Posted in books, writing

Who’s ready for 2017?

2017-fireworks

It seems like everyone is happy to say goodbye to 2016. It was a weird year, to be sure. I know for myself, going back to college made things a little crazy, as did a few too many writing deadlines.

A hectic year has pushed me to reevaluate a few things, get organized, and set more realistic goals and deadlines.

So…you’ll see a few changes this year, and yes I’ll explain why.

1This first big change is that I’ll no longer be offering free ebooks on retailer sites like Amazon and iBooks. I’m already in the process of changing free, first-in-the-series books back to their normal prices. Amazon will be the slowest to change, so if you want free books, go get them now.

Why no more freebies? Basically, because it no longer works as a marketing tactic. There are too many free books to have good discoverability any more. It will be more effective for me to offer short term deals on books than to keep them perma-free, so that’s what I’ll be experimenting with this year.

If you want free books once all the price changes go into effect, the only way to do that will be through my newsletter. The plan is that each monthly newsletter I send out will have a coupon code for a free book. If you’re not already signed up, sign up now. All you need is an email address.

Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/C35Q5

2The next big change is that I will be pulling my books from the Kindle Unlimited program. I’m doing this for 2 reasons.

  1. I’ve struggled to ever find success with KU in the various times I’ve tried it out. I just can’t figure out how to really market for KU well, and I have a strong enough reader base on other platforms that it makes more sense to distribute my books wide.
  2. From the beginning, I’ve had my doubts about the fairness of the KU program in how it rewards and pays authors. Recent changes have only increased my dislike of the ethics of the program. While it’s a great deal for readers, it devalues books, and authors often get paid less than half the listed price for a book that is read 100%. I’m just not doing it anymore.

So, most of my books will be out of KU by early spring. The Oblivious Girl’s Handbook will stay in a bit longer because of contractual obligations with a box set it’s part of, but after that I’m out of KU for good.

3The last major change is that I’m scaling back. What does that mean? I can’t say exactly, except that means I’m going to stop overloading myself by saying yes to too many things and setting unrealistic goals. I need to be able to focus on school this year so I can finish my degree in December and start looking for a new day job, while still having time for family and occasionally cleaning my house.

For sure, I’m done with box sets for the time being. The two I’m currently in and the one I’ve committed to for 2017 will be it. They’re a great way to cross-market, but they take a ton of time and effort. As do comic cons, teaching, author events, school visits, etc. As much as I love doing all that stuff, I just don’t have the time right now.

As far as my writing plans, I really can’t say. I tend to write when I’m stressed out, so I may keep on as usual, lol. What I won’t do is push myself into corners where I’m struggling to meet pre-order dates or publishing deadlines. I’ll be writing on my terms and my deadlines. That may mean fewer books or no pre-orders or longer spans between books. I don’t know. I just ask that readers are patient as I finish my last year of undergrad classes. Encouragement is always appreciated, but if you’re waiting longer than usual for a new book just remember that even authors have day jobs, families, laundry, dishes, homework, and those other day-to-day things going on.

I hope everyone’s 2017 is starting off well, and I hope you all have a great year of reading ahead of you đŸ™‚

 

Posted in free book, marketing, writing

The Freebie Debate

Have you ever been perusing Amazon or B&N and saw a book that piqued your interest, but you weren’t sure whether or not to get it?

Large Stack of BooksHow does price affect your decision making?

If it’s free, do you think, “Awesome! I’ll give it a try. If I hate it, I’m out nothing and can move on to something else.”

OR…

Do you think, “I wonder why this book is free? Is it not very good? Can they not sell it? Does the author not think it’s very good either?”

Basically, do readers in today’s market see free ebooks as opportunities to explore new authors, or a statement about how the author/publisher values that particular book?

Whether or not to offer free books has been debated among indie authors for quite a few years. I recently read a blog post about a group of authors who have banded together to vow never to offer free ebooks because they believe it devalues their work and the effort it took to produce it.

Now, I have used free book promotions from the moment I figured out how to get Amazon to price match. Yes, it’s effectiveness has decreased over the last few years because there are so many free ebooks now, but to me, the benefits of having a free ebook available to readers hasn’t disappeared.

Price doesn’t determine the value of a book. I could price all my ebooks and $19.99. That doesn’t mean my ebooks are worth that amount, or that I value the work I put into creating them as more than a book I price at $1.99. Price does not equal value in this case. As an indie author, price is something you can manipulate and learn from. Try one price, watch sales. Try another, watch again. Eventually you find, either through trial and error and/or research, what a good price point is for your genre and book length.

For me, that includes free ebooks.

Why?

For one, I am a reader myself, and I’m timid about trying out new authors. I’ve picked up some pretty awful books over the years, and I’ve randomly chosen amazing ones, too! It’s a gamble every time. Taking away the barrier of price makes it that much easier to entice readers to give one of my books a try. If they enjoy it, I usually get 2-3 consecutive sales on that series, potentially more if they enjoy my writing and pick up another series.

All from one free book.

Did that one free book make readers think I didn’t value my own work? No. It introduced them to my writing.

Creating a Marketing PlanAnother reason I choose to offer free books is because many of my books are Young Adult titles. Teens don’t have a lot of purchasing power in many cases, especially in non-US markets. They can download free books at the click of a button, or read on Wattpad with no restrictions. Many teens need permission and a credit card number to purchase ebooks. That means convincing their parents the purchase is worth the money. That gets easier when they can say they’ve already read the first book and loved it.

Now, I know I’m on my soap box a little, but I think the debate over free books is a frustrating one when argued simply on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of the tactic. Every author has to figure out what works for them and their genre. I’m not telling anyone else how they should run their business or career. This is what works for me, at this time. I’ll change when and if I need to. I don’t need to join a group for or against a particular marketing tactic. I do my own research, including talking to other authors about what works for them, and make my decisions based on that research.

If other authors don’t want to offer free books because it goes against their views, that’s totally fine. Other people won’t agree, and that’s fine too. Just do your research and make a decision based on that and not simply on what someone else tells you is the right thing to do.

Posted in date shark, date shark series

Special Edition: Date Shark Business

After taking some time away from the blog last week due to being sick and having a ton of stuff to do to get ready for a trip to Denver Comic Con this weekend, I have some updates for everyone on the Date Shark Series.

Announcement #1…

Date Shark SeriesBook 3, “The Only Shark In The Sea,” is currently out to beta readers and early responses have been very helpful and overall happily positive!

If you’d like a little sneak peek at Vance and Natalie’s story, check out an excerpt here on Bestselling Reads: Focus Friday.

Announcement #2…

I probably won’t have a cover or release date until sometime in June once I send revisions to my editor/publisher, but I thought we might as well get in the Date Shark spirit and have a little fun with the idea behind this series.

So it’s time to have a CONTEST!!!

Comment below with your worst date story (feel free to leave out names if you so choose) and you’ll be entered to win an ebook bundle of all 3 Date Shark books PLUS a $10 Amazon Gift Card. And as a bonus, if you are willing, your bad date story could be included in the fourth book in the series!

Date Shark Contest

Announcement #3…

Guy Saint Laurent from Date Shark #2, Shark Out of Water, is up for Hottest Guy in the 2015 Romance blogfest! Pop over, check out all the guys, and VOTE FOR GUY!

Vote for Guy in the Hottest Guy Competition!

 Announcement #4…

Just in case you didn’t know:

Book 1, Date Shark, is currently FREE on Kindle and iBooks and is 0.99 on Nook, or you can order a paperback from Amazon or B&N…

Amazon iBooksBarnes & Noble

Book 2 is also available for only $3.99 on Kindle or in paperback from Amazon and B&N…

AmazonBarnes & Noble

Or if you’re willing to review on Amazon and Goodreads, send me a message about getting a free review copy of any of the Date Shark books or my other books.

Posted in books

Gods and Mortals Box Set: 14 FREE Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Novels

Who wants FREE books?

Well I’ve got 14 of them for you!

godsmortalsboxFourteen awesome authors have banded together to give you a chance to download 14 FREE paranormal and urban fantasy novels. Get a taste of myths and legends from all over the world, and if you enjoy them, pick up the rest of the series!

So what’s in the box set?

Fourteen FREE fantasy novels. Tag along with modern humans as they face off against heroes, Norse and Greek gods, and monsters of old … over one million words of divinely (and diabolically) inspired fantasy, adventure, and romance. Join the freshest voices in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, on unique journeys to heaven, hell, and worlds beyond.

Get this heavenly FREE fantasy collection … before it’s too late!


And here’s a little more about the authors and each book…

godsmortals Elsker by S. T. Bende
Kristia Tostenson just found out her new boyfriend is the Norse God of Winter, and an immortal assassin destined to die at Ragnarok. Her orderly life just got very messy.

I Bring the Fire (A Loki Story) by C. Gockel
Amy Lewis is being pursued by a very bad wolf. Can Loki God of Chaos and Mischief save her, or even save himself?

Sympathy for the Devil by Christine Pope
When the Devil tires of ruling Hell, his only hope for salvation is to capture the heart of one ordinary young woman.

Dead Radiance by T. G. Ayer
Bryn Halbrook, modern teenager, creature of myth. Dead Radiance makes Norse Myth a contemporary truth, pitting one teenager girl against Trickster gods, and mythical creatures.

The Gatekeeper’s Sons by Eva Pohler
A teen becomes entangled with the Gods of Olympus when one of them falls in love with her. Some give her gifts, others seek to destroy her …

Nolander by Becca Mills
A young woman from small-town Wisconsin discovers that monsters are real — and that she might just be one herself.

Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting
Protecting Claudia from the fallen was half-angel Michael’s his duty. Falling in love was never part of the plan.

Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden
Uriah and Claire didn’t believe in their tribal stories until Claire’s poisoned and those myths spring to life to test their love and unravel destiny.

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight
A mythological romance: Camille is denied her
father’s identity until her mother’s death. She discovers a family she never dreamed of and a world that should not exist.

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
Can the magical Tuatha de Danaan, the forgotten people of Ireland, help Allison restore her mother’s sanity?

Marked (Soul Guardians Book # 1) Kim Richardson
A sixteen-year-old girl suddenly dies and finds
herself in Horizon as a rookie in the Guardian Angel Legion.

Relentless by Karen Lynch
Sara Grey lives a double life until a fateful encounter with a sadistic vampire and a fearless warrior exposes her powerful gifts and changes the course of her life forever.

Hope(less) by Melissa Haag
The world is on the verge of a Judgement that will change everything, and Gabby, a uniquely gifted human, is the first key.

Runes by Ednah Walters
My new neighbor, Torin St. James, is the key to my father’s disappearance, my mother’s past and the secret they’ve been keeping from me–my destiny.

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY TODAY ON YOUR FAVORITE PLATFORM!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Exh2fb
BN: http://bit.ly/1CsV09V
IBOOK: http://apple.co/1EYREdk
Google: http://bit.ly/1bN2fRw