Tag Archives: sale

Don’t fear HTML…make it work for you, one step at a time!

I was re-reading reviews of Shizzle, Inc (Isa Maxwell escapades Book 1) the other day. I do that quite often, actually – nothing like reading a good review of your book to get you out of the bed and to the keyboard. One of the reviewers mentioned that my book was somewhat similar in style to Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, No 1). I personally think that it’s more like The Devil Wears Prada: A Novel or maybe Bridget Jones’s Diary. In any case, it was great to see my book compared to a bestseller.

You know what else is great? How easily I was able to sneak affiliate links into the paragraph above! Each one of these links is attributed to my affiliate account and could make me 4-6% on each sale. I was so excited about it, that I went back to my interview with Matthew FitzSimmons and replaced the links to his book The Short Drop with affiliate ones. It’s been months since that post, but a dozen people a week still find it from a google search for the author. It’s about time that interview started making me some money…and while I’m at it, why not sell Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Animal Designs? It looks like SO much fun…

Okay, okay, I got it out of my system now! Back to my original promise – to teach you how to go nuts using affiliate links in your own posts. If you have not yet, read my how to create an affiliate link post first. Once you got an account with Amazon and can figure out how to get a link, the rest is easy – turns out, all I have to do is switch to HTML in the editor window – usually I just use the default “visual” setting. This is what the above paragraph looks like in visual (notice the highlighted “Visual” button in the top right corner):

Visual draft

…and this is what the same paragraph looks like in HTML:

HTML draft

Scary mess, right? Actually, not scary at all. You can write the entire post in “visual” setting, if you wish, then switch to HTML and plaster affiliate code in the right places. Switch back to visual, check that it looks ok, and voila! You’re in business. Literally.

If you want a bit more info on how to use HTML in WordPress.com, visit this WordPress support post.

Have fun!


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

Don’t hate me cause I’m marketing!

My previous post on pricing a first self-published book at $0.99 generated quite a discussion! Once again it shows just how many opinions are out there – some support my strategy, other authors are unhappy with having to give the work away practically for free. My personal view is “this is just what it is” – a free market, where prices are set by the laws of supply and demand. I do think my 2.5 years of hard work are worth more than $0.99, but I will just concentrate on promoting it so hard that before you know, it will be a series and a movie, and I will buy a pair of Manolos, just to see what all the fuss is about. My goal is to get the book into hands of as many readers as possible, with the hope that one of them knows Coen brothers. Seriously, does anyone here know even one of those guys?

Back to the argument of $0.99 vs $X.99. My limited research of two or so months shows that you will get not only better sales, but also better royalties with the $0.99 pricing. How can I prove it? With the power of screenshots and basic math.

Here is the snapshot of my sales and pages read for the last month:

12 Nov sales

For simplicity, let’s concentrate on sales alone (it looks like “pages read” was pretty even over time). During the first half of the month, my price was at $2.99, and it was $0.99 in the second half. I sold 1 copy at $2.99 and 27 copies at $0.99. The royalties were $2.04 and $0.35, respectively. The math, ladies and gentlemen!

1 x $2.04 = $2.04

27 x $0.35 = 9.45

During the second half of the month I did run a disappointing BargainBooksy promo, which resulted in 10 sales. Let’s take them out of equation:

17 x $0.35 = $5.95

I’m depressed now, because the numbers are so dismally small, but that’s besides the point. The point is that I had 17-27 times more sales and about 3-5 times more royalties when I’d dropped the price. The hope is that some of those people will talk about it to their friends. The goal is to get a snowball rolling, so that I (eventually) get a million of these tiny sales.

I guess the time will show if this is overall a winning strategy. The only concern is the inability to advertise with some of the websites that require the book to be discounted by at least 50%, but I hope that by zig-zagging the price, I will comply with that requirement.

Oh, and I have a very exciting update about Bargain Booksy! I’ve emailed them, asking if 10 copies is what I should expect from a promo, and they responded! Not only that, they apologized, said it was too low for the quality of my novel, and offered a $25 credit towards another promo! I was speechless and promptly scheduled a promo for 5 December with a different audience, this time with Chick lit/Romance readers, at a cost of $70. I’ve updated my post on The Most Super-Duper, Exhaustive, Comprehensive, and Current Listing of Free and Paid Book Advertising Websites and Ideas accordingly.

Once again, only time will tell if that was a good decision 🙂


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

Another experiment with marketing, a $0.99 sale, and alcohol-induced pledging.

Happy Haloween!

I hope you’re looking forward to tonight’s festivities, but a word of warning from Australia, where we’d already been there and done that – try not to drink too much! You’ll just end up where I am now, and where you’ve probably been yourself – regretting that last glass and swearing off the alcohol forever. For once, I’m dead serious. Here’s my new pledge:

During the six months I plan to spend as a full-time writer, I will not drink at all.

I have not been drinking much since I’ve met Josh, who (unlike most Australians) doesn’t really drink. We have a glass of wine with dinner probably once or twice a month. So you can imagine how three glasses of wine from last night have ruined my day today. I’d still made it to the gym, but that was the only thing I’d managed all day – no writing yet. Needless to say, incompatible with what I am setting out to achieve.

Don’t get me wrong, it was fun! My sister managed to take a long enough break from her two little kids so that we could talk about our writing dreams. Yes, she’s a writer too, almost finished with the first draft of her YA novel. We kept drinking, talking, and laughing till just after midnight. We talked about why it feels so wrong to take half a year off work, and why it feels so absurd to attempt yet another career switch, this time to a profession where the odds of “making it” are about as good as they are in the lottery jackpot.

Then we started going through our memories and remembering when we’d “won the lottery” before. Like when I’ve announced back in Ukraine that I was going to win a scholarship to study abroad and was ridiculed by everyone for a year, until I left on a full scholarship to the US. Or when my sister said that she was going to move to Australia and even I did not believe her, until she got into the second selection round. We came up with a long list and they all had something in common – a vision, a plan, and a lot of hard work. There was also something else – not giving up, no matter how hopeless things looked. It’s all too easy to swear off dating, once you’ve been on about fifty first dates, but I got my prize, and he still makes me breakfast in bed almost every day, even after all these fifteen months…

Anyway, I still have a lot of work to do in terms of arranging such a long leave – I’ve already talked to my immediate manager, but now I have to convince his boss, who can be a tough nut. He’s back next week and I’m going to bring it up on Friday, after he’s had a chance to settle in and is less likely to shoot from the hip. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, there’s some excitement on the marketing front – Shizzle, Inc is on sale again this weekend, and I have a Bargain Booksy promo scheduled – will update in a few days on the sales numbers. The paper version formatting is almost finished, the first draft of the paper cover is done, and I have even purchased a bar code! There will be Goodreads promotions and bugging all the local bookshops with free review copies. Also, I’m up to 14,000 words on the sequel draft.

Enjoy your candy. I’m off to add another thousand to my word pile.


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

And we’re off to the races!

Hi, everyone – just a quick note to let you in on my paid advertising experiment this weekend – Shizzle, Inc is on $0.99 sale all Saturday and Sunday 10-11 October. Also, I’ve paid eReader News Today to promote it. These are the stats as of right before the promo goes live:

Sales: this week was poor – only 3 sales in the entire week. The previous week was 12 sales (I don’t know how many were borrowed).

Current Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,189 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

An update will follow at the end of the Sunday!


Filed under Shizzle, Inc.