Getting pro-active with it.

Dirty Business Final (Large) Loose Ends Final (Large) Smoke and Mirrors 0602 (Medium) Deep State (Large)

Can Acer’s exploits, one day soon, enable me to live in the style to which I aspire? For more on this and other topics that hold little importance to anyone but me, read on…

Not much more than a week back ‘home’ after six months away and Dymchurch and DIY are already a distant memory.

As mentioned last week, I’ve been having a look at what I can do about flagging sales figures. Here’s what I’ve done?

  1. I dropped the price of Dirty Business (The First Acer Sansom Novel) from £1.99 to £0.99 to try to generate some interest. Four days later and no evidence, sales-wise, to suggest that had any effect other than a negative one – the title dropped a few thousand places in the Amazon sales ranking figures. Doh! But dropping the asking price was only intended to be a temporary stop gap. (See 2)
  2. I went through the rigmarole of of getting Dirty Business  listed as a free download on Smashwords, Apple ibooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and a few other e-book sites in the hope that Amazon might respond and price match and list it as a free download. (They do that sometimes.) Amazon did indeed respond to being made aware of competitors’ prices, and the notifications they received from my wonderfully supportive readers (thank you all very much) who answered my cry for help. The book is now FREE to download all over the world. Now I have to hope that Dirty Business will attract some downloads from readers who will not only read it but be encouraged to download others in the series.
  3. When I posted the news on my Facebook author page yesterday a link encouraged me to ‘Boost’ the post for a nominal fee for 7 days. Suck it and see, Granny Tidy used to say. Usually I ignore that option but this time I sucked it up. We will see what happens. (Not that I can see how any effect could be measured with any degree of reliability or validity – too many variables in play.)
  4. I submitted Rope Enough (The First Romney and Marsh File) to Bookbub for a promotion. Bookbub are THE e-book recommendation site. When they promoted Rope Enough before it was quickly placed highly in the Amazon top 100 free downloads. (Was it #1? I can’t honestly remember.) Anyway, Bookbub were charging over $500 for this service. Not cheap but the rewards in downloads of other books in the series are often worth it. The series received a decent spike in sales before. Bookbub declined to promote the book this time. Crap.
  5. Plan B: Submit Making a Killing (The Second Romney and Marsh File) to Bookbub. Because MAK would not have been free but only reduced in price in the promotion this campaign would cost me over $1000. Gulp. I went for it for those knock-on sales. Bookbub declined again. Double crap.

Bookbub are notoriously difficult to get promoted by. See their stock email response below:

Thanks for your submission. Unfortunately, our editorial team has not selected this book for a BookBub Featured Deal at this time.

Due to limited space in the email, we’re only able to feature about 20% of the books that get submitted to us. Our editors review all the submissions that meet our minimum guidelines for a certain category and price point, and select the books within that group that they believe will perform best with our members. Other books the editors reviewed were better fits for our readers’ current tastes.

I was pretty gutted by this. Making a Killing meets all their minimum requirements for promotion in spades, in fact the reviews and average rating of the book should have made it a certainty, I thought. Shows what I know. (Maybe one of them has read it.) All in all a right waste of time, as one of my ex-wives once remarked on our blessed union. I’m looking into other book promotion websites for the R&M Files.

Not done with Bookbub, as soon as Dirty Business went live for free I applied for a promotion for it. Third time lucky, perhaps. I’m waiting to hear.

I made another big decision this week. I’ve also mentioned here recently that I have a book written outside of my normal fare that I’ve touted to a few literary agents. They all rejected it. No surprise there and no tears. I was preparing to send it to a few more. And then I realised that the last agent took over four months to respond. And making a submission is such a process, darling. You know what? I can’t be bothered to wait that long again and again and again for more of the same. Life is too short. By the time every literary agent in the land has rejected it I could be dead… of old age, and then no one would get to read it and I don’t write books for them to be not read. I’m self-publishing it. It is called Cold Kills. I’ve ordered the cover from my guy this week. The book will be available for Christmas, which is rather appropriate. More on that next post. Lots more.

PS A loose end I’ve been meaning to tie up for some time: I posted here a while ago that I was reading American Psycho by Bret Easten Ellis and enjoying it. I was. I was about halfway through it at the time. And then I finished it. In the second half of the book the author changed up a couple of gruesome gears. The descriptions of the central protagonist’s brutal deeds became more explicit, more graphic and more depraved. I want to go on record as saying that in light of my overall reading experience I would not recommend this book. I’m glad that I read it. Parts of it were engaging. Parts of it were quite funny. The writing was largely very good. I finished it. But in recommending a read it can reasonably be assumed that the recommender would want others to read it. I would not want any female I knew in my real life or my virtual one to expose themselves to what Ellis writes about. It would make me uncomfortable and Dog knows I’m no prude.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

17 thoughts on “Getting pro-active with it.

    • Thanks, Colin. AP was, for me, a book of two halves. I think that it was also and alas too long and he really didn’t need to become so gratuitous with his violence.
      Best wishes

  1. Morning, Oliver. Thought you might like to know that Amazon sent me a list of suggested books today and the list contained titles from R&M, Acer and Booker&Cash! I have already read them all, of course, but thought you might like to know that your work is being recommended. Have a lovely day, Debs

  2. I don’t think lowering the pace will help. It probably damages ‘the brand.’ I love Romney and Marsh but am really not an Acer fan. Thus I would probably spend publicity money on them. But what do I know. I wish you the best because you a are a very good writer and deserve it. Sincerely, Gail Shields

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks for your comment, Gail. 🙂
      I appreciate what you’re saying. Writing different series under one name is always going to be a risk. It’s difficult to please all of the readers all of the time. And i don’t, of course. I accept that. Part and parcel of being a writer, I suppose. I need to work on publicity and promotion for all of my books. And I will.
      Best wishes.

  3. Nice that you are back in the land of the living (Well Turkey) I can do some promotions stuff at least one per week. Hope it helps.

    • I feel like I’ve never been away. And I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Any help would be much appreciated as always, David. I don’t expect it but I’m always grateful. Thanks. 🙂

  4. I’ve given up looking at Bookbub recommendations, there’s rarely anything I want to read.
    I hadn’t particularly fancied the Acer Sansom books, but seeing your offer (on Facebook) I have downloaded it, & who knows, could well be paying for the rest. Good luck.

    • Hi Jill
      I do know what you mean about choosing the next read. There is very little of the new stuff that I’m encouraged to read from the blurb. Increasingly I find myself going back to old favourites, writers who are long dead.
      Thanks for downloading Acer. Even though he might not end up being your cup of tea I appreciate you giving him a try.
      Best wishes.

    • Hi Jill- if it is any help, I, like you, didn’t particularly fancy the Acer Sansom books, I even told Oliver that they were not really my type of book. I did eventually buy the first one and I was incredibly surprised at how quickly I was drawn in and just couldn’t put it down. Since then, I have had to wait impatiently for each subsequent book to be published.
      Do give it a try, I think you might be surprised.
      Best wishes.

  5. The first time I read one of your books it was free on amazon. Since then I have purchased all of them. I really like Romney and Marsh and Booker and Cash. Not so much the Acer books. Even though I bought all of them, I haven’t read all of them. I think it must be some personal preference that I can’t explain.
    I have recommended your books to my friends and feel that they are as good or better than the books on best seller lists. I guess the key is convincing some publisher of that. I wish I knew how you could do it. I wish you well and hope you don’t give up because I really like your books.

    • Hi Brenda,
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂
      I understand that not all my readers are going to enjoy everything I write – we all have our own genre preferences – but I do sincerely appreciate that you gave Acer a try after reading some of my other stuff. As a writer I couldn’t ask more from a reader than that.
      Thanks, too, for kind words, and your word of mouth recommendations. That sort of thing is so important to a writer like me.
      Best wishes

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