Latest Event Updates
I’ll just go ahead and put it out there: You’re a liar if you don’t like cupcakes. I’m excited to announce Viva La Cupcake will be hosting my second book signing, this time to celebrate the release of BURNED. Each year for Earth Day, Grandin Village closes off the road, shops open up their doors, small businesses set up tents and table, and people are encouraged to walk along the street and talk to all the vendors. I’ll be right on the corner in front of the cupcake shop, so I’m pretty stoked!
Viva La Cupcake makes all kinds of amazing flavors (including gluten/sugar free by request). My favorite is by far the Black and White which is like a Hostess cupcake, though the S’mores, Apple Cobbler, and Blueberry always get me jazzed up, too. At my last book signing at Viva, Pennie (the owner) was kind enough to make themed cupcakes – cotton candy for the circus!
Readers will be able to buy paperback copies of all 3 of my books and since it’s Earth Day, I’ll have a QR code ready for the ebook versions, too! Each purchase (paperback or Kindle) will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! I’ll also have some bookmarks and other fun things at the table. If you’re in the Roanoke or surrounding area, I hope you stop by to say hello!
So the bad news is that I’m behind on my two current novels, but today I’d like to let you know what’s been taking up so much of my time. I’m incredibly proud to show you the second issue of bridebook magazine.
My publishing company produces several magazines; while I’m incredibly proud of all of them, this new one is sort of like a book baby. Much like the accomplished feeling when I release a new book, I’m so excited about putting this hard work into print. It helps that two of my coworkers have grown to also be two of my closest friends, so it’s especially close to my heart. Not only did we put out the brand new, 148 page book, we just threw a huge party to celebrate, complete with cover reveal, food, prizes, the whole shebang. I’m glad to say it was an overwhelming success and now I can refocus my time back on writing. All the same, being a part of bridebook is an incredible experience. I would’ve laughed at you ten years ago if you told me my career was this awesome.
Back to bridebook – this wedding resource guide is unlike any other, as the content is chock full of real brides, local Virginia vendors, and is so pretty you just can’t help but look at it. If you know of any brides to be getting married in Virginia, please encourage them to flip through an issue. Not only are there helpful articles like my pieces on reception food trends and best necklaces to go with bridal necklines, but the bulk of the book has real brides. They all submit their weddings and we write up their love story, list all their local vendors, and inspire brides with their lovely photos. I also manage the website and social pages, so I especially would love for them to “Like” our Facebook page and see all sorts of fun things we share. Our website has video of best buff arm exercises, Q&A with our cover girl, and other stuff like a wedding checklist and guest posts. Here is our 2014 cover (photo by Tara Lilly Photography)!!
First off, I have to thank everyone who helped promote the 3 free days I hosted WITCH HEARTS on Amazon’s KDP Select Program. It’s something no author (indie or otherwise) could do without the help of others and I am grateful and humbled by the amazing support given to me over these last few days.
I make no secret in the fact that I’m a huge Amazon KDP advocate. If you’re an author curious as to the why (as well as if you’re on the fence about KDP), scroll down.
So, on to the great news. WITCH HEARTS had so many downloads that it hit #1 for 2 straight days in the Top 100 Free Kindle ebooks in Paranormal Fantasy. To me, that’s huge because the longer you stay in the top (read: the first page), the more exposure and downloads you get. It hits that particular genre, which is terrific because those readers looking specifically for those types of books are definitely my market.
Even better? My book hit and stayed at #7 on the OVERALL Free Kindle Bestsellers, which is of course terrific to reach an even bigger audience. When you enroll and use your KDP days, your goal should be to hit that top 10 and stay there for at least a few hours. You get more downloads and exposure from people who might not think to go all the way down the rabbit hole into genres. No screenshot for that one, but here’s the really awesome news that came from the first batch of goodness.
Thanks to the publicity and downloads, the book (as well as the other two Donovan Circus books) have continued to sell even after the KDP days ended last night. Because of those sales, it’s bumped up my ranking and is currently #83 in the Kindle BESTSELLERS list under Ghost Fiction. (UPDATE: At 10pm this same evening, I rose to #31. Holy eff.) For those of you who think that it’s not important to hit that because it’s genre and not overall, I’d argue that this gives me the boost I need for exposure. It helps in those Amazon secret sauce algorithms, not to mention it’s just a great reason for me to boogie in my chair as it’s the total highlight of my week (and perhaps even my writing career thus far). While I won’t be putting “Best Seller” on my covers just yet, it’s a great thing to be able to say I hit that list. What author wouldn’t want that kind of cool news?
This is why I’m such a huge fan of the Amazon KDP Select program. Sure, there are pros and cons to it like everything else, but for those authors on the fence or wondering why they should participate, this is a great way to explain – because I don’t really make that many sales off B&N or KOBO (less than 10 a month), I see no reason to pull myself from those and be exclusive on Amazon – for now. I’m not a big name and because I get the majority of my sales from Amazon anyway, I’ve got no problem hanging out with them for at least 90 straight days in order to get my free or discounted days. In the marathon that is a writing career, 3 months is nothing. Why NOT be a part of something that can get you such exposure?
Fact is, with the 3 KDP days I set up (complete with submitting to website and including an ad from BookBub for their Supernatural Suspense readers – $40!), I had approximately 18,500 downloads worldwide (the majority coming from the US, though a surprising amount from Canada and UK). That’s over 18K people that now have my book on their Kindle who didn’t have them before. Sure, I’m aware that not all of those people will read the book – but they could if they wanted to now that they downloaded it.
I’ve already gotten 2 new reviews and downloads have now rolled over into actual sales. And not just for WITCH HEARTS, but for both Donovan Circus books, too. While that could be coincidence, it’s more than likely readers see the author name and want to give them a chance. With GIFTED at only 99 cents, there’s not a lot to lose, you know? That gets them in the circus world and hopefully they enjoy it enough to try BURNED and maybe want to keep up with the series. KDP has given me readers for my other books, too!
All in all, if you’re an author looking for reasons to be in KDP Select, I say go for it. There’s nothing to lose but 90 days and again, in the grand scheme of things, that’s nothing. If it doesn’t work for you, go ahead and see how you do over at B&N, KOBO or any other outlet. That’s totally cool. I’ve found a plan that works for me (for now) and I’ll work it with everything I’ve got! Thanks again to all of you who helped make this possible. I’m humbled beyond belief, as well as can’t stop dancing in my seat. I appreciate it more than words can say.