I’m running an Amazon free book promo this weekend and next weekend if anyone is interested. Since the book is a paranormal thriller, October is a big month for this story. Here’s a pre-view link:
Great buttery Chardonnay is such a popular subject that I have been working diligently to bring you a new Top Ten list with a fresh challenge: ten buttery chardonnays for under $10!!!
Does price really dictate quality and taste? Heck no! You don’t have to break the bank to drink good wine. Although challenging, you can find quality chards for under $20, $15 and even under $10!
A quick note on price, if you shop for wine at the major supermarket chains, the prices are sometimes as much as $5 higher per bottle than at designated wine outlets like Total Wine, or Costco, but with a member card, sale price discounts, and the 6 bottle discount most supermarkets offer, you can pay much less, you just may just need to buy more wine! I also find great prices and good selection at World Market, Aldi and Trader Joe’s.
There are some amazing, highly drinkable chards of the buttery, creamy variety with some other flavors that make my palate sing like oak, caramel, pear, almond, vanilla, baked apple, pineapple and honeysuckle. If all of these sound heavenly to you, read on my friends.
Sadly, butter has become a trend, and with any trend, you have posers trying to sell you something that their product is not! Shameful! So first I want to address what’s in a name and in a label? Just like a book cover, the wine label and well written back label copy tell us in a snapshot everything about the wine we are about to purchase, it is the second most important piece of the puzzle. Still, I cannot tell you how many lost souls I have witnessed, and often rescued, adrift in the wine aisle!
Labels matter and they only have precious seconds to impress! If you are currently aimlessly wandering the aisles of your favorite wine store, my goal is to help you find some great weekend wines minus the pain!
As always, I had to taste some frogs to compile this list. Nothing is more disappointing than bringing home a wine with high hopes of greatness, only to find that the taste does not even begin to measure up to the name and label narrative. One that I found not as buttery as promised was Butter Knife.
Here are a few that do measure up on the butter scale!
Ménage a Trios from California, is liquid gold indeed. I have to say the name is a tad off-putting, and in the past I had hesitated to purchase it because I am a respectable wine drinker! Still, the wine is really good, and if this gimmicky thing that the marketers have going on works for them, great. However, they may want to consider a sister wine under a classier label for an uptick in sales and broader wine audience. Label aside, I give this one three butter sticks!!! It is sooo buttery!
I first discovered Cloud Break at Aldi, but have since seen it on the shelves of other stores like Total Wine.
I selected Bend simply based on the label. I wanted to be on this windy road on a gorgeous autumn day in a convertible with someone special! I imagined a picnic basket in the back seat filled with gourmet cheese, a French baguette, and of course chilled buttery chard! The best label award goes to…Bend!
The Cupcake brand is pure marketing genius! I especially love that they added Butterkissed for an extra burst of butter for all butter lovers!
This wine label crosses over into what I call life style wine that sells a story with the 3 A’s: “Anytime, Anyplace, Anyone”.
With such a sophisticated label, you can bring Proverb Chardonnay to your next gathering and impress for less.
Big, grand applause for all of these wines and their fabulous labels! However, I just realized most of my picks are from California, ugh! I shall try to invent a list from around the globe or at least find more from some other states like Washington, Oregon, or Virginia next time! Until then…sip, relax and enjoy!
Please share your thoughts and favorites too! As always thanks for reading and keep drinking great wine!
Amazon Top 100 Metaphysical free until 2/20/17 is #28 today!!! Secret Agent of God
How do you measure your success as a writer? Is is solely based on monetary terms? Is it based on numbers? Views? Or rankings? All of this has become very complicated. When I first published my book, I had no idea what I wanted in terms of writing success. Every month, and every year this definition of success keeps changing.
One single factor that remains consistent is that I am always taken by surprise when some form of writing success comes my way. So much for my mastery in marketing!
I actually forgot that I scheduled a book promotion for this weekend. Woops! I was checking the stats of another author, which of course led to checking my own stats, and then…an ah-ha moment.
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,068 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
Incidentally as I write this the book went from #26 to #28! If I don’t write faster it may drop off the list entirely!!! Success no matter how you measure it fleeting.
When I was a “new” writer, I would get very excited about any measure of success. This is as it should be, which makes me wonder, as an “old” writer, am I now jaded or just too busy?
I have been a little busy with a new job, my daughter was home sick, I had a few plumbing disasters. You know, life tends to get in the way of one’s “writing life”.
Another recent discovery (again by accident) was that one of my blog posts from 2014, about buttery chardonnay, is consistently fighting for the top three position against Total Wine and Wine Spectator. What led to the discovery was I kept getting new comments on an old post. I looked at the stats, and realized it had a crazy number of steady views:
http://www.totalwine.com/wine/buttery-chardonnay/c/92888977Total Wine and More features the best wine selection with over 8000 wines in stock. Shop Buttery Chardonnay now.
https://eileenslovak.com/2014/04/25/ten-buttery-chardonnays-for-under-20/Apr 25, 2014 … Bringing you some feasible Friday fun with numbers…just in time for the weekend ! Actually most of these wines are available for under $15, which is amazing considering the quality. Fans of the buttery, creamy variety will enjoy these ‘Fab Chards’! I like mine fruity, but on the dry side, with hints of vanilla and …
http://www.winespectator.com/drvinny/show/id/47437Wine Spectator’s expert describes malolactic conversion, or ML, which can impart a buttery flavor to Chardonnays or other wines, and suggests ways of finding wines that have this flavor.
It does make me smile, to see that today, I beat out Wine Spectator. But what does this mean? I love that people are finding my post useful. It’s flattering to be google ranked among the big shots of wine for my post. But at the end of the day, most of the people in my everyday life have no idea that I even write. BTW: I use my real name on everything!
Putting “success” in perspective means finding out what it means to me to be successful. I do feel inspired by this “success” enough to make me want work on my new novel today. This equals a positive result.
My goal as a writer has always been to write for the love of writing, to publish just to say I did it, to maybe reach a small audience, to inspire, to make a few connections, and NOT to quit.
The last one is the toughest. Hang in there!
Thanks for reading and keep writing!
I’ve been away for awhile, and I apologize for completely abandoning my blog and WordPress over the last few months! THANK YOU to all who remained loyal to my site during my absence. Some personal issues crept up: a new job, my Mother (who has dementia) moving near us, writing a new book, family, children, sports and so on. Everyone has busy lives, right? Is this any excuse to give up my blog? Not really.
The first thing I noticed when I came back to my site was that it needed a major face-lift. I’m trying out this new, colorful theme. Please let me know what you think.
Paperback vs. E-Book
This morning, since I am writing a new novel, I was motivated to analyze my book sales since the publication of my first novel in January of 2014, “Secret Agent of God: the Captive Clairvoyant” which is available in both paperback and e-book formats. I consider my first book to be my sales guinea pig.
Here is what I discovered. Although it may not be terribly shocking to seasoned Authors, it might help some new Authors who are in the process of publishing their first book.
I had originally planned to only publish my second book in e-book format since unit sales of my e-book are 5X the sales of my paperback. However, the sales dollars generated from my paperback, while not record setting, are almost 8X the sales of my e-book. Huh?
I attribute this to one thing (tried and true publishing 101): in person sales. Working book fairs, craft shows, farmers markets, donating books and simply talking about my book to people I know or meet has generated more sales dollars than anything else. You can actually make a decent margin on purchasing books and re-selling them yourself. Where this hurts you is in Amazon ranking where you get zero credit for these sales.
This is the paper I used to work for. One of the articles I wrote for the paper helped spark the idea for my first novel. A few years later, the paper covered a book fair where I was one of the Authors. Ironic?
FREE, Countdown Deals and Full Price Sales:
I will try any advertising method just out of curiosity. Free does help your sales rank but I always wonder if anyone reads the free books they download. I rarely get around to reading free books and am more motivated to read a book I paid for even if I only pay .99¢ for it. However, my unit sales from year one, where I stubbornly refused to give my book away for free to my second year when I completely caved enjoyed a 90% unit “sales” bump.
That being said, I tried the .99 price point for my book and did not like it. I felt cheap! I felt like I needed a shower after every sale. Furthermore, I did not in reality, sell more books at that price point than I did when my book was priced at the golden number of $2.99.
Yes, I tried this too. I found out I’m really good at spending money. This is the reality of advertising. Advertising is a mode of spreading the word about your book. I look at advertising the same way I view gambling, never spend more than you can afford to lose. There are multiple factors involved in a good campaign and you need to analyze what you did right and wrong. It helps to start with a good product, but even a good product can be sabotaged by a bad campaign. If I could afford it, I would hire someone to do this for me.
With Amazon advertising I managed to spend 6X what I actually made in sales. However, I did experience a huge increase in KENP, Kindle Edition Normalized Pages Read. Huh. Amazon pays royalties on these which is a nice bonus. The hope is that after reading some of your book, the reader is inspired to purchase it.
I have very little success with Facebook advertising, but I also have a small following there. Why? I really do not like Facebook. I quite often resent it. I keep my account because if I do not, I know that I will lose track of people who no longer live in my general vicinity which constitutes most of the people I know. Sound familiar?
I have had the most success with Twitter advertising because I love Twitter and have a considerably better following there. Make sense? I engage more there. And I feel as though the advertising capability is better suited for targeting, better reporting and allows me to customize my own campaign. Actually, I have fun with all of the charts and graphs and statistics they offer and therefore will actually go look and find out what I did wrong and right.
So what have I learned? I have learned that I need to continue to diversify my marketing efforts. Free is OK if I only use it on occasion, but free is not a price point, it is only free. I like Twitter! I need to remember to blog once in awhile. I need to advertise wisely and not just roll the dice and then be to be lazy to do the analysis.
And by the way, I am running a Kindle Countdown Deal starting February 8th until February 15th. Check out my book if you dare!
Thank you for reading and keep writing!
Why Give Books Away Free?
When I first published my book, I was dead set against giving it away for free. Something about spending years of my life on something and then just handing it out gratis didn’t sit well with me. What I didn’t comprehend then was the massive uphill boulder roll of marketing a novel. It doesn’t matter how good your book is if no one knows it exists. Swirling in a storm of millions of books, it’s easy to disappear and maybe never even be seen at all.
So I tried the free book thing.
For a spell, I became obsessed with Amazon’s Ranking system. My novel hitting some of the Top 100 Lists was a drug, and I needed more. I began running monthly promotions and viola, my everyday ranking remained solid. Better yet, actual sales followed. HMMMM, maybe Amazon does know a thing or two.
Here’s a snapshot of my current non-promotional rank, which changes often.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #974 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Urban
- #2379 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Humor
- #5034 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Urban Life
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,989,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Why is seeing your book in the Top 100 is worth every free book? Because it means people are potentially reading your book. It means the cover, concept, writing, marketing copy, title, or something in that mix interested them enough to take the time to download your book.
Without readers, we writers lose our purpose. We are asking readers to take a risk. We are asking them to give us their time, which in many ways is much, more valuable than money.
Happy reading and keep writing!
I’m running a promotion on my novel, “Secret Agent of God.” It’s a Kindle Countdown deal for .99 through this Sunday, 9/5. I went to copy the link for a tweet that I was writing and discovered the e-book had hit one of the Amazon Top 100 lists @#66. So I take this as a sign not to quit writing today.
The interesting thing about writing is that writers think about quitting pretty regularly. For example, I was considering pulling the plug on this blog as recently as last week. I enjoy writing here periodically, but I am not what you would call a “pro blogger”. I guess my reason for quitting was why do it if I am not going to give it my all? Right? The same could be said about writing. Very few writers have the time and resources for 100% devotion to their craft. So why bother?
I think about giving up writing from time to time. It would be nice to have a hobby like painting or airplane model building or quilting. Do those hobbies drive you to the brink of insanity? Do they cause you to talk to or at least mutter to yourself regularly? Do they fill you with doubt and self loathing? Do they keep you up at night? I wonder if a quilter ever wakes at 3:00 a.m., sits bolt upright and then staggers around in the dark looking for the pen and paper that should by her bedside for brilliant o-dark-thirty revelations. I would be willing to bet airplane model builders sleep like babies with flying dreams all night and that painters spend their REM time skipping through the streets of Paris.
So just quit, right? What is the big deal? One less writer in the world…who cares? There are millions of us after all. Except that quitting is simply not an option, is it? We’re compelled to write, even if no one reads what we write, even if we write for a tiny audience. One person is an audience. It’s all about perspective. Keeping the right one will keep you writing.
Thank you readers! Here’s the link if you are looking for a witty, gritty, page turner to keep you up at night!
If you’re not a Facebook superstar, fear not! You likely have other strengths.
In the scheme of marketing things, my Facebook fan page is NOT growing in leaps and bounds. I opened it, because it was one of the many things marketing experts tell authors we must do to sell more books! Well…I think my personal page was a help in letting my friends know that I did in fact finally finish and publish my novel, SECRET AGENT OF GOD. Much to my surprise, many of my friends purchased the book. I rather expected to give copies away to my nearest and dearest, but they beat me to it. Now if I had thousands of ‘friends’ I can see where this might be a place where people sell tons of books. But does anyone really have thousands of friends?
I actually personally know all the people on my Facebook page and I hang in there because among my small group of good people, I might actually lose touch with some of them if I was not there. Time zone differences and my multiple moves have made Facebook necessary.
As far as fan pages go, I think the successful folks in this arena truly love Facebook and are not like me, suspicious by nature and private to a fault. They like sharing. They like getting personal with just about everybody.
In my Facebook beginnings, five years ago, I was so paranoid I refused friends I didn’t know especially well and deleted people who didn’t communicate with me regularly. Suffice to say, I did not really get it. Most of my very best friends refuse to join Facebook at all. Many of us feel forced to take part.
But to the Facebook lovers, maintaining their pages is not work. To them, it’s fun. Now the new push is to start your own Facebook group. I participate in a few of the groups, but do I want to be responsible for one? Not really. Time is the real factor here. None of us has an infinite amount, so where do you spend yours?
This makes me wonder, is Facebook really for everyone? More importantly, if I feel this strongly about it, Is it even where my fiction audience lives?
I have developed a twitter addiction. Of my 3,113 followers, 80% come from Twitter. Approximately 16% come from WordPress and about 4% come from Facebook. Which means, this is already where I spend my time. Why turn myself inside out trying to be someone else?
While some people may handle both Facebook and Twitter well, most tend to fall into one camp or the other.
Writers love Twitter because we can show off how well we write flash fiction and catch phrases. It’s like Facebook for nerds. I’m sure I’ll catch hell for saying that, but I find a real discrepancy in content between the two sites. Facebook on any given day is ripe with messages about friendship, moms, sisters, confidence boosters, pictures and films about cats, dogs and babies. On Twitter I find news, poetry, art, and quotes from the great thinkers, writers, and historians of our time.
Twitter is not as much of a popularity contest as Facebook. A business person may have as large a following as a celebrity. So, do you spend the bulk of your time Facebooking, WordPressing, Tweeting or Instagraming? Do the math. There’s strength and truth in numbers.
And if you’re feeling charitable, please “Like” my page!
Looking for a fast-paced, thriller with a touch of romance? Uncover the SECRET!
Thanks for reading and keep writing!
Do you think about BRANDING much? Branding is the new buzz word. Every product on the market has a brand or brands.
I find the number of choices overwhelming at times. Here I am in the toilet paper aisle, just trying to get through all the options. Drowning in a world of excess, where does one begin?
I refer to my trusty coupons for guidance:
- If I buy two packages of one brand, I can save $1.00.
- If I buy one mega roll I can save $1.25.
- If I buy one package of toilet paper and one package of paper towels of the same brand, I can save $1.00.
Suddenly my head is spinning! Then, I look at the prices of these brands: $8.99, $9.99. Are they serious? They do know what we use this stuff for? Right?
I think about how my kids go through it like it grows on trees. Oh, yeah, right.
My husband loves to tell the story of his days growing up in Ireland and the one room schoolhouse with the outhouse where all he had to use were old squares of newspaper. Ouch!
I try to think about which brand my family prefers. My husband suggests, “you know, get the ‘cushy’ kind, I hate that thin, skimpy stuff.”
Several different brands that claim softness and extra cushioning. These cushy on the ‘tushy’ types all look the same to me. I try squeezing a few to see if one feels better than another. It reminds me of a commercial from my youth. Advertising at it’s best, this is forever etched on my brain. Still, what makes one brand better than another?
In the end, I rely on some insider knowledge from my manufacturing days. You may or may not realize store brands are typically made by one of the major producers of any given product line.
Think about it. Supermarkets are in the business of selling food not manufacturing it.
What happens is, a private label, designed by a graphic artist, is placed on the bottle of finished product, the same product with the well-known name that might even be merchandised on the shelf right next to the store brand, but at a higher price.
The added cost of the specialty brand pays for advertising and marketing. The branded company is betting on your loyalty to their name brand to keep their share of the market place.
I pick up the trusty store brand toilet paper and place in my cart, tossing the coupons aside for a savings of $2.00 or $3.00 a package at times. Every week I save 25-30% at the supermarket by shopping the sales, selecting store brands, and using coupons where it makes sense. Every penny saved puts me closer to developing my brand, www.eileenslovak.com.
Thanks for reading!
For more fascinating facts about toilet paper see: