Tag Archives: Free Book

Assessing my promo

I’ve done an Amazon free day many times over the years. They used to work pretty well, then stopped being productive.

Back in the day, when Panama was a fairly new publication, I managed to hand out over 400 copies. After that, they seemed to taper off. Future attempts even had me paying for a bit of advertising and boosting posts on Facebook to help things along. Those netted me numbers around 40 – not 400.

I gave up on free days because of this. Any I held after that were more in support of something else I had going on. Meaning if I had a Halloween tour happening, I might have a free-day for The Playground, something along those lines.

I’ve been pretty “In your face” about my interview on Blog Talk Radio this week. I decided to set up my free days based upon my historic experience. Something to reward those who tuned in, maybe give away a dozen books. I never did a lick of promo other than a mention on this site.

I was kind of blown away by the result this time. I chose to have free days for Grinders, because I think it’s one of my best and deserved a bit more love. I also went with Serang. It’s a good story, and it’s also a stepping stone into The Lanternfish Trilogy. This idea stemmed from the idea that the final Lanternfish book will come out this year.

Now that it’s all over, I want to share the results with you. Maybe this is an anomaly, and maybe things have changed on the promo front. If you have deeper knowledge of this, I’d like to hear from you. Any readers might be interested in your comments, too.

The promo ran for three days. This was to take advantage of Fresh Ink Group’s advance promotion of the show, and to gather those who might have tuned-in the day after.

I managed to give away 1,646 books. Now that’s two titles combined, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. If I had sold that many it would cover the mortgage and Old What’s Her Face’s car payment this month.

The dream with freebies is that people will read them. I’ve found that comes to about 10% or even less. Even so, 165 readers can do nothing but help me. Of those I might net a dozen reviews. The other dream is that people enjoyed the stories and take a chance on additional titles.

Keep in mind that Amazon has a bestseller list for free titles. It probably doesn’t mean as much as the paid lists, but it always feels good to see your name on there. Serang peaked at #2 on two different lists.

Grinders actually hit number one for a while yesterday. Here’s the proof.

Okay, Urban Fiction is an odd place to put it. It hit #2 in cyberpunk. Still, we authors tend to work alone and haunt these sites looking for good news. Some days, even I get lucky.

You can still read them for free with Amazon Prime.

Rumor is, this kind of thing will spill over into sales. That remains to be seen. The giveaway ended a few hours ago, but I’ve already sold three copies of Grinders. (One of which immediately returned it for a refund.) I have no idea how to take that one.

Still, I’m happy. I failed to do anything productive yesterday and just allowed myself to enjoy it. I’m also motivated to keep going, and maybe one day I’ll see one of my titles take the top slot on the paid lists.

I’m a firm believer that the indie author group should share. I’ve shared results from almost everything I’ve done on the promo front. That includes some less successful pushes. Maybe someone out there can strike while the iron is hot. Maybe one of you holds some great secret you can share in the comments. We’d all like to know, and maybe we can all benefit.

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A busy day today

I just finished my interview on Voice of Indie. I had a great time, got to talk about my process and published work. We even talked about the two I recently finished that are coming soon. The show is over, but will be available in the archives at this link https://www.blogtalkradio.com/voiceofindie1/2021/07/22/voice-of-indie-episode-051

I set up two freebies to announce on the show. They promoted this in their newsletter, and the results were phenomenal. Check out these images.

Grinders peaked at #3 in its category. It’s still free for another 24 hours, so if you would like a copy take advantage of this promo. http://mybook.to/Grinders

Serang peaked at #2. Same rules apply. Free for one more day. http://mybook.to/Serang

Old What’s Her Face and I went to Zoo Boise this morning. I wanted to do this as soon as they announced their new Stellar’s Sea Eagles. This is because I designed the Omcrom from HMS Lanternfish from them. Covid took care of that for me, but today I visited them after the fact.

Sea Eagle

These guys are huge. They were a bit snotty and stayed where I couldn’t really see them until their misters turned on. This guy hopped right down to enjoy his shower and gave me this image. They are bigger than our bald eagles or even the golden eagles around here. Very impressive.

Lisa with the Omcrom

I also saw several varieties of hornbill. Their cages aren’t the best for photography, but I took some anyway. I used these guys to design the anvil bird from Lanternfish. I added the ability to speak and a bit more color, but this is the root creature.

Lisa with the anvil bird

We saw all kinds of things, but they were as hit by the heat as we were. Most were shaded up and sleeping. The red pandas were out, but we mostly saw a bushy tail hanging from their nest.

I got to see the gibbons which also excited me.

The blond one hung out on the ground and took advantage of the shade. This one was accommodating. I have something in mind for a gibbon in a future story.

It involves a comic book character called Special Agent Golden Gibbon. In my story, a couple of my characters are impressed with this fictional character in their world. One will be inspired to take some risky actions based upon what Golden Gibbon would have done.

This is me being weird again. My fictional story has a fictional creation inside it. I might even write some outtakes from the comic into the story once I start drafting it. How many layers of fiction is that???

We had a great time, and even picked up gyros on the way home. After all that heat, I took a short nap, then it was time for the radio show. It wound up being a great day.

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Something fun, with prizes #IARTG

Tonight, at 8:00 East Coast time, I’m going interviewed by Fresh Ink Group. People can call in to ask questions, and I have no idea what direction this might go. Depends upon the questions, I suppose.

My instructions are to call in at 5:45 for some sound checks and signal strength tests. (5:45 Idaho time.)

To keep this fun, I scheduled a couple of freebies to announce on the show. I’m not doing a big push for these books, but as a reward to those who tune in.

Beem and Stephen have had some pretty good success with these shows, and I’m excited they thought of me.

Here is the link: https://www.blogtalkradio.com/voiceofindie1/2021/07/22/voice-of-indie-episode-051

If you miss the show, it will be in the archives, but the free days might be over when you get there. There are some great shows in those archives, so you might want to check them out.

Tune in. Judge me by the sound of my voice. Pull my finger. Whatever suits your fancy. I’ll be there and hope you will, too.

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Gentle reminder #freebook

My book tour will continue this week. I don’t have anyone for today. I’m just going to drop some cover art and talk about my current promotion, because it’s for a limited time.

***

Blurb: The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.

Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.

HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.

***

That’s the new book and you can get it for 99¢ for a limited time.

I won’t expect you to jump into the middle of a trilogy if you haven’t already read the first book. Amazon came through on my free days. Therefore, you can also get Voyage of the Lanternfish for free, but only this week.

HMS Lanternfish: 99¢ for a limited time.

Voyage of the Lanternfish: Free until Friday.

I’m going to mention that Serang is also part of this world. It is a stand-alone title and is based upon one of the more intriguing characters in the series. Her book isn’t on sale, but if this week plays out well, I could do something with it later this month to keep the momentum going. Here’s a link for her book.

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Success, despite the timing

Amazon finally came through, but I’d like to have had a few more hours to work on this project. HMS Lanternfish is now a book for sale.

It’s priced at 99¢ for right now, and I’ll raise it after my blog tour ends. I sent one post out already, but it probably won’t go up until Tuesday.

I also did five free days for Voyage of the Lanternfish. I kind of wanted day one to be announced at my first tour stop, but we can’t have everything. It should go live tomorrow.

The Lanternfish crew completed their original mission, but got exposed to a more global problem. An entire continent is at war, headed up by a head-strong young king with dreams of power, and pushed from behind by a mysterious religious order known as the Fulminites.

Rather than let their country fall under the iron boot of conquest, James and his crew set sail once more to see what kind of muscle Lanternfish can lend to the war effort. Acting precariously under an unofficial charter as a privateer, even his allies aren’t always his friends.

HMS Lanternfish explores new worlds on its way to war, and drifts considerably off course. It features an international crew of characters, and for fans of the first book, the root monsters are back, too. Tall ships, a few con games, martial arts, and everything you loved about the original book is all returning.

Hoist the colors and wheel out the guns. Lanternfish is taking to the high seas once more.

You can check out HMS Lanternfish by clicking the image in my sidebar, or right here: http://mybook.to/HMSLanternfish

Voyage of the Lanternfish will probably be free starting tomorrow. It depends upon which timezone you’re in, and Amazon doesn’t allow all countries to participate. If you can take advantage, this is the link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

I’m off to work on other things like BookBub and Goodreads. If time allows, I’ll try to get some more tour posts in the pipeline tonight.

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Today is the day

I warned you about it on Friday, and the day is finally here. You can grab your copy of The Yak Guy Project for free today. To quote pop culture, “Free, free, free, free.”

This is my attempt to ease your isolation by offering something fun to read. I suppose you could grab a copy to read this Fall, too, if you want. Anyway, here is a cover and blurb, plus a purchase link.

Imagine waking up in the desert with no idea what happened to you. You have clear memories of situations and places, but a complete loss in personal matters… like your own name. This situation is bad, and you have no idea how to get home.

When you’re rescued by a talking yak, the situation gets exponentially worse. You’ve obviously lost your mind. The immediate needs of a ride off the salt pan and searing heat, along with a drink of water, outweigh the concerns about your mental state.

This is exactly what happened to the Yak Guy. In fact he’s been placed in an alternate world and given a chance to start over in life.

Can this selfish, almost parasitic, young man learn to start over in a world where charity is hard to find? Life is brutal and short here, but he’s going to have to adapt or perish.

The Yak Guy project is loosely based around The Fool’s Journey from the Tarot. Those with experience in Tarot will spot people and situations from the Major Arcana.

I linked the cover, but this is also a purchase link: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07D1QY9Y7

Feel free to share this post by using the buttons below. Maybe one of your friends would like a copy.

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Time for a Freeby

Everyone is self isolating, if not outright quarantined right now. It get’s boring, even for those of us who can work from home.

Add into that, a whole bunch of people who lost their jobs and are trying to file for unemployment right now, and we could all use a break.

Reading is a good way to spend a few hours, and all authors would love to have you check out their wares. I don’t want anyone to accuse me of taking advantage, so I’m going to do a free promotion. Even folks who lost their jobs can take advantage of a freeby.

Don’t freak out on me just yet, because I set it up to run on Monday. This post is just so you can line up ahead of time, while practicing your social distancing skills. I’ll run out another post when it goes live.

I try to have a method to my madness. Yak Guy is an older title these days, and I never thought it got as much love as it could have. The reviews are all positive, but there just aren’t enough of them. Hopefully, you follow my logic. I’m not linking the cover, because the freeby trots out on Monday.

This is the one where I based the characters off the Fool’s Journey from the Tarot Deck. Yak Guy is The Fool who goes on the journey. He meets other Major Arcana characters along the way. Obviously, I had to weave in a few others, but it made for a fun way to tell a story. I was kind of proud of my Wheel of Fortune. (It’s an entire city with multiple choices of roads leading out.)

For today, you might want to give your yak an extra ration of oats, maybe use some saddle soap on your rigging. The journey begins Monday.

Lisa says he likes carrots, too.

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Entertainment weekend

Old What’s Her Face and I went to the new Star Wars movie yesterday. It’s too early in the game to include spoilers, so I won’t break it down. Suffice it to say we had a great time, and enjoyed the story.

It went places I never expected, had a bit of a plot foible, along with one that involves gravity and atmosphere in space. Nothing unusual for commercial science-fantasy. It also didn’t include some of what I wanted to see. (Rose Tico) I’m fine with that, because I didn’t write it. I was there to be entertained, and I was. It was hard to avoid all the fanboy stuff ahead of time, so I knew a few things before I walked in.

I feel for Disney in a way. They have to take a gigantic franchise, and if it’s to continue, live with what’s come before. They have to dispose of the original characters before they can get people invested in new ones. I think they did a reasonable job of this, and don’t envy them their task. I enjoyed the film, and will watch it again when it comes to cable or Disney+ eventually.

We also checked out The Witcher on Netflix. Everyone is touting this as the new Game of Thrones — it isn’t. It isn’t bad, but it’s no GOT either. We watched a few episodes last night, and the plot still isn’t firmly established. It looks like there are three characters we’re supposed to be following, but we don’t have any kind of goal established.

It’s pretty cool visually, and the action scenes are outstanding. The timeline is maddening, because the last one we watched involved a bunch of people who were killed in the first episode now suddenly back to life. That’s only in the Witcher’s timeline, the other two characters appeared to be in the current timeline. I don’t get it, and whatever they were trying to get across isn’t explained well enough.

We’re going to keep watching it, and I suppose that places it in the plus column. The Superman dude still can’t act, but he may have found a part that doesn’t require too much of him. Gerralt, the Witcher, mostly grunts, nods, and fights. Might work for one season.

In other news, the free days for The Playground are down to free hours. With your sharing, I moved a ton of copies. Maybe it will bring some new eyes to my work. If you didn’t get a copy, and still want one, chop-chop. Here is the link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01D6EF6RI

We made it into single digits at one point. I think that’s pretty fantastic, and might consider another free push in the future. Now that I’m writing series, I can see some merit in doing a push for the first volume after a few more exist.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend. Mine appears to be all about cinematic drama, so there is no writing going on. If I’m feeling ambitious, I have some critiques I can address to make sure Lanternfish stays on course.

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Looking toward the weekend

I doubt I’m going to do any writing between now and the new year. It could happen, but it’s not high on my list. We have tickets to the new Star Wars movie tomorrow, and that’s my focus now.

We’ll probably catch up on The Mandalorian sometime, too. While we’re there, I have a hunch some other old films are on my agenda.

The free days for The Playground run through the weekend. I know there’s no money in this, but it could bring some new eyes to my work. The fact that some of the characters make a reappearance in Viral Blues could push a few folks that direction. The results were positive yesterday. Check out this horrible screen capture I took last night.

Honestly, “Occult Horror” might not be the best descriptor for this story, but number 12 is still pretty cool. “Paranormal Suspense” is probably a better descriptor, and 33 isn’t bad at all. You can grab your free copy through Sunday (December 22, 2019) at this link http://a-fwd.com/asin=B01D6EF6RI

The hottest new toys of the Christmas season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power.

To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home?

Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software.

There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start.

The Playground is suitable for mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and May the Force be with you.

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How about some free days?

Once upon a time, I wrote this book called The Enhanced League. It’s my take on a baseball league where performance enhancing drugs are not banned. It’s a little bit science fiction, and a bit human drama.

I wrote it as a collection of short stories and micros. My personal growth plan was to have these stories all set in the same environment, and to tell an overarching story from cover to cover.

It seems like I’m always trying something new, and this book has a few pieces that I called Anthems. These are short bits in second person point of view. They were well received by the reviewers, so I wrote a new one for this post. (Personal theory: second person is best in small segments.)

I thought it deserved a bit of music, and video clips seem to be the simple way to add that in WordPress. This may be my favorite movie scene of all time.

Spring is in the Air

It’s been a long winter. The series ended in spectacular fashion, but that was back in November. Sure, you tried to get into football, maybe checked out the Winter Olympics, but it wasn’t the same.

You listened to the Hot Stove reports on the radio. There were some good free agents this year, and you earmarked a couple for your team. You knew they were long shots, but like all baseball fans, you live on hope and faith.

This year was different. Teams refused to pony up those ridiculous contracts like in the past. Guess they finally figured out super-stars aren’t so super, seven years into a contract for mega-millions.

Passive fans always want the team to spend money and buy all the free agents, but you know better. This is because the business side is every bit as interesting as the game on the field. There’s only so much money, and you have to keep an eye on the future. It’s hard to extend the contract of your ace pitcher next year when you spent it all on some hotshot this year.

When it all shook out, your team settled for an import pitcher from Japan, and a few minor league guys that might come up late this year. For the most part, you’re fielding the same team.

That isn’t bad in some ways. They made a run and got into the playoffs. They might have done better if it weren’t for the injuries. All you need is just a bit of luck and… we’re back to hope once more. Maybe those minor league guys can cover the spots if an injured player has to take some time off. There’s always hope.

You watched the trucks pulling in to the stadium. You imagined they delivered sports apparel and the newest bobble-head dolls of the popular players. It’s too early for hotdogs and other perishables. Still, it’s getting close.

The grass is green, not like it will be in May or June, but all the dead thatch is gone. You watched them testing the lights over the stadium, and Spring Training is underway five states away.

Kids always put a lot of faith in Spring games. You know they don’t mean a thing, and you’re just hoping to get through without somebody getting hurt. Players get their work in and get ready for the big show, that’s what it’s all about.

The radio guys are looking for stories, so they come up with things for you to worry about. So-and-so seems to have lost some velocity on his fastball, or such-and-such seems to be swinging and missing more. You know they’re trying things out in Spring Training, and working up to their full skill set. They’ll be ready, have a little faith.

Hope and faith, they fuel the baseball fan’s world. It’s almost time to take the field and welcome summer in the best way possible. Grab your cap, ice the beer, turn on the game, and let’s watch some baseball.

***

Those who read Enhanced League seemed to like it. It never seemed to get enough readers to make a splash. Now here we are at the end of Spring Training, and the beginning of the Major League Baseball season. What better time to trot it back out and do a small push.

Today through Saturday I’m holding free days for The Enhanced League. I’d appreciate it if you’d pick up a copy, maybe add it on Goodreads. In it’s debut, I had Lisa making the rounds. Here is the poster that came out the best from her promotional efforts.

Lisa Burton

I added it, because images draw attention, but also for some of you to use. I’m not going to spend a lot of money on a free promotion. If you want to reblog this one, I’d be grateful. Some of you may prefer to assemble your own post. You can clip the Anthem, cover, umpire Lisa, however much or little you want. And thanks for considering The Enhanced League.

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