

Yes, I’m going to keep this up. It’s getting my book out there.

Now if I could only make it free on Amazon UK!

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I thought it would be fun to share with you all the playlist I listened to as I wrote Infinite Sacrifice. Even though they’re not the exact songs I listened to (I couldn’t find them on YouTube), they’re similar. I kept these songs on repeat every time I wrote, hoping it would help me create the ambience I needed for world building. I especially recommend doing this when you’re writing historical pieces.

 

 

Ancient Egypt:

 

 

 

 

Ancient Sparta:

 

 

 

Viking:

 

 

Medieval London:

 

 

 

 

 

I happened upon this little jewel and included it just for kicks 🙂

 

 

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One of the best things about making my first book free for the last three weeks (full promotion report due out at the end of the month!) has definitely been the increase in ratings and reviews.

Yes, these are gold for reader confidence and promotion, but they’re priceless for restoring my faith that this was all worth it. All the hours I stayed up late after putting my kids to bed; all the hours I spent researching; all the time in writing workshops; all the forums I joined and books I bought seeking out self-publishing advice; all the money I spent on getting the best product out—all had to be appreciated by someone.

I honestly never expected my books to make much money. Never expected to be the next Amanda Hocking. I would be very happy if I could just pay back the expenses. But the one goal I’ve had this whole time was to simply hear from a fan that appreciated all the things I set out to create. I worried that maybe the series was too complicated; that readers might not like tracking each character through time; that people might not like the fact this was a true series.

Besides my friends and family, I didn’t know how the world would see my book.

Well, I cry every time I read a kind and thoughtful review. I don’t think I truly felt like a writer until someone completely enjoyed what I set out to deliver.

I’m actually connecting to strangers through my story.

After reading these reviews, I wish there was some way I could personally tell these people how much it’s touched me. The only thing I can do is print the reviews out and frame them to start a little inspiration collection over my writing-table.

Anytime I have any doubt, I’ll just look up and they’ll be there. All my fans 🙂

The more these reviews come in, the more I want to write! Even if negative reviews come in, it only matters that some people are fans and those are the people I’m envisioning when I write my next book. Some of them haven’t left many reviews for other authors, and that has meant even more to me since they probably read my plea for reviews in the forward and went out of their way to help me.

If they’re reading this, truly, thank you. You have no idea how much this has meant to me.

It’s so important to tell a writer after you enjoy their book. Let them know what you loved and how they’ve touched you. I’ll never put down a book again without leaving a note for the author. It’s extremely rewarding.

For those who have published, has a fan ever inspired you? If not published yet, who has given you confidence?

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How many revisions does it take for your MS to lose its spark?

“Let’s find out.

One…

tWoo…

thhhhreee”

*CRUNCH*

I wish I only had to do three revisions. Three, and I might still be gushing about it for launch. But I find when I’m reading my novel for the twentieth time my MS loses its spark.

Finish the MS—Wow, this is the best thing I’ve ever written! Perfect!

First revision after letting it sit—Wow, this needs work but what great scenes and dialog! I love it!

Second revision—Wow, I can’t believe how many mistakes I missed after that last edit, but it’s still awesome!

Fifth revision—Wow, still so much work. I’ve got to rewrite a few scenes, but it’s pretty good stuff.

Tenth revision—Wow, I think I need glasses since I’m still finding mistakes! Eh. It’s okay.

Fifteenth revision—Wow, another revision, I don’t think I can read it again. I hope I’m going in the right direction.

Nineteenth revision—Wow, this has to be the last revision! I’m so sick of it! That’s it. I’m done.

Twentieth revision—Wow, is this even any good anymore?

I’m sure this happens to every author, but I imagine it must be harder for the self-published author since you have to feel confident about the piece you’re about to release to the world—on your own. You don’t have team cheering you on from behind. A team that has thought so highly of your project that they have invested in it.

Of course, even LOTR and Pride and Prejudice would lose its spark after twenty reads within a short amount of time. So what do you do when you start to question if your MS is still good when you have worn it out like a pair of comfortable sneakers?

You must have rounds of beta readers. You need someone at every stage of processing to tell you that you’ve got something there. You need someone to see your twentieth revision with fresh eyes. You need them to tell you it’s amazing and which parts they laughed and cried at. Then they tell you two or three small things that they would change and you’re back to revision twenty-one:

Wow, they loved it, so this must be good. I just have to fix a few things and it’s off to the editor who will be so impressed with how much work I’ve done this time.

After the editor—Wow, I can’t believe I missed all these mistakes. Am I ever going to learn comma placement? *bangs head*

So what about you guys? How many revisions does it take before your eyes bleed and doubt sets in?

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You may have noticed my new spiffy link over on the right—thanks to David Gaughran’s post introducing his followers to the wonders of Mail Chimp.

At first, I glanced over the idea of a mailing list. Why would I need a mailing list? I have a blog where I can send out promotional news to my followers. But then I put the first book of my series on extended promotion (5,000 downloads in one week!), and I realized all those people were my market. How would they know about the next release of the series?

Most self-publishers don’t have a promotional team with a brick and mortar marketing budget, who can spread the word of a new release to the world. In a year, when my third book is planned to release, my readers most likely won’t be waiting with bated breath. I needed a way for those fans to ONLY get the announcement of releases.

The majority of my blog focuses on my self-publishing journey and the struggles I face as a writer. Most fans wouldn’t want to follow my blog. They usually VISIT my website for the historical background information, book trailers, and my bio page. So, I needed to find a way to get release news to these readers.

Mail Chimp.

As usual, David Gaughran is ahead of the game. A self-published author NEEDS a mailing list. You must have an option for fans to sign up only for release news. You need to capture these readers and continue to market to them. Um, and have I mentioned that it’s free!

Go to Mail Chimp’s website and follow the simple instructions to create your own mailing list. Remember, I am NOT tech-savvy. If I could figure this out you can. Once you’ve signed up and put the link on your widget, Mail Chimp sends you emails over the next few days, slowly introducing you to how the mailing list operates. Very easy.

Just be sure to specify that the mailing list will ONLY be used for release notifications. Folks are so  spam wary now-a-days and don’t want to be notified every time your book changes price, interviews on such-and-such’s blog, or the you’ve just received a rave review. If they did, they’d follow your blog.

This is especially a good idea before a major promotion or free day. You want to hold the attention of that new market and have a way to advertise to them later.

If anyone has any questions, shoot me an email and I’ll be glad to help you out.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Infinite Devotion by L.E. Waters

Infinite Devotion

by L.E. Waters

Giveaway ends May 07, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Wow, I’ve never seen my book fly this fast!

Yesterday afternoon, Infinite Sacrifice took off and I couldn’t believe how quickly it’s being downloaded. It’s now #1 on both the historic fantasy and Epic free list, and #84 on the free kindle list. Best of all, I’ve sold five times the usual sales for Infinite Devotion. I can’t believe I’m seeing results this soon.

I hope it keeps up!

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