The Balance is here!

Now the marketing work begins – or rather continues to ramp up. How am I marketing this entertaining second installment of The Stone’s Blade series? Here is a list of the things I have started:

First I had my book designer, Nathan, upload the print version of the book to Create Space and made it available on Amazon after approving the file. Then, with support from my eBook transformer, Helena, I learned how to upload the The_Balance_Cover_for_Kindle.mobi file to Amazon’s KDP program. That one took about four tries before I got it right but it did work after a good night’s sleep and a fresh outlook on the process.

Then I moved to Goodreads and created a Giveaway for five autographed copies to readers in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. I am running the Giveaway for a full month and three days in 138 people have entered. So take a moment and enter the Giveaway (see below for the link).

I have announced that The Balance is live and ready for reading on both my personal and business Facebook pages.

If you want to purchase a copy directly from me you only have to attend one of our dances. One benefit to doing that is you will receive a twenty percent discount. Granted none of the books I sell personally gets recognized on Amazon but that’s okay. I do receive a larger royalty by selling on my own too. And that helps my bank account. I am hoping that one day I will break even on this venture. At the moment that means selling between one and two thousand copies. And you can help by purchasing a copy or two (insert smiling face here!) for yourself, family and/or friends. To buy from Amazon click here.

If you enjoy reading this second installment please take a moment to post a brief review on Amazon and Goodreads. This way you are helping me spread the word.

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Balance by Allynn Riggs

The Balance

by Allynn Riggs

Giveaway ends September 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details

 

I thank you in advance for joining me on the continuing adventure of The Stone’s Blade series. Let me know what you think and share your thoughts. Help me celebrate!

 

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About the Book – The Blood

I am thinking about updating the “About the Book” section on Amazon for The Blood to coincide with the upcoming release of The Balance. What do you think about the following?

Telepathic intelligent crystals known as Stones are the guardians of the Lrakiran people and when the first portion of a thousand year old prophecy comes true they choose Renloret to pilot the rescue mission to return the prophesied child, known as The Blood, to Lrakira. For it is only the blood of a five year old Lrakiran child born on far away Teramar that can save the Lrakiran people from extinction. When the rescue ship crashes on Teramar under mysterious circumstances leaving only Renloret alive he must race against time to find the child with the help of his own rescuer, Ani, her telepathic canine, Kela, and the local village sheriff, Taryn. TSB_3D-XSMALL

Renloret ignores first contact protocols and enlists the help of local people whose society and customs are eerily similar to those of Lrakira. He further breaks taboos when he finds himself falling in love with Ani. They must struggle against their mutual attraction so he can complete his vital mission. However Ani’s own issues complicate the search and Renloret must destroy Ani’s beliefs in order to save his species. In the process he will reveal the secret of Lrakira’s Stones and why the future of two worlds, Lrakira and Teramar, hang in the balance and, unknown to him, everything depends on Renloret.

2014 EVVY Fantasy - the Blood

 

The Blood is a great space opera about self-discovery tangled up in a prophecy deemed a fairy tale by the very people it was meant to save. This award winning science fiction/fantasy crossover is reminiscent of classic genre reads in the 1960s and 1970s “before they got harsh, cold and violent.” The Blood is a multi-category award winner placing 3rd Place in Science Fiction and 3rd Place in Fantasy in the 2014 Colorado Independent Publishers Association’s EVVY Awards.

2014 EVVY Science Fiction - The Blood

The Blood is currently available on Amazon.com [click here] in your choice of ebook or paperback. I will be running a reduced price on the ebook at the same time The Balance, the second installment of The Stone’s Blade series, which comes out in the next month or so. Keep your eyes open for that announcement. The Blood can also be found at The Tattered Cover Book Store [click here], and there are still a few copies at The Bookworm, 211 N Main St, Gunnison, CO 81230. Join the journey as Ani, Kela, Renloret, and Taryn and the people of Teramar and Lrakira discover their past and then must decide whether or not to embrace their future.

Tell me what you think.

 

Marketing Experiment for December 2015

December 2015 has been an interesting experiment in marketing book one of The Stone’s Blade series, The Blood. In preparation for the upcoming release of the second installment of the series, The Balance, I launch a multi-pronged social media announcement scheduled across three different sites.cropped-the-blood-at-tattered-cover-hr-rmas-shelf-6-24-14.jpg

I began the month with by paying for several advertisements on a website for readers called BookDaily. Their daily e-mails to general audiences and targeted e-mails for readers of specific genres included a brief blurb, copy of the cover and link to Amazon for purchase along with the first chapter as a sample.

Then I set up a five day FREE Kindle download from Amazon which ran from December 18 through the 22nd. This was been a very interesting result. Day One 148 downloads, Day Two 158 downloads, Day Three 40 downloads, Day Four 231 downloads, Day five 92 downloads. The jump on day four is directly related to a single day announcement on Goodreads of the free Kindle version.

On December 22 I decided to check on the rankings: this was my posting on Facebook: So here’s the good news on the Kindle down loads and rankings on Amazon for The Blood.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,048 Free in Kindle Store
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel
#7 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera

If you look carefully you will notice that I broke into the top 10 in two categories – Time Travel and Space Opera! Thank you to everyone who downloaded the past five days. I look forward to seeing your reviews when you get the chance to post. I hope you enjoy the read.

Then on the evening of the 23rd I returned to Amazon to see how far the book had dropped in the rankings. This was what I found:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,432 Paid in Kindle Store. #403 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel. #1614 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Space Opera. #1871 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery

A fascinating difference, don’t you think? Now I am hoping that of the total of 669 downloads of the Kindle version at least 65 (I’m thinking 10%) will actually read it and perhaps post honest reviews to Amazon and or Goodreads. That will have wait I guess because it should take most readers a couple of weeks to read. I mean a lot of people actually collect free downloads and probably read none of them. I hope to see an uptick in the number of reviews around the end of February 2016. That’s when I am hoping to get The Balance out. Somehow I am hoping for some bleed over from all the Kindle downloads of The Blood to purchases of either the Kindle or paperback version of The Balance.

This marketing is all a learning process. I really just want to write the stories but I must learn how to be more effective in my marketing – essentially no one else is going to do this for me. I promised the characters I would write their stories and I promised to do my very best. Learning marketing of fiction, particularly science fiction and fantasy is not an easy task and I believe it will be worth it. My goal is to break even. At an average of $3 to $5 profit from each book I must sell at least 2,000+ paperbacks just to break even on The Blood. I believe this is possible. I will be patient. Most series don’t really get noticed until at least the third installment is well into publication. I have five titles. I truly can hardly wait to get started on number three, The Blades. Yet, again, I must wait and be patient. Number two, The Balance demands my attention for now. I promise it will be good. I am doing my best and with help and guidance from my editor, proofreader, book designer and a couple of beta readers, it is worth the wait.Book Promotion

Have you read The Blood yet? What do you think? Please post a review on Amazon, Goodreads or BookDaily. Don’t keep it a secret.

I thank you for sharing the stories of The Stone’s Blade.

 

Review Contest – Incentives to Boost Visibility

I am struggling with ways to increase the visibility of my award winning science fiction book, The Blood: The Stone’s Blade, #1. I’ve been bantering around several ideas with some fellow authors but haven’t decided what method to use – until I mentioned it to my husband, Bob. Now, while he won’t necessarily read a book, any book, for pleasure, he is definitely supporting my efforts in the publishing industry and is always encouraging. He has shown a surprising interest in the business side of my process and is quite helpful – when I can get his attention. Last night I had his attention and he came up with a great idea on how I can do two things at once – increase the visibility of my first book AND get the second title off to a running start. He first suggested that I give away one hundred books for free then after discussing the pros and cons of that we settled on signed copies of book two for the cost of printing and shipping – I make no profit but then I am not out over $800 either. As an independent publisher I’d like to break even at a minimum – sorry, but according to my husband, I am supposed to be running a business, too. There may be other products coming down the pipe-line as well for future incentives or for those review postings exceeding one hundred (working on designs for t-shirts or tea mugs with small bags of cinnamon tea from Awful Annie’s).

So here’s the deal:  I want to increase the number of reviews on Goodreads.com and Amazon.com for The Blood: The Stone’s Blade, #1, so I am offering 100 signed copies of the upcoming second book, The Balance: The Stone’s Blade, #2 for a greatly reduced price (cost of printing plus shipping – not to exceed $8.00) direct from me in exchange for a verified honest review of The Blood: The Stone’s Blade, #1. If you have already purchased and read The Blood I encourage you to post your review on Goodreads.com or Amazon.com. You can notify me directly after you post so I can check it out and then I will contact you to put your information on a special reserve list.

Realizing that The Balance: The Stone’s Blade, #2 is currently planned for publication in late fall of 2015 I know it is a long time to wait but this offer goes out to the first 100 (yes, one hundred) reviews. I will send you a coupon after I see your review and will let you know ahead of time when The Balance will be published. By that time I will have the ability to use credit cards and possibly PayPal. Once you receive this second book I would ask that you also post reviews of it. Please pass this on to friends, encourage them to purchase, read, and then post their review.

Here’s the link at Amazon: https://alturl.com/fbn43 especially if you want the first book on your Kindle or Kindle App.

Get to rereading if needed and post those reviews!! Contact me at Allynn@timberdark.com or on Face Book at https://facebook.com/TimberdarkPublications

‪#‎Reviewcontest‬ ‪#‎Postreviewandgetbook2atreducedcost‬

P.S. For those who have already posted a review – you are on my list. If you have posted to only Goodreads or to only Amazon, I encourage you to post to the other if possible. Reviews posted on blogs will also count so let me know. There’s already one out there on Fresh Fiction thanks to Clare! You may see this review by visiting <http://freshfiction.com/review.php?id=50967>. Contact me to verify your current contact information.

Reviewing Restrictions – What’s taking so long?

Time flies when you are having fun, correct? Well, I am having fun but the past month seems to be dragging a bit. I keep telling myself that “The Blood” has only been available for twenty-three days so what do I have to be concerned about. I know ten e-books have been purchased – yeah! And the print version supposedly became available today, May 30th so I should not expect any type of increase in sales, yet, correct? What should my expectations be? I have not delusions of grandeur – I am fairly certain I am not the next Andre Norton or J.K. Rowling so, again, what should I expect?

I want to expect one hundred books a month. That’s just a bit over three books a day. How do I get that? I’m told to invite my friends to purchase, to read and to post their reviews of “The Blood” on Amazon, on Goodreads, on Facebook, on whatever else they are connected to. How long should I give my friends to read and then post a review? I can’t demand any action I can only request, nicely, that when they get a chance to post something honest about their reaction to “The Blood”. I’ve gotten one so far; thank you Nancy. Have the other nine readers of the e-book not finished yet? When I see a review on other books there is a statement that “This is a verified purchase”. Now, I’ve received a few e-mails from extended family members who have read it but I don’t know if they have tried to post their comments on any kind of forum. Is there a restriction on Amazon against family members commenting on my book? If yes, would this mean that any one with the last name of Riggs cannot post a review?

What about the over sixty people who have purchased “The Blood” directly from me? So far most of them have offered comments face-to-face. I love the reactions! Can they post a review on Amazon if they have not purchased a book from Amazon? I am certain that they can post reviews on Goodreads but I only have eleven ‘friends’ on Goodreads so I don’t necessarily understand how that all works. Can people comment on my book on my LinkedIn page or my personal Facebook page or my ‘business’ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/timberdarkpublications)? Do these personal sales get added anywhere other than the list I have? According to exterior social media etc. only ten people have actually acquired my book – that’s not necessarily a great showing (though it has not yet been a full month). I am planning to set a limited time sale on the e-book starting sometime in June so perhaps I’ll see an increase then.

Now that I’ve written all this I think I am overreacting. No one knows me or the story begun in “The Blood”. It takes time to build an audience and I’ve only just begun. I am technologically challenged and can only handle a bit at a time – which it probably a good thing. One step at a time, girl. I also want to wait until after the EVVY Awards in late August. “The Blood” has been entered in five categories and it may place in at least one of them so I could use that to jump start another round of advertising based on that, correct?

In the meantime check out the e-book at http://alturl.com/fbn43 if you haven’t already. Use the “Look Inside” to read a sample. Let me know what you think. Do you have any questions? I have one for you: What’s taking you so long?