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Posts tagged with: promo

What I’ve Learned About Book Bub

Book Bub (BB) is a subscription service, which offers daily e-mails recommending free and discounted e-books to readers. Recently I was fortunate (after three rejections for my YA books) to have my Scottish Historical book featured on BB. With the feature coming up, I took the free RWA Webinar given by Carolyn Robertson of BB. Here is what I learned from her and from experiencing my first Feature Deal as a fairly unknown author. Please note that if I got anything wrong from the seminar, it is totally my fault.

Book Bub has ten million subscribers (okay, very impressed here). Most subscribers are over forty years old and tend to read a lot. Many are willing to read unknown authors. BB has about 1,620,000 historical readers who subscribe.

Book Bub has three opportunities for authors to have their books on their site. Featured Deals, BB Ads and Author Profiles. They are all very different beasts.

A Featured Deal (FD) is an ad sent out to subscribers in a one-time e-mail. Featured Deals go through a stringent selection process. Only 10-20% of submissions are accepted. There is a flat rate fee for being featured, based on the discount for the book and under which category it falls (Historical Romance on sale for $0.99 costs $604). The featured deal goes out to all subscribers in the book category.

Featured Deals Books:

Must be full length

Free or discounted for a limited time (lower price is better for selection)

A specific book can be a FD once every 6 months.

An author can have a FD once every 30 days.

Submit one month before your scheduled discount.

Authors can submit the same book over & over. It may be accepted at a different time & depends on what else has already been accepted.

 

What helps your book to be selected?

Good reviews – BB reads them

Author accolades

Multiple buy sites

Good historical performance

Content Fit – this can change based on trends. At the time of the seminar, historical trends for selection were Regency, Mistaken Identity and Marriage of Convenience. Infidelity and drug use did not fit well and were not selected.

Take seasonality into account – Christmas book in November

75% of selected titles are Indie Published, 25% Traditionally Published

In the Notes box for submission, say hello to BB reviewers.

 

Book Bub Ad Campaigns are ads placed at the bottom of the daily e-mails to subscribers.

Any author can promote any book at any time.

Author determines bid, budget and schedule – the bidding process is somewhat complex and is better described on the BB Partners web site.

Ads should be 300X250 pixels.

A URL for each ad should be distinct for a particular retailer.

Authors can choose their audience.

Running low budget tests ($10 – $20 each), to figure out best audience categories, is suggested.

An author can set up an audience who targets another author’s fans (similar books).

Partners@bookbub.com can help set up these creative ads.

 

Author Profiles is a place for all authors to showcase their e-books on BB for free.

Log onto BB and claim your Author Profile for free.

Put your new releases under your Author Profile before release or within 7 days after release to take advantage of BB’s free New Release e-mail to your BB followers.

Authors can only list e-books on BB’s site.

 

So, how about my FD? My book, CAPTURED HEART, is a Scottish Historical Romance published in 2012. It is 100K words and is the first book in a five-book series. My publisher discounted it to $0.99 for a two-week period. My book takes place in the 16th century and involves a mistaken identity. It has 75 reviews on Amazon (4.4 star average), and overall it has 455 ratings.

For the last year my poor book has been languishing around the 300,000 ranking number of paid kindle books on Amazon. At my request, my publisher submitted it to BB, and it was selected to be a Featured Deal (much jumping up and down at my house). My publicist created some ads I could use for the sale on social media. I also decided that I would pay to advertise the sale before and after the BB Featured Deal. My publicist thought advertising afterwards could keep the Amazon numbers up longer. The day before the sale started, it sat at 523,965 on Amazon’s list. (yeah, rock bottom). Here’s a table showing what happened after that.

 

Date

Time

Promotion

Amazon Paid Kindle Books Ranking

Jan 29

 

Before my $0.99 sale

523,965

Jan 30

 

$0.99 sale, advertise through social media

49,747

Feb 3 (Friday)

7:00 AM

Author Billboard Ad

59,800

Feb 3

9:00 PM

 

86,156

Feb 4 (Saturday)

10:30 AM

 

149,815

Feb 5 (Superbowl Sunday)

8:42 AM

BB Featured Deal

231,934

Feb 5

11:29 AM

 

52,091

Feb 5

2:08 PM

 

626

Feb 5

7:30 PM

 

74

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6 (Monday)

6:37 AM

 

67

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6

12:00 PM

Book Sends Ad went live at 11AM

78

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 6

9:39 PM

 

126

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 7 (Tuesday)

10:25 AM

Book Sends Ad ends at 11AM

198

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 7

4:55 PM

 

270

#1 Scottish Historical

Feb 9

3:06 PM

 

864

#4 Scottish Historical

So, it looks like the small ad didn’t help, although it could have given some people a first glance at the book, so that when they saw it on BB, they bought. BB was indeed amazing for me, sending my book from 231,934 on Paid Kindle Books to 67 in one day. The Book Sends Ad (which cost me $90) may have helped my numbers stay up longer. I also ran a small ($10) FB ad on Sunday with the BB Feature Deal, and my publisher featured my book sale on their Steals and Deals page. It was a combined push, but BB was the main player.

What does this mean for my sales/royalties? I don’t know yet, but I will let you know if I see a good or bad ROI. Plus, the other four books in the series moved up significantly on the Amazon list (300K up to 14K).

Have you had a BB ad or Feature Deal? Did you have a good ROI? Where else have you run successful ads?

Decoupage Your Promo

As authors, we are creative people. Some feel that their creativity lies only in the written word, but I believe that creativity is broader within people. It just takes a little teasing to bring it out and a willingness to risk, mess up, and learn. It is a great way to exercise the far reaches of the brain, sweeping out the cobwebs by tossing around ideas.

When I’m not thinking of plot twists and what makes my characters tick, I like to try out all sorts of fun crafts. I sew, knit, etch glass, cut and glue. For fun I search the internet for crafting ideas and visit craft fairs for inspiration.

Today I want to teach you a craft that I’ve found very helpful to my writing. Decoupage.

Before delving too far into a new writing project, I create a collage with elements of setting and characters to help me visualize. A collage is really decoupage, so it was easy for me to expand the craft. At writing conferences, people invariably ask me what I write. So I created a portfolio with all my covers decoupaged onto it. Pretty, isn’t it. And so much fun! On the other side I have inspiring quotes and images.

Notebk front notebk back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I plan to decoupage shelving in my house next and a new phone book. Oh, and light plates. Really you can decoupage most anything. I’ve even seen high heels decorated with Mod Podge (decoupage glue) and printed out images. The possibilities are endless!

decoupage shoes

You can decoupage blank books or journals to give as swag, as well as little prize boxes or canvases that represent your books or your author brand.decoupage tins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some simple steps for Decoupage:

Mod podge drawers1. Choose a canvas. It can be anything from a book cover to a light switch plate to a jar. If it’s your first project, you might want to stick with something flat.

2. Choose your Mod Podge. There are shiny and mat finishes.Mod-Podge

3. Find the background. What is the underlying theme you hope to depict? Maps or music or dragonflies or even just polka dots might speak to your theme. You can use scrapbook paper, napkins, tissue paper, etc. Don’t glue it down yet.

4. Find pictures or letters. You might want to check out decoupage projects on line to see what you like. Some people prefer to totally fill up their canvases. Others like to leave a lot of background showing. If cutting out letters (you can use stickers), go for dark or standout colors. Pictures can be found on line or in magazines. Also check out calendars, wrapping paper, non-valuable comic books. Really anything flat and thin can work, even fabric.

quote mod podge

5. Arrange items on the canvas first to see if you like how it looks.

6. Glue down the background with Mod Podge or other glue. I use a wide brush to coat the canvas and lay the paper down, starting in the middle and working outward. Wrinkles can occur. Some people don’t mind wrinkles (me). For others, wrinkles can drive them crazy. Pros use a roller to try to get out all the bubbles and wrinkles.

mod podge tech1

 

 

 

7. Mod Podge over the background. Don’t leave puddles. Keep the coat even. Remember it dries clear.mod podge tech2

8. Now glue on your pictures and letters. You don’t have to wait for the background to dry. Mod Podge over them.

9. Add stickers, little items or final touches. Decoupage over everything once more in an even coat. Actually you can do as many coats as you want depending on how much exposure the project will get (ie. Shoes, you’d want many coats and probably an acrylic sealer). Let coats dry in between. Allow to dry completely (a couple days probably) before stacking with other materials.

mod podge roller

Decoupage can be an easy, cheap and fun project. Sweep away the mental cobwebs and stretch into a different realm of creativity. It will benefit you on many levels.

Do you decoupage? What have you created?

Decoupage

Marketing That Clicks: What Works On You?

I usually ignore Facebook ads that pop up in my newsfeed, but today, I saw one that made my heartbeat quicken.

The ad was from the Facebook page of Bulgari, the maker of several perfumes I adore, announcing the release of a new Omnia fragrance.

“Omnia Indian Garnet,” it said. “Click to Experience.”

Indian Garnet? It sounded heavenly. I began to salivate, imagining a warm, heady juice, rich with the spices of India. I wanted to smell it! NOW! But how could I experience a fragrance online?

Promo…ugh…

Book promo…author promo…just jab a needle in my eye and make it stop 🙂

OK, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but promo is a necessary evil, right? We all have to do it! And who of use really likes it? I would venture to guess, very few of us. So…since it’s likely very few people’s favorite part of the job (possibly NO ONE’S favorite part of the job), I would like to know What Really Works?

I’m sure you would, too! 🙂

Cooking Up a Surprise

The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood — publishing quality non-fiction since 2012.

Well, actually that’s not quite true.  If you count our blogs posts — most of which are on craft of writing and business of writing — then I guess we’ve been publishing quality non-fiction since 2009. But I don’t mean blogging. I mean actual publishing . . . of ebooks!

Yes, that’s right, Ruby Readers. The Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood has just released our very first ebook — a cookbook! Introducing Eat, Read, Love: Romance and Recipes from the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood!

Cute cover, huh? Special thanks to Laurie Kellogg for designing it. Editing and layout done by Amanda Brice and Kim Law.

So what is Eat, Read, Love? Well, I’m glad you asked. It’s a literary cookbook. We’ve compiled 59 recipes inspired by the pages of our books. Whereas some cookbooks pair their recipes with wine, ours are paired with excerpts. In some cases, the characters actually do eat the meal in the excerpt!

And the best part is that it’s 100% FREE. Yes, you read that right. It’s our gift to our readers, old and new.

So what dishes can you expect to see? It’s a very eclectic — and delicious — list!

Main Dishes

Allergen-Free Pad Thai (from Codename: Dancer by Amanda Brice)

Chinese Sausage and Sticky Rice in Banana Leaves (from My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin)

Pernil Al Horno (Puerto Rican Roasted Pork Shoulder) (from Avenging Angel by Anne Marie Becker)

 Jalapeño Chicken (from Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell)

Grandma Rose’s Varenyky (Ukrainian Pierogies) (from Pas De Death by Amanda Brice)

Angelo the Mobster’s Pasta Primavera (from The Good Daughter by Diana Layne)

Olivia’s Seafood Salad (from Under Fire by Rita Henuber)

Alaskan Crab Cakes (from The Doctor’s Mile High Fling by Tina Beckett)

Easy-Peasy Meatloaf (from Chase Me by Tamara Hogan)

“Hide the Peas, Please” Chicken Pot Pie (from Intrusion by Cynthia Justlin)

Soups/Stews

Cole’s Poorman Stew (from In the Presence of Evil by Autumn Jordon)

New Mexican Green Chile Stew (from First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones)

Cock-A-Leekie Stew (from Prophecy by Heather McCollum)

Almost Medieval Leek Soup (from Lady Unbound by Elise Hayes)

Henri’s Turtle Soup (from A Kiss in the Wind by Jennifer Bray-Weber)

Caruru do Pará (Brazilian Shrimp Gumbo) (from Doctor’s Guide to Dating in the Jungle by Tina Beckett)

Abram’s Game Day Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (from Under the Autumn Sky by Liz Talley)

Sides

 Abby’s Fatten-up-Mac Green Bean Casserole (from The Memory of You by Laurie Kellogg)

Millie Polk’s Squash Casserole (from Home at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay)

Bacon and Egg Fried Rice (from Taste Me by Tamara Hogan)

Sultana’s Rice (from Kismet’s Kiss by Cate Rowan)

Stasia’s Vinegret (Russian Potato, Beet, & Carrot Salad) (from Underhanded by Shoshana Brown)

Violet Easley’s Okra and Stewed Tomatoes (from Last Chance Christmas by Hope Ramsay)

Eat These Fries (from Kiss that Frog by Cate Rowan)

Condiments

Dare To Be Different Barbeque Sauce (from Snow Bound by Dani Wade)

Alex’s Killer Pasta Sauce (from His Witness to Evil by Autumn Jordon)

Annie’s Favorite Hot Sauce (from Waters Run Deep by Liz Talley)

Devil’s Dust (from Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones)

Desserts

Triple Chocolate Cake (from Caught on Camera by Kim Law)

Summer’s Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (from Perfect Summer by Katie Graykowski)

Ryker’s Favorite Mint Brownies (from Her Own Best Enemy by Cynthia Justlin)

Tiramisu (from Thoroughbreds and Trailer Trash by Bev Pettersen)

Profiteroles (from Party Like It’s 1899 by Amanda Brice)

Hannah’s Heavenly Cinnamon-Almond Squares (from Hypnotic Seduction by L.L. Kellogg)

Picou Dufrene’s Infamous Pecan Pralines (from The Road to Bayou Bridge by Liz Talley)

Tara’s Mother’s Southern Pecan Pralines (from Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure by Diane Kelly)

Maggie’s Amazing Pecan Pie (from A Little Bit of Deja Vu by Laurie Kellogg)

Jenny Carpenter’s Secret Pie Crust (from Last Chance Beauty Queen by Hope Ramsay)

Cream Cheese Pie (from Only Fear by Ane Marie Becker)

Nicole’s To-Die-For Apple Pie (from Seized by Darkness by Autumn Jordon)

Susanna’s Sonker (from Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston)

Fried Banana Nuggets (from Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin)

Betts’ Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Place Your Betts by Katie Graykowski)

Jilian’s “Best of Earth” Cookies (from The Source of Magic by Cate Rowan)

Breakfast

T-Bone Carter’s Biscuits (from Welcome to Last Chance by Hope Ramsay)

Cinnamon Rolls (from Sugar Springs by Kim Law)

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits (from Jimmie Joe Johnson: Manwhore by Lindsey Brookes)

Lucy’s Rum Cake “Stud Muffins” (from The Ghost Shrink, The Accidental Gigolo, & The Poltergeist Accountant by Vivi Andrews)

Sam’s Keep-Dani-Healthy Greek Omelet (from The Great Bedroom War by Laurie Kellogg)        

Huevos Rancheros (from Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones) 

Lucky’s Lucky Charms (from Getting Lucky by Katie Graykowski)

Beverages

Dani’s Mango Madness Smoothie with Raspberry Swirl (from Pointe of No Return by Amanda Brice)

Homemade Skinny Latte (from Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte by Diane Kelly)

Parish Cocoa (from Ghosts of Boyfriends Past by Vivi Andrews)

Captain Drake’s Rum Drinks (from The Siren’s Song by Jennifer Bray-Weber)

Cookie’s Mucho Magnifico Margaritas (from Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones)

Bonnie Pratt’s Easy-Peasy Peach Sangria (from Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria by Diane Kelly)

Historical

Sample Menu from 1890s Dinner Party (from The Vanishing Thief by Kate Parker)

16th Century Herbal Remedies (from Captured Heart by Heather McCollum)

 Hungry yet? I know I’m starved just reading the list!

You can grab your own copy from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, or download a PDF copy right here from this website! (It isn’t at Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Sony, or Diesel yet, but we expect it to be soon.)

Be sure to spread the word, and happy cooking!

(By the way, by downloading a copy, you’re actually doing us a big favor, by helping get our numbers up, which increases our exposure. So if you’ve ever been entertained or informed by our blog, this is a great way to thank us!)

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