SAVE THE NIGHT: Help Courtney Cole with her book, NOCTE

SaveTheNight

Guys, I need your help – or rather, my friend Courtney Cole does. She is one of my first true author friends – those of you who have read GIFTED know I wrote the dedication to her. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t think GIFTED would’ve ever become what it is, because she tirelessly answered my questions, coddled my anxiety, and helped me through the entire process. She’s an amazing person and writer who somehow magically makes time for everything and everyone.

If you’ve been interested in reading her latest book NOCTE, now’s the time to help her out. She’s had some author bullying going on, and while we won’t go into details because ain’t nobody got time for that drama, maybe we can help her out and fight back.

If you’re able to tweet about this, you can copy this message here with the Amazon link:

Please help Courtney Cole SAVE THE NIGHT!  Her book NOCTE was pulled from Amazon, but it’s back today! Let’s un-do the damage and SAVE THE NIGHT!  Buy NOCTE today, and enter the Rafflectopter to WIN! The Amazon link is:  www.smartURL.it/NOCTEAmazon

The rafflecopter is for anyone who sends their purchase receipts to thenoctetrilogy@gmail.com or shares my blog post.  Winner gets a signed NOCTE paperback and a St. Michael’s medallion (like Finn’s).  Open internationally.  The Rafflecopter link is:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/22bd3a2a42/

Get It Together: Your Amazon Author Page

Let’s talk about a great marketing tool that’s right at your fingertips: your Amazon author page. 

There are several ways to enhance your Amazon author page. Let’s also go ahead and assume you’re going to use these same techniques for a Barnes & Noble author page – in any case, you need to be sure you’re using every tool you have available to ensure your readers can not only find your books, but find your other stuff too. Along with your website, your author page is one of the few places that readers can see ALL your stuff in one place.

Not only does the author page showcase your titles (including ebook and paperback, plus audio if you have it), you can display your other marketing weapons. Your bio, social media pages, Twitter and blog updates and video book trailers if you have them (let’s assume you do). You can also encourage folks to “Like” your Amazon page, just like they would with Facebook.

One of the best parts of the author page is that readers can sign up to be notified when you have a new release. This is great because it’s a built in resource – not only do you have a potential customer, but it might be one that isn’t on your newsletter list or hasn’t kept up with you on other forms of social media. Amazon takes care of it for you with a quick email to them. Pretty savvy, no?

I also really like the “Customers Also Bought Items By” because readers who land on your author page can see authors with similar titles. Not only could YOU, the author, visit those author pages to see their work and read customer reviews (i.e., find a potential list of reviewers for your own title due to similar interests), but your name can be listed in other author pages, too. It’s another way for readers to find you if they’re perusing for reads that they think they’ll enjoy. I mean, they enjoyed AUTHOR X, so why not try out one of your books if they’re in the same field?

Even if you’re still building your book list and/or only have one title, Amazon is going to give you this author page for your own use. Why not make it as informative as possible? It’s surprising how many authors don’t use this page as a marketing tool – if you’re not, I highly recommend you go ahead and build it. It’s another free resource that will only enhance your online author presence.

WITCH HEARTS – KDP Select Days Led to Bestseller List (Holy Eff!)

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.

Witch Hearts at #1 in Kindle Free - Paranormal Fantasy

Witch Hearts at #1 in Kindle Free – Paranormal Fantasy

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?

Witch Hearts at #83 in Kindle Bestsellers Ghost Fiction

Witch Hearts at #83 in Kindle Bestsellers Ghost Fiction

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.

BURNED, A Donovan Circus Novel is LIVE on Amazon!

First off, thank you to everyone participating in the Release Day for BURNED, A Donovan Circus Novel! When we are about to finally meet, put on your football gear cause you’re getting a massive tackle hug 🙂

Secondly – commence the freak out! On my end, that is. It’s finally here – release day for the second book in the Donovan Circus adventures, Burned. You can download your copy for Kindle (or the app) on Amazon here!

burned_cover_final_webAdmittedly, it’s incredibly nerve-wracking for an author to put out a new title – especially one where readers are ready for the next story! If you happen to pick up a copy of Burned, I really hope you enjoy it. All books are a labor of love and I’m glad to say I’m thrilled as to how this adventure turned out (and am already working on the third one!).

Haven’t read the first book in the series yet? Gifted is currently on sale for only 99 cents! Get it quick because it’ll be full price again after the holidays. You can download your copy here to get started and learn more about this supernatural circus and all its colorful characters.

Thanks for joining me. I’m so excited! In fact, I’m so excited that I’m releasing a special excerpt that hasn’t been shown in the teasers yet. Keep reading and get a taste of what’s in store for the Donovan gang!

Special Excerpt:

I gave Sheffield an incredulous look. “What the f-”

He cut me off. “Tell me.”

I recapped the attack, right down to the part about Sheffield’s head being stuffed like a deer and put on a wall. My stomach flipped at the memory of the attacker’s hiss in my ear. Sheffield’s tight-lipped expression gave away nothing. When I finished, he lit a cigarette, his elbows on the table as he looked over at me.

“And you’re sure he said Medved?”

I looked down at my bloody hands. “Trust me, that’s not something I’d forget. It’s pretty much burned in my brain forever. What kind of bad guy is he?”

His lips twisted under the mustache into a rueful smile. “He’s not my favorite.”

“But what does this Medved guy want?” I asked. He shook his head at me.

“Medved,” he corrected me, putting emphasis on the second syllable. “His name means “bear” and he’s the most vicious man I’ve ever come across. He’s a Shapeshifter. He can shift into any large, dangerous creature, though he prefers a bear nine times out of ten.”

His eyes longingly on his not-so-secret whiskey drawer, he missed my one eyebrow raised in question. He didn’t meet my eyes as he continued talking.

“Medved is a killer, plain and simple. My information on him is sparse. He’s been in and out of Russian prisons most of his life and craves violence. Like Felix, he thinks humans should know about us. But he believes gifted are better than humans. I know he and Felix discussed a few common problems.”

“So big picture, he wants exposure and superiority to humans. Obviously we disagree on both of those requests, but why would he attack us?” I asked.

“We are his enemy. I am his enemy,” Sheffield said simply, holding his hands up as though it were obvious. “We are a large gifted clan that opposes his ways. And now we are led by one of the most powerful gifted beings in history – that’d be you – so he’ll want to crush the competition.”

I cringed. “I’d rather not spread that rumor around.”

“Too late for that, kid. I imagine word is spreading about how you took out Felix. For Medved, it’s about proving that no one is more powerful than him.”

My voice went up an octave. “I mean, I could get him with a fireball, but if he’s too close, he’ll probably claw me to death.”

“Even with fire, he is a warrior. He will do his best to break through it,” he said.

“He could survive a fireball?” I asked incredulously.

“I know for a fact that he can take the hit in animal form. Maybe not your particular brand of flame,” Sheffield said, waving a hand at me, “but he’s learned to handle pain and strengthen himself against gifts. I suspect he also allowed Felix to experiment on him with different gifts.”

Oh, great. I sat there quiet for a moment, mulling over the information. When I looked up, Sheffield eyed me hard from behind his desk.

“Sheffield, why the pomp and circumstance?”

His mustache moved as he frowned. “What do you mean?”

I shrugged. “Medved had to have been the attacker tonight, right? Why didn’t he just kill me right then and there?”

He harrumphed. “He is a predator that enjoys the fear in his prey. He likes to scare his enemies before he attacks.”

“Can’t say it didn’t work.” The memory of the cold blade against my skin made me shiver. I could almost feel Medved’s hiss in my ears.

About Liz Long:

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media editor includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

Her first book, Gifted, is the first book in the Donovan Circus series. Her second book Witch Hearts, a story about a serial killer hunting witches for their powers, is available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.