Category Archives: Self-publishing

Using Amazon’s KDP Program to Greatest Advantage

I recently attended the Mad Anthony Writer’s Conference held in Hamilton, Ohio, where award-winning writer Bob Hostetler, and Jane Friedman, renown strategist for authors and publishers, were presenters. Over time I hope to share some of the wisdom about writing and publishing that I learned from them. The following is a tip from Jane Friedman, and what she says many authors do.

If you are in the KDP Select program, run your book for free for 5 days every three months without fail.

Amazon offers the KDP Select program to authors as a tool to promote your Kindle book on a Countdown Deal or as a free promotion for five days every three months. In return, if you enroll in the KDP Select program, you have to remove your e-book from all other sales channels and sell exclusively on Amazon for the three-month period of enrollment.

I began debating whether or not to enroll in this program in January of 2012 a few months after I published my first book, Dancing in Heaven. I debated the issue for a while, but was bothered by the exclusivity. Not because I was going to lose a lot of sales. The vast percentage of book sales came from Amazon. But I had a philosophical, or maybe ethical, problem with participating in what was clearly an effort on Amazon’s part to corner the market of e-books, which they have largely done without my participation, anyway.

This January I decided to try the KDP Select program with my second book, Where Memories Meet-Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s. I was having trouble getting the word out about the book, and I wanted to do a Countdown deal on Amazon that I could advertise through various other websites. I actually sold a lot of books on the days the price was reduced and the book was marketed. But I did not realize a lasting increase in my sales, and don’t expect to. I’m planning to take Jane’s advice and put it up for free for five days next month around Father’s Day. And I may cycle it through five free days every three months for a while.

I suspect some, perhaps many, of the customers who download a free book don’t read it. But I also think some will. At least it is a way to generate a little conversation online and get the book out and into readers’ hands. If I’m not really selling a lot of books anyway, I don’t have much to lose.

I have since put Dancing in Heaven on KDP Select and plan a Countdown to run beginning on my sister Annie’s birthday, May 17th, when the book will be priced at $0.99. I’m over the philosophical/ethical dilemma, at least for now. I’m not really supporting a monopoly, when no one was visiting the other sites to buy the book anyway.

I don’t know how long I will stick with the KDP Select program for either book, but for now, thank you Jane Friedman, for the tip.

 

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Marketing self-published books

Reblogged from Random Thoughts from Midlife.

Marketing continues to befuddle me as I try to promote Where Memories Meet – Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s. If my book doesn’t cross a reader’s radar, they won’t know it exists, let alone buy and read it.

Most times when I wade out onto the web with all the marketing and promotion advice for self-pubs, I just get discouraged and walk away. There is a lot of book promotion noise out there on the web. But I’m trying to keep in mind a quote I came across recently:

“The universe is infinite; there is space enough in it for everyone to succeed, including me.”

Read more. . .

 

 

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Two Giveaways

“What made you decide to share your stories as memoirs?”

“What helped you, hindered you in telling your story based upon your truth?”

“What is your main “takeaway” for your readers?”

These are just a few of the questions I answer in Kathleen Pooler’s interview. Kathy is the author of Ever Faithful to His Lead: My Journey Away From Emotional Abuse (that I reviewed here). She posted another insightful interview on her blog at Memoir Writer’s Journey. Kathy’s doing good work over there. Of course, the interview was with me, so I might be a bit partial. Or not. You decide. Read it here and leave a comment to enter to win a free signed print copy.

And when you’re finished over there, I hope you’ll visit Cynthia Robertson’s blog where she reviews and is running a GIVEAWAY of a signed print copy of Where Memories Meet. Enter by leaving a comment here.

“Grote has a talent for spot-lighting the sort of intimate and telling details which ring an answering note of emotional recognition in her readers,” Cynthia writes. Again, another talented and insightful writer, in my impartial opinion.

Kathy Pooler’s Interview and giveaway can be read here.

Cynthia Robertson’s review with giveaway can be read here.

 

Review of Where Memories Meet

A big thank you to Don Sloan at Just Free and Bargain Books for his review of Where Memories Meet. He hit all the right points. Don is a retired journalist who now reviews books full time. I hope you will visit his post.

“Where Memories Meet is at once a heartbreaking account of loss due to Alzheimer’s, and a celebration of life, honoring and remembering a beloved father who later succumbs to the insidious disease.

“The style of writing is terse, but not clinically so. This is not a matter-of-fact accounting of a person’s life. It is much more than that. It is a series of remembrances, strung together like Christmas lights, each one shedding just a little more illumination on a remarkable man gone too soon.” Read complete review here.

Goodreads Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the ten people who entered the Goodreads Giveaway and won a copy of Where Memories Meet:

Cathy Ann in Pennsylvania
Joshua in Alabama
Martha in Colorado
Marcia in Wisconsin
Daniel in Maine
Roni in Alabama
Larry in North Carolina
Monique in California
Tom in Maryland, and
Teri in Texas

My introductory price of $2.99 for an ebook will stay in effect through December. Afterwards, I will likely return the price to $3.99, where I started in September.

If you have purchased, read, and liked Where Memories Meet – Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s, I hope you will write a short review at Amazon and copy it to Goodreads. It really does help  me.

If you have purchased, read, and not liked my book, I hope you will leave me a comment here so I can learn and respond.

If you have a book club and would like me to answer questions, in person if local to Cincinnati or via Skype if not, please contact me.

If you have a blog and would like me to write a guest post about my books, or writing process, please contact me.

Thanks a bunch.

A postcard, a story, and another review

THE POSTCARD:

WWM_postcardI wanted to share the postcard my daughter designed for me to help me inform people about Where Memories Meet and ask for reviews. I have to thank Trace Conger for the idea. He writes crime thrillers and is the author of  The Shadow Broker, the first book in a series about a great character named Mr. Finn.  I don’t read a lot of this genre, but I really enjoyed this story.

THE STORY:

I contacted an Amazon Top Reviewer who had reviewed another book about Alzheimer’s to ask her if she would review Where Memories Meet. I told her a little bit about the book, added the postcard, and then said that if she didn’t want to read another story about Alzheimer’s, perhaps she would consider reviewing Dancing in Heaven. I got a response back from her pretty quickly and I thought, uh oh, she probably isn’t interested in either book. I was wrong. She asked to read BOTH books! I don’t use a lot of exclamation points, but that’s how I felt when I saw her response. This publishing experience has helped to rekindle and strengthen my belief in the goodness of humankind, and in particular individuals.

THE REVIEW:

The excerpts from the review I’m going to share with you right now, however, came from someone else altogether. The part I italicized makes me cry. I think it’s because, oh my gosh, she got it. This is tough emotional business. Here is a short excerpt. The entire review is posted on Amazon’s Where Memories Meet page.

“It is Christine Grote’s ability to depict, with honesty and dignity, the struggles and the humanity behind the disease that most hit home for me.

“The book is well written and it was an honor to understand Jerry as the man he was and the man Alzheimer’s affected.

“I highly recommend Where Memories Meet: Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s. It reminds us that in adversity we will find our strength.” CarolineS

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My First Review is Up

Where Memories Meet coverI am pleased to share excerpts from the first Amazon review of Where Memories Meet – Reclaiming my father after Alzheimer’s. The review was done by Grady Harp who has earned the following quality badges from Amazon for his reviews: Hall of Fame, Top 100 Reviewer, and Vine Voice.

“Christine’s eloquent tribute to her father’s passage through Alzheimer’s is one of the more valuable books available on the subject of dealing with loved ones who are victims of this relentless disease. The book is supportive, not only to her own psyche for placing her experience in words but also a primer for people who are close to a family member suffering from this ‘distancing’ ailment. Christine’s writing style is straightforward and unhampered with flights of lyricism: those flights occur because of her honesty of style in sharing. . .

“This is an immensely rewarding book to read and it is one that should gain a wide readership among the many people who share Christine’s situation. Highly Recommended.” Grady Harp