It’s Been Six Months Since…

…I published my first novel, HIGH.

Whenever I flip through the pages of HIGH, I still can’t believe I wrote those words. I was the one who spent hours, days, weeks, months—even years toiling over each word and each paragraph. I created that plot and made up those characters using my imagination. I wrote that story. For a good while, that story was my little secret. A secret I was afraid to share with anyone. Now it’s out there for the world to see.

I feel that no matter how many books I write and publish from now on, HIGH will always be the most important one. This book and I went through a lot of ups and downs together. In the process of writing and editing it—life happened. I got engaged, got married, got pregnant, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, became a parent, became a stay-at-home-mom, was diagnosed with a rare nerve disorder, had brain surgery—and through it all, I never gave up. Whenever I could, I kept writing. I wanted to finish my book. I wanted to achieve my goal despite the challenges that came my way. And I did it. It wasn’t easy. But I did it.

HIGH will always remind me of what I’ve been through and how strong I’ve become. It will always remind me of how hard I worked to chase a dream—no matter what. Regardless of how successful or unsuccessful HIGH may turn out to be—I will always be proud of it.

HIGH is available in paperback and eBook format on amazon.com.

Giveaways and Twitterviews

They weren’t kidding when they said that writing a book would be the easiest part—marketing would be the hardest.

So as you know, I recently tried KDP Select. I recommend it to any new authors out there. Just remember that because you’re giving away your book for free to thousands of people, it may not always end up in the hands of people who necessarily like your genre. But that’s the risk you have to take. Overall, I think it’s a great way to get your book out there, especially if you’re just starting out as an author.

Goodreads giveaway:
A couple of fellow-bloggers and authors have highly recommended Goodreads giveaways to promote my novel, HIGH. So a month ago, I decided to try listing my first Goodreads giveaway. I was hoping to at least get a hundred people to enter to win a copy of my novel. I was surprised last night to learn that 846 people entered! The contest ended today, so three winners have already been picked, and I’ve already sent out their copies of HIGH.

Ever since I listed the giveaway, I’ve noticed a small spike in ratings and reviews. Sales hasn’t been spectacular, but it’s better than it was before.

So would I recommend Goodreads giveaways? Absolutely. It’s free and effective.

Rafflecopter:
Have you heard of Rafflecopter? I just learned about it about a month ago during my HIGH Blog Tour. It’s an easy way to run a giveaway. I tried it during one of my Blog stops, and the experience was definitely painless and fun.

Yes, I’d recommend it.

Twitterviews:
Let me start by saying I am still getting used to Twitter. I honestly don’t know how to use Twitter to advertise my book properly. So if you have any tips, please share. I’ve posted a few things here and there, but that’s about it. Sometimes, I even forget I have a Twitter account. Anyway, I’m working on it.

So because of my poor Twittering skills, I decided to try for a paid advertising service for a twitterview.

What is a twitterview? It’s a live interview done via Twitter. Followers can ask the author questions, etcetera. The idea is that it’s supposed to attract more readers and followers. $75 later, I gained 3 new followers, and no added sales.

Would I recommend it? It depends. It may work for others. Unfortunately, it didn’t for me. I say, save your money.

And so, the marketing journey continues. I still have a lot to try and learn along the way. I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

In the meantime, have you tried any of the above marketing services? How was your experience?

Any other marketing suggestions?

 

 

My KDP Select Experiment

Whew! My HIGH Blog Tour is over. So was it worth it? Well, all I can say is I’m glad I did it. I’ll write another post about the experience another time. For now, I’d like to write about my experience with KDP Select.

I’m sure that most of you are familiar with KDP Select. If you’re not, it’s basically a program for writers that Amazon launched not too long ago. It gives writers the opportunity to list their eBook for FREE for five days within a 90-day period—but they have to agree to sell their enrolled book(s) exclusively only through Amazon.  Some people don’t like this exclusivity, others don’t mind it. After researching online and reading success stories from other authors who have used KDP Select, I decided to do my own experiment and enrolled HIGH in the program in January of this year.

The Advantages of KDP Select 

I’m a new author. Aside from my blog followers, my family and close friends, no one else knew about my novel, HIGH. Other authors have said that giving away their books for free for one day, two days or even five days, have helped increase their sales later.

I wanted more sales. Most of all, I wanted more readers. So as much as it made my family cringe knowing I was about to give away my book for FREE—I went ahead and did it, and hoped for good—if not great results.

My First Try

A lot of the articles I read suggested that a two-day promo was better than one. But for some reason, I couldn’t do it. I was too nervous about the FREE promotion that I decided to try it for one day.

I picked February 20th, a Wednesday. I set my alarm for 7:30 a.m., and by 8 a.m., I checked to see how many units were “sold”. I was hoping for maybe ten or twenty. My eyes grew big when I saw: 192. When I checked amazon.com, I was completely surprised to see this:
1_Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 4.54.56 PM
I checked my status obsessively throughout the day, and I must say the experience was exhilarating.

By 10:30 p.m. I “sold” 740 units! This was my ranking at the end of the day:
2_Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 4.55.33 PM

For a first try, I thought this wasn’t bad at all.

The next day, I waited to see if my sales would improve. It didn’t.

My Second Try

I decided to do the FREE promo again for HIGH, this time on February 23, which was a Saturday.

By 2:30 p.m., this was my ranking:
3_Screen shot 2013-03-03 at 5.04.18 PM

At the end of the day, I was pleased to see a total of 1644 units “sold”. When I checked Amazon, I was thrilled to see this:
2:23:13 11 pm

The Results:
After my second experiment with KDP Select, I began receiving more reviews on amazon.com. I also noticed that my sales improved—not by a whole lot, but it was definitely better than before.

So would I do it again? Sure. The most important thing for me right now is to gain new readers. KDP Select has helped me do that. HIGH is now in the hands of  2,384 new readers. I think that’s pretty fantastic.

There are other perks to enrolling in KDP Select. Click here to learn more.

Have you tried KDP Select? How was your experience? Would you recommend it to other new authors? 

Promoting Your Book on a Budget

Since I am in the process of doing my HIGH Blog Tour, I have been spending a lot of time researching on how to promote my book. Recently, I came across a great article on how to market your book—on a budget.

Click here to check out the article.

Do you have a marketing tip you’d like to share?

Birthdays, Books, and Blogging

A few years ago, I wrote a book. A few months ago, I edited it. A few weeks ago, it was published.

Today is my birthday. And since today is my birthday, I’d like to make a wish. I wish for my book to someday end up in your hands. 🙂

WARNING: My novel may cause smiling, chuckling, continuous page flipping, and sudden caffeine cravings. Falling in love and crying were also reported in some cases.

Cheers to another wonderful year! To old and new dreams, to love, and to life!

For the Kindle version of HIGH, click here.

Get HIGH today!

Hi! Just wanted to let you know that my first novel, HIGH, is now available on Kindle!

HIGHiPad

The paperback has been available on amazon.com for a few weeks now, but I haven’t really advertised because I was waiting for the Kindle version to be ready. Now that they’re both available for purchase, it’s time to spread the word!

If you’d like to get HIGH on paperback, click here.
If you’d like to get HIGH on Kindle, click here.
If you’d like me to do a guest blog about my book on your blog, click here.

Have a great week!