A Bed of Brambles ~ Kindle Countdown Deal ~ £0.99

A Bed of Brambles ~ Kindle Countdown Deal ~ £0.99

Amazon UK     Amazon US

Passionate, contemporary romance for just £0.99

A Bed of Brambles Cover MEDIUM WEB

This was never going to be a conventional love story. No bed of roses.

Proud, passionate and wilful, Hettie and Alexander are alike in so many ways. That has to be a good thing, doesn’t it?

Or it could be a disaster…both carry scars, and old wounds have a habit of causing new hurt.
Physical attraction draws them together. Hearts and minds can be thorny.

Together, or apart, their lives will move on and Alexander and Hettie’s clashes of spirit will only be part of the story.
Second chances. New beginnings. The opportunity to make things right. Or to make the same mistakes all over again.

Unless fate takes the future out of your hands…

 Download it now for just £.99

Offer ends 19th May 2017

Book Promotion – what I got up to in 2015

Book Promotion – what I got up to in 2015

So, here’s the book promo chart which I linked to in my earlier post So does the marketing work? – my efforts to make my book visible over the last ten months, and the chequered results. Read and enjoy, and if you’ve got any better suggestions please drop me a comment below.

ps The link was there last time because I hadn’t worked out how to insert a table into a WordPress post (without a plugin). Well I have now, sort of, but if anyone knows a tidier way of doing this I would love to hear from you!)

and a pps to The Sister – so yes, everything is possible if you try hard enough! Not perfect, but possible 🙂

Promotion Cost Time consumed Enjoyment/ bad taste in the mouth Result Profit
Start a blog £0ish (I got led astray with domain names and pretty backgrounds but it doesn’t have to cost) Quite a lot Great fun! I’m a writer, of course I want to write.

WordPress & HTML sometimes do my head in

Met lots of nice people in the blogosphere. Learnt new skills and generally enjoyed myself. Had some lovely feedback from readers

Recommended

No idea. Probably not, but I have sold a couple of books to people who were able to contact me through the website
Twitter £0 no ifs, no buts Ate up my life in the early days but I’ve got a grip on it now Some laugh out loud moments.

Bad taste in the mouth? Depends who you follow!

Met a lot of nice people in the twittersphere. Even made friends – yes really. A lot of generous sharing going on out there.

Recommended (if it’s your thing)

Would have to be, because it didn’t cost me a penny and I have sold books to twitter pals.
Facebook Page £0 to £Any limit you set (if you pay FB for ads or boosted posts) As much as you want to give it, but you will disappear if you don’t keep at it Meh. I don’t spend enough time on the page – no real interaction with followers Boosts and ads can be directed to people who are likely to read your books, but you are paying for it No idea, but somehow I doubt it
Feature in Good Housekeeping Magazine £0 + A lot of luck 1 Day Bloody brilliant. Best day out ever (read all about it in This Weeks Shenanigans) A trip to Londinium, a make-over, posh clothes to try on and a free lunch. What’s not to like?

Recommended 🙂

Definitely sold a number of books, and it cost me nothing
Visit the local bookshops £0 Roughly half a day begging, ongoing sucking up Great once I’d talked them round. Lovely people.

Sticking the neck out was uncomfortable. Bookshops hate Amazon

Sold lots of real, paperback books. Great buzz seeing my book on the shelf. Became the ‘local bestseller’ (briefly!) Absolutely. Or it will do when they pay me for the books…
Feature in the local press £0 Roughly half a day finding photos, talking to reporters and writing a press release Mild embarrassment when the headline read ‘Saucy Farmer’s Wife’ (or something like that) People stopping me in the street. A run on the local bookshop (which of course I mentioned in the feature. Yes. Bookshop and Amazon sales
Kindle Free Promotions £0 15 minutes to fill in the form Fun watching the download graph rocket.

Not so fun that you’re giving the book away.

Hundreds of downloads, gets the book seen by readers. Yes and no (the download is free) but it cost me nothing and I’m hoping the same readers will buy the next book. More pages read on Unlimited, which I do get paid for.
Goodreads Giveaway £0 for promo, cost of books + postage to mail the books to winners 15 minutes to fill in the form, a trip to the post office Another chart to follow! A few reviews of the book Not sure/not really BUT reviews grow interest in the book. Postage costs can be high if you run worldwide (you don’t have to)
Public speaking £0 (some authors charge, but I’m not there yet) 3 days stressing + however long the event is More fun than you would think (or more fun than I thought it would be) once you get over the nerves. People are nice. A good laugh, and usually good sales. Yes – best sales day ever of the paperback was after my talk to the WI!
Paid email subscriber lists (I’ve done BookBub and Fussy Librarian) ££ depends which countries you target. USA is spendy, I went UK – less than £100 An hour or so submitting (with a good chance you will not be accepted)

A fair bit of time faffing with time zones and price drops

Watching the money roll in…

… oh wait, I’m giving the book away again.

Lots of lovely downloads Yes when I price dropped to £0.99, no when I priced at £0.00. But there’s always that second book that their tongues are hanging out for…
Start a newsletter/ email sign up £0 so far I reckon quite a lot, but it’s early days for me with this. People really need more crap in their inboxes…

… luckily for them my Newsletter rate is scarce/non-existent

I’m told the potential is huge…but how the hell do you persuade people to sign up?

Ps – do please sign up for my Newsletter here 🙂

Watch this space. The idea being that every faithful fan who has read your book will be running for the shops the minute you tell them a new one is out.

BookBub, Kindle Countdown and crossing those dastardly time-zones

BookBub, Kindle Countdown and crossing those dastardly time-zones

I’ve been so stuck into writing my new novel, and with harvest upon us as well, that I have to confess to my marketing efforts throughout July and August have being poor (verging on dismal). No surprise then that I have witnessed a drop in sales: For the last few weeks I’ve been flat-lining with only the occasional one-or-two books perking up the sales chart and keeping me from despair.

It was that despair, however, which urged me to bung off a submission request for a BookBub UK Featured Deal. Reading the BookBub submission guidance, I didn’t rate my chances. A Bed of Barley Straw has limited reviews, and the e-book is only available on a single platform (yes, it is Amazon, no surprises there). My personal Magna Carta carries an edict which states that I must embark on at least one marketing foray each month. To be frank, submitting to BookBub felt like an easy way to tick off a checkbox, with no further effort required when my submission was rejected.

To my utter surprise and delight the book was accepted!

BookBub Abobs

My promotion was scheduled to begin on August 20th. A mere seven days from receipt of the acceptance email, with seven days prior payment required. Clearly I wanted to seal the deal and get my $40 off in rapid quick time. (Ideally within half an hour, as I’d promised the Gallivanting Granny that I would take her to market. [PS – I wasn’t selling her])

The first flappy panic – the question “when do you want your deal to end” – involved a trawl through the BookBub Ts and Cs to find out if there were any rules governing this. The information was easy to find in their FAQs (in my haste for rapid solutions I also fired off an email to the BookBub partners, who I’m pleased to say were quick to get back to me.)

Having successfully straddled that hurdle, I decided to complicate things for myself by running a Kindle Countdown Deal concurrently with the promotion. (July’s marketing tick-box checked retrospectively).

Kindle Countdown clock

I have to admit that it was luck rather than planning which enabled me to do so. If your book is enrolled in KDP Select you are permitted to run one Kindle Countdown Deal, lasting a maximum of 7 days, during your 90 day enrolment period. The price of your book must not have been changed in the 30 days prior to the Countdown commencing, and the Countdown must conclude 14 days before your enrolment period ends. Also there are price criteria, and you must be willing to discount your book by a minimum of £1 ($1 US).

That’s a pretty specific set of rules, but luckily KDP enforce them for you. So your book will not show as eligible for the deal if you are sitting outside of their criteria. Phew! It would have taken me more than half an hour to work that out for myself.

The next flappy panic involved TIME ZONES. Simple for some maybe, but my brain was having none of it.

BookBub stipulate that the e-book must be available across all platforms (phew again) at the promotional reduced price (£0.99 in my case) at 12.00pm PST (Pacific Standard Time) and that price must be in place up until 11.59pm on the day the deal ends.

My Kindle Countdown must be scheduled in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and I’m living in BST (British Summer Time). As someone who still hasn’t grasped the intricacies of changing my clocks twice a year, this could be a disaster. Luckily I’ve got 7 days of Kindle price reduction to span a 5 day BookBub promotion. Gotta be possible right? Flappy panic two.

(I’ve emboldened the numbers to allow you to share my hysteria, not as a useful aid to your own cross-time-zone promotional dilemmas. Sorry, but it’s no use looking to me for help with this.)

I read the blog of a fellow author who had scheduled Kindle Countdown Deals to run simultaneously across multiple time-zones. A dizzy spell ensued, which necessitated the use of smelling salts.

I scribbled vague numbers and arrows on to scraps paper for twenty minutes, before bringing in my support team – The Farmer, The Engineer and The Gallivanting Granny. To be fair, they had bigger things on their minds (harvest and market stalls) but between them they failed to allay my confusion. The GG was indignant that there wasn’t somebody else who could do this work for me. Bless. She thinks I’m corporate.

I got there eventually, with a prayer and a whistle. Flappy panic three when the Kindle price didn’t drop at 6pm on the 19th. BST of course, it dropped at 7pm (and yes, I know now, I was way ahead of myself. At 7pm in the UK it was only lunch time in America. I think).

By accident, my over-generous over-lap did provide some feedback. I followed the advice on the ALLi Self-Publishing site, and posted about my Countdown deal on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog. Those efforts produced three sales from the Countdown Deal alone, in the hours between my price reduction and the issue of the BookBub email. (And I’m not knocking that. Three sales was more than I had achieved in the previous seven days.)

What happened next speaks for itself – screenshot taken at 9am on day two of the BookBub promo (that’s BST if you’re interested).

Amazon sales chart

Glory halleluiah, my best day of book sales to date (although I have done ‘better’ when giving them away). Interesting that I’m also seeing a rise in my Kindle Unlimited pages read.

And look how pretty my Amazon #rating is! (There’s a #39 in there somewhere, in case you can’t see it)

Amazon ranking #39

I fully accept that this is a temporary promotional blip, but I’m not going to let that burst my delusional bubble.

Today’s plan was to push on by shouting about my Kindle Countdown Deal on social media, as per the guidelines in the ALLi blog. But Unfortunately my internet is dead. I am blocked from obsessively checking my sales figures, from posting to Facebook or Twitter. I’m writing this instead, but you may not get to see it. Our internet provider tells me that we have used up our monthly data allowance. It’s only the 21st of the month for mercy’s sake!! Oh yes, YD is home from Uni, and she’s over-fond of NetFlix.

Now, should I fork out more cash to get us reconnected? Or should I take advantage of the downtime and write like a dervish?

If you’re reading this, I must have made my decision. #ammarketing