BookBub – it’s Groupon for ebooks

27 January 2015

From The Guardian:

In 2010, the daily deals website Groupon launched a competition to find a person willing to live off nothing but their discount vouchers for a year – in return for $100,000 (£66,000) cash at the end of it. They weren’t short of entrants, and the winner, a 28-year-old unemployed accountant from Chicago named Josh Stevens, even made it over to the UK as part of his discount tour.

. . . .

Having requested recommendations [from BookBub for] the autobiography, history, non-, sci- and lit-fiction categories, the three to five recommendations that pop into my inbox every day have duly cleaved to the Groupon style: mostly self-published works, bios of the less authorised kind, and multi-book epics with interesting cover fonts. They’re definitely good deals, though, with most discounted to 99p, and plenty of free offers.

. . . .

BookBub’s own figures confirm these biases: the average subscriber reads seven books a month (and romance fans, who account for 20% of sales, read 11).

Link to the rest at The Guardian

Facebook Tips for Authors

26 January 2015

Facebook Offers Authors A Call To Action Button

24 January 2015

From author Donna Fasano:

Lately, Facebook hasn’t done much to enamor me as a user. However, they are offering authors a new feature on author fan pages that I think is fabulous and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about it. It’s a Call To Action (CTA) button. It’s easy to set up, easy for visitors to use, and a great thing about the button is that Facebook tracks how many CTA clicks your button receives.

. . . .

To find out how many CTA clicks your button has received, simply look on the right hand side of your author page (marked on the image below with red arrow #2).

As annoyed as I have been with Facebook recently, I have to give the company a standing ovation for this new feature.

Link to the rest at Author Donna Fasano, In All Directions

Here’s a link to Donna Fasano’s books

Ten Ways To Get Your Book “Review Ready”

23 January 2015

From Self-Publishing Review:

As the owner and editor of Self-Publishing Review, I deal with hundreds of self-published and indie books every year. People ask me, “How do I get a good review?” Apart from actually writing a good book (snort) there are a few other things you can do to make sure you get your readers to invest and feel they can sing your praises on Amazon, Goodreads or Barnes and Noble.

1. Get a professional edit for your manuscript. This is 101 stuff, but still I see authors saying they are doing it themselves, or have let it loose on a friend. This is never, ever enough. Editing and proofreading can be acquired for as little as $1 a page, and should be considered part of the publishing process, and not a luxury.

. . . .

4. Make sure your title matches your book content. There’s nothing worse than buying a book that you think is about one thing, that then turns out to be something else. If your title doesn’t properly suggest your book’s subject, maybe you should add a subtitle to give readers a better idea.

5. Make sure you choose relevant genre categories. Don’t try to game buyers into purchasing your book by slotting it into irrelevant categories. If a reader is caught off-balance with the content you could get a bad review. By being transparent about your themes you will give buyers confidence in your book.

6. Don’t tell the reader how to read your book. Don’t add a long introduction or preface telling the reader how the book is a certain genre mash-up, or how it isn’t really how you want it because you haven’t written a book before. I’ve even seen one introduction apologizing if the book is tedious! Let readers read the book! If you really feel you have something to apologize for, you’d best go back and edit your book before publication, hadn’t you?

Link to the rest at Self-Publishing Review

First ever self-destruct novel launched by James Patterson

22 January 2015

From The Telegraph:

The world’s first self-destructing novel is being offered by James Patterson.

For £200,000 one fan will get 24 hours to read his latest book before it explodes. Although the precise detail of the destruction are unclear, a SWAT team will be on hand to deal with any issues.

Patterson, author of Unlucky 13 and Cross My Heart, says that as book shops are increasingly closing publishers need to be as imaginative as film companies in creating a hype around a new novel.

. . . .

“The publishing business needs to compete,” he said. “It needs to compete with movies and the Internet.”

For £194,000 ($294,038) one avid reader will be flown to an undisclosed location for a meal with Patterson and will be given a copy of Private Vegas ahead of its launch at the end of the month.

A special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team will also be on hand to handle the explosive thriller.

Also as part of the promotion, 1,000 fans will be able to download free copies of the book from the website Each book will have a 24-hour digital timer that cannot be paused or cancelled.

“Twenty four hours after you start it, the book will no longer be there,” said Patterson, 67. “I hope this spurs more ways to get attention.”

Link to the rest at The Telegraph and thanks to Masha for the tip.

Social Media Is Overrated

16 January 2015

From Digital Book World:

Most publishers consider social media an essential part of their marketing toolkits, but author and founder Seth Godin joined Digital Book World 2015 in New York City this morning to turn that idea on its head.

“Not all of your authors want to be good at social media. Not all of them have something to say when they’re not writing their book,” he told publishers.

In Godin’s view, the emphasis on building author platforms has gone too far. If so many authors now approach social media as a part of their jobs in the digital era, it’s at least partly thanks to their publishers, who have assiduously told them it is. But the problem is that it often looks that way to readers.

Link to the rest at Digital Book World

Do Twitter Ads Sell eBooks?

15 January 2015

From author Donna Fasano:

According to Business Insider, Twitter says 232 million people are “monthly active users” on their platform. After searching Google for some information on how effective Twitter ads are, I decided to conduct a little experiment of my own. I like to see how things work with my own eyes. Here are my results:

I prepared my ad content according to Twitter’s instructions. Their ad dashboard makes it very easy to set up an ad. Because I was promoting one of my iBooks, I targeted readers, and more specifically, romance readers. I also targeted #iBooks. On the final day of my ad, I asked some author friends to RT my ad to see if that helped my ad’s visibility. I’m certain that’s why the graph (below) shows more views on the final day. I spent $10 a day for 5 days.

Total spent: $50

Total views: 21,934

Engagements: 252

Engagement rate: 1.15%

Cost per engagement: $0.20

The most important piece of the puzzle:

Number of iBook sales: 0

Link to the rest at Donna Fasano

Here’s a link to Donna Fasano’s books

Book Visibility and the Single Author

11 January 2015

From the QueryTracker Blog:

Every once in a while, I’ll look up from my keyboard, stare out the window, and daydream about having a PR team.

. . . .

When my first book came out in 2012, I had only one burning plan. It was THE PLAN. I was gonna have myself a blog tour. I figured it would be a great way to get my new book in front of the audiences I wanted to woo.

Visibility. That was the target.

I researched book blogs and review sites and other authors in my genre and I emailed each one, announcing my soon-to-be released book and asking if they’d be interested in hosting me. I had review copies. I had graphics. I had blurbs and links. And I had a mountain of hope in my soul.

And nearly had a coronary as the responses came in. The huge majority were happy to help. Would I like to do an interview or send in a guest post? I responded enthusiastically. Of course I would—I’d love to! I ended up booking a full month of blog stops… and I could not wait to get started.

Looking back, I wonder how I survived it all. I learned very quickly the tremendous amount of work that goes into a blog tour. The emails. The organizing. The scheduling. The writing of guest posts and original material. The visits to each stop, several times a day, to thank and engage and respond. The reminders to my socials to invite my readers and friends and family and the strangers who friended me on Facebook and everybody within shouting distance to visit that day’s stop.

Work, work, work, work, work.

Was it effective? Sure. The book got a ton of exposure, and I met readers and bloggers along that tour who have stuck by me since. Most of all, I attained the main objective: visibility. I even learned loads of new stuff, including the most important lesson of all—you can never do too much promotion.

. . . .

Because promotion is still a key element in the success of my books. I’m an indie writer. I’ve published novels with small presses, self-produced several ebook anthologies of my shorter work, and am preparing to enter the final stages of production on my first self-produced novel. (And, because I have so much free time *snort* I’m developing a poetry chap book.)

However, I don’t get to just sit and write and plan and produce…I have a backlist to promote. I will always have a backlist to promote. Difference between 2012 and today is that now I have a handful of irons in the fire, and I simply don’t have the time to run an exhaustive blog tour.

. . . .

THUNDERCLAP and HEADTALKER are another no-cost way to make a big noise with a single message. These crowd speaking platforms allow you to create a message, enlist the help of fellow social media addicts, and launch a campaign that, if successful, will get your announcement sent out on a particular day and time by everyone. People can “donate” a Tweet or a Facebook status to promote your message. Hit it just right, get enough help, and you just might start to trend. I created a Thunderclap and a simultaneous Headtalker campaign to promote free Kindle days for my last release, along with a slew of other promotional efforts. The bulk of my downloads came shortly after those campaigns went live. Never underestimate the power of a crowd.

Remember that great philosopher, who said it best: “What is the sound of one Tweet tweeting?” That’s deep thinking there.

. . . .

I query Bookbub for each of my promotions but have yet to get my golden ticket from them. (Kind of like the good old days, when I’d send out submission after hopeful submission, only to get yet another form rejection. Ah. Good times…)

Entire lists of websites like these can be found with a simple search for “free sites to promote ebook”. Some of my favorites include Fussy Librarian, Awesome Gang, Ebook Soda, Ebook Lister, and Book Gorilla.

Link to the rest at QueryTracker Blog and thanks to Deb for the tip.

An Escape Artist, Unlocking Door After Door

10 January 2015

From The New York Times:

The objects for sale on Miranda July’s website seem entirely ordinary and even deliberately random. A pink hairbrush. An envelope. A painted vase. A bag of popcorn.

On closer inspection, each item becomes mysterious and potentially meaningful, like a clue in a crime novel. The brush is clotted with blond hair. The vase is in pieces. The envelopeholds a secret — the name of an unborn child’s father. The popcorn, bizarrely, is bubble-gum-flavored.

Each of the 50 objects has a fictional counterpart in Ms. July’s debut novel, “The First Bad Man,” which Scribner will release on Tuesday. The novel’s narrator, a lonely, eccentric middle-aged woman named Cheryl, unexpectedly falls into a relationship with a callous younger woman, a blond bombshell named Clee, and finds her compulsively ordered life upended.

Although Ms. July created the website to promote the novel, it’s as much an art project as a marketing stunt. By allowing fans and readers to own items that previously existed only in her imagination and on the page, Ms. July is attempting to blur the line between fiction and reality, a boundary that she’s constantly puncturing through her performance art and writing.

Link to the rest at The New York Times 

When Mark Zuckerberg Likes a Book, Sales Soar

7 January 2015

From The New York Times:

The Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made a New Year’s resolution to read two books a month in 2015, and he’s inviting his 31 million Facebook friends to join him.

Over the weekend, Mr. Zuckerberg created a Facebook page, “A Year of Books,” where readers can follow along and discuss the books he’s reading. He posted his first selection, “The End of Power,” by Moises Naim, at close to midnight Eastern time on Jan. 2.

The announcement sent Mr. Naim’s publisher, Basic Books, an imprint of Perseus, scrambling over the weekend. “We had no prior notice and learned about it at the same time as everybody else did,” said David Steinberger, president and chief executive of the Perseus Books Group. “Orders are pouring in.”

Before Mr. Zuckerberg endorsed it, “The End of Power,” which came out in March 2013, sold 20,000 copies across all formats, including close to 4,500 e-books. It has sold more than that number of e-books since Mr. Zuckerberg’s announcement, Mr. Steinberger said. On Monday, booksellers placed orders for 10,000 more copies and it shot up to No. 19 on Amazon’s best-seller list.

. . . .

 Last summer, Bill Gates blogged about the best books he had ever read and named “Business Adventures,” an out-of-print 1969 nonfiction title by John Brooks, as his favorite. The book shot to No. 2 on The New York Times nonfiction e-book best-seller list. Open Road Media brought the book back into print in a paperback edition in August, and has since sold more than 77,000 print copies and more than 126,000 e-books.

Link to the rest at The New York Times 

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