BOSWORT is a finalist for the Colorado Author’s League (CAL) Writing Award in the Young Adult Category.
CAL is a membership organization for professional writers who live in Colorado, and is dedicated to improving writing skills.
BOSWORTH is a paranormal coming of age story set in the fictional town of Bosworth in Orange County NY, and the story takes place in the fall of 2015.
Over the course of the past 4 or 5 years I’ve tried all sorts of different approaches to increase readership. Virtually nothing has worked.
I’ve given books away using both read and review programs, as well as pure giveaways. One of my books was downloaded from Amazon over 12 thousand times, but I suspect that it was only read by a relative handful of folks, and the giveaway added zero sales.
Facebook and Twitter have been fairly useless as advertising media. Not only do they NOT add sales, they don’t really even generate website clicks.
Google AdWords will generate web clicks, and even sales, but the best I’ve ever done was $1 in royalties for $2 spent on ads, and that’s only around Christmas.
I’ve hired marketing firms twice (including a highly recommended one)——results: zero sales.
The read and review programs have been among the worst. On one program, people were cashing in the Amazon coupon I sent potential readers to buy other stuff.
There is no magic key. People don’t buy books because of ads or because someone writes a nice review (or even a bad review). I decided to limit what I do when it comes to book marketing, cutting my marketing budget by 90%, and basically saw no change.
My suggestion: just write your books, as you normally would. Make sure you offer a quality product, use a good editor, designer, and proof reader and don’t worry about selling books.
For those who think they’ll make a lot of money writing . . . well, you could win the lottery—it’s got about the same probability.
I do think competitions help, but you need to carefully select which competitions you enter. If you’re a small publisher, generally librarians won’t bother to even read your books—good or bad, since they didn’t come from one of the big 5 they are ignored, so you won’t be considered for the mainstream awards. In the mainstream publishing world (at least for now) editors use agents as filters and publishers use agents and librarians use publishers. Competitions offer an alternative filtering system, but the industry has not yet settled on a new model.
On formats: I’ve put books out in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, and epub formats, as well as an audible book. The epub book, which I offered through both Smashwords and KOBO was a mistake. As soon as I uploaded the book, one copy was bought and then was immediately pirated. The pirates made money on it—I didn’t. I no longer offer an epub format for my books.
I have heard that spending all day on social media pages can add sales. I haven’t seen evidence of this, but then I’m not really a social media butterfly, so take my opinion on this with a grain of salt.
One channel that (at least) offered a way to put your books into the hands of enthusiastic readers used to be GoodReads, but they decided to monetize their giveaway program to suck even more money from the pockets of writers, so I stopped using that channel. That’s really a symptom of the big industry now, which is exploiting people who decide to try writing. There are tons of folks out there telling you how they’ll “help” you. They don’t.
Just write. But if you’re writing poor quality books then you’re just making matters worse—poor quality books are why people don’t take small publishers seriously. Use an established professional editor . . . please.
I’m running Amazon Kindle Countdown Specials on the following books, from Nov 26 to Dec 3——
United States, Amazon.com:
The Balance, Kindle Edition, is discounted from 2.99 to 99 cents
I AM Kindle Edition is discounted from 2.99 to 99 cents
United Kingdom, Amazon.co.UK:
The Balance Kindle Edition is discounted to 0.99 pounds
Bosworth Kindle Edition is discounted to 0.99 pounds
The Boy Who Ran Kindle Edition is discounted to 0.99 pounds
In the past, I experimented with a giveaway, but found that many, many copies were downloaded but never read. For me, this isn’t a money-making effort as much as an effort to get more people to read at least one of my books, as a sample. Keeping a minimum price (this is the least non-zero price I can charge at Amazon) at least ensures that those downloading the book may actually be interested in reading it.
All discounts Begin Nov 26 (Sunday) and end Dec 3 .
My author page at amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Selden/e/B00GSEBBDC/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1Pre-Christmas Kindle Edition Discount—Nov 26 to
In Panama City FL, I remember roaming the neighborhood and by the lake when I was probably still in diapers, and later—from age 3 (in 1961)—roaming the streets of post war (and the newly-divided) Berlin, with its bombed-out buildings. The kids there all spoke only German, but we still managed to play together, as we tried to learn each other’s language. “Wie heißt du?” were the first German words I learned. I remember seeing a young German man with long hair and asking him “Bist du ein Beatle?” Since I thought that any guy with long hair MUST have been one of the fab four.
I think exposure to a constantly-changing set of diverse worlds—cities, countries, states—and being thrown into new cultures as an only child helped me develop I also think it sharpened my memory. When you’re in a group of people and you’re 4 or 5 and translating for a gathering of adults, it forces you to concentrate, especially when your German isn’t all that good to begin with. I think I was blessed to be an Air Force brat, and an only child. Otherwise I would have had something comfortable and familiar on which to lean, and that might have made me complacent. In ever-changing circumstances you’re always either doing your best to swim in unfamiliar waters, or you’re left alone . . . . waiting . . . This later gives rise to spurring imagination. Imagine, as a fairly young kid, sitting on an airplane for 18 hours—quietly. It forces you to create adventures and stories in your head. It’s both good and bad being an “only”. You’re alone and yet you’re not, because as an only child your parents take you everywhere and you experience everything.
In the book I AM, I was deliberately vague about details at the end of the story—much more so than normal. I wanted to challenge readers to think through what had happened and to apply their own interpretation of events in the story, but I’ve seen that my intent wasn’t well communicated. I wanted to correct this a bit, and so updated the epilog of the book to help readers understand what happened.
In a few days (or hours), the updated epilog will automatically appear in your copy the next time your kindle library is synchronized. Unfortunately, paperbacks are not updated this way, but with I AM, most copies in circulation are Kindle editions—about 12 thousand copies. For me, this is one of the great things about ebooks—correcting errors and updating books in circulation is easy to do.
As I write the second volume of The Balance, I though I might offer a gift to those who’ve supported me and have read The Balance
The Purge is a short story set 18 years, or so, before the story of The Balance picks up. It is best read by those who have read The Balance, since having an understanding of the characters and of the Land help you to to make sense of the story and you’ll enjoy it much more
I am posting the entire story as a pdf file on my web site:
Dear Beloved Readers (although you may be few, you are certainly valued)
I’m not sure exactly what’s happening on Amazon with respect to reviews. I used to get more reviews after releasing a book, but I’ve only seen one pop up for Bosworth, which was released in mid March. In the meantime, GoodReads has seen 4 ratings and 3 reviews over that same period. It used to be that Amazon reviews outnumbered the GoodReads reviews.
I did get an email from a reader who was trying to post a review. She said that the process changed and that she needed to answer questions first. Unfortunately, I think this put her off adding a review.
In the meantime, I’ve seen the review count for I AM change. First it was 38 then it was 37 then it was 38 again and now it’s 37. Not sure why, not sure what’s happening. There is a review for I AM that was a 1-star because the software handshake between Amazon and that person’s device had an issue and the book didn’t download properly (It downloaded fine for the other 12 thousand free copies, I suppose). THAT review stays in place, even though it has nothing to do with the actual book.
I read that some authors are finding ways to “game” the reviews—not me, I don’t see it as being a worthy and honest undertaking. I guess I’ll wait for the dust to settle. In the meantime, I hope people who review on GoodReads are not put off by the updated Amazon process—funny, Amazon owns GoodReads, yet they don’t bother combining the reviews.
Update on current projects:
I’ve been slow to start the second volume of The Balance, although I still expect it to come out next year—I’ve been doing this for 4 years now and have published 4 books. I am writing a short story, a kind of prequel for The Balance, set 18 years before the story that takes place in Volume 1. The short story is called The Purge, and it recounts some of the experiences that Rebecca and Daniel had just before Phoebe’s birth. Chip Cheek has agreed to read through the short story, to provide editing and feedback, and I anticipate sending him the draft by July 10 of this year. The whole short story will be posted online, on my web site and on Wattpad for free. I’ll see if I can post it on GoodReads, too.
Well, today, I’m supposed to take my G 650 GS motorcycle down to Colorado Springs to get a new chain and sprockets and I’ll be getting back to the rebuild of my lower front deck for the rest of this week, but it won’t interfere with the writing, since I do that late at night—sitting in front of my Dell 30 inch monitor, hooked to my Mac Air notebook computer, with music playing in the background.
Have a great week and weekend!
#fiction #reviews #TheBalance #ThePurge #IAM
The Amazon Sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 50 copies of the Bosworth Kindle Edition ends May 22
AMAZON is running a giveaway sweepstakes for a chance to win one of 50 copies of the kindle edition I am making available.
For details, click on this link:
Bosworth is a Coming of Age Paranormal Drama written for a young adult and older audience. The story is set in the fictional town of Bosworth in Orange County NY.
Jim and his imaginary friend, Bo the dog, have recently moved to Bosworth after his father was killed in an automobile accident. He’s still recovering from his own injuries and dealing with the psychological issues that plagued him as a young child. He soon learns that the town has a history of having children disappear, usually in the fall, and he has to struggle with a sense of isolation in the town while he deals with the loss of his father, and the town’s terror of the “Bosworth Monster”.
The contest will run from May 5 to May 22 and AMAZON will choose the winners from among the entrants when the sweepstakes is over.