Tag Archives: Gawain and Ragnell

E-book promotions: Countdown – meh. Permafree – yay! (kinda)

Way back in the beginning of November, I wrote about the new Kindle Countdown Deals that Amazon had come up with to try to make KDP Select more attractive to writers again. I signed up for a promotion with my collection of short stories, Dragon Time, and promised to write about the results after it was over.

Well, Nanowrimo happened, and then Christmas happened, and now we have 2014, and I still haven’t posted about my results.

There’s one good thing as a result of that, however, and that is that I have some data now to compare, since my Arthurian short story, Gawain and Ragnell, went free at almost the same time that Dragon Time was available as a Countdown Deal.

My experience of the Countdown Deal is that it’s worth next to nothing unless you have some big promotion going on to push it. This, of course, is true for a limited-time free promotion as well, and the Countdown Deal has the advantage that you are sill making money on your book, AND at better royalty rates. So if you want to shell out the big bucks for an ad with BookBub or one of the few other places that are still effective for moving books, you could earn back the expense for the ad much quicker with a Countdown Deal. If you sell next to no books on the other platforms, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, etc., and you’re willing to push the promo with paid advertising, the Countdown Deal might be an argument to return to Select. But I suspect only under those circumstances. Free promos aren’t worth much any more either these days.

For Dragon Time, I only announced the promo here and on my Facebook page, and tweeted it a couple of times. I sold one copy of the story collection.

At the time the Countdown Deal started and Gawain and Ragnell went permafree, the sales of my ebooks had come to a complete standstill. I hadn’t done any promotion for my books since May 2013, and every month thereafter my sales dropped more. The first week in November, I’d sold two books total across all my titles. And it ended up being my single worst month ever for ebook sales. (It didn’t help that some apparent “fan” went through my books, buying them and then returning them three days later. When you’re selling so few books, that kind of behavior becomes pretty obvious.)

But once Gawain and Ragnell was finally price-matched to free, an interesting thing started happening. The first few days, it didn’t have that many downloads. I did exactly the same promotion for it that I did for the Countdown Deal for Dragon Time, announced it here, on Facebook, and on Twitter. At first it looked to me like permafree was going to be the same washout as the Countdown Deal. But then somehow it started gaining traction, and by the end of the month, 342 people had downloaded the story. In December, it was a lot less, but still another 171. And that’s enough to keep Gawain and Ragnell in a couple of top 100 lists. Here’s where it is right now:

Download it! It's free!

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,686 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)

#11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Arthurian
#28 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Myths & Legends
#48 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Historical

This is what’s so good about permafree — it gets one of your books where people can see it. And the downloads are cumulative, so I don’t lose that ranking. Yes, this is a lot lower than the story was the end of November, but it is still in those crucial top 100 lists.

November ended up being my worst month for sales ever. But in December that trend actually turned around. And not only did I sell more books, I sold more of the 2.99+ books like Yseult (which is where the money is, with the 70% royalties) than the cheaper ones. This month so far, I’ve been selling about a book a day, all at 2.99+. That’s still not very much, I know, especially not after those amazing stretches I’ve had when I sold nearly ten books a day.

But right now I’m just glad the downward spiral has been reversed. 🙂 And I’m determined to get a few more permafree books out there, once I’ve caught up a bit on the big translation job.

So anyway: download Gawain and Ragnell! It’s free, and you’d be doing me a big favor! *g*

Related posts:

“Amazon trying to re-Kindle interest in KDP Select: The new ‘Countdown Deals'”

“Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select”

“Dragon Time” live as Countdown Deal, and “Gawain and Ragnell” finally free!

I posted yesterday about the new KDP Select “Countdown Deals” and my decision to give it a whirl with my YA short story collection, Dragon Time. It took a while, but the sale is now live:

Also, I am very happy to announce that today Amazon finally price-matched Gawain and Ragnell, and it is now permafree. Download! Tell your friends! Send links to everyone who enjoys Arthurian fiction! *g*

I want to thank everyone who tattled on me and helped to make this novelette free. Cross your fingers for me that it helps with sales of the other Pendragon Chronicles books. 🙂

Announcing Gawain and Ragnell — and a request

I have a “new” short story in the Pendragon Chronicles series now available as ebook, Gawain and Ragnell.

To be honest, it’s been up on Amazon for almost a month, but I’ve put off announcing it for a couple of reasons.

1) It isn’t actually all that new, since it’s an expanded version of an episode from Shadow of Stone.

2) It took a while for it to get expanded distribution on Smashwords, so that it would be free on iTunes and B&N. Then, when I finally noticed that it was available, it was like a week before the Villa Diodati workshop I talked about in my last post, and I was just too busy reading and critiquing the stories to spend much time on blog posts.

But now it’s available. And I have a request, or rather, a couple. Back in the day when I included the episode in Shadow of Stone, I didn’t yet know that I would be getting out of traditional publishing. But I was a bit frustrated that Yseult still hadn’t sold in the original English, only in German, Dutch, and Italian. So even then I was intending to market the Gawain episode separately — by offering it to short story markets — in the hopes that someone in my native language would become interested in the series.

That didn’t happen. Once I published Shadow of Stone myself, Gawain and Ragnell was no longer a candidate for short story markets, since it was previously published.

But it’s still a self-contained story. And I’m hoping that it will still work to draw attention to my other Arthurian books. I’ve read numerous discussions on the KBoards and elsewhere about how effective having something “permafree” can be to entice readers to check out a series by an author they’re unfamiliar with. When progress on the prequel Ygerna didn’t go as quickly a I would have liked, I finally remembered that I actually had another stand-alone story in the world of the Pendragon Chronicles, and it wouldn’t take nearly as long to whip into shape and make into an ebook. It had been workshopped, it had been edited, it just had to be expanded a bit, quotes added, and a cover made.

And now I come to the request. In order for Gawain and Ragnell to work as an advertisement for The Pendaragon Chronicles, it has to be free. And in order for it to be free on Amazon, they have to notice that it’s free in other stores that they take seriously (which apparently doesn’t include Smashwords and Kobo). So if anyone would be inclined to help me out and tattle on me, I would really appreciate it! Here’s the link to Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FIU136M/

On that page, click on the link “tell us about a lower price,” click “Website,” then enter one of the following links and the price “0.00.”

B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gawain-and-ragnell-ruth-nestvold/1117165424?ean=2940045328937

iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/au/book/gawain-and-ragnell/id717956793?mt=11

The other request I have is to take a look at my blurb and tell me what you think:

Gawain was not only Arthur’s champion, he was the champion of the ladies as well. He loved many women, but none too much — until one of his lovers told him she intended to marry another man.

Now, a year later, he is running away from his disappointment, traveling north to fight against a mysterious warrior who has taken the hill-fort of the lady Ragnell.

But there is a mystery to Ragnell too, the beauty with the ravaged face. And Gawain learns he must solve both mysteries, that of the warrior and that of the lady …

Publisher’s note: Gawain and Ragnell is an expanded version of an episode in Shadow of Stone, so readers who have read the second novel of the Pendargon Chronicles will already be familiar with the story. The ebook includes an excerpt from the first book in the series, Yseult.

Gawain and Ragnell is a short story of approximately 17,000 words, or 65 pages.

And, of course, download it for free, if you are so inclined. 🙂

Quarterly update and a cover reveal for Gawain and Ragnell

It’s that time of year again, taking stock on how well I’ve achieved my goals in the last couple of months for “A Round of Words in 80 Days.” For those who are unfamiliar with ROW80, you can check it out here.

First off, to get it out of the way, here are the goals I didn’t achieve:

– I did NOT manage to get 50,000 words written on A Wasted Land

– I did NOT do much more experimenting with posting to Wattpad and similar sites

– I only managed to do a few experimental fast writing sessions, not enough to significantly increase my average word count

So what did I achieve?

A Wasted Land is now at 19,000 words, which is almost 18,000 more than the beginning of the round.

– I had a wonderful vacation to Iceland and to visit family, during which I got next to no writing done. 🙂

– I got Chameleon in a Mirror off to some more beta readers, and I’m still hopeful I will be able to publish before Christmas.

– I’ve started brainstorming the sequels to Island of Glass, Facets of Glass and Shards of Glass. I’ve also been in touch with the cover artist for the first book and will hopefully soon be able to book slots for the second two.

– I started a new, long-term translation job (one of the reasons the writing progress has been slower than I hoped).

– I did Konrath’s 8 Hour Ebook Challenge, writing and publishing The Destruction of Ys in 8 hours. I got such great feedback on my little short short, that I unpublished this week. And no, that’s not a contradiction. It appears Ys might be worth a bit more work than 8 hours, so I intend to expand it and republish once I’m happy with it. 🙂

– I’m almost done with the stand-alone version of Gawain and Ragnell (taken from an episode in Shadow of Stone). I’ve also been working with my daughter on a cover for it:

Cover for Gawain and Ragnell

So what do you guys think?

Anyway, even if I’m behind on my goals, I’m still happy with what I did manage to get done. Hope everyone else had a successful quarter as well!