The Absolute Positively LAST Kindle Countdown Deal Blog Post…

I know what you’re thinking.  “All she ever writes about is her damn Kindle Countdown Deals and I’m so sick of hearing about them!”  I agree, dear reader, which is why this is the absolutely, positively, final Kindle Countdown Deal post.  I’m getting sick of doing them as much as you’re getting bored with reading them.  But I have to finish out the experiment properly so we can move on to bigger and better things.  So bear with me one final time…

Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal was planned for Sunday July 17- Saturday July 23, 2016.  This is the first countdown for my second book, “Nights in the Fast Lane.”  It was on sale for $0.99 and the regular price is $2.99.  The sale was for both Amazon USA and UK.

What’s different about this countdown deal?  I spent NO money to promote it.  I submitted it to only places that were free to list.  Sure, you’re taking a gamble that they’ll feature your book at all, but at least I didn’t have to pay for anything.  I’ve found that I basically broke even when I had to pay to be in newsletters, so I figured I’d try it on my own and see how I did.  Here is where I submitted it to:

ArmadilloeBooks.com did not feature my book

BesteBooksFree.com they featured my book in their 7/19 newlestter

Books on the Knob they did not feature my book and their site looks really spammy.  Would not use again

Bookangel.co.uk they did not feature my book

BookHippo.uk they did not feature my book

BookLoversHeaven.com – featured in newsletter 7/19
BookSCREAM.com featured it in their newsletter 7/18

BookZio.com featured on their site 7/23

ChoosyBookworm.com they did not feature my book

eBookasaurus.com          on their site 7/17

eBookMountain.com they did not feature my book

MyBookCave.com featured in the newsletter 7/19

NewFreeKindleBooks.com featured it on their site

PeopleReads.com they did not feature my book

ReadCheaply.com  – They did not feature my book

Readingdeals.com – they did not feature my book

Please note…When I say “They FEATURED my book” I mean that they listed it either on their site or in their email newsletter that goes out to all the subscribers every day.  So out of 16 places that I took the time to submit the book, 7 actually advertised it.  Not bad when you consider it was free.  I would like to thank all the free sites that did feature the book.  Booklover’s Heaven, Book Scream, Best Ebooks Free and My Book Cave have always done what they promised they would and I can’t recommend them enough.

Starting rank  Saturday Night July 16 – 306,102   #1793 in women’s fiction, humor category.

Day One:  Sunday July 17.

Woke up, checked to make sure the deal is LIVE in both Amazon US and UK.  Surprised the SHIT out of me to find out that my book was actually listed on the Amazon Countdown Deals dedicated page.  It was listed, however I had to dig to find it.  I was totally excited thinking that THIS WAS IT….I was gonna sell TONS of books now.  Did that happen?  Nope.  I think being listed on this didn’t honestly do a damn thing.  At least I know that now.

I posted my book in 12 Goodreads groups, Kboards, and KUF Forum.  I did a Facebook Post on my author page and posted in 17 Facebook groups over the course of the day.  I was totally afraid to post in ANY Facebook groups at all after I got sent to Facebook Jail for my last countdown deal over-posting.  Evidently Facebook gets pissed if you post to 50 groups copy/paste in the span of 40 minutes.  So I spaced out my posting over the course of the day.  I felt like I was playing Russian Roulette.  Will this post get me banned?  No.  Sigh of relief.  What if I post ONE more?  Still okay.  Ooh…the danger.  I was cautious to space out my posts and not fly too close to the sun.  I learned my lesson last time.

End of Day…Rank 48,755…..577 in Women’s Fiction Humor

Listed on ebookasaurus website.  Top row in Romance category

Book Sales – 6    Total KENP Pages Read – 1 Total Cost – ZERO!

Day TWO:  Monday July 18.

Rank at 7am….66,890…..734 in women’s fiction humor.

I was featured in the BookScream Newsletter and I was very optimistic about this.  BookScream is awesome and I get a lot of books from their newsletter.  It’s not spammy and very easy to navigate.  I had high hopes.  It did NOT pan out at all.

I was also scheduled to do an author takeover in a Facebook group that night.  Coincidentally enough, another author started to do a takeover right at the same time that I was scheduled.  I was like, “WHAT THE heck??” but it turns out the group accidentally double scheduled us and the other author was very gracious to bow out since I was the one listed as the author that was supposed to be taking over.  The author was extremely polite and she took it all in stride.  I thanked her and she told me it was okay because she had another takeover the very next day.  All’s wells that ends well.  99% of people I’ve met in the author community have been extremely friendly and I’ve made some great friends.    The takeover was really fun and I had a good amount of participation.  I checked the sales before and after the countdown deal.  I sold one book I can probably attribute to the takeover.

End of Day…Rank 128,252…..1093 in Women’s Fiction Humor

Listed on ebookasaurus website.  Top row in Romance category

Book Sales – 1    Total KENP Pages Read – 251    Total Cost – ZERO!

Day Three:  Tuesday July 19.

Starting rank at 7am…96,524…929 in women’s fiction

Featured in 3 email newsletters….Booklover’s heaven (1 of 2 books in the newsletter. Both were 99 cents), My Book Cave (1 of 2 books in newsletter, both were 99 cents.  Also featured on their Facebook Page), Best Ebooks Free (3 out of 4 in a newsletter, 3 were 99 cents and one was free).

End of Day…Rank 157,626

I had one sale all day and then posted in 9 Facebook groups at 8pm and had four sales after that.

Book Sales – 5    Total KENP Pages Read – 710     Total Cost – ZERO!

Day Four:  Wednesday July 20.

7am Rank…55,977…..636 in Women’s Fiction Humor

Featured nowhere.  Posted in 11 Facebook groups.

Book Sales – 1    Total KENP Pages Read – 257    Total Cost – ZERO!

Day Five:  Thursday July 21.

7am Rank  74,947

Featured on New free kindle ebooks site, second from the top.

Book Sales – 6    Total KENP Pages Read – 102      Total Cost – ZERO!

Day Six: Friday July 22.

7am rank – 44963

Featured nowhere.  Posted in 8 Facebook groups.

Book Sales – 4.   Total KENP pages read – 0.  Total Cost – ZERO!

Day Seven:  Saturday July 23.

7am rank – 57,296

Featured on the BookZio Website.  Posted in 9 Facebook groups at 7pm.  Already had 6 sales by then and received no more (so can’t directly contribute any sales to posting in Facebook).

Total Sales 6    Total KENP read- 0  Total Cost – ZERO!

Day 8 Sunday July 24.

Thankfully, the last countdown deal is OVER.  Here are the totals:

Total Sales of books – 29  (27 US, 2 UK)

Total KENP pages read – 1321 (1048 US, 273 UK)

Total profit (assuming 70% royalty on 99 cents and .004 cents per page read) = $25.58.

What did I learn this time?  Basically….Kindle Countdown Deals are good for generating buzz, you have to spend a LOT of time and do a lot of pimping to get your book out there.

What’s next for me?  Writing book #3.  Because all this marketing and promotion is a total burnout.  I would rather be writing.

Ironically…I had 2524 Page Reads on my first book…with NO promotion at all…in the same time frame (July 17-23).  (Both of my books are stand-alone novels and not related to each other at all)  Go figure!

As always…thanks again for reading and I’m sorry for boring you with all my facts and figures.

NO MORE BORING COUNTDOWN POSTS….starting NOW!

 

 

Product Review…Veggie Spiralizer and why it’s AMAZING!

As some of you may already know, this was the first year we planted a garden.  It’s been a giant roller coaster of emotions thus far…

Pride – The garden is planted.  It looks great.  Can’t wait for stuff to grow.

Shame – Why did I have to be so clumsy and touch stuff and almost snap off the cucumber plant about four minutes after planting it?  UGH!  IDIOT!

Triumph – HA….I duct taped the cucumber back together.

Relief – The duct tape worked and it’s growing!

Disappointment – The zucchinis have flower rot and they’re getting yellow, mushy, and rotten at the end.

Horror – there is a cucumber beetle infestation and they’re eating the zucchini!

Revenge – got Bayer bug dust and dusted the heck out of the evil bugs.

Satisfaction – bugs are dead!

Paranoia – am I going to die from eating veggies with bug poison dusted on them?

Victory – I ate two green peppers, three cucumbers, and three zucchini.  And a lot of lettuce.

Sorry.  I got off topic with my emotional roller coaster.  This blog post is supposed to be about what to do with all the veggies from your garden.  I have a new toy to answer this very dilemma.  The new wonder product that I got last week at the store is a veggie spiralizer that was on sale for $3.  So…me being the cheap-o that I am…had to agonize and google it for an hour before I spent the three dollars.  (hangs head in shame at blatant cheapness).  The internet was very fickle in reviews of this product.

spiralizer

Pros:  turns veggies into a pasta-like texture, easy to use, easy to cook with, amazing!

Cons:  hard to clean, hard to twist veggies to make into pasta shape.  It’s still a veggie and doesn’t taste like pasta.

Ok…that last con was actually just me.  I tend to survive on cereal, peanut butter, white bread, chocolate, and processed foods.  However I have all these garden vegetables and, after the whole bug freak-out episode, there’s no way I’m letting ANY of this go to waste.

So I caved in and spent the $3.  I’m letting you know what I think of it so far.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!  It’s totally amazing!

I got a zucchini from the garden, washed it off, made sure it was the right size, and got busy.  (If your veggies are too big, they won’t fit in the spiralizer.  I believe the technical name for this product is the “veggetti” but my family refuses to call it that because they think it sounds like…um…the female body part.  Use your imagination.  Yes, they’re all perverts.)

I googled recipes from youtube and tried out two different ones.  What worked for me was this:

Spiralize your zucchini.  Let it drain in a strainer (tossed with salt) while you boil water in a saucepan.  Once the water is at a rolling boil, dump in the zucchini.  Let it boil for EXACTLY 90 seconds.  I tried two minutes but that seemed too long.  Dump it back in the strainer after 90 seconds, rinse it off immediately to stop it from cooking, put it in a bowl with salt, pepper, butter, and garlic powder.  Or whatever spices you’re in the mood to fling in there.

Viola…. Spiral veggies are served!

The spiralizer is sort of a pain to clean afterward.  Just use a toothpick to dig the leftover chunks out and you’ll be fine.  Otherwise it was very simple to use and took little to no effort to turn the veggie and make the spiral.

In conclusion, I highly recommend this product.  And it was only $3 on sale.  And it got me to eat healthy.  And I got to stick it to the cucumber beetles because I got to eat my veggies before they did.

Mission accomplished!

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

My Kindle Countdown Experiment Version 2.0

Hello.  I am an independent author who published her first book with Amazon in January of 2016.  I did my first Kindle Countdown Deal in March and I posted the results here on my blog.  (For those of you who missed it, you can find it here:   https://gracerisata.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/my-crazy-experience-with-the-amazon-kindle-countdown-deal-march-8-13-2016  The post got a lot of traffic, so I figured I’d also post the results of my SECOND Kindle Countdown Deal to compare the results.  Please keep in mind that this is the SAME book for both countdown deals.

Did I do anything different the second time?  Absolutely.  To repeat the same action over and over and expect different results is insanity, right?  I think Einstein is credited with that quote and I believe him.  So we’re shaking things up here, people.  What’s different this time around?

New category on amazon – I changed the category of my book “My Dirty Detour” from something very popular (Contemporary Romance) to something a bit more obscure (Women’s fiction – Literature and Fiction – Humor).  I figure if I can hit the top 100 in that category, it might magically ignite something on Amazon.  It’s worth a try.

Paying for stuff now – Last time I only paid for one deal on Fiverr and paid for nothing else.  The last Countdown deal cost me $5 and this one will cost me $22 when I’m done.  I paid $15 for a promo on Romance Devoured and $7 for a promo on Sweet Free Books.  I want to see if the paid promos generate more traffic.

Facebook promotion – My plan is to post my kindle countdown deal in as many Facebook Groups as possible.  I wasn’t really involved with Facebook last March when I did the previous countdown deal and now I’m something of an addict.

44 reviews not 12 – My book is now up to 44 reviews on Amazon, whereas last time it only had 12.  This might make it seem more popular?

New Book Cover – My first book cover was a free one made with Amazon Cover Creator.  I re-did the cover with a free picture from Pixabay and edited it on Canva.  I like the new one better.

Different Time Frame – This sale takes place starting July 4 and going the whole week.  Will a holiday weekend help or hurt sales?

Let’s also keep in mind that my LAST countdown in March yielded these results over a 5 day period:  45 total sales and 3582 KENP read.  All-time record sales for a day was 21 units (during countdown) and KENP for a day was 4500 (not during a countdown).  Highest EVER book rank was 9,593 after my first countdown deal.

Here is a day-by-day diary of what was involved in my Kindle Countdown Experiment Version 2.0   (July 4-8, 2016)…..

2 Weeks before the deal:

I googled around to find any NEW places where I hadn’t submitted my book during the previous countdown promotion in March.  I used this site http://www.jasonbladd.com/indielisters/ and clicked on every single website (they appear in a list at the bottom of the page).  I found two new ones that I hadn’t used before and I submitted my book to them for FREE.  I’m unable to use ANY of the other places that I used last time, because I have a kindle countdown deal coming up July 17-23 for my second book that was released in May of 2016.  Most of the sites have rules that you can’t promote with them more than once every 3 months or something similar to that.  It’s understandable.  I’m fine with that.  So I’m saving all of those places for my second countdown deal.  I plan to spend absolutely NO money on that one at all.  I’ll report back on how that one does, too.

The Day Before the Deal:

The Day before the deal went live, I got my little notebook and wrote down a daily to-do list.  I like to be prepared and as organized as possible.

Sales Rank Before the Countdown:

(USA) 328,743 in paid kindle store, 1907 in Women’s Fiction – Humor, 9427 in Kindle Romantic Comedy

(UK) 352,148 in paid kindle store, 1760 erotic romance, 9718 romantic comedy

Mood:  Interested to see what happens this time around.

Day One, July 4, 2016 Monday:

I woke up at 6 a.m. with a plan to advertise on all platforms in which I was a member.  I checked to make sure the deal was live and the price for my books in the US and UK was indeed 99 cents and £0.99.  I then did a Facebook post on my author page.  I went to Goodreads and I posted the countdown deal in any Goodreads groups that I’m a member of.  I was very careful to post in all the right places and follow the rules so as to not be spammy.   I still received an email from a Goodreads group with a warning that I was not to post anything remotely resembling self-promotion in their group ever again and I would only get one more warning.  This was somewhat expected, but still annoying due to the fact that I posted it in the “self-promotion” folder.  Evidently you’re allowed to post there ONLY if you’re an active member of the group and I am not.  I’m active in about 5 groups on Goodreads and inactive in several more.  I posted to a total of 21 Goodreads groups.  I did get one comment on the post from a reader who said my book looked good and she would check it out.  I thanked her.  I try to say “please” and “thank you” every single chance I get.  I sincerely appreciate customers/readers.  The fact that someone takes the time to read something I wrote is very humbling.

I also posted in the Kindle Boards (Kboards.com) and Kindle Users Forum (kuforum.co.uk).

That was my morning.  Now it was time to spam the heck out of Facebook.  This was one of my new strategies this time around.  Listen to what I’m about to tell you and DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.  You’ll find out why pretty soon.  I’m a member of about 110 groups on Facebook.  I’d say 15 of those are reader groups, 15 are author groups, and the rest are spammy “buy my book now” groups.  I would NEVER spam any of the reader/author groups that do not allow posts of that sort.  Why?  Because I like them, I learn a lot, and I try not to break the rules and get in trouble.  It’s like throwing an empty plastic water bottle on the ground during a nature hike.  I would never do that.  I don’t want to mess up something nice and make it dirty.  However…the other 80 groups were all fair game for my spam-a-thon.  These are groups such as “Author Promotion” where ALL the posts are “buy my book here” and there are new posts every 5 minutes so you get buried at the bottom of the page in a few hours.  I am highly skeptical that it ever works to advertise in these groups, but I am told by several authors that it DOES indeed pay off for them.  So I figured I would give it a try.

How did it go?  Well…I was fine until about the 50th group when Facebook decided that I must be a robot or a minion trying to destroy the free world and they yanked my account and sent me to Facebook Jail.  As I write this post, I’m currently waiting for my “time out” to be over and for Facebook to let me out of the naughty corner.  Lesson learned?  Do not post copy/pasted posts in several different groups at the rate of one post per minute.  Facebook does NOT appreciate that.  Sigh.  I couldn’t log in to Facebook for a day and when I finally got back on, I checked my old posts.  I actually posted in exactly 50 groups from 12:50pm to 1:31pm before Facebook put an end to my spamming.  I guess 50 is the magic number before they crack down on you.  I got a message from Facebook that I was banned from joining new groups and posting in any groups for 7 days.  So Ladies and Gentlemen…..Facebook Jail really DOES exist.  Cuz I’m there right now!  I feel like a bad-ass.  I probably should feel like a dumb-ass, but whatever.  Lesson learned!  Guess what?  Facebook did NOT pull any of the 50 posts, so I did accomplish half my goal of spamming 100 groups.  I will NOT be doing that EVER again.

Also, my book was featured on the ebooklister website, buried on page two.  I’m not sure if it was in their newsletter or not because I don’t get their newsletters with any regular frequency.  I might or might not advertise with them again.  But it was free, so I can’t complain. http://www.ebooklister.net/

Total Sales for the day:   3 Units sold and 18 KENP Read (1 Unit was in the morning and I can directly attribute that to the reader on Goodreads who said she got my book)

USA Book Rank:  80,209 in paid kindle store (7:54 pm)

Total Cost = ZERO

Summary:  Major attitude towards Facebook.  I’m sure they have more evil to combat then shutting down one author trying to promote her 99 cent book.  My relationship with Facebook is tempestuous at best.  Is it my fault for being a spammy robot?  Absolutely.  Am I still bitter?  Of course.

Day 2: July 5, 2016 Tuesday

Today is the day I was to be featured in the Romance Devoured newsletter.  I paid $15 for this, which is the most I’ve ever paid for anything.  I always hear about Bookbub, BookGorilla, ENT (Ereader News Today) and more sites that charge higher prices such as $50 and up for an ad listing.  I would need to sell so many books to break even, that I just can’t take the risk yet.  Because I’m cheap.  I figured I’d start low and possibly work my way up to the big dogs depending on how my little cheaper promos went.

I also subscribed to the Romance Devoured newsletter, so I would definitely know when the email came and I could make sure I was in it.  The email came at 8am and I was the second book listed out of four.  I was impressed and very satisfied with this.

Total Sales for the day:   20 Units sold and 700 KENP Read.  I’m assuming a 75 cent profit on each 99 cent book sold (75% Amazon Royalty Rate).  20 x 0.75 = 15.00.  So I pretty much broke even on the whole Romance Devoured deal.

USA Book Rank:  15,084 in paid kindle store, #233 in Literature and Fiction – Women’s Fiction – Humor.  (8:05 pm)

Summary:  Happy I sold 20 books, a bit disappointed I didn’t do more than break even.

Total Cost = $15

Day 3: July 6, 2016 Wednesday:

Today’s plan was to ride the wave from Romance Devoured and be featured in the Kindle Ebook Promos newsletter and site.  http://kindlebookpromos.luckycinda.com/ The only reason I submitted the book here was because it’s free.  I was NOT featured in their newsletter or on their site.  I went to check out the site for readers and it actually looks very spammy.  It seems mostly like a place for authors to advertise their book.  But who are the authors advertising to?

Where are all the readers?  I would not use this site again and I would not recommend it either.

Total Sales for the day:   5 Units sold and 534 KENP Read.

USA Book Rank:  I honestly quit keeping track at this point because it was all downhill from Tuesday and it only got worse as the week went on.

Summary:  Unimpressed with the free site and still bitter about Facebook Jail.

Total Cost = ZERO

Day 4: July 7, 2016 Thursday:

Today’s plan was to be featured in Sweet Free Books newsletter for a cost of $7.  I subscribed to this newsletter to make sure I was in there on the day I scheduled.  Again, I was the second book listed out of four.  Also happy with this.  However the newsletter didn’t come to my inbox until 4pm.  I feel like that was kind of late in the day.

Total Sales for the day:   6 Units sold and 599 KENP Read.

Summary:  A bit disappointed that I didn’t break even with the paid promo.  I would have had to sell 10 books to make my $7 back and I only sold 6.  Probably would not advertise with them again.

Total Cost = $7

Day 5: July 8, 2016 Friday (Final Day of Countdown Deal):

The plan for today was to ride the wave and have one last day of the deal.  No promotion was done at all.

Total Sales for the day:   2 Units sold and 137 KENP Read.

Summary:  You really don’t sell any discounted books unless you promote them somewhere.

Total Cost = ZERO

DEAL IS OVER!

July 9, 2016 Saturday:

I went to Goodreads and removed ALL the group posts for my countdown deal.  The deal is over and I hate to leave up posts that are no longer relevant.

The really bizarre thing is that I sold 2 books today after the deal ended and the book was back to the regular price of $2.99.  I’m going to be honest here; I usually do NOT sell books.  I could pretend to be a fancy author who sells tons of books EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I’m not going to do that because it’s not true.  I might sell one or two books a week on a good week.  If I wake up and check the Amazon KDP website and I see that I had a sale, I honestly get excited because I don’t expect that.  So to sell two books at normal price in ONE day is pretty awesome.  I do usually get some page reads on most days, which is where I make the most money from.  I also sometimes have more page reads per day on a random day where I’ve done nothing to promote the book, than the past week where it’s been featured in newsletters.  So I’m not thinking that the Countdown Deal had any effect on page reads.

Total Sales for Countdown Deal July 4- July 8…

Sales – 36  books sold, KENP Read – 1988  Total Cost  – $22

In comparison, my first countdown deal from March 8-13 was…

Sales – 45 books sold, KENP Read-3582 Total Cost – $5

Lessons Learned:  Facebook Jail really exists, paid promos don’t do that much better than free promos, and you have to advertise somewhere every day to sell books.

I’m very excited for my next countdown deal from July 17-23 for my second book “Nights in the Fast Lane.”  I’ve paid nothing at all to promote the countdown.  I used several free sites that I used in March and I’m curious to see if they’ll pay off the second time around as well.  I’ll do a blog post on the results of  that countdown after it’s over.

Please feel free to comment if you have anything else to add or any other suggestions for helping to achieve a successful Kindle Countdown Promotion.

Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

 

July Calendar…

Hello everyone!

Summer is now in full swing and I just wanted to give you an authorly update on my July calendar.  No, authorly is not a word, but I write fiction so that gives me the license to make stuff up.  There are a lot of words that are not real words, but I use them anyway.  Sorry, off topic.

Anyway, July is a very busy month with book stuff.  I have TWO kindle countdown deals planned.  A “kindle countdown deal” is where Amazon kindly reduces the price of my books to 99 cents so all the readers can get a great bargain.  So if you have any interest in my stories, they will be offered at a greatly reduced price.

“My Dirty Detour” will be on sale for 99 cents or £0.99 from July 4- July 8.

“Nights in the Fast Lane” will be on sale for 99 cents or £0.99 from July 17-23.

I also have two author takeovers on Facebook pages.  These are fun because the readers get to interact with the author (me!) and I get to make up games and hope they’re not stupid.

As for other July plans besides book-related stuff?  I’ll probably take in a concert, go fishing (that means sit in a boat and read on my kindle and try to keep the dog from doing a “man overboard” and jumping in the lake), and hang out by the pool.  Do I have a pool?  No.  I’m talking about my dog’s kiddie pool.  She’s a Labrador retriever, which is a water dog, however she does not swim.  She’s not a fan of being in water that’s over her head.  If she can’t touch the bottom, then she’s not interested.  So she has a five dollar kiddie pool that she doesn’t use.  If you throw a toy in her pool, then she likes to play “lifeguard” where she jumps in, saves the toy, shakes it off, and drops it on the lawn.  She does not play in the pool or sit in it.  She’s weird.  To each their own, right?

So…thanks for reading, have a great holiday weekend, and if you want an awesome cheap read, check out my kindle countdown deals!