Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Monday

I wouldn't say I'm a sucker for musical to movie adaptations--I've seen a few, haven't seen others. I'm pretty excited about this, though:

So . . . you won't be surprised that I've gone through spells of listening to this on repeat:

You also won't be surprised to know that I found inspiration for a certain character of mine in Gerard Butler. (sigh) Love me some Gerard Butler. I'm sorry, but that's one sexy phantom.

This is such a random Monday Post, I know, but thought I would share (for the eye candy, if nothing else). . . .

Some movies that I've seen lately and enjoyed (I'll just link the trailers so I don't clog the 'netz with all of these files.)

You 18 and below-ers, use discretion with these trailers/selections. Some of these are meant to appeal to an older *cough, cough* crowd. That's your friendly warning. :)

And I know I'm late to the game, but I watched this last night. So Good. :)

That is all!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday Links!

Hi Guys!

I'm passing on a few links today. 

1. First is the link to Stephanie Laurens's Romance Writers of America 2012 Keynote Address, given yesterday (July 26) in California. I'm linking this because she discusses the different pathways one can take as an author, and how online publishing is changing the most important connection in the process (author to reader). 

Love this quote:

"Another point: what is the definition of success in our business? Recently I've heard some contend that success for an author is getting published. Really? Getting published is you handing your manuscript over for transmittal - how can that be success? No - we're entertainers, and as an entertainer's success is measured by their box office draw, our success is measured by the number of readers lining up to buy our next book. Not the book that just went out, but our next book. Our success is measured by the size of our already captured audience."

The rumor coming out of the conference (going on now) is that self-pubs will soon be eligible for membership to RWA if they've reached a certain point in earnings. The number I've heard thrown around is $5,000. 

2. Also, Konrath posted a great blog a few weeks ago, Zero Sum, where he discusses ebook pricing and how, even if the "bestsellers" start lowering their ebook prices, it means readers have more money to spend on (indie) books.

Quote: "If all ebook prices came down, more ebooks would be sold across the board."

3. Gossip coming out of the publishing industry these last few weeks: Penguin has acquired Author Solutions (the king of vanity presses?). Why this is bad. And why this is bad.  

Finally, authors can upload their books directly to Kobo, now (Kobo Writing Life). I'm not sure how big the Kobo market share is at this point, but I went in last weekend and uploaded my books, anyway. 

Let me just say: this is the easiest publishing interface I've used so far. The downside? I'm still waiting for Cross My Heart to publish (after one week). The others were up within a couple of hours. So . . . I may have to go in and re-publish this weekend. Still, it's a small sacrifice to reach potential readers. :)

That is all!

Enjoy your weekend!


Am listening to "We Are Young" by Fun


Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Links

Hi Everyone!

I wanted to link to a fantabulous post on The Season Blog. It's called The Tale of Two Publishing Roads and was written by Beverley Kendall. In addition to discussing the reasons she chose the self-publishing path,  she also includes some marketing strategies (i.e. what worked and what didn't).  As a teaser: Facebook/Goodreads ads don't usually fly, blog tours help, and a big giveaway (such as a free Kindle) usually draws a decent crowd.

To quote: "I still believe that on average, in the long run, talent and hard work WILL GET YOU THERE. But it won’t be fast. Not for the majority of us."

And finally, a fantastic post from Zoe Winters: "Evidence I Still Don’t Get the “Long Tail” of Indie Publishing"

Love this quote: 

"So while I would like a book to break out and I hope it does someday, it could be any book I haven’t written yet (or technically any book I have as well), there is more than one way to gain momentum. One of those ways I have control over and one of them I do not.

"I have no control over the momentum or sales velocity of a book. Yes, I can do some promotion. Yes I can drop a bunch of money on advertising, but at the end of the day if a book doesn’t catch fire, all the advertising in the world won’t change it because only the advertising will prop it up. When the advertising stops, if a book isn’t a “catch fire” book, it slows down and sells at the pace it would have sold without the ads."

The point?  

Keep Writing

That is all!


Am listening to Rachmaninov Piano Concerto #2

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Links!

I am SO behind on the links, you guys, so if you've already seen these, I'm sorry for not being ahead of the curve (or at least curving with it). If you haven't, though, here are some indie-related/publishing links you may find interesting. 

1. First, a post from the always fabulous Kris Rusch: The End of the World as We Know It

Quoting: "So I would think that point 4, the point no one in traditional publishing really wants to think about—not the Scott-Turow type bestsellers, not the writers who are too frightened to leave their publishers, not the editors, reviewers, traditional publishing executives, and CEO of publishing companies—is that selling an indie book is more profitable and better business for the writer."

2. Another post by Kris: Hurry Up. Wait.

If you're on the fence about traditional vs indie publishing, this post breaks down the benefits/cons of both. 

Quoting: "So indie writers who promote their book instead of writing the next book are wasting their time. The more books you’ve written, the more books you’ll sell."

And: "So the key is to give readers what they want. What do they want? Good stories. And the readers will differ as to which of your stories are 'good.' So give the readers a lot of stories to choose from. That’s what traditional publishers do. That’s why they release a new set of books every month. Because they’re giving the readers a choice all the time. You have to do that too, no matter how you publish the books."

3. There are a few ebook/readership-related projections this article: What Will the Global eBook Market Look Like By 2016?

Spoiler Alert: PricewaterhouseCoopers is projecting 50% ebook readership. Not a bad number. :)

That is All! 

(Not Really--I have so many "starred" links in my inbox it's not even funny. But I'll worry about those later.)

Enjoy your weekend!


Am listening to "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amazon Sales Rank--What does this MEAN?!

Remember the double rainbow guy from YouTube? What does this MEAN?! Yeah, that's what I thought of, too.

Makes me laugh EVERY. TIME. :D

Anyway . . . this post might actually mean more to traditional authors than indies. . . .

I remember WAAAAY BACK when I was first published. My title went up early on Amazon for pre-orders, and, on the day of release, I debuted around 10,000. Dudes, I was SO stoked. This was 2009, by the way (yeah, the whole Way Back thing was me being sarcastic). :) After that I slipped back, hovered in the 40ks, and then higher, and then the 200ks . . . no big deal. My current ranking? 1.9 million. Yeah. Good times.

And no, I'm not telling you the title. I like my secret identity just fine, thanks. However, should I ever regain those rights, I might be tempted to re-release as an Indie. We shall see.

Anywho, all that to say this: I had NO CLUE what Amazon rankings meant because I didn't have access to sales numbers. Fast Forward to 2012: I keep a notebook to track my daily sales. I micromanage the highs and lows. (Not always a good thing, but I digress.) Now that Indies are micromanaging, though, we have a pretty good idea of what needs to be sold to reach those milestones (breaking 10k, 5k, Top 100, etc.). 

(Granted, these are always subject to change with Amazon's ever-fluctuating algorithms. . . . )

So . . . 

Treat the following as: "If your Amazon ranking is _____, then you are selling ______."

8,500 to 40,000 = 1 to 10 books a day
3,500 to 8,500 = 10 to 30 books a day
2,000 to 3,500 = 30 to 55 books a day
1000 to 2,000 = 55 to 100 books a day
200 to 1000 = 100 to 300 books a day
80 to 200 = 300 to 550 books a day
65 to 80 = 550 to 650 books a day
20 to 65 = 650 to 1,100 books a day
10 to 20 = 1,100 to 2,000 + books a day
5 to 10 = 2,000 to 3,500 books a day
1 to 5 = 3,500+ books a day

(This data comes from Theresa Ragan, btw, from her personal experience/Kindleboards info. Please drop by her blog and show her some love, if you have time. The original post to this data is here.)  

This is pretty consistent with what I've been seeing--give or take a few sales. Cross My Heart has been hovering between #700-900 the last few days, and I'm seeing between 90-100 sales a day.

So, if you're watching your ranking, and want to know what it takes to see number X, this gives you a pretty good idea of the number of sales needed. 

(Disclaimer: the information could change at any time, and does not weight ebooks that are listed as FREE. This is for paid sales only.)

Either way, I hope this helps shed some light.

Knowledge is power!

(I'm saying that a lot, lately.)


Am listening to: "Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hot New Release from Elle Strauss!

A teen swim athlete discovers a merfolk world that threatens to keep her out of the ocean forever.

Dori Seward can’t wait to get out of Eastcove, a sleepy fishing village on the border of New Brunswick and Maine. She bides her time by hanging out with friends, attending swim club, and holding her biggest competition, Colby–who wants more than just friendship, at arm’s length. Then Tor Riley comes to town and he has everything Dori dreams of in a boyfriend–looks, athleticism and mystery. But Tor also has a tantalizing secret and Dori is determined to find out what it is. The truth is crazier than her wildest imaginations and more dangerous, too. Dori has new fantastical enemies , and they will do anything to get to her. Her life, her dreams and her love for Tor are all weighing in the balance. Will Dori risk it all in order to have it all?

 SEAWEED is FREE for a limited time on Amazon! It's also free on itunes and smashwords.

Elle Strauss writes time travel and merfolk chic-lit, light SF and historical YA fiction. To ward off writer's butt she does a bit of hiking, biking and yoga. Elle is married with four children and divides her time between British Columbia, Canada, and Germany.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Social Network Posting Times

Quick post!

For those of you who are promoting yourself (indie author, traditional author, or otherwise), I thought you might find this interesting (thank you, Jessie Harrell, for sending this out)! crunched the numbers for us, and posted some optimal times for sending out tweets, updating statuses, etc. so we can reach the most people/see the most impact.

•    Post 9am-3pm ET, Monday through Thursday
•    Especially post 1-3pm ET, Monday through Thursday
•    Avoid posting after 8pm ET during the weekends
•    Avoid posting after 3pm ET on Friday and at all on weekends

•    Post 1-4pm ET during the week
•    Especially post midweek 1-3pm ET
•    The very best time is Wednesday at 3pm ET
•    Avoid posting between 8pm ET and 8am ET during the week
•    Avoid posting on weekends

•    Post from 4pm ET onward
•    Especially post from 7pm-10pm ET onward, with Monday and Tuesdays
being good
•    Post on Friday evenings

The full report/analysis can be found here.

Knowledge is Power!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hot New Indie Releases

Hot New Releases from the Indelibles!
Like Clockwork
LIKE CLOCKWORK by Elle Strauss

Adeline doesn't feel she belongs in her own time, but can bad boys from the past be trusted? Adeline Savoy had hoped that the move west from Cambridge to Hollywood with her single dad would mean they’d finally bond like a real family, but all she got was a father too busy with his new female friends and his passion for acting to really see her.
Instead she finds herself getting attached to Faye, the divorcee hair dresser she befriends when she travels back in time to 1955. Plus Faye has a hottie, James Dean-esque, bad-boy brother who has Adeline’s heart all aflutter.  But bad boys from the past can be dangerous.
Is it possible that Adeline really does belong in her own time and that maybe the right boy lives as close as next door?


Blood and Snow
BLOOD AND SNOW by RaShelle Workman

Snow White lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her dad, stepmother, and her cat, Gatsby. Her entire life she's been teased for her fairy tale name, and the fact that her seven best friends happen to be guys whose names begin with the same letters as the seven dwarves.

Everything changes on a trip into Boston, where an unseen stranger bites her, and she's transformed into something not quite human.

CLOCKED by Elle Strauss

Written from Nate Mackenzie's point of view, this new companion novelette to the Clockwise series  is a much expanded version of the short story found in the In His Eyes Anthology(from 3k to 15k). Ever wonder how Nate got talked into asking Casey to dance on a dare? And what it felt like for him to experience 1860? How he really felt about Casey Donovan? Now you can know!!

The Almost Assassin

A teen attempts to follow in the family business but a beautiful "spy" may be his downfall making him The Almost Assassin.
This prequel to A Spy Like Me is a 4K word short story with an excerpt from the novel, A Spy Like Me, at the end.

Free on Amazon!

BROKEN(#2 in THE CRYSTOR Series) by C.K. Bryant

With Kira injured and dying, Octavion's last hope is to plead with the king of Panthera for a cure. But King Ramla's magic isn't free. The price he asks Octavion to pay goes against everything he's fought so hard to protect and could destroy his bond with Kira. Will Octavion trade his crown and swear allegiance to a kingdom feared by all, or will he sacrifice the woman he loves to remain faithful to his father and Xantara? Find out when BROKEN takes you on a journey into the savage and unpredictable world of Ophira.
AMAZON.COM (Paperback)
iTUNES (iPad, iPod, iPhone)
Haven't read the first book in The Crystor Series? You're in luck. BOUND is FREE!!!  AMAZON.COM (US) Kindle
Revenant in Training
REVENANT IN TRAINING (Blood and Snow #2) by RaShelle Workman

"Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love's blood, become the Vampire, Snow White."


Friday, July 6, 2012

June Sales Numbers

Hi Everyone!

The June numbers are in! The grand total for this month?


This is quite a jump from last month (1,665). There are a few factors at play here. First, I released two new books: the third (and final!) novel in The Guardians Trilogy, and a three-in-one mid-month. I also re-released the first two books with new covers, and I dropped the price of The Guardian to $.99.

BUT, Cross My Heart surprised me. By the second week of June I was starting another run, and by the end of the month I was doubling the number of sales per day from May. I have no idea what contributed to this. Amazon algorithms? Teens at home for the summer looking for things to read? People traveling? Also, I sent Mr. Klein trolling for thieves, and he spent the first part of the month emailing sites to remove pirated copies of my books. (Thank you, Mr. Klein!)

So . . . a lot of things were going on when I started to see the increase, and it's hard to pinpoint what, exactly, happened to account for this upswing (I haven't done any marketing, so it's nothing I did—sorry!). I am back in the Teen Top 100, though (as of this posting). This means CMH spent a total of 162 days in the Top 100 since it was released last March. (YAY!)

BUT, there were a few other surprises. iTunes really picked up mid-month, and toward the end of the month I went from averaging ten sales a week to ten a day.

BUT, Barnes and Noble also picked back up. I noticed this at the beginning of the month, and the numbers got higher every day. In fact, I had the best BN month on record (the next best months were December/January (2012). I'm assuming they're doing something over there (playing with the algorithms and/or their "also boughts" lists?) Whatever it is, it's working.

And now, breaking it down:

In June, The Guardian sold 146 Amazon US copies, 8 Amazon UK copies, 1 Amazon DE copy, 112 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 6 copies on iTunes, for a total of 273 (or 9.1 sales per day).

Cross My Heart sold 1,449 Amazon US copies, 128 Amazon UK copies, 41 Amazon DE copies, 1 Amazon FR copy, 488 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 196 copies on iTunes for a total of 2,263 (or 75.4 sales per day). 

Vendetta sold 72 Amazon US copies, 1 Amazon UK copy, 1 Amazon DE copy, 48 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 2 copies on iTunes for a total of 124 (or 4.1 sales per day).

Revelation, the final book in the series, went live around June 16. It sold 149 Amazon US copies, 3 Amazon UK copies, 2 Amazon DE copies, 62 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 2 copies on iTunes for a total of 208 (or 14.8 sales per day—from release).

The three-volume Trilogy was also released (priced at $8.99), and went live around June 18. From that date, it sold 12 Amazon US copies, 2 Amazon UK copies, 2 Amazon DE copies, 10 copies on Barnes and Noble, and 1 copy on iTunes for a total of 27 (or 2.25 sales per day).

Last year June and July sales were pretty good, but I went on a downswing through fall, so it will be interesting to see what happens toward the end of this month—if Cross My Heart hangs on, and if the $.99 price point helps push The Guardian out there and what (if anything) carries over to August and September.

Bottom line? You can't predict trends or sales numbers. Expect fluctuations from month to month (this latest CMH run was a *huge* surprise). Some months will be better than others, but ebooks are forever. Get them out there, let them do their thing, and start working on the next one.

And ALWAYS: thank you so much for the purchases, ratings, reviews, emails, and tweets! :)


Monday, July 2, 2012

Free Ebooks!

With the 4th of July holiday upon us, I know many of you will be on the road; if not, hopefully you have some time off to enjoy the festivities and . . . READ!

So . . . I'm posting links to some ebooks you may or may not have realized are currently FREE! 

Ethereal by Addison Moore
Bound by C.K. Bryant
Clockwise by Elle Strauss
Anathema by Megg Jensen
Sleepers by Megg Jensen
Into the Shadows by Karly Kirkpatrick
Running Wide Open by Lisa Nowak
Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon
Watched by Cindy M. Hogan
Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
The Soulkeepers by G.P. Ching
Exiled by Rashelle Workman
How To Date An Alien by Magan Vernon
Loramendi’s Story by Angela Carlie