Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

I haven’t been around social media much….

This past year, especially since October, has really been awful for me. My mom went to the emergency room early in October and was admitted to the hospital. They finally determined they would have to take part of her colon out, and when they got in there, they found they would have to take out her ENTIRE colon. She now has an ileostomy rather than a colostomy. Then, two days before she was to go to a nursing home for rehab, she fell and broke her ankle in two places…at the hospital. She also has a lot of stuff going on in her esophagus and stomach she’s having to take meds for.

Since then, her health has gone downhill. The long incision in her stomach from the surgery came open, and now it’s having to heal from the inside out. She has now developed MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph) where she had surgery on her ankle. She’s still in the nursing home, and her mind is slipping really bad. First, I made them check her for a UTI to see if that was causing the dementia. She did have one, and when she went on antibiotics, she was herself for two whole days. Then it was back to the craziness. It could be the MRSA or other infections causing the dementia. It came on way too fast to be Alzheimer’s. She was really smart and self-sufficient before all this happened. I have noticed a slight improvement the past couple of days, so maybe the antibiotic she’s on now is helping her. Fingers crossed. But as bad as she is, I don’t think she’ll ever be able to stay by herself. So there are some hard decisions to be made. The most likely scenario is that she’ll stay in the nursing home since everyone works and can’t stay with her. I’ve been up there pretty much every night since this all happened, and I see that being my future for quite some time.

So, new things. I’ve tossed this back and forth for awhile, and some of you have seen me post about it. But I think, for 2018, I’m truly going to focus on my other pen name. I’m tired of not making at least a part-time living on my writing. And it looks like Lauralynn just isn’t going to do it in the foreseeable future. I never market the other pen name, but it’s time to start. I’m going to concentrate all my efforts on that name for awhile and see where that goes. The genres are very different. My other name writes sweet romance and mysteries. I’m probably going to add a sweet historical romance and possibly a sweet older woman, younger man romance to the mix. We’ll see. I just think when something’s not working, I need to try something else. I’m not going to retire Lauralynn. If I get a good idea for a story that won’t fit the other name, I’ll probably write it under Lauralynn. I’m just so disappointed that Keeper of His Soul did so badly in sales. I felt sure this would be a book that would take off, but it just didn’t.

So I’m really going to try to be more organized next year and work hard to market my books in a non-spamming way. All that while taking care of Mom. Wish me luck or prayers, whichever one you do. I’m going to need them!


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For my three books that sell for $2.99, I did a Valentine’s sale that started February 14 and ran through the rest of the month. Those three books were available for .99. So, how did the sale work out for me? Let’s just say, I’ll probably never put my books on sale for .99 again (I have some that have always been .99). Let’s look at the numbers. I might have sold 4 or 5 more of the books that were on sale than I usually do. But it takes 6 books at .99 at a 35% royalty to equal what I would make on a $2.99 book at a 70% royalty. Do the math. I probably LOST money. Or at least didn’t make any more than I would have made. I thought the reason one of my older books (and a different older book in the UK) was still selling better than my newer ones was the price. Haunted Lake is still my best seller in the US on Amazon. Guardian Vampire is still my best seller in the UK. Since those are .99 books, I really did suspect it was the price. But I think I was wrong. There is SOMETHING about those two books that keeps them selling better than any of the others. Guardian Vampire is still in the lead on B & N. I JUST DON’T GET IT. Why do those two books still perform the best? Are they more searchable? Or maybe because they are older, there are more books out there where they are listed as “customers who bought this also bought…”. I will admit, I didn’t really publicize this sale as much as I should have. I was really busy here at work and was just trying to keep my head above water. Two or three of my friends mentioned it on Facebook and/or Twitter, so I really appreciate that. I really need a good marketing plan. I know people say “just write a good book”, but people have to FIND your book before you can sell it. I took out an ad in Indtale magazine this month. That’s a start. We’ll see if that helps.

Anyway, I think the experiment was a flop. I do plan on doing a free giveaway on one of my books soon, but that will be where readers get a free coupon code from Smashwords. And there will be an extra gift for the grand prize winner. When I do the free stuff, though, I do it mostly for fun, especially since I like to give gifts. I think the grand prize is pretty cool, and it’s something we actually sell here at my day job. 🙂 I’ll probably do it mid-March because the prize is kind of an out-doorsy thing, and maybe it will be a little warmer then. Piqued your interest yet???

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Can anyone even answer that question? I’m not sure I can. I know a lot of authors give away free books in order to get readers interested in buying their other books. This sounds like a sound strategy, right? But does it work? I’ve tried it a few times, and honestly, I haven’t seen much of a surge in sales. Even giving away for free the first in a series doesn’t always mean a boost in sales of the others in the series. Not for every author, anyway. And I think I know the reason for this. I’ll have to admit, I’m one of the guilty readers. Here’s what happens with me. I find all these free books, enough of them that it’s overwhelming. Some of these books are beginnings of series. If I do ever get around to reading the first in a series, that doesn’t always mean I read the NEXT book. Why? I think it’s mostly because I have, you know, all those other free books on my Kindle. So by the time I’ve read some of those, I’ve forgotten about that other book and that other author. Occasionally, there is an author that just blows me away, and I have to get more and more of his or her books. That’s happened to me with a couple of free books I’ve gotten in the past year, and I’m going to post about that author later, but this is the exception to the rule. Bad me.

So what’s the answer? Everyone always says “write a good book and they’ll come”. Well, the problem is, there are a bunch of books out there. And many of them are good. How does a reader slog through them? How can you get YOUR book in front of people for them to even decide if they like it? So you HAVE to do some marketing. So what’s the best way to do this without being obnoxious (like constant blasts on FB or Twitter)? I don’t know the answer.

So what do you all think? Have “free” promotions boosted your sales? I’m thinking about a giveaway on my blog in the near future involving free ebooks and something cute that would go along with the book. But will it help with sales? Although I love giving away freebies and interacting with other authors and readers, the bottom line is…well…the bottom line. If I want to make a living at this some day, things are going to have to change. But how? Only the Shadow knows. (Some of you may be too young to understand that last statement. LOL)

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Looking back on last year, I can see so many changes, and not too many good ones. I lost my father, my brother-in-law had a heart attack, my mother-in-law found out some distressing health news, and I discovered I had diabetes, which had apparently been going on for some time. Other things have happened to friends and their families, not to mention the deaths of church members. But life happens the way it happens, and I trust God to sort things out, because I’m sure not qualified to do it. Through all the bad things, though, there are so many ways I’m blessed…way too many to list. As an optimist by nature, I believe 2013 will be a great year, full of blessings and happiness.

I hope that this year will be the year book sales will take off. There are so many strikes against us now since the market is glutted with SO many ebooks. It’s much different than it was in 2009, when e-publishing was still shiny and new, and there wasn’t as much competition. The key is to write good books, but you always have to find ways to help people find your books. This year, I need to focus a little more on marketing. I don’t believe in the kind of marketing that annoys people, but I need a plan. There’s a saying, “build it and they will come”. But you have to let people know you built it. I’m terrible at marketing. My cover artist, Anya Kelleye, has found a nice group of friends on Facebook, and she’s gotten some extra business because of it. I’ve been saying how much I DON’T like FB, but many people are finding it’s a good way to market without being pushy. Just getting yourself out there. I’m going to focus on it a little more and hope people will stop sending me requests to do this or that or play this game. LOL.

This post got a little long-winded, but it’s my first of the year. I wish so many good things to all of my online friends. And there’s a special place in my heart for my fellow ROWers. I feel so privileged to have met you all, even if it’s only a virtual meeting. Happy New Year to all of you, and best of luck for 2013.

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