Giveaway is done!

What Grows in Heavy Rain did the best in my giveaway and climbed to #53 on Amazon in the New Adult section.

Today is also the last day of the early bird special of my Costa Rica workshops this July. Prices go up $100 tomorrow to $1000.

Feeling good, feeling tired, but also excited to do this again! I learned a lot from the first workshops and am more than ready to lounge by the pool with writers, comedians, yogis, and rum.

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Join us — See you in Costa Rica!

 

 

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Freebies: That’s Right

I have been writing for a long, long time, and I usually published my work under different names and tested out different platforms. But Amazon is where it’s at, and I’m just spinning wheels if I make up a new name for a new book every time.

So I made an author page, cleaned up my books, discovered this amazing thing called Vellum, and now I have 3 books on Amazon.

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Give it the ol’ click and bookmark it, because I’m also hosting my first giveaways, starting May 1. It’s just going to be a series of Giveaways! At any point between May 1 and May 13, you can download one of my books for free.

May 1 – May 5: What Grows in Heavy Rain

May 5 – May 9: Trust & Safety

May 9 – May 13: Bastard in a Haunted House

FREE STUFFS WOOO. Happy reading. Are you hosting any giveaways soon?

 

Advertising with My Full Ass

So on Day 1 of my book being published, I was all excited about using Amazon’s ad tools. I did the exclusivity deal with them and all that jazz. But there is one problem.

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My book is being listed as erotica, and erotic content cannot be advertised. However, my book is not erotica. There is reference to sex, like when one of my characters vomits during a blowjob, but nothing super detailed and definitely not anything that would qualify as sexy.

I check my settings and I have my book listed under women’s fiction and general fiction, not erotica. So I write in to the good people at Amazon. I receive this response:

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I still cannot advertise, so I wrote back. But they seem to be nice and genuinely trying to help, which I appreciate. So I will have to use Amazon ads another day.

I am still allowed to do a giveaway, which I will be doing from May 5 to May 9. So save the date and download a free copy of my book on or between those dates!


Aside from Amazon, there is the wonderful world of Facebook to advertise on! First, I was trying to get people to download my free book, or to Like my Facebook page. Those results were pretty bad. So after listening to some Rocking Self Publishing podcasts and a warm bath filled with cupcake confetti bubbles, I made new ads to test out what I had learned.

I made four ads. I thought about who would be interested in my book. My book is about:

  • Broke millennials
  • who live in NYC
  • who are minorities
  • are loaded with student debt
  • work in tech
  • and support the Black Lives Matter movement

So . . . Bernie Sanders. Right?

I added other interests at first, but I began with Bernie Sanders, the TV shows Girls and Broad City, and Bojack Horseman, just because I really like Bojack Horseman.

Age range: 18 – 40

Location: United States, and one of my ads I added Canada

My Facebook ads did way super better. I’ve gotten far more clicks to my direct book page. Check it:

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The four ads you see have slight variations to the age, location targeted, and the copy of the ad. One of the ads also has Hillary Clinton as an interest, where the others do not. People between the ages of 18-34 seem to be clicking more, so I made one ad targeting just them.

$.18 per click is obviously the most successful ad, but the others are new, so I am waiting to see how they pan out.

Only one of these ads has converted into an actual sale, but in terms of exposure, this has been great and I will continue using these ads and this targeted approach.

Next I will be looking for ways to maximize free exposure! With, as usual, my full ass.

Until next time.

 

MY FULL ASS.

I’ve been writing since I was a wee child, and self-published when I was 16, and first gathered a good little following on MySpace, thanks to an automated bot. But fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear of *gasp* people I know reading my writing, and fear that self-publishing wasn’t *real* publishing kept me from attempting to transfer my MySpace list elsewhere.

And so my following died. I made half-assed attempts to publish again over the years: always under fake names, and never really going all-in. And here I am now, wondering why I have never gone all in.

I have a full-time job, I have my MFA in Creative Writing, and I’m spry and ambitious. In my ideal world, I write stories all day and people buy them, and I don’t have to work at all. I can host more workshops in Costa Rica and chill by the beach with fellow writers.

The first thing they say is to create an email list. Have a sign up link on your site, and offer a free book.

I have read this advice from different columns, heard it from various podcasts, and seen it at work with my other writer friends. I would get annoyed every time I heard it.

“Yeah, I know. I know, make an email list. Fuck you.”

But I never did it. So now I’m doing it.

Leave your email above and I will send you my free book, Bastard in a Haunted House. You’ll get an idea of my style or something. Maybe it’ll blow your mind. Maybe you’ll hate it and me forever. That’s cool, too.

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So here it goes. The full ass.

I have been thinking of writing as a hobby. A money pit. Something I throw time and money and blood into. But not as a moneymaker. So I never thought to advertise, to promote: to treat it as a business.

I’m switching gears. I need like, goals and stuff. I mean, I went to graduate school for this! So I wrote a check to myself for 1 million dollars that I can cash in 5 years. And dammit, I’m going to cash that check.

My goals for right now (spreading awareness):

  1. To grow an email list to 1000 people (and not spam them)
  2. To read in live venues 100 times in 2017 (I’m at 6. I have a ways to go)
  3. To get at least 1000 downloads of my free book
  4. Learn which Facebook and Amazon ads work for me
  5. Connect with other writers and creative people and engage in a dialogue (ew corny I know)

So here it goes. I’m putting the full ass in! Woo.