Tag Archives: If Tears Were Wishes

Another successful giveaway: “Dragon Time” now #2 in historical fantasy!

Not only is Dragon Time and Other Stories #2 in historical fantasy, it is also #9 in fantasy overall in the Free Kindle Store, which I’m even happier about:

Dragon Time #9

The success of Dragon Time, however, is food for thought in the marketing department. When If Tears Were Wishes went free, I referred to my post “Promoting Ebooks with KDP Select” and did pretty much everything I recommend there. When Dragon Time went free yesterday, I announced it in a couple of places, but then we took advantage of the amazing weather, went out and bought tomato plants, and planted them in our garden. After all the garden work, naturally a visit to the beer garden was in order. So I did very little promotion compared to If Tears Were Wishes.

And when I checked today, I had already given away over ten times as many copies of Dragon Time as I did of Wishes in two whole days.

I think there are several things things responsible for this. For one, Wishes only has two reviews, one three-star and one four-star, making its average under four stars. Dragon Time only has three reviews, but one of those is a five star review.

But I suspect that the big difference is that Dragon Time was featured in Ereader News Today. Every time one of my ebook promos really took off (by that I mean thousands of giveaways), the book was featured either in Ereader News Today or Pixel of Ink, apparently the two main sources for people looking for free ereads.

What does that mean for my marketing efforts? I fear it means I have to rely more on luck — whether I get mentioned by any of the big ebook recommendation sites. So sending announcements ahead of time seems to be the most important aspect of freebie promotion. I will of course still announce the books while they’re free, but I’ll scale back how much time I spend on it. The other thing I’m going to do (when I have time) is unpublish the Wishes collection and make new collections with those stories. They were originally published in much better paying markets than the stories in Dragon Time and got much better press, so it’s quite an interesting phenomenon. They deserve another chance. 🙂

I you don’t have Dragon Time yet, please get yourself a copy! And pass the word along. Maybe it can still nab a #1 slot. *g*

A visit, a castle, a review, an Italian greeting, and more freebies

After a relatively spontaneous visit to Stuttgart (a long weekend added to a business trip), my brother left early this morning for Frankfurt, then Heathrow (good luck), then Seattle. We had a wonderful time, and he is now the first of my immediate family to meet my granddaughter Mira — one of the disadvantages of relocating to another continent. But the girls really liked him: Lisa was quite disappointed that he was already gone when they came by today for my birthday dinner, and Mira hopped around on the bed that they use when they spend the night and said, “David schläft hier.” (David sleeps here.)

But I promised to share some pics of our trip to Hohenzollern Castle, so here goes:

On our way back from Hohenzollern, we also visited TĂĽbingen. Here’s the standard postcard shot:


It was a great, whirlwind visit, but needless to say, writing goals were largely on hold for the duration. I only made it through a couple more chapters on the manuscript of Shadow of Stone that I got back from my editor, but I wasn’t expecting much more, so I’m not disappointed. One must make time for family, especially if you only see them once a year — or less.

But I had a nice surprise in the writing realm today, a new review of my collection Never Ever After:

Do you remember being read fairy tales when you were a child? The monsters were always defeated, the beautiful lady was always rescued by Prince Charming, and everyone lived happily ever after. Or did they? What happened after the end of the stories that we read? Did everyone really live happily ever after?

… These stories were a joy to read. The novella is short, so it only took a few hours to read through them. If you are a fan of fairy tales, you would love these stories written from a unique perspective.

Another lovely surprise for the day was the birthday greeting from the Italian reviewer of Yseult, Valentina Coluccelli: “Auguri di cuore a una delle mie autrici preferite! Un abbraccio.” Babelfish translated it thus: “Auguries of heart to one of my preferred authors! An embrace.” Valentina corrected the translation to make it a bit more colloquial: “Greetings from the heart to one of my favorite authors! A hug” *g*

In the middle of all of this, I have another couple of freebies going on, to use up free days: If Tears Were Wishes And Other Stories is free today and tomorrow, May 9-10. Tomorrow, May 10, my collection Dragon Time And Other Stories goes free for two days (May 10-11). If you feel so inclined, please pass the word along! This will be the last chance to get If Tears Were Wishes free, since I’m taking it out of KDP Select next week.

I still have the guest lecture to put together, but I’m hoping that in the next few days I can get back to fiction writing again on a regular basis.

If nothing else, life is a challenge, and that keeps it interesting, right? 🙂

Leap Year Promotion: Yseult free for 24 hours, Feb. 29!

It’s starting to look like I’m addicted to these free promotions, doesn’t it? The truth of the matter is, they’ve been very good for my sales. With the exception of my story collection If Tears Were Wishes, everything I’ve offered for free with KDP Select has come out of the free promotion with a dramatic increase in sales. Five days after the free promotion for Dragon Time it is still in a couple of top 100 lists:

#35 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies
#91 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Historical

So anyway, if you didn’t get a copy of Yseult during the introductory promotion, here’s your chance to get it now. And please pass the word along! The more people who download and the better rankings it gets, the better it will be for sales when it goes back to paid.

Now, if I can only learn how to create sustained sales without going through this promotion gig every week or two. It’s a lot of work.

That isn’t all I’ve been doing, though. Over on the Codex Writing Workshop, they had a “subber” challenge, and I finally got some stories out into the cold cruel world again. Seven short story submissions in two days. And my “ready to send” list is still way to long. I have to do that more often, challenge or no challenge.

I also have only two more chapters left to go on this final editing pass of Shadow of Stone. I doubt if I’ll be finishing it tonight, though. I’m tired.

BTW, my story collections got some very nice reviews by Kriti Godey. She won a LibraryThing giveaway of Yseult and liked it so much she got all the stories I’ve put up for Kindle until now. Thanks again, Kriti! I guess this is what they call creating an audience base. It’s not an overnight thing; I have to give my target audience the chance to find me. But at least in the indie world I’m not going to get relegated to the remainder bin.

Got a #1 slot again!

Even though my “Dragon Time” collection is still reviewless on Amazon, it’s doing amazingly well during its freebie. The stats as I am writing this:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Historical

When I last checked the downloads, it was at over 1400. Behind Yseult and Never Ever After on the first day, but already more than double what If Tears Were Wishes got during the three days it was free (600 downloads). I can understand all the downloads for Yseult, 1) because it’s a novel and 2) it was listed on Pixel of Ink. But I find it hard to understand the differences in my short story collections, especially since I have been trying to follow very similar marketing strategies leading up to my freebies. If anything, “Dragon Time” had less pre-hype as a result of me running around between doctors on the day it went free because of an eye infection.

Well, as I keep saying, it’s all a learning experience. At some point, I will try to summarize my learning into one succinct and brilliant post (right).

In the meantime, I will do my best to share my odd epub experiences (and residual traditional publication experiences) with anyone interested. 🙂

Extending free promotion for another day

My short story collection If Tears Were Wishes is up to #10 now in contemporary fantasy:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
#10 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Contemporary

When I looked at the bestseller list though, I realized my poor little collection of borderline fantasy stories is in the vampire category. That means it’s competing against all these paranormal romances with strange creatures that are supposed to bite and don’t. I might need to consider recategorizing it.

It hasn’t broken into the top 100 Free yet, though, which both of my other freebies did by the second day. I’m suspecting that could have something to do with the fact that it doesn’t have any reviews. I don’t enlist my family to write reviews, and with Never Ever After I guess I just got really lucky that one of the first folks who bought the collection also wrote a review. For those trolling for freebies, it probably makes the book look a lot less serious it it hasn’t been reviewed. Yes, in the product description I quote some reviews of one of the stories when it was first professionally published, (in Asimov’s, no less) but that doesn’t give it any stars on Amazon. So it looks to me as if I have to move “write more book blogging sites” up on my list of priorities and see to it that I have at least one review for an ebook before I make it free. That’s going to be a challenge.

For the sake of experiment, I won’t cancel the free promotion I have scheduled for Dragon Time next week. It will interesting to see if my theory holds true.

In any case, I decided to extend the promo for “If Tears Are Wishes” for another day to try and give it a bit more momentum.

I got some tips not too long ago on getting reviews, but I would love more if anyone has some! I’m collecting a list of addresses and URLs, people and sites I need to contact, and I think that will be my next big project rather than putting together a new story collection. Must be practical here! 🙂