Got Plugged

Whoo-hoo! I got plugged. Er, perhaps I should explain that.

My book, The Stars Came Back, got a plug in the Book Plug Friday over at PJ Lifestyle, part of the Pajamas Media Megaplex. Be interesting to see what effect it has on sales.

So far the book has three reviews – I’d greatly appreciate more from any of you that have read it, particularly if you have written reviews before. Doesn’t have to be magnificent writing (that’s my job), just tell what you liked about it, strengths and quirks, compare it to other better known books or authors you liked. Thanks for your support, now back to our regular gun-news.

10 thoughts on “Got Plugged

  1. Glad to see Sarah and Charlie put up your plug.

    Now send a link and a polite request for a plug to Glenn Reynolds.

    • Now THAT is an outstanding idea! Reading his bio (http://instapundit.com/about.php ), this story would be right up his alley. I’ll have to work on a carefully written request, with the requisite offer of a free copy to review before he plugs it, and make sure it’s well written. Thanks! (have you done this before?)

      Any other great ideas, anyone?

      I was watching the numbers change as sales moved, and I realized that sales rank is a very short-duration rate-function, looking at sales over a day or three, definitely less than a week, perhaps even time-weighted in hours. So what I really need are two things, in this order:
      a) Helpful* reviews from people that have read it and liked it, so that when someone lands on the page to look at the book more closely it has “street cred” and seems like something worth taking a risk on, and
      b) Some sort of coordinated buy, so that several hundred sales go through in a relatively short time, a day at the most, preferably a few hours, so the rate pushes it up into the top 20 of the genre and its “first page hot list” status will advertise itself. Simple idea, but suggestions as to how to do it effectively are welcome.

      * helpful means positive (4 or 5 stars), and addressing possible concerns with self-published books, like typos and writing quality, consistency, lack of major plot holes, talking up the strengths of the story or characters, anything that strikes you as unique or original, etc.

      • Glenn Reynolds will put up a link to your book if you send him a polite and mildly fawning request, saying you are a reader of his blog. He is unlikely to review it before doing so and a physical copy is not a requirement.

        If you mail him a physical copy, he’ll also note its receipt on his blog albeit also unlikely to “review” it.

        Examples:
        http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/181776/

        http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/182589/

        He’d probably appreciate a reciprocal blog link to his new book….

        Glenn has massive readership.

        • Excellent. Very useful info. Thanks again.

          I’ll work on a carefully written note, a balance of obsequious and confident, and send it after I have a few more reviews. I’m up to four at the moment, I figure a half-dozen to ten would be better at instilling confidence in potential buyers once they hit the page.

          • A friend of mine put up an old out of print bestseller title of his, that he’d gotten the rights back from publisher, up on Amazon as a kindle edition, and asked Glenn for a plug. In the hours after the plug, he tells me that the title went from #18,000 ranking to #1,000 on Amazon.

          • It would be interesting to know what that means in terms of actual sales numbers. Or course, flogging a former best-seller is likely an easier course than a new author’s first book. The Stars Came Back is now “holding steady” around #13,500 overall for the last day or so, no longer genre ranked. Getting close to a hundred copies sold. I’m assuming the curve is not very linear, and varies a great deal by genre, but I’d like being in the top 1000 overall, or ideally top 20 in genre. But if I manage to drive a lot of eyeballs to the page, but the reviews are to thin to close the sale… Speaking of which, any thoughts or corrections on the Amazon description blurb are welcomed.

  2. Rolf,
    I would love to buy a copy, unfortunately for me I only see kindle versions offered. Any plans to do a “traditional” paper book?
    Sam

    • No and yes, and there may be a solution that works for you.

      I’d LOVE to see it in print on dead trees. However, the amount of work it takes to convert an e-book into a physical book is considerable, and while the upfront costs for print-on-demands are smallish compared to making a print-run of a thousand or more, the margins are also much thinner. This would make a huge physical book, similar in size to a mid-size Harry Potter novel. I don’t demand I get rich on this story, but I’d at least like to break even on cash costs, and right now I’m only about 1/7th of the way there. Being under-employed makes the wife frown on wasted money. She’s put up with it so far, but there is a limit, if you know what I mean. If it looks like the sales and reviews indicate a physical version makes economic sense, then yes, it’ll hit paper.

      Work-around: It has no DRM, so if you buy it, you can download it and convert it into any format you’d like with Calibre. Or have a friend with a Kindle buy it for you, then send you the converted file. You can also use the Amazon Cloud Reader to read it on any device you use a lot, be it iPad, PC, or whatever.

      • There are also Kindle reader apps for PC and Mac.
        As for conversion, it’s slightly tricky because — unlike Barnes & Noble — Amazon doesn’t have a “download the file” feature. But if you install the reader app, and download the book, you can then find the file on your computer. And you can then import that file into Calibre, and convert it to other formats (like EPUB for a Nook).
        Calibre is nice, it’s a good way to store and catalog ebooks of all kinds. For example, if you like free ebooks from places like gutenberg.org or mises.org, Calibre is a good way to keep them all sorted and accessible.

  3. Woo-Hoo! First threshold passed. Goal two met. (Goal one was hit the PUBLISH button successfully.) Passed 100 copies sold within the first week. (106 copies sold and 4 borrowed, in five days, to be exact).

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