My first experience with Amazon KDP Select and free promo days…

Having recently enrolled a book – Creepy Christmas – in Amazon’s KDP Select program for the first time and ran my first free promotion for a few days last week, I thought I would write a bit about my experience.

I think the promo went very well. Much better than I expected anyway! My numbers were not huge, nothing compared to what some better-known authors would pull in on a free promo day of their own, but as I had never done KDP Select before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. (I’m sure most of you already know this, but in case anyone doesn’t – when you sign up to Select, your book has to be available exclusively on Amazon for a period of three months, and in that three month period they allow you to offer your book for free for up to five days.)

I don’t think I went into the promo best prepared. For a start, I used my free promo days in conjunction with the book’s release day, which meant that the book had no reviews (it does have a couple now – thank you, lovely people!) I was advised against doing it, and friends suggested I wait until people had bought it and left reviews, and then run the free promo. Obviously good reviews help buyers decide whether to download the book or not, and also increase your chances of getting picked up by the free Kindle book promotional websites (who mention your free book to thousands of their followers) and almost all of which require your book to have a high rating before they will consider promoting you.
I didn’t want to wait, mainly because I felt it would be unfair to expect my friends, family, and other readers to buy the book only for it to be free a couple of weeks later. It’s only 77p anyway, so not a huge amount of money, but it just felt wrong to ask people to buy it, knowing it would soon be free.

Another thing I’ve heard about Select is that it is much better suited to authors who have a series of books out – you use the promo days to give away the first book in a series, hoping that customers will come back and buy the other books from that series.
I can safely say that not only is Creepy Christmas not part of a series, but I don’t have any other books out in the same genre. In fact, I only have one other book out, and it is most definitely not children’s fiction!

So, overall, I could have gone into it better prepared. I should have given myself more time to submit my book details to the freebie promo sites – I gave them about a week’s notice, when I should have pulled my socks up and done it two or three weeks earlier.

I didn’t know how many downloads I expected, but it was definitely far less than I got! My final download numbers after a four day free promo looked like this:

Amazon US: 2565 downloads.
Amazon UK: 315 downloads.
12 from Amazon Germany, 1 from France, and 7 from Japan.

Chart wise, in the UK I reached #242 overall in the free chart, and #28 in children’s books.
In the US it was #142 overall and #2 in children’s books > Christmas.

It also led to my first borrows from the Kindle Owners Lending Library, both here and in the US – which I admit that I got ridiculously excited about!

The free days kicked off on a Thursday and were scheduled to run for three days. By the end of Saturday, the downloads were still coming in, and I was so close to getting 2000 in the US that I decided to add another day to the promo, so it ended up being free on Sunday as well. I also conveniently forgot to mention this to anyone! The downloads still came in though, and I was very glad that I did extend it, as the number was well over 2000 by the time I got up on Sunday morning!

It’s now been a week since my free promo ended, and sales have been slow and steady this week. I have sold a few copies every day, and had an equal number of borrows in the US (less borrows here, but the lending library is still very new to the UK!)

I worked hard to promote it, but I could have done better. I should have been more organised and not ran around like a headless chicken on release day.
Promotion wise, I got mentioned on a couple of the free ebook sites – none of the big ones, but I’m sure the ones I did get a mention on led to some downloads in the US if nowhere else! I also posted links on a couple of Kindle forums that allow authors to promote their free books, and I mentioned the hell out of it on Twitter (Sorry, lovely followers! I do try not to use Twitter for advertising purposes, honest!)

I was also really lucky to have some amazing support on Twitter and Facebook, with friends, family, and even people I’d never met before sharing or retweeting the links.
I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who helped. I know you all must’ve been sick of hearing about Creepy Christmas by the end of the promo, but I really appreciate the support so much!

 

In other news: I am coming to the end of NaNoWriMo – one half-novel is now turned into a full novel, and I’ve made a start on the next half-finished manuscript. 46,000 words written so far this month – almost there!

On Friday I was on the lovely Trashionista website talking about Kismetology here: http://www.trashionista.com/2012/11/author-interview-jaimie-admans.html

And speaking of Kismetology, it’s currently on special offer and reduced to 99p / $1.60 for a limited time only!
Amazon UK || Amazon US

Creepy Christmas is out now! And it’s free!

It’s release day! My second novel – Creepy Christmas – is out today! It’s available to download from Amazon, and for the first three days only – it’s free! Yay!

Of course, the point of the post is to tell you where to buy the book…
You can read a sample or buy the book on Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com.
Amazon: FR, DE, ES, IT.

You do not need a Kindle to read it. Amazon do a lovely little free Kindle app, which you can download to your computer, phone or tablet-thingy, and read any Kindle book you wish on it.

The book is a fun, festive, family read. It’s aimed at children/middle-grade readers over the age of 8, but of course can be enjoyed by anyone! It won’t cost you a thing to download if you get it in the next three days, and you might just like it! Please pass the link on to anyone else who might be interested too!

PS: You can add Creepy Christmas to your books on Goodreads: Here!

PPS: There’s still a chance to win a copy of Kismetology on the lovely I Heart Books!

Creepy Christmas: Cover, Blurb, Release Date and Free Promo!

I seem to have been talking about this for months, but the release date is finally here!
Creepy Christmas will be out on November 15th – otherwise known as this week! Thursday to be precise! It’s all very exciting!

Cover:

Blurb:
Strange things are occurring in the neighbourhood. A mysterious snowfall, one Santa too many, and eyes of coal that watch you wherever you go.

Ten-year-old Kaity is busy trying to get rid of her mum’s creepy new boyfriend and reunite her divorced parents, but her curiosity gets the better of her when she meets the new mall Santa and his enchanting daughter Blizzard. Can Kaity help them save Christmas from being destroyed by Anti-Claus – a pretend Santa who is a permanent member of the naughty list?

It’s Christmas in the village of Chelferry, but this year the snowmen can move, the fairy won’t stay on top of the Christmas tree, and if you listen closely to the musical Christmas cards, you can hear the faint sound of screaming over the Jingle Bells…

– – – – – – – – – –

Creepy Christmas is a 50,000 word (approx 200 pages) novel suitable for ages 8 and upwards.

And another bit of exciting news:
Creepy Christmas will be FREE for the first three days of its life! It’s available on Amazon, and will be free to download on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday! Please download it if you have a chance, and please share the link if you know anyone else who might like it, I would really, really appreciate it.

NaNoWriMo, Writing Fears, Interviews, and Everything Else!

Good news: I finished the final edit on Creepy Christmas yesterday! It will be out on November 15th – stay tuned for a proper post and more info about it coming soon!

I’ve also been promoting Kismetology and have had a couple of interviews with lovely websites recently!
Firstly, I was chatting to Novelicious over the weekend here: Novelicious Chats To… Jaimie Admans
And yesterday I was talking to the lovely Isabella at Chick Lit Goddess: Here and there’s a lovely little post about Kismetology here too!

So, it’s NaNoWriMo time of year. It’s the month when thousands (many, many thousands judging by how glitchy the site is as usual!) gather together online and attempt to write a novel in a month.
Not counting the Camp NaNos that run in the summer months, this is my seventh year of participating, and (hopefully) sixth year of winning.
I’m actually doing things a little differently this year, in as much as usually I write 3-4K words a day and finish by the fifteenth of the month. I don’t have time to do nothing but write this year, so I’m doing it the ‘proper’ way and only aiming for 1,667 words a day. This is quite unusual for me, and every day when I finish my writing, I get the feeling of “is that it?”
I’ve currently written 15,000 words of the required 50,000 words, which isn’t too bad for a week, although I know there will be some days missed due to other book commitments!

I actually work a lot like NaNoWriMo, even when it’s not November. I don’t write every day of the year. I spend a couple of months planning the novel – researching, outlining, character building, picturing scenes. I have to be sure that my premise will stretch into an 80,000+ word novel. When I am sure, I then set a month or so where I am going to WRITE THE NOVEL. When it’s novel writing time, that’s it. No more research, no more procrastinating (that one doesn’t always work…) If something needs researching more then I stick in a mark to look it up later. If a character or place doesn’t have a name, they become Character1, Town2, BastardA and BastardB, etc. until the editing stage when I have a chance to sort them out and name them properly.

And every time that I sit down to write, the overwhelming fear is “What if I can’t do it again?” Because I don’t write every single day of the year. Because I can often go months without writing anything ‘new’ (only re-writing and editing) when it comes to sitting down to write another novel, I always think that I won’t be able to do it again. Sure, last time it went well. Sure, last time the characters practically wrote it for me. Plot lines appeared out of nowhere and told themselves. I have written seven complete novels, and four half-novels that are works in progress. Hopefully by the end of NaNo, that will be eight complete novels. Hopefully by the end of December that will nine complete novels with only two WIPs left. And yes, some of them will never, ever see the light of day. Some of them are so bad I’m embarrassed to read over them. My first novel was a tense-jumping nightmare and the only thing that it will ever be useful for is lighting a fire.

So despite having written a lot, I still don’t think I can do it. I still don’t think the words will come easily and the story will tell itself. It has been a pleasant surprise to be working on my NaNo novel this year and find it relatively easy to write. I have not lost ‘it’ in the months since I last wrote something new.

After NaNo, my plan is to finish the Christmas novel that I started last year. I find it incredibly hard to write Christmas stories when it isn’t Christmas, although I have had to do it this year when I spent August re-writing Creepy Christmas. If I ignore this one now, I probably won’t work on it again until next winter, so I do want to spend December trying to get it finished – only another 50k or so to go… Er, yeah. That should be easy. Not.

Of course, there’s also the small matter of releasing Creepy Christmas and promoting that and Kismetology!

I know a lot of you reading this are writers too. Do you ever feel like this? Am I the only one who constantly believes that their last novel will be the last novel?

Talking about writing… And other things!

Today I’m doing an interview with the lovely Tracie Banister on her blog Books By Banister – We’re talking writing, Kismetology, Creepy Christmas, and lots of other fun questions that I’ve never been asked before! You can read it here, and even better, you can enter to win a copy of Kismetology!

It’s so much fun doing interviews – it makes me feel like a proper author! A huge thanks to Tracie for having me. If you like chick-lit, you should check out her books too!

Secondly, thank you to everyone who voted in the Creepy Christmas cover poll. The cover that has been chosen is — [drum roll] — Cover 2! It was actually three votes behind in the poll, but a few people pointed out that cover 1 was too young. The book is aimed at ages 8 and up, but cover 1 made it look like a much younger children’s book. I’m still putting the finishing touches to the cover, but stay tuned for a reveal soon!

What else? Hmm. I entered the Kismetology cover into The Book Designer’s Ebook Cover Design Awards, and got some lovely comments for it! Have a look here. Well happy with that!

I’ve also signed up for NaNoWriMo again – my seventh year now! God knows how I’m going to find time for it this year, but I will try my hardest! Writing a novel in a month is never easy, especially when you’ve got another book to promote and yet another book to release! If anyone else is doing NaNo and wants to add me as a buddy, my ID is ChickLitWriterGirl on the site – profile here!