The KDP Countdown deal Results are in! #indie #indieauthor

Well, I’m astounded by what a little advertising can do. These aren’t the massive results others have achieved, but it is the BEST I have ever done, and the best Visions of Zarua has ever done. I’m ecstatic, and my self publishing verve has been restored!

So how did Visions of Zarua do during the 99p / 99c countdown deal?

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The deal ran 20th to 27th July 2017

Day 1 – My efforts consisted of Tweeting, blogging, Facebook, Instagram – the usual suspects.

COST = MY TIME. SALES = 0

Day 2 – BKnights

COST = $11. SALES = 3

Day 3 – My Facebook Ad: Aimed at 15-30 age group male/female in UK and US with interests in reading, fantasy etc. Total of 9 interests.

COST = £6. SALES = 0

Note – I picked this age group as they had shown the most interest in previous ads. There were 1,169 people reached – 16 likes and 1 link click (to Amazon book page). 12 photo quote clicks were recorded – obviously having the photo quote took away from the amazon link click. (A few days later I invited these people to Like my facebook page.)

Day 4 – Bargain Booksy Ad

COST $40. SALES = 24!

Finally making progress, although I haven’t covered my costs. There were 21 sales in the US and 3 in the UK. 

Day 5 – Facebook Ads attempt 2

This time I ran two ads, 1 US and 1 UK. I upped the age range 16-65+ male/female. I reduced interests to 4.

I also used the Amazon book page as the direct link for the Ad, rather than have the universal link in the wording of the ad as before.

US 14 likes, only 2 link clicks (234 people reached)

UK 2 likes, 21 link clicks. (470 people reached) No idea if these resulted in sales.

COST = £8. SALES = 10 (5 UK / 5 US) – Maybe a result of Bargain Booksy and / or facebook ad?

Day 6 – Booksends

COST $35. SALES = 28

Very happy with these figures!

DAY 7 – Bookrunes.

COST = $25. SALES 9.

I was interested to give Bookrunes a shot as they advertise to UK, US, Australia and India. Even though the deal doesn’t run in all those countries, it’s still very much needed exposure.

And guess what,

Day 8 = 3 sales in Australia!

Extra: Amazon Marketing Services

I also ran an AMS ad throughout the whole KDP countdown deal. The results take a few days to finalise, but so far it looks as though it received 1847 impressions, 1 click and 1 sale. That sale cost so far $0.07. I have a profit WOOHOO! However, that’s the worst an AMS ad has ever performed for me. It was a sponsored product ad with 48 keywords, but they would not let me mention anything to do with the sale or price in the ad so that doesn’t help matters. I also still have an ad running for Visions of Zarua all the time, so the two ads will have been very similar.

The deal has ended, but I have my fingers crossed that more sales will trickle in over the next few days / weeks.

Final Thoughts

Over 8 days Visions of Zarua sold 77 copies. 17 UK 57 US and 3 AU.

I may be out of pocket but it doesn’t matter because 77 new people own my book and countless others have seen it! Even though I haven’t hit any bestseller lists, I’m still happy with the results.

In the past I’ve sold in Canada, Germany and been read in India – so I really can say that Visions of Zarua has been read Worldwide. If I hadn’t had the guts to self publish back in 2015, no one would have seen my work, and no doubt I’d be out in the real world right now trying to find a job that fits in with school hours and term times – boring!

Instead, I’m fully pumped and ready to get on with book 2 in the Silent Sea Chronicles so I can start this crazy business all over again.

P.S – Thanks to my blogging friends who gave me words of advice and encouragement when I had a wobble a few weeks back.

P.P.S – I’m still desperate to get some reviews for The Lost Sentinel (and Visions of Zarua). I want to try a repeat experiment with countdown deals for The Lost Sentinel soon, but it only has 4/5 reviews on Amazon and some ad sites require 10+ reviews. Can you help?

If you’ve read either books, please consider reviewing them on Amazon. If you would like a reviewers copy, please get in touch.

Now I’m planning a whole week without the internet – well almost. I’ll still be checking my emails, wordpress comments etc, so please add your thoughts and comments. I love to interact, that’s what makes this whole thing worth the effort.

Thanks for reading!

Visions of Zarua Amazon link

The Lost Sentinel Amazon link

I’ve just purchased my #wordpress blog domain! #indieauthor news

That’s another item ticked off the To Do List!

It may not seem like much to some, but I’ve finally signed up for my WordPress blog domain.

My website is now officially suzannerogersonfantasyauthor.com.

It’s another small step on my writing and blogging journey, and I just wanted to share the news.

I haven’t looked into all the benefits yet, but I hope readers with have a smoother look around my site without any ads popping up. I’ve also got more space to download photos; followers of my blog will know I love taking pictures and the free memory was getting dangerously full.

Next on the list may be setting up the dreaded email subscriber list!

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Have your brought your domain name? Have you found any added benefits?

Or have you any items on your To Do List that you keep putting off?

The Lost Sentinel – 1 month after publication & 1 day left Goodreads giveaway

Well it’s a month today since my second fantasy novel was published, so I thought why not have a recap.

Firstly, the Goodreads worldwide giveaway to win a paperback copy ends tomorrow, so check out the link if you want to be in with a chance of winning. Over 1,150 people have already entered so I’m really pleased with these numbers.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson

The Lost Sentinel

by Suzanne Rogerson

Giveaway ends July 17, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Unfortunately, The Lost Sentinel seems to have become lost in the sea of books, and neither the blog tour nor the local book event has done much to improve its exposure. I’m trying not to lose hope, but I am beginning to regret the decision to self publish – why didn’t I at least try a few agents first! I made a list, had everything in place (letter / synopsis), why didn’t I go for it?

At least Visions of Zarua is still being read on Kindle Unlimited and there is a link to the new book at the end, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed people will want to download The Lost Sentinel as well.

I would love to get more reviews on Amazon for both books, especially when Amazon takes down reviews for no apparent reason and then reinstates them a few weeks later. I’m talking about poor Susan on Booksfromdusktilldawn – she’s a dedicated and genuine book reviewer who had all her reviews removed – I hope they have resolved this for her now. I know the UK ones are back up at least.

I have a couple of promo ideas in the pipeline; kindle countdown deals, an Amazon US giveaway, and hopefully a feature in a local publication. After that I’m planning to take a step back and recharge my blogging battery whilst I focus on finishing book 2. There are only so many setbacks an author can take, and I don’t want to lose my love of writing.

If you are a reviewer who would like to review either The Lost Sentinel or Visions of Zarua, click on the covers to be taken to the Amazon page to find out more. Please get in touch via the comments or via my contact me form on the blog.

Thanks for your time, and have a great Sunday everyone!

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The Lost Sentinel Blog Tour Line up #fantasy #wwwblogs

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With just over a week to go before the publication of The Lost Sentinel, I have almost finalised my blog tour schedule. So far 17 wonderful bloggers have agreed to post reviews, host interviews, feature me as a guest blogger and share excerpts – see the list below for details.

new blog tour scheduleI’d love your help in sharing these posts on social media. And if you want to get involved, let me know. I want The Lost Sentinel to make an impact on its publication day and beyond!

If you would like a free copy in exchange for an honest review which you agree to post on Amazon or Goodreads or your book blog, please get in touch.

You can of course pre-order the book now on Amazon for only 99p. It will also be available to read for free on Kindle Unlimited from 16th June 2017.

pre order image 2017

Thank you in advance to all the book bloggers and reviewers who have already agreed to help. Publication day wouldn’t be the same without you!

 

#Mondayblogs #fantasybook update and new #kindle #countdowndeal for Visions of Zarua

I’ve taken a long break from blogging to concentrate on my next book, The Lost Sentinel – Book 1 in the Silent Sea Chronicles.

I’m pleased to say it’s now with my editor for an edit and proofread, so fingers crossed I’ll soon be able to set a publication date. I can’t wait to do the cover reveal and to start contacting book reviewers to offer ARC of the finished book. And I can’t wait to finish book 2, which I’ve also been neglecting for too long.

In other news, Visions of Zarua has finally been seeing some action on Kindle Unlimited which I’m really pleased about. There’s nothing quite like checking the pages read to see it spiking over 1k pages in a day. That’s the equivalent of 2.3 books read and although that may seem small to many authors, I’m chuffed.

Now I need to convert some of those reads into reviews! The reviews have slowed down, nothing since late December, so if anyone is interested in reviewing Visions of Zarua please get in touch for a review copy.

Or you could pick it up for 99p on Thursday 23rd March when the Kindle countdown deal starts in the UK & USA. It’ll then be 1.99 on 24th March and revert to its usual price on 25th March.

Here’s the book link Amazon UK & Amazon USA

Visions of Zarua Book Cover.jpg

cathy - pyre picture quote

I’ll be blogging about it throughout the deal, and I’d love your support in sharing the posts. Thanks very much.

 

 

#Mondayblogs KDP select, updates, reviews & competition news

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so I thought it was the perfect time for a little update.

Review News

Firstly, Visions of Zarua had two reviews within hours of each other over the weekend! I’m suffering with a cold at the moment and these reviews were the perfect pick me up. See them on the Goodreads book page and Amazon UK.

One reviewer even said Paddren was one of her top five favourite characters of the year. That is amazing to hear and really makes me smile, thank you Karen.O.

Visions of Zarua has received some wonderful feedback over the last year with 17 reviews on amazon UK and 15 on goodreads. These reviews have been my inspiration to keep writing and I never tire of re-reading them.

New Competition

A UK only Goodreads competition will be running over the Christmas period. 22nd Dec to 1st Jan 2017.

I’m also about to set up a Rafflecopter giveaway, something I’ve not done before but we’ll see how that works out.

Next Book News

My first two beta readers reviews are in. The consensus is that The Lost Sentinel is almost ready to publish! There’s still a few tweaks and mistakes to rectify, but it’s pretty much complete. Then it’ll just need a professional edit and book cover.

Book 2 is written but awaiting the insertion of many, many scenes. I hope to start planning book 3 soon with a view to writing the draft during Nano next November. Scary to think of Nov 2017, but it’s good to have a plan.

One of my beta readers is really pushing me to approach agents before I self publish The Lost Sentinel. She thinks it’s a much stronger book than Visions of Zarua and the fact its book 1 of a trilogy might make it a better prospect for agents and publishers to consider. What do you think of switching directions?

I’ll be researching my options over the next few months. It’s exciting, but I’ve enjoyed self-publishing and I’m not sure I want to hand over control to others. There’s also the rejections to face again. Am I ready for that?

Reading challenge

I beat my 25 book target on Goodreads, which I’m really pleased about. There’s still time to get another book or two in and I’m hoping to post a review tomorrow of A Wedding in Cornwall by Laura Briggs.

There are plenty of book tags around that I’d like to have a go at, and maybe I’ll try to select my favourite book of 2016. It’s harder this year as I’ve read more books than I’m used too. 2015 my fav book was Ink and Bone’ by Rachel Caine.

KDP Select / Countdown deals & Amazon Ads

Well the exclusive publishing is not going well and Kindle Unlimited KENP has gone down to zero pages for the last two months. At the back end of October this was looking like an exciting new way of reaching readers, now I don’t know. I’m stuck with it until Feb 2017, after that it will be decision time.

The second Countdown deal didn’t go to plan. It worked in the UK and US, but seemed to start at different times. The Amazon Ads I’d scheduled didn’t work properly and the book price didn’t increase on the second day for some reason. This isn’t really an issue, but it just made my blog/tweets about it harder – I didn’t want to mention price in case it suddenly hopped up to 1.99. I made a few sales, but nothing to worry the bestseller lists!

I spent more on Ads with Facebook, Amazon and Goodreads than I made in sales. Still, it’s all exposure for the book.

Call for help

If you have Kindle Unlimited, don’t forget Visions of Zarua is free to read in the UK here and the US here.

I would really appreciate it of someone who has the facility would read a couple of pages and let me know when, just so I can check the pages read are being registered.

Also, I had this crazy idea that I’d like to hit 20 reviews on Amazon before the end of the year. If you have read Visions, would you consider posting a short review? It really does make my day to read them.

I’m sure I’ll post again soon, but if not before the big day…

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

#WWWBlogs My top ten tips for New Writers #indieauthors #writers #amwriting

I’ve been writing novels for over 20 years and as this is the anniversary of my first year of self-publishing, I thought it would be great to go back and revise the advice I had for new writers at the start of my own journey back in November 2015.

1. Online courses

I’ve completed both novel writing and short stories courses. You learn as you write and having your assignments critiqued by experienced tutors helps you improve as you go along. Online course can fit around your work and family.

2. Go to writing workshops and creative writing classes.

I’ve attended several adult education classes over the years, and a couple of one day workshops. Meeting like-minded people was a real turning point for me. Critiquing and editing others work helps you look at your own work more objectively. Also having others critique your work helps you develop that famous thick skin all writers need.

I’ve made writing friends from classes too. It’s so important to have people in your life who understand the struggles of a writer. Now with online forums, and blogs etc. it’s easier to connect with other writers, but I still think the workshops can play an important part in the learning process.

3. Enter competitions, especially those offering critiques

There’s nothing worse than sending your story into a competition and never hearing anything again. Not knowing where you’re going wrong. The critiques can help you grow as a writer. And if you follow the suggestions made, next time your story may just get placed.

4. Don’t rush. Don’t pitch too soon.

I’ve made this mistake many times. Thinking the book is ready and contacting the agents I would love to work with, or the publishers that accept unsolicited submissions. Once they’ve turned your book down, there’s no going back. It’s the same with some novel competitions; once they’ve seen your entry you can’t resubmit when you’ve made a better version. If you do it looks unprofessional.

5. Start building your online profile now.

I’ve been blogging since July/Aug 2015. A lot has happened in a year and a bit. I’ve gained followers and made many online connections with writers and bloggers. I’m close to reaching 4K followers through the various platforms – Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. I’d say that’s not too bad for a year, though the time involved has taken me away from my writing. Challenges like the April A-Z blog challenge and running my own my blog tour in Jun/July were very time-consuming, but lots of fun and well worth the effort. 

6. Beta readers can make a huge difference.

Especially beta readers who are writers themselves, who understand the structure and techniques of writing. I’ve been lucky enough to have made some really good friends from writing classes. We’ve kept in touch and still occasionally meet up to critique each others’ work. They’ve offered honest criticism about where I’m going wrong, but also shown me my strengths as a writer and their encouragement has been a big boost to my confidence.  

7. Join a book group

I’ve been a member of several book groups. It’s really interesting listening to readers critiquing books you’ve read, and to imagine how your own book might be seen from the readers’ perspective. They also force you to read outside your comfort zone, which can help you grow as a reader and a writer.

8. Get all the professional help you can afford

This is in the form of critique companies, professional editors, paid for beta reads if you don’t have writing friends you trust to be honest with you, cover artists, proof readers. The list of help available is endless and you need to work out what is most important to you and where you need to invest the money most. My first choice would be a good editor every time.

9. Know when it’s time to let go and move on

This is probably the hardest part; to tell yourself it’s finished, and let go of your book as you hit publish.

This is also true once you’ve been published for a while. You need to stop obsessing over your sales, book ranking and the amount of reviews you have or haven’t got. There is only so much marketing you can do, and as I have been told by many professionals, the best thing to do is get another book published.

10. Enjoy the journey, and celebrate being a writer

It’s an amazing feeling creating worlds and characters, and not everyone can do it. It takes hard work, dedication and an absolute determination to succeed.

Now that Visions of Zarua has been published a year, I look back and think wow. All that hard work has paid off. I’ve gained over a dozen wonderful reviews in that year and that is proof enough that it was worth taking a chance on self-publishing. 

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What is your advice for new writers?

#WWWBlogs – 2 Easy Steps To A Massive #Blog Tour

Do you want to run a blog tour? This is how I did it, as explained by Dan on his blog. Please let us know what you think.

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My friend Suzanne Rogerson was able to create weeks’ worth of blog tours (aka publicity for her new book) by doing….something. What, though? I had to know. For you, or course, because I love you gu…

Source: 2 Easy Steps To A Massive Blog Tour

#AtoZchallenge 2016 results – reflection post

A-to-Z Reflection [2016]

I’ve only been blogging since August 2015 so this is my first attempt at the #AtoZchallenge. I was interested to see how blogging everyday except Sunday’s has impacted my blog. Here are some of the April stats and March in brackets to compare.

New Followers = 60 (in March 15)

April views = 1458 ( in March 336)

April visitors = 479 (in March 151)

Visitors from = 38 countries (in March 14 countries)

Likes = 748 (in March 184)

Post most viewed = A Amber’s method: Top 5 writing tips 70 views (in March Book Review of Girl in the Ice, Plus Visions of Zarua giveaway and sites that review = 17 views each)

Posts published = April 32 (in March 21)

My most viewed and liked posts were writing related – Amber’s Method, Proof reading checklist, Beta readers and Hampton Court and Warwick Castle.

(Here’s the link to my A-Z challenge page. There are links to each letter if you missed any.)

My view on the AtoZchallenge

Pros – It’s a real confidence boost receiving such nice comments and likes. I made new blogging friends and got to share my favourite photos, recipes and my flash fiction story.

Cons – No time to write. It was hard to keep track of all the blogs I wanted to. My family were driven crazy by the daily obsession.

Final word – I joined in the challenge to show myself I could blog everyday. I also wanted to get more involved in the blogging community and find like minded people to follow.

Would I recommend the A-Z Challenge?  – Yes, it’s a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers and build your own platform. However, be warned that you won’t get much else done during April. Be prepared for that so you won’t spend the whole month feeling guilty.

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Thanks to everyone who followed my April Challenge, I hope you continue to enjoy my posts in the future.

I am taking a rest from blogging as my WIP needs finishing if I hope to publish it this year. I’ll still be posting book reviews, photos and the occasional guest posts. I hope you can join me.

#AtoZChallenge – Are you signing up for April’s blog challenge?

Today I signed up for the A-Z April Blog Challenge. I’m number 757 on the list, so it’s obviously very popular.

I’m still in my first year of blogging, so this is the first time I’ll be taking part. My editor, Alison Williams, recommended it. I look on it as a way to help me blog more, to find new blogs and hopefully build my own audience. It’s also a great opportunity to try out a few new things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and to share some of my favourite recipes and experiences.

My theme is crafts, or a loose interpretation of it. This is ranging from foraging, soap making, and my very special recipe for Zucchini cake – the kids number 1 favourite cake and it’s almost healthy too.

I’m still stuck on b, k, l, u and x. Guess I’m going to have to get creative.

I hope you can check out some of my April blogs and look forward to checking out yours too.

Follow the link here if you want to find out more about the A-Z April Blog Challenge.