Hi there. Today I would like to welcome back Julie Grasso. I recently interviewed her after the release of her first book.
She has just released her sequel Return To Cardamom, and I am delighted to close off her blog tour today. Hop on over to the other stops to check out the buzz for her exciting Middle Grade Science Fiction books.
Thank you, Cheryl, for the opportunity to share with your readers today.
To explain the title of this post, this is in fact part two. I have posted about my pathway towards Indie publishing on a fellow Aussie’s blog a few months ago so for anyone interested in that process. http://wp.me/p1WPf3-v8
However, Today I am going to focus on after I pushed that all intimidating “Publish” button on CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing.
If you can imagine the Law and Order classic one note introduction and that deep male voice over.
Escape From The Forbidden Planet was released on Kindle and Paperback. This article is about the independent publishing experience of Julie Anne Grasso, here is her story. http://amzn.com/B009FXC42A
NB: At this point I didn’t actually know what an ARC was and a blog tour sounded side some weird form of marching slime lol.
Week 1: Amazon Ranking #96,203 Paperback, #899,388 Kindle,
Nothing, nada, zip, not even my parents rushed out to purchase.
All is not lost, I have a few things up my sleeve yet.
1. I started a Facebook page
2. I launched a simple website
3. I joined the Goodreads Author Program
4. I sent review requests to about 40 bloggers that I had narrowed down to taking middle grade and independent books
Fast Forward weeks 4-10: Amazon ranking unchanged, still in the stratosphere, but I had some reviewers agree to take the book. Still, that takes time and apart from well meaning family and friends, my sales were
MEDIOCRE or shall I rephrase that to non-existent lol.
Buckets of tears… Why did I think I could do this on my own…
I Read this great article by Jeff Bennington about free promotional days thewritingbomb.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/how-to-win-in-amazons-kdp-select-program.html?m=1
I decided to do 4 Things
- Drop my book to 99c
- Scheduled a 3 day Free Promo that just happened to be over Thanks Giving.
- Post my Free Promo on the Kidlit Blog hop on www.motherdaughterbookreviews.com
- Post the info on a few free sites (there are loads, so plan 2 weeks ahead)
Voila: Action stations
3.30 pm, I was #4 in the Free Store for 9-12 free chapter books. My book was being listed alongside Jeff Kinney’s Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, and Rick Riordan’s Mark of the Athena.
How you ask? Because Amazon posts the top Paid and top Free books alongside each other.
The result: EXPOSURE
Over the next few weeks, I managed to rank#1,937 in the Paid Kindle Store, but even better even than that, I began to rank in my Genre. #48 in Children’s ebooks, Science Fiction. #55 in Children’s ebooks, Ages 9-12
I even hit Number One for a few hours a couple of nights.
I also started getting some much sought after reviews, but how does giving away your book work you ask? Well, when I released book 1, Amazon treated free books like sales, and therefore your book was recommended exponentially.
But that’s not the end of the story obviously.
I have just released book 2, and there are definitely a few things that I have done differently this time round.
- I had my book edited again, but I also had it proof read by 7 separate people. You would be amazed at what one person picked up but another didn’t.
- I had Jo Harrison from http://www.writersblockadminservices.co.uk/ format my book for Createspace and Kindle. She was excellent and it only cost me around $170 AU, well worth spending the money.
- I did a cover reveal and $50 Amazon card giveaway to coincide with Book week and the Kid Lit Blog Hop Giveaway. I set adding my book to a person’s Goodreads bookshelf the highest entry value.
- I offered ARC’s to bloggers and Goodreads friends who had actually posted a review for book 1 and let them know a possible blog tour may be happening.
- I made the ARC’s available 9 weeks prior to release, which is not a straight forward process when you are self publishing using Createspace and Kindle Direct publishing. How did I do it?
- After I uploaded a formatted file to KDP, it gives you the option to download a MOBI and a PDF as a previewer. I used this as my ARC for people who were happy for a digital copy ( thanks to Steve Lothian for that tip)
- For Createspace I found that once the file was uploaded, you are only able to order 5 copies at a time and to one shipping destination. As some people prefer paperback so I had to go through proof review process so that I could order a new proof each time and ship it directly to the reviewer. NB as I am in Australia, it is much cheaper for me to ship directly from Createspace then to get proof’s shipped to me and then reship them.
- I planned a Goodreads Giveaway of 5 ARC’s to run 1 month prior to my release. This had an added benefit of when people enter, they can also add my book to their goodreads bookshelf. The catch is that Goodreads will only let you offer paperbacks for giveaways, so I had to have the 5 ARC’s shipped to me first, then on to the winners. A costly but worthwhile expense due to the exposure it gained me.
- I planned a Blog tour with the most super awesome, wonderful, innovative, blogger who’s specific reach and readers are Middle Grade. www.motherdaughterbookreviews.com
- The lovely and super awesome Carolyn developed some great student pages to accompany my books.
Amazon is seems has now changed the way they do things. Indie writers are reporting that Free book days are no longer effective, and I have to say, I agree. Goliath seems to have won this round but done worry, the David’s of the book industry, ( indie’s like myself will soldier on).
And here we are at the close of the blog tour.
Huge thanks all the bloggers and friends that got on board and supported me by reviewing and interviewing me over the tour. Special thanks to Sue, Steve, Jemima, Christine, Erik and Cheryl and Carolyn for encouraging me, sharing your wisdom and support. You are truly wonderful souls.
To Renee for your unfailing optimism, savvy blogging skills and all round fantastic chick. To my sisters, Linda and Dawn for endless support and to Danny and Gigi, the light of my dreary old life.