Friday, February 28, 2014

The 2014 Smashwords Read an Ebook Week promotion

It's that time again. Smashwords is running its Ebook week promotion and I am participating.

All five of my books are 50% off during the sale.

The Witch of Maple Park--- Regular: $3.99   Sale Price: $2
Thirsty Planet--- Regular: $3.99   Sale Price: $2
The Medical Director's Divorce--- Regular: $2.99   Sale Price: $1.50
Dementia Diary--- Regular: $3.99   Sale Price: $2
Police Story--- Regular: $0.99   Sale Price: Free

Here's the link:

Here's how the sale works:

At one minute past midnight Pacific time on March 2, the special Smashwords Read an Ebook Week promotion catalog goes live on the Smashwords home page.  Readers can browse the catalog and search by coupon code levels and categories.  At the stroke of midnight Pacific time at the end of the day on March 8, the catalog disappears and the books revert to their pre-sale levels..

The coupon codes only work at Smashwords, not at retailers served by Smashwords.

And by the way: If you are a Smashwords author too, I hope you'll participate in the sale with your own books.

If you're not an author, please consider reading the books of my fellow indie authors on Smashwords, as well as my own. There's lots of great bargain reading coming up between March 2 and March 8.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Are We Authors or Retailers?

What is going on here? Since when in recorded history have writers, artists, composers, and other creators been expected to hawk their creations like so much tawdry merchandise? And where are we supposed to get the skills to do this well?

I'm a writer, not a bookseller. I write novels. I enjoy writing novels. I'm good at writing novels.

I don't enjoy promoting, advertising, Tweeting, Google+ ing, Facebooking, Pinteresting, Linked-inning,  Goodread-ing, whatever, and I'm not very good at it anyhow.

I've authored 5 books in print, e-book and audiobook editions that get mostly good reviews and, somehow, have sold in modest numbers on the internet.  That's nice, but not the way to become a best seller, is it? I doubt that any of these sales were stimulated by my amateurish and occasional time-wasting efforts to use social media.

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of wasting my time reading articles telling me the 21 (or 5, or 8, or 15, or whatever) best ways to create a buzz about my books using all kinds of Internet platforms. That's not why I became a novelist in the first place. What about you?

We are creators. We create fiction (or poetry, or essays, or memoirs). Selling it takes a different set of skills and interests than creative writing, doesn't it?

I suppose some authors know how to generate sales in this way but, for me, learning and practicing the marketing ropes has proven to be a huge time drain, time that could better be spent in writing and polishing my next novel.

Some would say we should hire the needed marketing skills rather than using a do-it-yourself approach. I'd love to, but has anyone analyzed the cost/benefit numbers lately. Put a pencil to paper and if you can find a way to sell enough books to offset the costs of professional marketing services, please let me know.

This post is now ended. What should I do next? Write a couple of chapters for the next book in the Harry Grouch mystery series, or hang out in social media all day to promote the last one?

What is your advice?

Novelist, Poet & Wannabe Golfer

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Does Preorder Publication Make Sense for Indie Authors?

Working on a new book? Almost done? Thinking about when to release it?  How about listing it before you're done with the major online retailers?

That's called a preorder and, according to Mark Coker of Smashwords, it's what smart authors do to generate pre-publication sales.

According to Coker, "Preorders are a common checkbox item for nearly every title released by a traditional publisher, yet most indie authors don't take advantage of preorders.  It's a shame more authors don't use preorders, because in the battle for reader eyeballs preorders are a great equalizer."

For a comprehensive discussion of the pros and cons of making preorders available for your forthcoming book, see the latest Smashwords blog. 

Novelist, Poet and Wannabe Golfer