Tag Archives: Marketing books

When One Door Closes…

I confess I do not know anything when it comes to marketing my books. I have worked at it hard now for the past six years. I have managed to make about five dollars a month this year… up from nothing while spending twenty dollars a month on various marketing services. So, by my limited math skills, I am now losing only $180 a year,

I recently got another excellent review on a book I feel good about having written, and I think it bodes well that when someone who actually read the book, a belief that I have because it is a verified-purchase review, seems to confirm that it really is a good book. At the very least, it really did connect with this one reader.

I got a very unexpected boost from a fellow author and book-marketer on Twitter. I am the second of three authors featured in the blog post linked to below.

I don’t know exactly how this came about. I am not used to having success on Twitter from any quarter besides Twitter nudists and Twitter fans of Tom Hiddleston. She, as a WordPress blogger, doesn’t seem to be a member of either of those groups.

One of the books that the Blogger Bookstore highlighted was Laughing Blue, the book I had already chosen for my January free-book promotion. It will begin being offered for free on Friday of this coming weekend. That fact, combined with the way the blog has filled my Twitter notifications this morning may cause the promotion to reach more readers than any previous promotion has managed.

The other book highlighted in the blog post was my very best novel, Snow Babies.

That couldn’t have been a better door to be opened if I had written that post on the other blog myself.

So, as I was getting more and more depressed as my health worsens and the pandemic has been grinding more on more on my soul,, this door to possibilities opened.

Believe me, I appreciate it. It is timely.

More than once a new door has opened, letting light into my life to help me battle the darkness just as the darkness seemed to be winning.

I am glad that when one door closes, two or more open.

I know it’s a cliché. But it is a good one.

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Filed under book review, novel writing

Promoting Novels

Three times now I have run a promotion with my best novels (available through Amazon) and have had limited results. But I am trying again for Christmas. While most everybody I advertised to on Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress thanked me for the link, only a handful actually went to the trouble of visiting Amazon and clicking on the free e-book. Some of my Iowegian friends probably weren’t clear on the idea of e-books, especially if they didn’t personally own a Kindle or an I-pad. But I have discovered the promotion is worth doing. The first time involved Snow Babies. I went on Twitter and sent links to writer friends hoping for a hit or two. Apparently only one person got the e-book for free and went on to read it, but she loved the book, told me it should be a classic of YA Literature, and gave it a five-star review.

My second book promotion, for Recipes for Gingerbread Children, did about the same tepid amount of free-book clicks for probably the same reasons. Although you can plainly see it may not have been wise to allow some of the reviewers from the fairy world to have a say in the promotion of this book. Fairies are not wild about having their existence outed, and Iowegians and Texicans don’t really appreciate it when you use irony for stuff.

Still, because it had two nudist characters in it, I also advertised it on https://www.clothesfreelife.com/, and so it got interest from the group of naturist writers who frequent that site. A gentleman by the name of Ted Bun got a copy and reviewed it with a five-star review even though it isn’t really a book about nudism. (Yes, I know some kinds of fairies prefer not to wear clothes, but they don’t count as nudists because they are not human.)

Still, it’s a five-star review by a fellow writer, someone whose books are also very well worth reading. https://www.amazon.com/Ted-Bun/e/B01BVG6NVQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575829016&sr=8-1

This past November I was able to promote another of my favorite books, Sing Sad Songs, with another Amazon free promotion.

It generated the same tepid response, even though it was free, but it got another five-star review. It was Ted again, but I have come to value his opinions looking at others of his reviews online and on https://www.goodreads.com/ . So, I have had a total of five five-star reviews on books I have written, all but one by fellow authors. Three of them came about by doing these book promotions. I only have five-star reviews on any of my books that have been reviewed. So, that’s good, right?

What does it mean? Well, nudists really seem to like my books. And nobody who read any of my books and hated it, hated it enough to write a review. And other writers of other novels seem to recognize something they really like about my work.

So, unless Amazon changes their minds about letting me use Snow Babies as a Christmas promotion, I will try again this coming week. Maybe I can get nudists to like that book too, even though there is no nudism in it… only a very cold and deadly blizzard.

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Filed under humor, novel, novel plans, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, publishing

The Creature I Have Become

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I identify as a humorist, writer, cartoonist, and certified fool (Yes, I have a certificate from the Children’s Writer Institute that proves I once foolishly believed I could learn how to make money as a writer).  But my current novel project is a horror novel, The Baby Werewolf, which I twice before tried to turn into a completed rough draft novel. This time I mean to follow through to the bitter end.

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Torrie Brownfield, hypertrichosis sufferer and possible werewolf.

In order to reign in the goofiness enough to deal with the issues in this novel I have been doing a lot of horror reading. I have also undertaken the reading of a very good author examination of the life of Edgar Allen Poe.

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Poe’s life was highly instructive.  You may not have realized this, but most of the giants of American Literature prior to and contemporary with Poe did not make most of their money as writers.  Emerson was a clergyman.  Nathaniel Hawthorne worked as a customs clerk. Poe, the first to try to make a living solely on work as a writer, editor, critic, and poet, was subjected to the horrors of poverty, illness, and want.  His wife was chronically tubercular and ill.  He never made the money he was obviously worth as a creator of popular horror fiction, poetry, critical essays about other authors, and as an editor for profitable magazines of the day.  Other people made loads of money from his work.  Poe, not so much.

It is instructive to a writer like me who can’t seem to land any sort of income from my own creations.  There is no demand because there is no recognition of my work.  I have come close, having my work praised by editors and fellow authors, and being a finalist in novel writing contests twice.  The goal is good writing.  I will probably never see a return on my investment in my lifetime.  My children may not acquire anything by it unless one of them really devotes a lot of effort to it.  Like Poe with his drinking problem, chronic depression, and ill wife, I face physical limitations and poor health, grinding financial issues, and family factors that make it near impossible to put marketing effort into my literary career.

And this novel is a hard journey for me.  I was sexually assaulted by an older boy when I was ten.  A lot of the fears outlined and elucidated in this particular story leap right out of that iron cage in my psyche where they have been contained for fifty years.  Fear of nakedness.  Fear of sex.  Fear of being attacked.  Fear of the secret motivations in others.  Fear of the dark.  And, most of all, fear of what fear can make me become.  Fear of being a monster.

But I have not become any of the dark and terrible things that fear can make me into.  Instead I became a school teacher, mentor to many.  I became a family man, father of three children.  I became a nudist, hopefully not a dark and terrible thing in itself.  I became Mickey.

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Filed under autobiography, feeling sorry for myself, horror writing, humor, monsters, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, writing

Celebrity Endorsements

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It is difficult to get a book noticed by the book-buying (and hopefully book-reading) public.  If you have a good book, especially if you have gone the independent publishing route, promotion and advertisement cost far more than you are likely to make on the book.  No one notices.  No one reads.  The ones who do read don’t review it.  So you have to be creative.  Or maybe creatively evil.  If you are going to get somebody with some pull to recommend your book, you may have to trick them.  I got Batgirl here to endorse my book by promising to give her information about the location of the Joker’s lair.  I tricked her into waiting in front of my book while I secretly snapped this picture with my concealed bow-tie camera.  You can’t actually tell from the picture, but she conked me on the head with that titanium batarang once the flash went off in her face.  But I got the endorsement for free.  Of course, now I’m on a most-wanted list from the Justice League for marketing fraud.

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June 25, 2014 · 4:24 pm