Okay, so the Kindle edition of “Athena’s Promise” has been available since October 28th, right? And it’s gotten some amazing reviews, for which I am very grateful and overjoyed to see.
Athena’s Promise held my interest from the cover page to the end page. Pallas, the central character, rocks!!! ~Denise Battista
This book was funny, sassy, pro-woman, suspenseful, funny, and much more. I just had to find out what was on the next page until it was finished. ~B. Decker
I devoured this book! The heroine is fun, sassy and kick-butt with an attitude that doesn’t quit. The author has a unique voice, full of wit and snap. Her characters and setting are distinctive. ~Laura Eno
Ribken’s writing is very strong, full of snarking sarcasm that made me snort and giggle while tearing my heart out with Pallas’ need to protect the vulnerable ones she calls friends. ~Patti Larsen
But like any true bibliophile, the reality doesn’t hit until I have a physical copy in my hands. To wit:
How pretty is THAT?? I just about peed my britches when the UPS guy pulled up and unloaded. “They’re heavy,” he said.
“Not a problem,” said I, as I toted the box practically one-handed. Okay, it really took two hands, a lot of grunting, and there may have been sweat involved, but work with me here.
If you want an autographed copy, I still have a few left from the pre-ordering process. You can snag one by following this button right here:
The price is $11.99 plus S&H, a dollar off the price once it goes live on Amazon. This would make a great Christmas present to the urban fantasy lover on your list!
The first two chapters and part of the third are available to sample on Amazon if you want an idea of what you’re getting. Go ahead and take a look, and while you’re there, if you like what you read please hit the “Like” button on the page (it helps with rankings so people can find the book). Every little bit helps 🙂
I am so grateful for all the support and the great reception. There’s even a bonus first chapter included of the next in the series, “Athena’s Chains”, which I hope to release in Spring 2012, the gods willing and the creek don’t rise.
I was in a lovely conversation with a fellow writer who asked me about marketing and promotion. When you work a regular job and put in more than 40 hours a week; when you have a family who needs, craves, and actually LIKES your company; when every spare moment is dedicated to either working for a living or re-acquainting yourself with the progeny to which you gave birth or the person with whom you share a home; when any time above and beyond that is spent with the creatures who live inside your head, how do you find time to market and promote your work?
It’s difficult enough to find enough time to write, much less pimp yourself out. And how effective is it to be an Internet ho? I don’t have the answers — all I know is what I’ve experienced, what I’ve learned from those who have come before me (and you will find some very helpful links to some amazing blogs on my sidebar) and what I have observed all my years in the writing biz. The number one thing to keep in mind when you’re angsting about selling books is:
THIS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT.
The best, most effective way to sell more books? Write more books. This is the secret most writers blow off, think it’s too simple or think it doesn’t matter. It does. You see, you hook someone on your book, and the first thing an avid reader is going to do is buy every single thing you have written. And they’re going to talk about it. Readers are very loyal and once they find an author they like, they would rather buy from them than someone new. It’s the truth and that’s what’s behind all the big name success stories you see in the news. Amanda Hocking? Has a shit-ton of work for sale. Joe Konrath? Barry Eisling? Same thing.
That’s not to say you don’t have to do ANY marketing. It just means without the material out there, it’s not going to be effective. You need books, short stories, novellas, on the market, more than one. The more you have, the more you sell, and the more you sell.
Marketing can be a total time-suck, but there are things you can do that take very little maintenance. Here are some of my suggestions:
Your blog is a great start, but put links in your email signature. I like WiseStamp because you can link it to update automatically with your blog posts and Twitter feed. Don’t have a Twitter account? Get one. Use a service like Buffer (free) to capture pages you surf and to schedule automatic posts, but set aside a little bit of time to actually talk to people. Twitter takes time to establish, and it has evolved over the three years I’ve been on it. It’s social interaction and if you don’t interact, it won’t do you much good. But, it’s great for networking and support, even if it doesn’t sell a whole lot of books.
Support other writers. I am in an awkward position as an editor for some of the best books I’ve read this year. As an editor, it’s a conflict of interest for me to pimp my clients out, and that totally sucks. (Because really, what am I going to say? They suck? Of course not, plus if I don’t give every one the same amount of time, that will cause problems. PLUS, if I don’t like the story, what happens when I don’t pimp that one out? PLUS, I’m an editor, not a promoter and I barely have time to pimp myself out. I hate being in this position, I really do, but there it is. Other than a link on my site — I do that for all my clients, but that’s the most I can do. Although I do post guest posts. It’s a problem for me because I love all my clients and some of them are great friends, as well. *sigh*)
Goodreads — get yourself an author page on Goodreads, and hook it up to post your blog posts there, too. Same with an Amazon author page. Make it as easy on yourself as you can by taking advantage of the RSS feeds and that way, all you have to do is update your blog and it will update on Goodreads and Amazon. I’ll be updating Goodreads with a video trailer once it’s done for “Athena’s Promise”.
Shelfari is another good site to set up the same way.
Use as many “set it and forget it” options as you can.
Get your book in the hands of reviewers.
Put together a media kit. You only have to do it once, and you’ll use components of it over and over. Here’s how: How To Construct a Media Kit
Do you have a Facebook Fan page? I offer exclusive excerpts from my book — a couple of lines from every chapter, then some blurbs, then the cover…that’s the only place people can see them. I plan on offering the book trailer there first and then I’ll post two or three sample chapters on the blog when I get closer to launch, which will then update automatically to all the sites I just mentioned. Here’s my page so you can see what I’m talking about: Annetta’s Facebook Fan Page
Instead of devoting huge hunks of time to marketing, you’re much better served by setting up as much as you can that requires the least bit of attention and using the time to work on the next book, and the next, and the next. That is honestly my best advice.
I know! It’s three posts in ONE WEEK! It’s a MIRACLE!
It’s just that sometime there are things that come to my attention which cannot be ignored. Two in one week — jeezum, if this pace keeps up I’m going to need a serious vacation.
Anyway, a lot of people I know have been releasing some fabulous work lately. I love it. So much good reading material, so little time. In fully 100% of these cases, the authors have been so kind as to release a sample chapter (or two, or three even) on their website, or they’ve enabled the sample option on Smashwords or Amazon. Some of them have included a sample chapter at the end of their book of the next book, too. I think that’s very generous of them, don’t you? It’s great marketing, sure, but I do appreciate the option to try before I buy. Truth is, I know these people and am familiar with their work, so I would dive in anyway.
However, I’ve seen some unknowns (to me, anyway) who don’t offer a chance to see what they have before I fork over my hard-earned cash. Nine times out of ten, I’ll pass these by, unless there are good reviews or it comes recommended by someone I trust. There’s just too much crap to sort through out there and I’ve been burned more than once. And once is more than enough.
Think of it this way — you’re not giving anything away that will cost you. As a matter of fact, if you believe in your work, and are positive once someone picks it up they won’t want to put it down until they’re done, then what’s the harm in giving them a little taste? Licking the beaters clean of cake batter sure doesn’t stop you from eating the cake now, does it?
My point is, by making a chapter (or two, or even three!) available to questing readers, you stand a much better chance of selling the rest of the cake…er, BOOK…than if you’re stingy and keep it all to yourself. If you do make a sample available and your books still doesn’t sell, well, you might have to take another look at your work. Either way, it’s good information to have.
That’s all. Back to work for me, although I still have that niggling worry about bird poop. Oh well, since I’m not on vacay I guess I should let it go. *sigh*
Monday again. Oh, the joy. What is it about Mondays that make me think of mud wrestling? Is it just me? Ah, well.
I’ve spoken many times about the importance of supporting your indie artists and how you can do that, even before I had my own book floating in the ether. There are many things you can do as a reader or a fellow writer, but it can be overwhelming. Some articles will go on for DAYS about clicking this button or on that website until all you want to do is turn the computer off or throw it out the window. So, I’ve decided to conduct a little experiment. Will you be my guinea pigs?
Don’t worry, there are no needles or any other kinds of sharp implements involved, and I won’t make you drink any noxious concoctions. At least, not this time. Heh.
No, my experiment is completely painless, easy and takes about a hot minute.
I post about three times a week. From here on out, at the top of each post (not this one, the next one, pay attention) I will give you a little somethin’ somethin’ to do that will help out the sales of “Not Nice and Other Understatements”. There’s no obligation, you sure don’t have to, but I would really appreciate it. Come on, it’s not like I’m asking you to eat broccoli or something.
If it makes you feel better, you can pretend you’re a secret double agent on a mission that can affect the life or death of our Fearless Heroine. I know, things aren’t that dire, but one little click of your mouse button can actually make a big difference. You’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling and build up Good Karma Points. And I’ll be thinking very hard about an appropriate reward.
At any rate, anything you can do to help will earn my eternal thanks plus the ability to continue writing fiction in my “spare” time. Which translates in to more stories for you.
Today’s Experiment: Click on my Amazon author’s page here and at the top of my photo, click on the little button that says, “Like”. That’s it! You’re done! Thank you!!
The great thing about this is you can do it for all your favorite authors if they have author pages. By clicking “Like”, you help nudge your author up in to the search engines, making it easier for other people to find them. So, you’re not only helping out your author friend (in this case, me) but all the potential readers out there.
I appreciate the support more than I can tell you. Now, I have to buzz off and think about rewards, write some more words and wrestle Monday to the ground and pinch it until it yells “Uncle”.
Thanks again 🙂
Find “Not Nice and Other Understatements” at Amazon and now at Smashwords in any format you desire! Autographed copies are still available through the link on this page. Spread the word! And thanks for all of your support!