If we were having coffee today I’d tell you something of my experience with the toughest challenge about being an author. Writing a novel or any book is really hard and revision is even harder … but marketing kicks me in the proverbial rear end every time.
My philosophy … try anything.
For Father’s Day, I bought myself a promotion on a very popular twitter site hosted by someone named Lacey London. She tweets awesome and funny things every day and has over a hundred thousand followers. This is a one-time event. I’m just curious.
I’m not much on scientific controls, so I’ve piggy-backed a separate price promotion as well. I call it my Summer Reading eBook Sale. It runs all week on Amazon, starting Sunday, June 17. The thought is to entice responders to the tweet with a sale price, but I’ll also do a Twitter campaign of my own, pushing the special price on both my books for people who like to read on vacation. I guess this post qualifies as part of that promotion as well. But hey, it’s what I’m doing this week.
Yes, this is all on ebooks. While doing promotions, people often tell me they don’t like ebooks, they like physical books. I’ll tell you this, I have zillions of physical books but I also have zillions of ebooks. In one instance they are crushing the foundation of my house, in the other instance, I just have to manage electronic storage.
Another thing people tell me is they don’t want to have to buy a special device. Here’s the deal. I have a tablet. A lot of people have iPads. Almost everybody has a phone and most have larger screens these days. Just load the free Kindle app from Amazon or the free Nook app from Barnes & Noble (Kobo has one too and iBooks is built into iPads and iPhones) and you are ready to go. The “I like the feel of a book in my hands” comments are solved on tablets with a good cover. Amazon and B&N charge way too much for theirs, but I’ve found great aftermarket covers, you just have to look for them. Ever get stuck somewhere where you have to kill some time and you wish you’d brought a book? EBooks solve that problem. Anyway, my novels are available in paperback too, they just aren’t on sale. Available from the sale link.
On my sale page, I also mention my cookbook. It’s only 99 cents so it is always on sale. The best thing about pushing the cookbook is the fact that it has quite a number of dishes that would enhance anybody’s Fourth of July menu. Especially the “potato salad secret.” They are mostly my own recipes, centered around the theme of the Mossback Cafe; it is a central setting in both novels. Remember what I said earlier, about wishing I had brought a book? I love having it on the Kindle app on my phone when I am grocery shopping and get a hankering for one of those recipes; I just pull up the cookbook and I can review the recipes.
Oh, that secret thing? It’s something I stumbled upon about forty years ago. I don’t think people believe me. At first glance it seems counter-intuitive yet, ironically, it is also logically appropriate because it involves a simple ingredient. It was one of those happy accidents. I made a huge potato salad for an informal wedding with a potluck. I was at best a fledgling cook and didn’t much know what I was doing and I did this simple thing on a whim. At the wedding, I was almost embarrassed because I had little old ladies following me around asking for the recipe. Really, I just threw it together. People were practically cratering the bowl scraping every last remnant. It took me a while to realize that although the potato salad was pretty conventional, it was just that one ingredient that pushed it over the edge.
Nope, no hints here, but I will tell you that although the cookbook is 99 cents on Amazon, it is free at smashwords.com. There is also a recipe for a coffee cake in the cookbook that is so addictive two different readers have mentioned that fact in reviews on Amazon and Smashwords. Hey, coffee cake; I guess that brings us back to our coffee share here so I better wrap things up … have a wonderful Father’s Day! Please don’t make him buy dinner.
I’d love it if you would share my links and, of course, check out all three books. The sale price starts tomorrow (sale on UK Amazon too!) I’m @thefensk on twitter.
Thomas Fenske is an author living in NC. His summer special can be found at http://thefensk.com/spec.html
4 thoughts on “Try and Try Again”
Thomas, I hope you sell a LOT of books this next week. I do love holding a book to read, but having a digital reader has come in very handy for me a number of times. I’ve also found it very helpful in my ministry. I do a lot of Bible teaching and travel to a number of places for it. Because I need to use so many different translations, the weight of my briefcase — or briefcases — is sometimes outlandish. But this past year, I’ve put two complete translations on my digital reader, and it has made all the difference. I’ve also discovered over the past two years that, over-all, my digital books outsell my paperbacks at least 2 to 1.
Convenience is a big factor. I forgot to mention the fact that you can read in the dark, AND you can increase the font size.
I also forgot to mention … you can read in the dark and adjust the font!
Loved your coffee share today. This was a banner week for me. I was tied down with healing from a back surgery so I had almost all the time I desired to read, read some more and then read even more. 4.2 books by the end of this last week alone. I did short reviews of them in my coffee share, but you hooked me.
I’ll be checking out your books to replenish my in-stack and, for reasons too verbose to share here, want to know your secret potato salad ingredient.
Please keep us / me updated on how the promotions go. I’m very interested in learning this area. I don’t know that I have the writing skills to compete as you are, but the thought is otherwise so tempting. In my share, I talk some about how my collection is almost complete and I’m already thinking about jumping over to fiction, so your experiences are of strong interest to me. I hope it goes great and that you find the secret sauce to success in your efforts.