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Why I Can Review a Book I Coached (or Edited)

Andrea Lundgren

Every so often, I will review a book I coached or edited (particularly if the author asks it of me). This may sound tremendously biased—who can evaluate a book they were involved with—but hear me out.

First, I don’t publish my reviews on Amazon. Their policy would see me as biased, to where I would want to write a good review for writers because I work for them, and they have a right to police their review policy however they want.

But here, on my website, I get to police my own reviews, and the thing is, my ability to find errors and generate ideas on how to fix them is why authors hire me, not so I say nice things. So it actually is in my favor to write an honest review, to where authors know “these problems, though we worked around them, are still the main flaws I…

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Book 2 Marketing Strategy

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Your second book in a series is almost there and a writer turns marketing expert. Books are sold and the miracle happens. Erh … no, no that’s not right. In fact, reality is far, far sadder. If you struggle with promoting your book, you probably spend hours upon hours researching the net, with searches like ‘how to sell second book,’ or ‘second book promo,’. Sound familiar?

There’s just so much out there, so many ideas, some of which sound like simple common sense while others sound a little risky. I had no pre-conceived ideas and so I put together a strategy that started five days ago, and will continue beyond the launch day, 28th April, 2017.

Stage One: Kindle Select, FREE promo days and PRE-release on Amazon.

  • Place book one in Kindle Select and select a FREE promo. I chose the full five days as I was due to come off in a few days. Ideally, I think three days is good.
  • Place book two on PRE-release on Amazon for 0.99 cents.
  • Add the book two cover and link at the end of book one

Book one was due to come off Select so I took advantage of the five days I still had and did a FREE promotion. I have done this before, but the results this time round were far, far better. Three times better, in fact. But first off, why did I do a FREE promo of book 1?

Answer: Because I want readers to enjoy it so much that they will pre-order book 2. It worked.

There are loads of places that will do promo for free but to be honest, I have found it is barely worth the effort it takes to go around filling out forms and submitting book covers, and sorting through the various marketing strategies that sign you up for newsletters you don’t need, or send you to Paypal when you thought it was free… There are some great sites out there that are cheap and effective. Which one worked best for me? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind: Ereader News Today, AKA ENT. Take a look at the stats below to get a better idea of why I’m saying this.

With my FREE days set up, I started an excel sheet to keep track of what was going on and where. Here are the results.

DAY ONE

  • Ebook Deal of the Day
  • Top 100 Best Free Kindle
  • Read Cheaply

#Ranking: 225,000 – 377
#Fantasy>Epic: 4,000 – 11
#Fantasy>Metaphysical: 700 – 4
#Fantasy>Military: 160 – 1
#Downloads: 0 – 514
#Pre-orders: 35 – 52

So not bad results, comparable at least to the free days I used last year. It has to be said that since then, the cover has improved dramatically and the blurb was re-done by the fabulous Andrea Lundgren

You can see the massive changes in ranking just with 514 downloads, even in the Epic category, which is very competetive.

DAY TWO

  • FKBT
  • Ereader News of the Day
  • Ebook Deal of the Day

#Ranking: 377 – 79
#Fantasy>Epic: 11 – 2
#Fantasy>Metaphysical: 4 – 1
#Fantasy>Military: 1 – 1
#Downloads: 514 – 2,230
#Pre-orders: 52 – 93

This was a great result. Ereader News of the Day really came through. Book early as they do have an editorial process. You have to get approved first.

So by day two I was in the top 100 on the Kindle Free Store, rating either 1 or 2 in all three categories. Also, look at the Pre-orders for book 2. Not a bad jump of 41 books sold. That was a happy day!

DAY THREE

  • Bargain Ebook Hunter
  • Facebook boosted post with link to Amazon

#Ranking: 79 – 143
#Fantasy>Epic: 2 – 5
#Fantasy>Metaphysical: 1 – 2
#Fantasy>Military: 1 – 1
#Downloads: 2,230 – 2,656
#Pre-orders: 93 – 110

This was just over 400 downloads. Not bad, and another 17 pre-orders was very nice too. I was pleasantly surprised with what that cover and link were doing at the end of Book One.

Days four and five were a downward spiral, with nothing going on in the way of promotion. Having said that, there were still a few hundred downloads, and pre-orders were still coming through, taking me up to a total of 177. That’s +142.  My moment of glory is passing. I was queen for a day and even reached #59 in the Free Kindle Store. I also got quite a few books added by readers on Goodreads – around 50, three new reviews both on Amazon and Goodreads, and a few Facebook likes for my author page. It will be interesting to see how many more reviews come through over the next few weeks.

So stage one of my Book 2 promotion strategy worked. I have a good number of pre-release orders ready to hit Amazon on launch day, which should help to get my ranking up and get me noticed. The next challenge, of course, is how to stay there past the first two or three days after launch.

Stage two will revolve around launch day. I have a Virtual Blog Tour booked with YA Bound Book Tours and have already booked a few promo sights. I am also in the process of setting up a Facebook Launch Party with fellow authors Greg Goodman, E. Paige Burks and Carolee Croft

Meanwhile, it’s back to research. I wonder if you have any insight to share. What are you doing to promote your book 2? Would you like to team up?

Love to hear your thoughts.

Road of a Warrior Pre-release

It’s here!! Well almost. Road of a Warrior, The Silvan Book II is now available on Pre-release. No preview yet, of course but if you read book one, then you’ll want the rest of the story. That cliffy was pretty evil, even by my standards.

So please, make an author happy today and get your copy now. It’s only 0.99C for the first few days so don’t miss out on the special launch price and of course, by getting it today, you are helping to get the book as far up the charts as it can be for launch date, when your copy will magically download. That will be Saturday 28th April.

You can join the Facebook party here: Facebook Launch Party Sign UP

I am actively seeking volunteers to read and review, hopefully prior to publication date. Please leave your comments below if you are interested in receiving a free kindle copy. If you enjoy the story and would like to leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, BookBub or wherever, I would love you even more than I already do 🙂

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Fantasy Map of Bel’arán

At last! I have my own fantasy map and I am thrilled with it. There are hours of painstaking work here, each tree hand-drawn and it makes me shiver to think how patient Mr. Hector G. Airaghi needed to be when creating this map.

Map_BelAran_web

Of course there is that little detail of how many hours we Skyped and how many things we changed and added, but it was all worth it. If you want to take a closer look, click here. Map of Bel’arán

The map will soon be added to Book I of The Silvan Trilogy – Path of a Novice, and of course will also be in Book II – Road of a Warrior – launching 28th April.

So what do you think? Love it? Hate it?

Blog Tour Nightmare

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I should be excited, I mean trembling with the excitement of launching my second book, dreaming of making it big and swimming in dosh. But what am I actually doing? I am cowering in the corner, trying desperately not to look at the long list of websites that claim to know exactly which Blog Tour I should hire to promote my launch.

This psychological condition has an origin, of course, and that would be my first Blog Tour. OK, I was a complete ignoramus on the subject – still, I read all the articles, followed the tips, did it all, except maybe check out the provider’s past success, contact other authors that had contracted the same service. Duh….? OK, I admit it; mistake!!!

BlogTour-300x253So here I am, one year later thinking, is it actually worth it? I know a lot of writers don’t do Blog Tours but I suspect they are the ones with the time and/or knowhow to do it themselves, you know, painstakingly select and then approach the blogs they want to appear on. Sorry mate, that’s just not my forte unfortunately. So off I go, in search of even more lists on the top Blog Tour providers, blogs with the biggest readerships, best blogs in the fantasy genre …. funny though, because the service I used last year keeps popping up, recommended. Eh… ? You know I didn’t get one ‘like’, not one ‘comment’; no Facebook follows or likes, no Twitter likes or follows – what?? Is that even possible?

So now, some of you might be thinking, ‘yeah, that’s because your book is sh^?”$%&!’, right? Of course I’m going to say no way.  OK, I am not a promo geek but I have 16 humble reviews on Amazon, most of which are 5 star (verified, yes), and 30 ratings on Goodreads with an average of 4.63. So what went wrong with the first tour? Fake blogs created simply for publicity purposes (not the client’s obviously), blogs with no followers like mine?

So, Google searching is not helping because most ‘help’ sights are just selling their buddies’ or clients’ services and I just can’t seem to find the nitty gritty place that actually rates Blog Tours based on customer reviews. Does that even exist? I would pay to see that.

So, I am wondering, do any of you guys have a recommendation? A place you know works for the fantasy genre? I know I am not going to get mega sales with a book tour; all I want is to get the book out there, get some interaction, some follows, sign ups for my mailing list, Facebook likes, a sign that someone out there is seeing my book – is that asking too much?

Please leave your comments. Even if you don’t have a recommendation, tell me about your own experience with blog tours. I’d be really interested to compare.

OK, back to the research – I really hate this.

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