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Apologies & Book Sales Analysis

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Apologies!

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?

Bay Weekly

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.

Paid Advertising:

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.

TWEET HIGHLIGHTS

Top Tweet earned 404 impressions

& Secret Agent of God: The Captive Clairvoyant via

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!

 

 

 

 

Top 100, I’ll Take It!

Secret Agent of God

Secret Agent of God

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.

Amazon Top 100 Lists

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!

Book Link: “Secret Agent of God”

Kindle Promotion, 3/14-3/21

Hello all! Just a brief note of shameless self promotion!

I’m offering a special kindle/ e-book price on my new thriller. Just click the link below or the photo of the book on this page.

Secret Agent of God

The sale begins tomorrow for one week only, March 14th-March 21st. 

 

Tagline:

Kidnapped by terrorists for her prophetic visions, one woman needs to use her strange power to prevent hundreds of deaths—including her own.

 

Editors Comments:

Eileen Slovak blends the dangerous world of terrorism with the paranormal in a fast-paced and suspenseful thriller. Janice’s visions will have horrific consequences unless she learns to be a Secret Agent of God.

 

Book Reviews:

**** “An impressive first from début author, Slovak, with characters to root for and original, unforeseen twists. The unlikely heroine, a young mom with an unusual gift/curse, is extraordinary and relatable, all at once. I see this book in your near future!” -M.D. Taverner, author of Willow Bend: A Mara Hiddenbridge Mystery

 

***** “I would consider it a spiritual book as well:) loved the main character Janice. I could relate to her in so many ways. A must read !!! Never a dull moment in this book! Hoping the author comes out with a second book about Janice. I want to know more about her next chapter in life! GREAT BOOK!” -Renee Stone

Physicists, Psychics and the Sixth Sensibility

Crystal Ball

Ahhh, Halloween, the time of year, when paranormal becomes just plain normal for a spell.  Therefore, I’m dedicating this special Halloween edition of my blog to the sixth sense.

No, not the film, but that mysterious sense we all have, but just ignore.

Why do I say this?  I’ve always had keen interest in the paranormal.  In 2007, I began researching the subject in earnest for an article I wrote entitled, “Could you Be Living With a Ghost?”

http://bayweekly.com/old-site/year08/issuexvi44/leadxvi44_1.html

My research began on a ghost tour in Annapolis, Maryland, which led to digging into the local ghosts and perusing several books by Psychics, Echo L. Bodine and John Edward and then to Sidney Kirkpatrick’s book about “Edgar Cayce, An American Prophet”.

On the side of science, I discovered, “Tracks in the Psychic Wilderness:  An Exploration of ESP, Remote Viewing, Precognitive Dreaming and Synchronicity”, by Dale E, Graff, which references the Stargate research program:  NOVA episode about Stargate

And because of synchronicity, I stumbled on Carl Gustav Jung’s “Selected Writings” compelling, including theories on “Synchronicity”, “On the Nature of Dreams” and “On Life After Death”.

There’s a long history of questions, theories, beliefs in the field but hard proof is still difficult to come by.  Still, I had way too much information rattling around in the attic of my brain to stop at one article and I’m intrigued by the notion of finding a connection between paranormal psychology and science.

What I have found, is a consensus among the “experts”, psychics and mediums suggesting we all have psychic abilities that are either undeveloped or just at different stages of development.

This sparked my interest in writing a novel, “Secret Agent of…God?”  The premise:  young protagonist, Janice Morrison’s discovery of foresight, leads to the upheaval of her ordinary life, a frightening interlude with terrorists and the ultimate struggle of faith.  

I plan to finish it by January, however, as there is no seeming end to research material, I continue my meandering study, one book or reference leading to another.  My current bedtime reads include:  “Questions from Earth, Answers from Heaven”, by Char Margolis and Victoria St. George and “The Power of Premonitions “ by New York Times bestselling author, Larry Dossey, M.D.

Dossey presents a well-researched, scientific argument for PSI or parapsychology, using case studies and examples including those by well-known physicists.  He references great thinkers such as Albert Einstein and authors Upton Sinclair “Mental Radio”, John William Dunne “An Experiment With Time” and “Nothing Dies” a book about immortality.

Margolis, a Psychic Intuitive, suggests ways to enhance your own psychic abilities and includes examples of everyday psychic events, suggesting much of what we call intuition is actually psychic ability.

So, are some scientists now seeing the light once reserved for Psychics?

According to Dossey, The Stanford Research Institute and the Science Applications International Corporation are among those conducting studies to build scientific evidence.  Perhaps quantitative data will be the key that unlocks the door to the other side.

So what are your thoughts?  Could psychic ability be like any other genetic or inherent gift, such as artistic or musical ability?  Could PSI be laying dormant, just below the surface of our consciousness, waiting for us to awaken it?

Assume for a moment this is true, but that some are more talented or have had more time to perfect their ability, like Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium.  Theresa Caputo Website

What would cause one person to tune in, but not another?

When someone loses their ability to hear or see, the other senses intensify, filling in the gap.  By that same token, can you train your brain to awaken your sixth sense by focusing on mind over matter and mentally shutting down your other senses?  Or, as Dossey suggests, use the five senses to enhance the sixth.

Whoa, shut the front door!  Perhaps, all you have to do, is believe.

Happy Halloween!