Goodreads Giveaway for New Superhero Book

Hi friends! I’m working hard to get out my new novella by Christmas. It’s called A Very Merry Superhero Wedding, and it’s about Tori and Joe’s Christmas Eve wedding – amidst a Christmastime crime spree. (Like any Christmas, right?)

While it’s part of the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, it’s not book two. If you’re familiar with Unexpected Superhero, it starts with Tori finding out that she has a super power when she returns from her honeymoon. Much as I want to keep the books focused on urban fantasy, I like playing with the fun romances among the characters, so I’m writing novellas and short stories to sprinkle throughout the series that are more like superhero romantic comedies.

The first short story was “Superhero in Disguise” about Tori and Joe’s fun romantic meeting on Halloween night. A Very Merry Superhero Wedding picks up a week before they get married on Christmas Eve. And here’s the cool part – you can win a free copy!

I’ve created a Goodreads Giveaway for readers in the United States (I’ll try to do an international one later) to have a chance to win five (5) copies of the paperback when it comes out at Christmas. You can click on the link below to sign up. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding by Kitty Bucholtz

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding

by Kitty Bucholtz

Giveaway ends December 23, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

The Value of Advertising a Single Self-Publishing Book

Unexpected Superhero cover by Kitty BucholtzIf any of you are writers, you might be interested in the blog I posted on my Romance Writers of America chapter blog on Sunday. I hope it helps someone. :)

We’re all trying to figure out what kind of advertising and short-term discounting works to increase sales and readership. I am at the beginning end of the self-publishing curve with one stand-alone book out, and one series with a free short story prequel and a book one. In October, I did several different things and tracked sales daily. Here are my results.

The Specifics
I put Unexpected Superhero (book one of a series) back in KDP Select for 90 days in July, ending October 21. I used my five free days in October with three days on a Wed/Thur/Fri and two days a week later on a Fri/Sat. It was also on sale for three days for 99c at the end of the month (Oct 31 – Nov 2).

I used advertising on several of those days. I purchased the InD’Tale Bargain Book Ad for $25 on October 8, the eBookSoda ad for $10 on October 10 (the first and last day of the first free period), then Ereader News Today for $20 on October 17 (the first day of the last free period).

On another author’s recommendation, on October 31 I used Ebook Boosters’ $25 service where they submit my book’s 99c sale information to 25 other free-newsletter sites (sites similar to BookBub and eBookSoda). I didn’t try to figure out for sure which sites picked up the book, but I know it went out on at least a few email newsletters that day. (I was at a convention all weekend so I didn’t have time to do Google searches or keep track of Amazon rankings.)

Non-Advertisement Promotion
Additionally, I participated in an author book swap with 19 other authors on November 1. We all put one book on sale for 99c, then blogged, Tweeted, and posted to Facebook about all 20 books, and we all bought each other’s books. (So that accounted for 19 out of 25 sales on book swap day.)

I mentioned all of this to my newsletter list (122 people) once at the beginning of October on the day the book was first free, and on the last day of October when the book was 99c. I did one guest blog, and wrote three other blogs on my own two sites.

I also was at Comikaze, a comic book and pop culture convention, October 31 through November 2, and I told attendees that the book was 99c on Kindle that weekend.

The Finances
Altogether, I spent $80 on advertising. Royalties from Amazon (the only place the book was for sale) were about $38 for 27 sales in October plus about $30 for 15 borrows from the KDP library, and about $20 for 32 sales in the first week of November.  Financially, I broke even, about $8 ahead.

But keep in mind that I had 3710 free downloads as well. If those downloads translate to reviews and newsletter signups, that’s worth the cost of advertising. A bigger newsletter list means more sales when new books come out. I’ve had about the same number of newsletter signups already that I had after a BookBub ad last year yielded 17,561 free downloads of the same book. Last year’s free downloads added about 35 new reviews over two to three months. It’s too early to know how many reviews I’ll get due to the 3710 free downloads last month.

While traditional wisdom is that advertising with so few books out isn’t worth your time and money, check out the difference in sales and in reach between the month before the sale, the sale month, and only one week after the last sale.

September (with no sales or advertising) – 6 purchases, 6 borrows, 0 free, about $27 in revenue

October (with three sales and lots of email ads) – 27 purchases, 15 borrows, 3710 free, about $68 in revenue

November (1 week only, end of last sale) – 32 purchases, no borrows or free (not in KDP Select anymore), about $20 in revenue

While my numbers are small, the percentage of increase is excellent. Because last year’s BookBub ad was for a free book, the reviews were easily worth the $90 I paid for the ad, but there was a very small sales tail after the five free days ended. I believe I sold 24 books in the month following. I ended up with a negative net income that month despite the wild “success” of so many people choosing to download the book.

This time, I spent nearly the same amount of money, reached fewer people but over several different audiences instead of one, and had a positive net income for the month. Also, my book was being promoted over the course of three weeks rather than five days. I will likely derive value from that later since people need to hear about a product a certain number of times before they decide to buy it.

Specific Advertisers
If you’re interested in the results from specific advertisers, these are my stats:

InD’Tale $25 ad to about 10,000 readers = 1238 free downloads that day
(NOTE: There were also 551 free downloads the day after the ad came out, and 245 on the third day, on which I also used an eBookSoda ad.)

eBookSoda $10 ad to 700+ readers = 245 free downloads that day
(NOTE: I used eBookSoda in April and May of this year, and had 0 sales and possibly a few sales, respectively with books priced at 99c. I emailed them and was told Little Miss Lovesick was advertised to 681 subscribers in April with 37 click-throughs to retailers, and Unexpected Superhero was advertised to 714 subscribers in May with 43 click-throughs to retailers.)

Ereader News Today $20 ad to “thousands” of readers = 1277 free downloads that day
(NOTE: There were another 391 free downloads the following day.)

EBookBooster $25 ad to 25 sites and potentially thousands of readers = 8 sales at 99c that day
(NOTE: There were 10 more 99c sales during the 3-day sale, and a lot of word-of-mouth promotion as well.)

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. This is data based on having only one book in a series and advertising that book without the next book out yet. I’ll let you know what happens when I do this again when book two comes out.

Meanwhile, please leave a comment with your thoughts, or your advertising experiences. And please share this with your social media friends. Your input could be very helpful for others contemplating advertising and short-term sales.

Book Sale Today – 20 Books at 99c Each!

PreLaunchImage2Hi friends!

I’m participating in a book sale today with 19 other writers. There’s a little something for everyone, and each of the books are only 99c today. Most books will be on sale today only, while some like mine will be 99c for a few days. Check them out! :)

Stuck With You by Kristy Tate

Calling All Glass Slippers by Jacqueline Diamond

Jack Fell Down by Michelle Knowlden

Heart’s Desire by Susan R Hughes

Emerald Fortune by Lou Nelson

Claimed by the Enemy by Shauna Roberts

A Deadly Denial by Kathy Bennett

Unexpected Superhero by Yours Truly! :-D

Neighbors by Michael Payne

Ghost of My Dreams by Angie Ray

Love at the Beach (3 books in 1) by Laura Taylor

Judy Uncensored by Debra Salonen

The Ring That Binds by Linda Carroll-Bradd

She Likes It Tough by Geralyn Corcillo

Shadows Till Sunrise by Chris Marie Green

The Bachelor’s Baby Promise by Barbara McMahon

The Single Daddy Club: Derrick by Donna Fasano

You Don’t Know Jack by Adrianne Lee

Big and Bright by Jan Hudson

Demon Lover by Kathleen Creighton

 

Stop and See Me at Comikaze in Los Angeles This Weekend

COMIKAZE_POW_LOGO_colorThis weekend I’m excited to participate in my first Comikaze Expo, Stan Lee’s own comic book and pop culture convention. And I heard my table is even going to be near Stan Lee’s booth! STAN LEE, you guys!! Woo-hooo!!

If you can make it to the Los Angeles Convention Center this Friday, Saturday, and/or Sunday, you’ll find all kinds of fun. In addition to Stan Lee, you might see Elvira, John Barrowman, Kevin Smith, and so many more writers, artists, actors, producers, and more. Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of the graphic novel POWERS, about to become a TV show on the Playstation Network, sadly cannot make it. He was my personal favorite draw, but he just announced it on Twitter a couple hours ago.

Kids 12 and under are free, and there is going to be trick-or-treating in the convention hall on Friday for them. A safe place to bring your kids that will also be fun for you! Tickets are still available.

POWER bagsAnd please come by my table and say hi! I’m in space AA-1116, near the center of the convention floor, just off the red carpet. (I’m in the directory under my company name, Daydreamer Entertainment.) I’ll have my new book bags available for the first time, as well as the print copies of Unexpected Superhero and the prequel short story, “Superhero in Disguise.” We’ll even have cool new T-shirts available to order. :-D

I hope to see you this weekend! And Happy Halloween!

Unexpected Superhero FREE today on Kindle

Unexpected Superhero cover by Kitty BucholtzHey friends! Since I’m going to be at Comikaze this month (Los Angeles Convention Center, October 31 – November 2, 2014), I thought I’d do some promotions for Unexpected Superhero.

It’s going to be FREE on Kindle today through Friday, October 8-10. Please share the news with your friends so they can give the series a try. Save the money and buy more Halloween candy! :-P

SHARE: Be Kind, for Everyone You Meet Is Fighting a Hard Battle

Bob MayerYesterday, Bob Mayer wrote this wonderful post for his blog. It’s a sentiment I think about a lot. You have no idea why someone is acting the way they are, or just said what they said. While it’s easy to be hurt or offended or righteously indignant, it takes more time and effort to consider where they might be coming from in this moment. And maybe say a prayer for them.

For a good portion of my life, I was a warrior. I block that out a lot these days, although the pain from various parts of my body remind me otherwise at times. From when I was 17 years old I was trained as a warrior and spent a large portion of my years living that life, delving deeper and deeper into it, volunteering for more and more. In a way the pure warrior is a defense against the pain of life although it brings other pains; physical, emotional and spiritual.

But I see now there are much more important and difficult battles in life.

Sometimes we feel like we’re all alone. And sometimes we think everyone else is doing just fine. But everyone is carrying around a burden we can’t see and fighting a battle we often can’t imagine, never mind understand. They might be sick. They might be depressed. They might be in pain, physical or emotional, or both. They might have experienced trauma or tragedy in their life recently. Or old pains resurface. They might be suffering because someone they love is suffering or suffered or has died. There are some pains people outside of the ones who suffer it can’t even begin to comprehend.

But we can’t see it. Because we all put on our best to go out there in the world to face it and do what we have to do. To fulfill our responsibilities.

Lately, I’ve focused more and more on the fact that I don’t know shit about other people. And because of that, I have to be kinder. To let go of my preconceived notions, my selfishness, and my impatience.

To be a kinder person, because everyone I meet is fighting a hard battle I cannot see.

 

Unexpected Superhero Wins an Honorable Mention Medal

Global Ebook Awards Honorable Mention MedalI’m so excited! Unexpected Superhero, the first book in the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series, won an Honorable Mention Medal in the Fiction – Fantasy/Contemporary category of the 2014 Global Ebook Awards.

This is the first award I’ve won since I started writing professionally. I’m so happy that the judges enjoyed the book enough to give it the Honorable Mention Medal. Yay!

You can see a list of all the winners here. Happy Reading!

Accidents Happen – And Then You Pick Yourself Up and Walk Again

John on bike in gear 1st dayIt has been a long time – too long – since I’ve chatted with you all here. I’ve missed you!

If you didn’t know what happened, why I disappeared, it’s because my husband John was in a motorcycle accident five months ago. That completely changed my life. Suddenly, my world was about hospitals and surgeries, and then being an at-home caregiver. (Boy, do I have more respect for all you parents and caregivers out there!)

Even as John was healing, there was little he could do with a multi-broken leg. We recently moved out of our apartment and I had to do nearly all the packing. John helped by taping boxes from his chair, and packing up dishes while sitting in the kitchen. But that was a chore I hope to never have to repeat.

As you can imagine, with all my time taken up with taking care of John, and then driving him back and forth to work when he returned (we owned a stick-shift until a couple weeks ago, so John couldn’t drive), the amount of time I had to work felt miniscule. The second superhero book, Superhero in the Making, had to be put on hold (though it should be out later this year). I did meet my deadline for getting Unexpected Superhero out on audiobook in May, though. Very exciting! And I managed to get my booth up at WonderCon and Cherry Capital Comic Con. At least I was able to make some of my commitments.

John home from hospitalLife isn’t back to normal yet, but we’re getting there. I hope to stay in touch with you here at least a couple times a month. Please forgive me that my web site has some issues right now. I’ll fix them as soon as I can. But I figure that getting back to work writing books and stories for you to read is better! :)

I can’t wait to share some fun things with you over the next few weeks. Progress is being made, and there’s nothing more fun than sharing it with friends!

Meanwhile, enjoy these last days of summer. If you’re looking for something to read, remember that “Superhero in Disguise” is a free short story that starts the Adventures of Lewis and Clarke series. And if you joined Kindle Unlimited, you can read Unexpected Superhero for free.

Now – back to work with me! :)