Monday, November 14, 2011

Chasing after higher sales…

I envy fellow ebook authors who manage to do a boatload of marketing. They have my respect.

So far most of my efforts have centered on Facebook posts. I do character teasers to try to pique the interest of potential readers. Some “friends” will share my novel-related posts and that helps spread my marketing efforts far beyond my 213 Facebook friends. Some of the folks I’ve “friended” have hundreds, even thousands, of Facebook friends.

At this point I need to give a thank you to indie author Lindsay Buroker who has done a remarkable job promoting her novels. On her blog site Lindsay has linked to my blog.

In a recent blog, Lindsay wrote, “The last month I made less than $1,000 was in May. In August, I broke $3,000. Alas, earnings have dropped off a lot since then with October barely hitting $1,500. Nothing to scoff about, but I’m glad I still have income from other sources!”

How does Lindsay do it? Here’s what she says: “Some of you guys have seen my free podiobook, my free short stories (Ice Cracker II and Flash Gold are currently free), my goofy videos on YouTube, my various interviews and guest blog posts, and of course my daily chatter on Twitter (yes, some people have told me they actually found my work that way). Oh, and don’t forget my Facebook fan page (if nothing else, I have some fun steampunk pictures up there).”

Lindsay has tapped into the Internet Age and is making the technology work for her.

I met Lindsay online several years. Both of us were using the Online Writers Workshop (OWW) of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror to get some helpful critiques of chapters. I found her reviews insightful.

Beyond Facebook and sending out news releases, I struggle to find the time to promote my two published fantasy novels, The Emperor’s Mistress and Thief’s Coin. I’m a weekly newspaper reporter who covers an entire county, both news and sports. I work harder now than I ever did back in the ‘70s and ’80 when I was a reporter for Ohio and Florida dailies. But my news release sent to the local newspaper, the Wilmington Star-News, did translate into a news story about the release of Thief’s Coin. I figure it may have led to some sales on Amazon.

A week ago I went to the Fictionwise to see how Thief’s Coin’s sales are doing on the Barnes & Nobles’ ebook site. What I found was a pleasant surprise. Thief’s Coin was ranked 16th on the site’s best-seller list. Not in Fictionwise’s fantasy category but all the books listed on the website. The novel has since fallen to 20th place, but that’s still a healthy number.

In Fictionwise’s fantasy category, Thief’s Coin is ranked fourth on the best-seller list. The Emperor’s Mistress is fifth. The Emperor’s Mistress is the first book in a trilogy; Thief’s Coin, the second. The Emperor’s Mistress has been out for 15 months, Thief’s Coin for just two months. The first novel has obviously gotten a spike in sales because many buyers want to read a trilogy in sequence.

Again, I need to return my focus to Lindsay Buroker. Lindsay has a growing fan base, and some have no doubt used her link to check me out and buy my novels. She’s sailing to Tahiti right now, but if she sees this blog, I want her to know I appreciate her helpful link. My website – – has a link to her blog, but I think she’s been more help to me than vice-versa.

Lindsay’s novels are fun to read. I helped review The Emperor’s Edge and I can say definitively that her heroine, imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon, is a memorable character. The novel takes place in an era of steam, which makes it different from typical fantasy novels with their medieval or renaissance settings. Check her out at

Well, I did write that I have a trilogy. That means I need to get back to working on book three, Assassins’ Lair. I started workshopping it on the OWW over a year ago, but put it aside to concentrate on my newspaper job and getting Thief’s Coin ready for publication. No more excuses. Time to start cranking out pages.