Tag Archives: book promotion

Help a robot girl out

Lisa Burton Radio exists to help authors promote their books to a new audience. This spot has worked well for over a year now, but we need guests to keep it going. Here is a little data about how it works, and some past posts to browse to see what you’re getting into.

Tell your friends, maybe one of them needs a place to post.

Drop me a line at coldhand (dot) boyack (at) gmail (dot) com. Let Lisa promote your books for you.

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Dear Lisa Vol. 2, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey, hipsters, Lisa Burton the robot girl here, and today we’re doing something fun. I don’t have a guest to interview, so we’re holding another episode of Dear Lisa. This is where I flip through some of the fan mail, and answer it on the air. Stick with me, it’ll be fun.

Our first letter comes from Long Island and wants to know what my first job was.

I try really hard to be just as human as everyone else, but admit that I’m a little different. I was created in a concept lab as both a promotional tool, and to demonstrate what the future of robotics could hold. Part of the bargain was to plant me into society and see how I adapt as a human. Some people are nervous nellies, and were terrified that I’d go all Skynet on them. That meant the police department was the only place they’d let me work. They were better equipped to watch over me, so to speak.

At the Hudson Police Department, I was assigned to the homicide squad. My absolute very first job was to make a Vice sweep. It’s kind of a hazing slash welcome to the department kind of thing. I caught some perps too. The night ended early when we got a call about a body someone found.

This next one is kind of sad, and I’m going to read it so you get the gist of it.

Dear Lisa,

Lately my boyfriend is always showing up late. He tells me football practice ran late, but I’ve got my doubts. I’ve also noticed him checking out my fellow cheerleaders when he comes to pick me up. I’m afraid if I confront him, he’ll leave me. He’s the most popular boy in school. I can’t lose him. What should I do?

Signed,

Heartbroken in High School

This is something I can really sink my teeth into, and there are a couple of ways to answer you. Since it’s my show, I’m going to do both. You can’t hack into his phone and computer, like I can. You can try taking a look at his phone when he’s at practice. You might find all kinds of evidence on social media, text messages, those kind of places. There are any number of small drones you can use to see what he’s up to when you’re out of sight too. That seems simple enough, but may not be the best option.

The second part of this answer is that you seem to need him to establish your own value. The only way you described him is how popular he is. You didn’t tell me anything about him except that he plays football and is popular. No mention of his cute smile, or how he makes you feel. You need to find a way to feel valuable without him. When you’ve done that, he might be an asset. Without your own feeling of self worth, you’ll never be stable in the relationship.

The last one for today is from Yukon, Canada. This person wants to know why Bunny is so important to me.

For new people, Bunny is my pet rabbit. He and I have a lot of similarities. He is a genetically modified organism, I have GMO human skin covering my chassis. My original experiment involved me being broken down into my component parts at the end to study for wear and tear. Bunny is a Kansas City Broiler, and he was going to be broken down into his component parts too.

I rescued Bunny and saved him from the butcher shop, and in doing so he inspired me to save myself. I found my own self worth, and decided not to be broken down at the end of my experiment. It was a struggle, and I suffered some real loss. Bunny and I got through it together, and we stay together through thick and thin.

That was fun, and we should do it again some time. In order to do it, I need your fan mail. You can drop me a comment here on the blog, Facebook me, or send me an email. I’ll hang onto the the questions for a future edition of Dear Lisa.

This broadcast is primarily for me to interview characters from the books you love to read. I’m in need of characters again too. I have a few questionnaires out in cyberspace somewhere, but nothing broadcast ready right now. Authors, send me your protagonists, your colorful supporting characters, even your antagonists. I’d love to help promote their books. Return visits aren’t just allowed, they’re encouraged.

If you aren’t an author, you can still send a question for me to answer. You can also tell someone about Lisa Burton Radio by using the sharing buttons below. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton. Have a great day.

***

Lisa can be reached at coldhand (dot) boyack (at) gmail (dot) com, on Facebook, or in the comments.

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That was unexpected

Old What's Her Face* decided to go to Nevada this morning. She'll be visiting with her brother, and I'll get some time to do things.

My son is here, and I bought us a couple of DVDs to watch. I bought Captain America Civil War, and Warcraft. I'm off Monday too, so we have time to get to them. I'm almost certain to check into the MLB Championship Series sometime too. (Mostly the National League.)

Then, of course, there is Otto time. He demanded a rousing game of pumpkin ball fetch the minute I got home. It's hard not to comply, he's pretty cute.

Things kind of calmed down a bit on the promotion front. The sale for The Playground ran out. It's still available, but at the regular price now. The Paranormal Bar & Grill blog tour will run all by itself. I'll still check in every day, moreso when my book is in the spotlight, but it won't take much work.

I will set up an Amazon Giveaway for Will O' the Wisp in a couple of days. This means, according to Amazon's rules, I have to buy the five books I want to hand out. It's the only promotional tool I haven't used this month.

I have to work on one of my pages over at Story Empire, but I'm not going to dive right into it tonight. In similar fashion, I have one Lisa Burton Radio to work on but it may not post until December when the book drops. Scheduling the next Macabre Macaroni story won't take any time at all.

There isn't much I can do to promote my Experimental Notebooks. They are permanently priced at 99¢. These books contain quite a bit of Halloween reading. Not every story will qualify, but at 99¢ I don't think you can go wrong.

This is the link to my Amazon Page. It's the only link I have where both Experimental Notebooks are browseable.

So outside of pumpkin ball fetch, setting up the giveaway, and watching some movies – what will I do?

I may find time to visit the writing cabin, but I've sworn off my novel until November. If I manage to write something it will be short fiction. I also have a book to finish reading.

May sound boring to some of you, but it sounds great to me.

* Entertaining Stories, protecting my family's identity since 2013.

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Forward Momentum and Planning

I walked into the front office at the writing cabin and spread the artwork across Lisa’s desk. “What do you think?”

image

“Ooh, I like it,” Lisa said. “It has some similarities to the first Notebook, but it stands out as its own book too. What’s your plan now?”

“I’m out with beta readers right now. I already got one full read, and some great catches. One of them involved names, and you missed it too.”

“My spellchecker must have seen it as a real name.”

“It is, so I changed the name completely to make it simpler.”

“When the betas are finished will you publish it then?

“Not quite. While they’re working, we have some stuff to do ourselves. You need some promotional artwork.” I spread a list of story titles in front of her.

Lisa sifted through the titles, and pointed. “This one, for sure.”

“Last Flight of the Rocket-Men? I figured that would catch your eye. You love the rocket-pack. Do you suppose it should be Rocket-Men, or Rocketmen?”

“You could ask your blog friends.”

“Good idea, we need one more. Make a star next to that one.”

“A star, really? I’ll make an electronic list and use a cute emoji. It’s the twenty-first century, you know.”

“Fine.”

“I’m not feeling some of these. There isn’t much chance for me to be fun in a poster.”

“How about Jason Fogg? It could be like a romance cover with you in the shower, and fog swirling all around. He could be kind of visible, but kind of not at the same time.”

“Veto.”

“What do you mean, veto? I’m the boss.”

“I’m not doing it.”

“I would never let you be completely nude. You know that right. Most of those book covers show a shoulder or something.”

“It isn’t that. I’m not shy or anything.”

“Okay, so why not?”

Lisa Burton

“Jason Fogg creeps me the hell out, that’s why.”

“Is it his addiction?”

“If you want to call it that.”

“He’s trying really hard to get over it.”

“I don’t think I’ll ever have confidence in him. What else do you have?”

“Not all of these will work, but that’s always the case. Parade Wave, Magpies, Practical Geology. I’m not feeling it.”

“What about Fever, or Career Move? Or Angel, I would make a great angel. I still have my Victoria’s Secret wings.”

“That’s a good reason why not. Everyone’s seen the wings already. Questing might be a good one too. Maybe you could be like a scream queen prisoner.

“That could be kind of fun. We could have done Night Bump Radio, but I borrowed the idea already.”

“I need to think about it some more. Meanwhile; why don’t you get Sean Harrington on the line and see if he has a few ideas.”

“I’m on it.”

***

Okay, so I have cover art, and it looks pretty darned good. I need to get Lisa situated, but we’ll figure something out. Question for you authors out there, do you prefer Rocket-Men, or Rocketmen?

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Friday night from my easy chair

The Amazon giveaway for Will O' the Wisp ended in one day. I gave away all three copies of the book, and hope the winners enjoy it. Actually, I hope they're moved to post nice reviews. If I'm really fortunate, they'll browse my other wares too.

I mentioned there would be some re-blogging around here this week. It's the least I can do to support my hosts. They loaned me their space, and I hope they get some visitors out of the deal. I'm still surfing back through and participating in the comments.

Commenters are intrigued by The Playground, and that's awesome. I understand that not everyone will buy a copy while it's on pre-sale, but many added it to their reading lists, and I'm grateful. Some of you added it on Goodreads too, and that really helps.

Some of you tweeted my guest posts like warriors, and I'm overwhelmed. I can see how it's done now, and will step up my game when you have something to promote. A ten minute tweet is already dead, but one per hour might actually get some readers.

I did some pushing on Facebook too, but that's been lukewarm at best. Part of it is because I'm new there. I need more friends, and that takes time.

The hottest post this week was Lisa Burton Radio. Spying with Lana grabbed the most views this bit has ever had. It's been my top post for three days in a row. This is looking like a good place to promote your books, and I think it will improve over time.

That's about it for this post. My writing has been all over WordPress this week, in the form of guest posts, and other things. A couple of excerpts from The Playground gathered some good attention, and the Lisa posts are always popular.

After all that writing, I'm kind of tired. I need to get back to new fiction, but it may be another week. Right now, I'll probably tour back through my host's sites and check for comments. Have a great weekend, and if you're offline for a few days, have a Happy Easter.

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Hey, remember me?

We've had a lot of visitors over here, and according to my stats, they tore it up. It looks like they're promoting some pretty outstanding books.

I'm worried that The Playground isn't ready yet. I hope I didn't miss the window of opportunity for releasing new books. Will that stop me? Not at all.

I started a new short story during the evenings this week, and need an expert. I'm looking for someone who knows a bit about broadcast radio. If it matters at all, it involves FM radio. I have a few troubleshooting questions I'd like to ask.

Anyone who can help will get some detailed insight into the story I'm working on.

Blogland is a big place, and I'm willing to bet one of you worked as a DJ or sound engineer at some point in your life. Drop me a comment or an email if you can help.

I'll probably work on The Yak Guy Project this weekend. My short fiction is a fill in project.

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Is it good? Is it bad? Possibly indifferent?

I've been hitting the promotion front pretty hard since September. It started off with Experimental Notebook. There were cover reveals, followed by advanced sales. Early reviews came next, then Lisa Burton toured around and discussed the book. A small bit of that is still going on.

Part of Notebook is a free sample of Will O' the Wisp. The hope was that leading into October, folks might be interested in that kind of story. Lisa made a stop on Friday, and has one more in early November to talk about this book.

Macabre Macaroni is part of the mix too. If someone likes one of those stories, maybe they will take a 99¢ chance on my Notebook.

There is more Macabre Macaroni coming, but I'm also trotting Will O' the Wisp out for another blog tour. You'll probably see a few reblogs around here to help my supportive hosts out.

I want to talk about Amazon advertising today. I decided to run a campaign for each book, but I chose different options in each case. This isn't a scientific comparison, because they are different books with a different price point. I still think there is some information to be gleaned.

In each case, I bid 19¢ for placement of my ad. Amazon awards the bid to the highest amount, but only charges enough to win the spot. Some of my ads were placed for 6¢. I'm only charged when someone clicks on my ad, not whenever it gets seen. Let's look at the chart.

The bottom campaign is an old test drive for Will O' the Wisp dating back to May. This campaign placed my ads on products that might be similar to my book. You can see that I spent 95¢ to show my cover to 28,000 people. Seventeen of them clicked on my ad, and I never sold a single book.

In my mind, this is a mediocre winner. I got a lot of exposure for 95¢. I wasn't convinced or defeated here. So I decided to do it again.

On October 4th I ran a very similar campaign. I am banking on the season to help me with this particular book. Right now I have 19,500 views, and 12 interested parties. Nobody has taken the bait yet, but I've only spent 94¢.

The top row is for The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack, and it started on October 6th. For this campaign, I chose genres instead of products.

I didn't know until after my first campaign what the difference might be. With products, you cannot be advertised on Kindles or the various apps. With genres that is where your book gets placed. What this means is if someone is shopping for a boxed set of the television show “Charmed” they might see the advertisement for Will O' the Wisp. The risk is they aren't shopping for a book, and might not be readers at all.

The Notebook campaign shows 2634 placements, 17 clicks, and one actual sale at 99¢. (Which I have to share with Amazon.) These ads were all placed with folks shopping for ebooks. I have no idea why I have more page views than clicks. I assumed there had to be a click before there was a page view. Maybe the person who bought the book went back and forth a few times??? You can see that my 35¢ royalty cost me $2.55.

Both current campaigns are performing better than my original one. I'm getting a ton of exposure, and I know my covers are great. The Notebook cover isn't as awesome at thumbnail size though.

I don't see these campaigns as losers. I'm spending a minuscule amount of money for a ton of exposure. It is possible that someone will return later and make a purchase too. They might see the cover for Wisp on the blog tour and go, “Oh yeah… I'm going to buy that.”

For those who haven't explored this program, you have to commit a specific amount of money. In my case $100. This serves as a fail safe to prevent dumping a million dollars on a campaign that goes crazy. The campaign ends at $100. There is also an ending date for the same reason.

It looks like the campaign that targets genre is performing a little bit better. Notebook is cheaper, but one sale doesn't sway the performance much.

I know I've spent $50 on several promotions that never netted a single sale. This doesn't look too bad by comparison.

Let me hear from you guys. Have you ever used this service? Are my numbers pretty typical, or do they suck? Would you ever use this service? Has this post piqued your interest in this service? Do you want to buy a book?

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What have you done to me WordPress?

I've been working on some promotional posts for the release of Will O' the Wisp. On my first blog tour it was suggested to cover various topics like character profiles, a writing lesson, and a couple of excerpts. That way each post is different to a degree. I made notes so I could repeat the process one day.

I started this blog in the fall of 2013. Back then an average post was somewhere around 2000 words. One fellow, who used to follow me, indicated that shorter posts were more popular. I took his loss, and the lesson to heart.

Today, most of my posts are closer to 500 words, and a few have been much smaller. So now I'm trying to prepare my promotional posts. This is my bully pulpit to whip up interest in Will O' the Wisp. I'm having a hard time writing anything much beyond 800 words.

The excerpts are easy. I chose one where the wisp first appears, and one that involves a coming of age scene for my character. 1000 or so words, no problem. The rest of them are a struggle. I have trained myself to be concise. Is that really the best thing for a promotional post?

I'm asking, because I don't really know. My history in placing advertisements says to get to the point. In this endeavor, it isn't so obvious. A headline that says, “Buy My Book,” kind of does that. It just isn't sexy.

So my question today is where is the line? Blog readers are often skimmers, and the first paragraph should contain the message. Some readers will want a bit more. I'd like to hear from the readers out there, and some of the veteran writers. Where is the line?

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Meet the Main Character Blog Tour

Ali Isaac passed the baton to me for this blog tour, and I’m pretty excited about it. She just released Conor Kelly and the Fenian King, and has been blog touring like mad. I read the first book in this series, Conor Kelly and the Four Treasures of Eirean, and thought it was wonderful.

She has a wonderful blog where she writes about the history of Ireland along with her writing adventures. It’s worth reading too, and is one of my favorite blogs: Ali’s Blog

She decided since I’ve just released Arson, it might be a good tour for me to participate in. I’m thrilled, and thanks Ali.

***

“Hi, Perry, and welcome back to the writing cabin. Have a seat and we’ll get started,” I said. “It looks like I have seven questions to ask you. The first one is, your name and are you fictional or historical?”

“Perry Wolfe. Arson is a science fiction story, so fictional, I guess.”

“So when and where is this story set?”

“It moves around a little. It starts out in the Pacific Northwest, but moves to a secure planet called Quantico II. The government owns it and all the cities are training facilities for different agencies. It was just too far from Earth to provide services without another base. I wind up living in Glynco II as an ATF cadet.”

“What should the readers know about you?”

“I’m one of those guys who lost everything. I was an elite space firefighter, called a space walker. One stupid accident, and I’m uninsurable.” Perry pulled the collar of his tee shirt aside and showed me the scar, about the size of a silver dollar. “I’m too young to spend my days watching GNN and talking about the good old days, so I applied for my sister’s old job with ATF.”

“You’re setting me up for the next one. What is the main conflict, or messes up your life?”

“You saw the scar. That’s an ebullism, there’s no pressure in space. If you get exposed to that, you can boil in your own gravy. Mine was a routine oxygen tank change. We practice this stuff, it just happened while I was in a zero G environment. My sister was murdered, and I applied for her job at ATF. I can’t fight fires, but maybe I could investigate them.”

“So you made a career change, based upon your accident?”

“Yeah, the insurance company didn’t even give me a physical or an interview. They just stamped me as uninsurable, and my fire fighting days were over.”

I leaned forward and asked, “So what’s your personal goal?”

Perry leaned back against his chair and smiled. “There’s nothing like being a fireman. I’d give anything to get back to that. I even thought about moving to a different country where the insurance laws weren’t so tight.” He pointed an accusing finger at me and said, “But you seemed to think I need something else. Like I was wrong for wanting to be a fireman. I even passed the Captain’s exam and everything. I knew I couldn’t do the physical stuff forever and I planned to move up.”

“Sometimes characters are wrong about what they need. What can I say? Okay there are two more questions about the working title and when the story might be published. I published Arson last weekend, so we get two freebies. Who should read this book?”

“Everyone.”

“Come on, Perry. Give a reasonable answer.”

“This is for lovers of science fiction adventure. I get to visit a couple different planets, examine some fires, and chase my sister’s killer too. That was a pain. Her case is an FBI case, and I’m an ATF cadet. So, adventure, science fiction, a mystery. It’s a wild ride.”

“It seems to me there was a bit of romance too.”

“Um, yeah. That caused it’s own problems. Maybe not a story for kids on that basis.”

“Okay, we get one more freebie. Hot dogs or hamburgers?”

“Yeah! I’m kind of a big guy, can I have one of each? And maybe something cold to wash it down?”

“We can do that.”

***

 It’s time for me to pass the baton. D. S. Nelson is another one of my blogging friends. Regular readers will remember when she read my tea leaves. She’s the author of the Blake Hetherington Mysteries. Make sure to visit her and learn about one of her characters.

Website
Blog
Twitter: @WriterDSNelson
Facebook

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Self Publishing Blues

I texted Lisa* at around 7:00 this morning. “Be there in about 30 min. I need you to download some old blues guitar riffs.”

“I’m on it, Boss. See you in 30.” She texted back.

After landing, I rummaged through the basement shelves and found the old story prop I wanted.

image

From an old story

I threw it over my shoulder and headed upstairs. Lisa had on a navy blue suit with a loosened narrow tie around her neck. Her hair was in a low pony tail underneath one of my old fedoras.

“Did I get it right?” She asked.

“Perfect.”

“So what are we up to today? Sounds interesting.”

“I’m feeling a little blue, and you’re going to help me work through it.” I handed her the guitar, and she plugged it directly into her own umbilical cord.

“We need an amplifier,” she said.

“I had the amp down there somewhere. Be right back.”

“Three shelfs to the left of the door, two down the aisle, and it’s on the left,” she said.

I held a thumbs up and said, “Wires?”

“No, I got bored one week and rewired a bunch of stuff down there. I can use it wireless, you just have to plug it in.”

We set up in my main office, and were off to the races.

“Sales of Wild Concept have been dismal.”

🎶 Ba na na Nah 🎶

“I didn’t expect any better”

🎶 Ba na nah na NAH 🎶

“As a first time author, there’s no reason for trust”

🎶 Ba na nah NAH 🎶

“But it’s a really fun story, and you ought to read it”

🎼🎶🎶🎶🎸

I moved my hand across my throat, and said, “Stop, stop.” Lisa was off to the races.

“No really, Lisa stop.”

“Why? Do you want to try it again?” She asked.

“I really didn’t think this through. I’m not a song writer–

“But you could be. I’m having fun.”

“Okay, let me finish this blog post the old fashioned way, then we’ll get our blues on.”

***

I’m not depressed over the sales of Wild Concept. I expected some minor activity, and that’s what I got so far. I’ve been invited to a blog interview, and I’m pretty excited about that. If someone likes my blog because of it, that’s great. If someone downloads Wild Concept because of my interview, that’s awesome. I’ll post about that as I get more information.

I didn’t send copies around for reviews, and haven’t done much more than write about it here. It’s out there now, and forever is a long time. I have a total of four old works I’m going to make available, and this will draw even more interest. I’ll play the discount game as I put new stories on Amazon. Of course, I’m going to write more too.

Lisa is the main character in the story, and my faithful followers have all met her. We’d appreciate it if a few more people would read the story, and a favorable review would be the icing on our cake.

Lisa said, “Yeah baby. Lisa needs a new pair of stilettos. They’re on Amazon too, and they’re so cute, they have–

“Stop. What are you doing? We’re blogging here.”

“Sorry.”

In closing, the book is called Wild Concept. The blue letters are a hot link, for your convenience. There’s also an image of the cover on my sidebar, and it’s a link too. This old blog post is a breakdown of what readers can expect.

Lisa asked, “Are you finished?”

“Yeah,” I said.

“Do you want to write out the Self Publishing Blues?”

“No. How about a little Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo?”

“Which version, Derringerr or Winter?”

I said, “Johnny Winter, of course.”

* Lisa is the main character in Wild Concept. She’s a robot and works at the writing cabin as my assistant these days.

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