Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

shifte

I studied business at college. A large part of business is marketing, so is economics. Here it is.
Books, in most varieties, would be classified as an “elastic” product. What this means, in its simplest form, is that as the price goes up demand will go down. Books are a “luxury” item, you don’t have to buy them.
If the price of your favourite author’s next book suddenly jumped to $900 the chances are you’re not going to run out and buy it on launch day. Whereas if an author you’ve never heard of offers a book for $0.01 then you might be willing to give it a whirl.
We can all agree that supply of ebooks is covered from every angle. If you look at the market as a whole then we know there are choices abound. Even down to the individual author, we don’t have a problem supplying a specific book. The costs to produce are minimal. Time is the greatest factor in creating our product.
Fixed costs are likely covered by our personal bills, as are the variable costs. Again, the only exception to latter would be labour, but every author going in knows that time will be required and it is usually just our own. Further down the line there may be costs accrued for editors or cover designers, etc. but realistically you can’t claw that back by inflating the cost of your novel. You would need to project exactly how many you may sell and if you’re a new author that’s virtually impossible.
When you publish through Amazon they can chose to alter the price of your books without reason or notice, which makes it very difficult for us to control sales of our product. CreateSpace is just crazy because they dictate the minimum price your book can be sold for (which is always an extortionate rate) meaning that a lot of authors are lucky to make more than a couple of pennies for sales of paperbacks. It’s the author who is judged for setting a high price – but we didn’t!
So you’ve written your book, you’ve published it, you may have set up the paperback set up too. Then comes the next big task, promote your book!
I brought up the business thing because I spend a lot of time thinking about pricing, even though it’s sometimes outwith my control. I’ve witnessed the truth of my economics professor’s words on my KDP sales dashboard. I’ve watched the coloured lines go up and down. I’ve watched the royalties go up and down too.
I want to say here that I recently read a blog post about KU and whether or not the number of the books borrowed were added to sales figure, and as such influenced rankings. I can’t find the blog post again. But if there’s anyone out there who is interested, the answer is, no. The number of units borrowed in no way contributes to your book’s rank. I’ve worked it out. Sales alone dictate the rank.
If the economics theories are correct, the next focus is factors that affect demand. So I’m certainly looking forward to winter because summer is a bummer on book sales! Especially with the glorious weather we’ve been having, lol.
But because I have been considering pricing, and marketing strategies, I want to let all new authors in on a little secret. The vast majority of promotion opportunities out there don’t do squat for you. The price for some of these advertising campaigns is nothing short of daylight robbery. I’m still new to this publishing thing too, which is why I wanted to let you know not to part with your money. It really upsets me that websites claiming to make you the next big thing prey on those eager to carve out a writing career. It’s a passion but it can leave author’s open to being taken advantage of. There are some good sites out there with reasonably priced offerings, seek those out first!
But, I’ve gone and done it again with the rambling. I’ll try to pick up this thread again soon because I have lots of views on the promotion machine, and some personal experiences I’d like to share. For now…

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

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ExplicitInstruction

Hello guys!
SPECIAL NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT: Explicit Instruction is available now! I’ve put the link below for you all to check it out when you can. It’s been a long journey and finally we’re here. I look forward to receiving your feedback about this novel, and I very much hope you enjoy embarking on another adventure with me!

Good luck on your adventures,
Scarlett

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LADEH0U

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LADEH0U

Blog: scarlettfinn.wordpress.com
Website: scarlettfinn.wix.com/scarlettfinn
Twitter: @finnscarlett
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8632392-marketing-buzz-and-building-the-hype-as-concept

Buzz, buzz, buzz! No, a bumblebee hasn’t infected your computer I’m doing what I’m supposed to… aren’t I? What is hype anyway? I mean really, how can anyone manufacture it? I’m a writer, I’m not in marketing. If I was it would be a lot less “logos” and far more “epics”. I need a hundred thousand words to commence, elaborate, and conclude my point – it’s what I do! Don’t think I’d last long in marketing, do you?
So here it is. I have tried my best to create some kind of online presence. My work speaks for itself and if people want to read it, which I hope they do, then they’ll always know where it is. I’ve made its location clear, and I’m always open to communication – to communicate click on the word and seek the contact form.
So I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and let my work speak for itself. Ahh! I’ll give you the final description:

Stranded and searching for a phone, Flick inadvertently walks into danger, and finds herself living in a nightmare. But an unexpected reprieve comes in the form of a stranger, a looming silhouette more terrifying than the evil that captured her. From him she learns that danger has an alias, Rushe. He is abrupt, crude, domineering…and her only hope for survival.
With freedom a distant memory, Flick is reluctantly drawn into the criminal plot. As she descends further, her entanglement with Rushe becomes deeper. The adventure she started by accident threatens them; but Flick knows it’s not only her life she is battling for, it’s her heart as well.

I was going to post another sneaky snippet… an extended sneaky snippet! But I don’t want to give the game away… actually I couldn’t decide what to post. If you want another sneaky snippet let me know! Go to the website and fill in the contact form!
Explicit Instruction, available to buy as an e-book from Thursday June 26… providing Amazon play nice 😀

Good luck on your adventures,

Scarlett

 

ExplicitInstruction

homer-excited

Today is going to be a quick one because I’m in a rather philosophical mood. In other words if I start typing I won’t stop! I hope you are all enjoying Father’s Day with your loved ones, and enjoying the weather – if you have it.
I just wanted to remind everyone that The XY Factor is free today! That’s right free! For one day only (June 15) :p

New cover for The XY Factor!

It’s free, so why don’t you check it out:

The two of them may have grown up in the same town but their ways couldn’t have been more different – he was the rebel and she the invisible princess. No one knew of the chance encounter between Darcy and Sloan on his last night in town almost a decade and a half ago.
But when Inverquay needs money Darcy steps up to take part in her worst nightmare – a TV talent show. Things don’t go to plan and she ends up under the glare of the media spotlight. In the big bad city she’s alone, and to a small town girl that’s inconceivable; but no one knows why she’s there so Darcy has no one to rely on.
Sloan swore he’d never go back to Inverquay and after thirteen years he’d rid himself of the town that had forsaken him. Until he stumbles upon the girl he met only hours before he roared away from Inverquay on his bike, and she trusts him… now why in the hell would she do something as stupid as that?

Good luck on your adventures!

Scarlett

Excerpts available here.

New cover for The XY Factor!

New cover for The XY Factor!

tigger

I’ve had a good day today, and now that terrible confession is out of the way I suppose I should reference my title. We are all unique. Don’t panic I’m not about to draw us into an existential discussion. But in being unique individuals, it then follows that every writer is unique.
I’m bringing this up because I’ve been talking about marketing today. As far as my novels go I’ve given up. Well not entirely, but I did start this blog with the declaration that I would discuss such matters.
Here are the conclusions that I have reached thus far. KDP Select comes down to a decision about exclusivity, if you don’t want to only provide your work to Amazon then don’t choose it – it’s as simple as that. Other avenues such as Smashwords will allow you to keep your work permanently free if that’s what you’re looking for. But, it’s not as well-known, or as easily marketed – for various reasons.
When using KDP Select promotions such as free days (and in my case without KDP Select keeping your work perma-free as in the case of Mistake Me Not) then it’s easier to market. Various sites will feature your novel when it is free, and lots of people will snap it up for that very reason. But then comes the problem of who will market your novel when it’s not free? Rather, who will market it without it costing you an arm and a leg?
The internet allows us all access to such a vast amount of information and choice that I suppose it becomes difficult to understand why anyone pays for anything. I’ve done it myself. How many times have you found something that you like and want to buy but put it off in the interests of trawling the web first? Even then if we find the item cheaper we can still spend time on discount voucher sites looking for (at the very least) free delivery codes.
So I begin to wonder, does it really matter if your work is better, more deserving, or so unique it could tempt kings? The sad truth is no, probably not. How many internet sensations have their been, viral videos, that have made stars of folk overnight? Quite a few. Not all of them have reeked of talent.
Standing out from the crown is increasingly difficult because that is effectively all the internet is – a large crowd. Anyone, and everyone, can get in here. This statement isn’t meant to dissuade, I’ve had a good day, and I’m feeling great. I’ll get to my reasoning in a minute.
I take pride in my work. I’ve been a writer since I was a child. It’s always been a part of me (as I may have mentioned once or twice, lol). I’ve thought books and writing were cool since the days that talking like that would get you beaten up in the school yard :p
I have my own set of ethics about my rules and motives for writing and those are what I’ve always worked by. The fact that there are novels being self-published that I think are a discredit to actual determined and lifelong writers is only my opinion. No doubt there are others who would say the same thing about my work.
The greatest writers of all time are still debated, it is not up to one person to make the rules for everyone else. In the same way that my opinion doesn’t have to be the same as yours or vice versa. I could be madly in love with a book that you wouldn’t use as toilet paper. It’s like movies, and music, and everything else on the planet. We have our own values. We have our own likes and dislikes – we are all unique.
Don’t see the internet, or self-publishing, or the marketing mountain, as a hurdle, don’t be discouraged as I was for so many years. If you put your work out there someone will find it eventually, someone will love it, and that will be your legacy. Don’t write to get famous or to make money, do it the best you can, and how you want to, with your own ideas and passions woven through it. Don’t mimic others, don’t get bogged down in technicality, let your creativity lead you.
When you log onto your computer, when you open your web browser, take a moment to be awed by what you have access to. The internet is a blessing. So what if it’s one big crowd? All that means is that you are part of a wider family. Humanity can now share with each other things which would have otherwise been lost. Your work on the web no matter how popular, and no matter how often accessed, is a piece of you out there in the world. A piece of you that will always be out there.
You can connect with readers who you may never meet, and who may never know your face, but you can make people smile, make people cry, reach out and touch people with your words, and that’s powerful. A piece of you has the chance to live forever if all it does is exist on a Kindle to be re-discovered by technology-archeologists in hundreds of years :p
Don’t be discouraged, embrace it, and realise that you are so very lucky to be doing something that you love whether it’s from the point of view of the reader or the writer. Be kind to each other and be grateful. A piece of that author is there in the words that are read, and that reader has chosen your work above all else, feel blessed, be positive, and don’t ever forget that books are cool.

Good luck on your adventures,

xSx

We all have it in us...

We all have it in us…

There aren’t enough hours in the day. Shoehorning in the time to do all of the things that we need to do is hard enough, let alone trying to fit in the things we want to do.
We’re back! Might not mean much to most of you; my son and I have been away this week but we’re home now. My work schedule over the weekend is jam packed, simultaneously I’ll be trying to get my inspiration onto paper. Every once in a while inspiration hits, sometimes I enjoy it in the moment then mentally move on. Other times one idea leads to another and before you know it I’ve got half a novel in my head – and half a novel is all it takes.
So while parenting, running my business, and editing Rivals ON AIR (it has a name now), I am getting my inspiration onto paper. The funny thing is the idea struck me a while ago and I’ve been musing on it. But during the long drive home I pondered it. I don’t need a lot of brainpower for staying on the road it seems, lol.
I get so much enjoyment out of writing that the extra work isn’t a chore for me. I often feel for Val my Vaio because she gets less rest than I do. From the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed my computer is on. It’s never off. I at least get pleasure from my writing, the computer can’t say the same thing; though being inanimate probably helps.
Anyway, let’s talk about Rivals ON AIR. I’m so pleased I’ve decided on the title. Oddly, naming things can be the most difficult part of the process. The title has to be catchy, and if possible weave into the story in more than one way. This one does it for me. I can’t wait for you all to get to know Hunter and Annie, I hope you all grow to love them as I do.
A story can be expanded and trimmed. Ideas incorporated whilst others are thrown out. The process is dynamic, it has to be organic (as Annie would say) and getting the details straight in the course of the story is of course paramount. So many times I’ve got an idea into my head and I rush off to get it out of me but find myself stumbling over the first hurdle… who are these people?
I’m not sure how many of you are writers and so I wouldn’t want to be teaching you how to suck eggs (lovely expression, eh?) so suffice to say that not getting the details hammered out early can lead to delays further down the line.
As far as marketing goes I’m at a bit of an impasse because I just don’t have the time to do it properly. Then again, even if I did have the time I probably wouldn’t have the money. One avenue that I’ve used with both Mistake Me Not and XY Factor I’ve decided isn’t worth the money – two avenues actually but I called the first a dud a while ago.
Truthfully, I do what I can but as all indie writers know the curse of the review – or rather lack thereof – can make or break us. Readers don’t review very often and so without the word of others to encourage would-be readers of our work we’re a bit stuck. I can tell you how great my novel is until I’m blue in the face but I wrote it so I’m ever so slightly biased.
So I trundle on. I’ll get the boring stuff out the way and get Rivals ON AIR released when I can though there’s no real rush. I’m excited about it but I’m the only one – and I’ve read it! Hehe.
Have fun y’all, don’t work too hard, and remember to always make time for fun!

Have fun on your adventures,

xSx

Talking to myself

Insanity’s just another word for thinking outside the box…

This is tough. This whole publishing bit. The writing I’ve got a grip on. The editing I can cope with. The publishing is fiddly but you get to grips with it. The hardest part (and this won’t come as a galloping shock to anyone) is marketing.
It’s not that the marketing is difficult per se, the process is never ending, and there are a bunch of decisions to make. Often as soon as you make one you almost immediately decide it was the wrong choice *deep breath*. But that’s not why it’s difficult, read on…
As a writer I’m used to talking to myself. I do it out loud, in my head, on paper, on the keyboard, pretty much everywhere it can occur it does. But as a writer when I put something on paper, when I make a decision, and talk to myself, I can respond. It’s not as kooky as it sounds. We’ve all had the odd argument with ourselves, talked something out loud just to make sense of it, and as a writer that’s what I do.
Also, part of my job is dialogue, so when I type out something a character would say, or read it aloud to see if it makes sense, I can decide what comes next.
“How you doing today Joe?”
“Muddling through, how about you?”
“Not so great, some nutcase dinged my Ferrari.’
“Didn’t your wife just leave you?”
“Yeah, but replacing her is easy.”
I make it up as I go along – so to speak.
So, when I published ‘XY Factor’ I did a bit of advertising, not loads because I didn’t want it to take over my life – you really could go round the bend with all the options out there. E-books are everywhere, and everyone has one to publish; fair dues.
Then I put ‘Mistake Me Not’ out there and did less advertising.
I’m not wholly concerned with exposure. I don’t care if only five people read my novels. But the difficult thing is knowing when to stop.
I have another novel that I’m editing, and I’m excited about this one, really, really, excited because Hunter Riordan is such a sweetie-pie (though he’d never say it out loud) and I had such fun writing it. Maybe the most fun I’ve had since writing Nick and Bella’s tale (prequel to XY Factor). I want to get my work out there, and I want people to read and enjoy it. Like I say if it’s only five people who care about my characters then I’m happy to write for them. I’ll allot time to ensure deadlines are met and I’ll continue to feed the beast – so to speak.
It’s like this, blogging, it’s actually quite fun, and I hadn’t realised. I didn’t know I would enjoy this. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer so I type fast, and can get my ideas out quickly, that it’s nice to meander without a specific goal in mind – though writing as myself is a novelty, lol. Except if no one reads it, and no one cares about my characters, or has an interest in news or sneak peeks, then my writing may as well have stayed on my hard drive. I wouldn’t have to take time away from writing to publish, blog, advertise etc. and that’s the only thing I miss when I do these things. If I don’t have to do this then I could be writing just for me and immersing myself in the worlds I create.
So, if you care, if you’ve read my work, or are reading it, if you have ideas, comments, questions then please do share them with me. Comment on the blog, or review a piece, hell swing by goodreads and mail me, or Amazon, or Smashwords.
I love writing. I love getting my work out there. But I do wonder at what point talking to myself becomes a problem, lol. Without a hello how do I know anyone’s there… is anyone there?

Thanks for listening,
Scarlett