Category Archives: Writing

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding Has a Cover!

My newsletter subscribers get to see and hear about everything first, so since they’ve now seen the new cover, I can show everyone else. Check it out! Release date – December 24, 2014!

And if you’d like to join my newsletter and hear about what’s new and what’s on sale before anyone else, click here or type in your name and email address in the form at the top right of this page. Enjoy!

A Very Merry Superhero Wedding book cover by Kitty Bucholtz

Enter to Win Prizes at a Facebook Party

I’m participating in the 12 Days of Ebook Cheer promotion December 1-12, and we’re having a Facebook party today! I’ve never done one of those before, have you?

So this is what happens – most of our authors are going to be stopping by this page sometime between Noon and 3pm Pacific (3pm-6pm Eastern). We’ll be posting funny questions or telling you a little about our books (all 12 are on sale for 99c through Friday night!), and then we’ll be randomly drawing winners to give prizes to!

You can go to Facebook right now and join the party by hitting the Join button near the top right. I think that’s how you get Facebook to remind you when the party starts. Then go read and comment and have fun! Hope to see you there!

We’ve got some more fun prizes for you to win in addition to what happens at the Facebook party. There’s a Book Cover Contest (you know who I’d love to win!), you can buy or gift any or all of the twelve books on sale, and you can answer fun questions for a chance to win Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift cards! You only have through Saturday, December 13 to get in on this action. So click on the picture below to learn more about the fun!

Please share this post using the social media buttons below and let all your friends know. :)

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12 Days of Ebook Cheer Begins Today!

Guess what fun we’ve got starting today? Twelve fun ebooks for only 99c each for the first twelve days of December! Click on the picture to go to the web site. I’m excited to have Unexpected Superhero rubbing book spines with these other wonderful books! :-D

12Days10by_White

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.

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

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! :)

Speaking Events On Self-Publishing

Hello friends! Sorry I haven’t been able to post much to my blog lately. If you didn’t know, my husband John was in a motorcycle accident two months ago and life has taken a turn while he recuperates. I’m not getting much work done these days, but it’ll get back on course eventually. :)

Meanwhile, my speaking events in Michigan are still on! Yay! Here is a list for you.

Sat, May 17, 12-2pm – Horizon Books book signing, 243 E Front St, Traverse City

Wed, May 21, 6:30pm – Traverse City Library, 610 Woodmere Ave, Traverse City

Thur, May 22 – Kalkaska High School, Novel & Creative Writing classes

Thur, May 22, 6:00pm – Kalkaska County Library, 247 S Cedar St, Kalkaska

Fri, May 23, 6-9pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con, Grand Traverse Resort, TC – FREE Preview (Everyone gets in free Friday!)

Sat, May 24, 10am-6pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con – I’ll have a table on the show floor

Sun, May 25, 11am-5pm – Cherry Capital Comic Con – Kitty & John speaking 11am-12:30 on self-publishing and the making of Avatar, respectively; on the show floor the rest of the day

Let me know if you’re planning on attending any of these so I can look for you! :-D