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Journal of an Extreme Horror Writer


*The Summer Fire Sale is NOW underway! All extreme horror titles will be FREE or on sale at some time or other July 9th -July 24th. The Acetone Enema short story is currently FREE from Amazon. Download it HERE. Or buy the complete Acetone Enema short story collection HERE for the super low price of just $0.99.

Amazon Free Giveaway Results




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Ebook Giveaways: Day 1 Results
Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual (ICBIM) and Baby Hunter (BH) each saw some downloads. I spent just $4 promoting Baby Hunter with an ad on Facebook and posted the ad image to some groups on Facebook. I did not submit this offer to any other sites. I am posting my day one results here, so I can come back to them later. When I gave away Acetone Enema on Amazon (my only other free promotion), I saw nearly 250 downloads on the first day. But I had submitted that ebook, at a different time of the year, to a dozen different free sites (some with hundreds or thousands of subscribers who received emails about the deal). It will be interesting to see the results of this campaign over the next four days. I'll post another table of results once this is all over.

For now, here are the day 1 results:


Two Ebooks Free on Amazon for a Limited Time!
Thank you to everyone who has already downloaded free copies of these books. You have helped me gain visibility and increase my free rankings. The Baby Hunter Short Story has an #8,028 ranking FREE in the Kindle store. The Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual has a #2,537 ranking FREE in the Kindle store. Baby Hunter is #9 in FREE Horror Comedy Kindle ebooks. The Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual is #1 in FREE Parent Participation ebooks and seeing a lot of free downloads (112 downloads in the last 20 hours). I've put $10 into Facebook advertising for the free Baby Hunter ebook and seen 30 downloads so far, which means it is apparently much less popular than the Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual. If you haven't already done so, download both of these books for free and help me spread the word by leaving your honest reviews on Amazon. Your reviews are extremely important to me as an indie writer. Reviews (good or bad) help potential readers make up their minds about my books and decide whether the books are worth their time. So, I could really use your help. Finally, please sign up for my mailing list so we can all stay in touch post social media apocalypse. Here's some links:







Take Care and Happy New Year!

Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual Reception
There were just over 3000 impressions of my Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual ads on Facebook. I paid almost $25 for those impressions. Just two ad images made it through the initial screening. Of the four I started with, I cut one. Facebook cut another one due to too much text. The other two slid under the radar.

I was pushing the print book through Lulu.com as a Christmas gift idea..."The Gift of Imagination." There were no takers as far as I can tell...no sales through Lulu.com and no sales of the ebook on Amazon.

I targeted the ad to parents of children under 12. The ebook works as a children's book, because you don't need to hand your child your e-reader. You come to bed with your invisible book instead.

As one reviewer remarked, the book has "kitsch" value to it, which is why it would make a great coffee table book. That's part true. I am a little disappointed by the kitsch classification, because I have found the whole concept to be practical and immensely rewarding. I am partial to it. This is a "do as I do" scenario. I walk the walk. My son and I talk about invisible books most nights. This is an experience I genuinely want to share with other people.

On one hand, the idea behind the book is simple, even obvious. On the other hand, it encourages behavior that many people are programmed to avoid...and not even consider.

I originally priced the ebook at $2.99 to get a 70% royalty (vs 35%) on sales through Amazon. But I've changed my mind. I've just reduced the ebook price to $0.99 in the hope that parents will give it a try with their young children (4 and under works, I know). It should show up at the reduced price within 24 hours. Parents really should give this a try.

The paperback print book is still on sale for $5.99. I can't reduce the print cost. Anyways, for under $10 (with shipping), you can get a physical, giftable copy in your hands from Lulu.com. You can get the ebook in minutes. You can gift the ebook, if you like.

Let me know if you have any questions. It's sort of an odd concept; and, of course, it's my pleasure to explain it.

Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual Goodreads Giveaway Completed

The 10-book giveaway ran for a month and ended the day before Thanksgiving. I limited it to Goodreads subscribers in the U.S. and received 755 entries without any advertising. 356 people added the book to their to-read lists. I sent the books out today to the winners.

Since this book is a short one, it cost me less than $17 total to ship all ten books out plus (of course) wholesale costs for the books. It's a good way to call attention to books. For under $70 (for this short book), I am generating a lot of clicks and even more impressions. By my calculations, I'm paying less than 10 cents per click, which is great compared to what it looks like Facebook ads would run me. I've tested Facebook with a $50 ad credit; and clicks are costing $1.33 each. I'll never know how many of any of these clicks will convert to sales.

When it comes to selling fiction books by new authors, clicks do not noticeably convert to sales; and the margins aren't very big. So, cheaper is probably better. I could be disappointed that people aren't directly turning around and buying my books; but people don't typically buy fiction books from new authors that way. It's a long courtship between new authors and readers. I've introduced myself and my book to hundreds of people. I am directly acquiring ten potential readers who will now have my book sitting in front of them. Some of them will read and review it. Others will rate it. Some may even recommend it. Time will tell how far the ripples reach.

I've read that most people need to be exposed to something at least 7 times before they are moved to action. This makes selling books a long game for any new author. I'm putting every penny I make (and then some) right back into marketing. I can only hope that I will someday make enough impressions on enough people to outpace my spending. The trend is promising. But it is all so very much work on top of a challenging, stressful full-time job with long hours and raising a family. If I were a sensible person, I'd spend my spare time relaxing and having fun instead.

Oh well...

I'm currently running a 5-day Facebook ad campaign for Acetone Enema, with a huge click-through rate of over 1%...but only 1500 impressions over the last 4 days.

If you're interested, here are the ad images I'm been running:

Post them anywhere you like.

Has the Facebook Ad Helped Sales?
I know the Acetone Enema Facebook ad has given the book some exposure. It is evidenced by an increase in sales of Acetone Enema this month. This month (so far), there have been 4 sales and 5 paid Amazon borrows of the book. Someone borrowed my novel, The Torture of Girth, from Amazon this month. The sales rank of my Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual ticked up today, meaning that someone has borrowed or purchased it. I've never moved more copies of Acetone Enema in any given month before the Facebook Ad. If it weren't for the Facebook ad credit (of which I have used $25), I would need to sell more books to break even...not many more, though...and next month, my sales could exceed the trial (no-risk) investment. I didn't sell any discounted copies at the advertised discounted price I was promoting; but, in the end, it's better the books are selling for full price. I'll make more money that way.

Every sale is progress. All things being equal, sales beget sales; and, so far, my books tend to sell more books...and more all the time. Here's hoping it stays that way.

I've started writing my next novel. So far, so good!



Facebook Advertising Campaign for Acetone Enema $0.99 Promo Results
I was somewhat baffled by this promotion. I targeted the Facebook ad at men interested in horror and rock n roll, ages 18-50. Over the 7-day Kindle Countdown promo, no one purchased a single copy of Acetone Enema for $0.99. Facebook created over 7,000 ad impressions over 5 days, with a satisfactory click-through rate of 0.4% (meaning 4/10 of 1%, which I've read is respectable for any ad). I sold just one copy of my novel, The Torture of Girth. One person borrowed Acetone Enema and another borrowed The Torture of Girth. One person added Acetone Enema as "to-read" on Goodreads. I don't know whether any of these events had anything to do with the ad.

As of this posting, the campaign clicks have not seemed to convert to sales. But I can say that over 7,000 people saw the ad in passing. Probably, some percentage of them read the ad; and some percentage of them clicked on it. I didn't have high expectations for direct sales from book ad clicks on Facebook, though I thought the ad would have helped me sell a book or two. Possibly it helped me sell a different book and/or caught the attention of one or more Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

I spent $25.00 of my $50.00 ad credit on this the Acetone Enema $0.99 promotion. Depending on the price tag, I may try to boost a post for my invisible children's book instruction manual...once I have something a little more compelling than a book ad to post.

Day 1 Results of Facebook Advertising Campaign for Acetone Enema $0.99 Promo
So, the first 24 hours of results for my Facebook promo ad seem to be set. I set my Facebook ad to start last night at 10:57PM CST; and I'm running the campaign for 5 days total with a budget of $5 per day. So far, my ad has seen 1,392 impressions on Facebook, mainly as news feed impressions on mobile devices. There were 6 news feed impressions on desktop computers and 53 right column ads on desktop computers. So far, the ad has seen 8 clicks from 6 people and the cost per click comes in at $0.75 per click. From the click-through data and pricing so far, I wouldn't make my money back, even if every click converted to a sale. As of this minute, none of those clicks have converted to sales; and it would seem that my experiment has been a failure, thus far. But that's taking a short view.

Almost never does one impression of any ad persuade me to do anything that involves pulling out my wallet on the spot. I know I can't expect my ad to work miracles, even with a clown selling the book. I've exposed my ad to over a thousand (crudely) demographically targeted people in just one day; and I understand that it may take people a while to warm up to me with a title like Acetone Enema.

While I was originally discouraged by the click-through rate, it's actually not disastrous at 0.556%. One would expect somewhere between 0.4% and 2.0% for any respectable ad. So, it turns out to be a respectable ad somehow.

Ironically, the month of October has been a tough month for me sales-wise. One would think horror-comedy books would do great throughout the month of October because of Halloween. But, of course, Acetone Enema is not a Halloween book. It doesn't bring to mind bags full of candy or any of the other stuff one would take comfort in this month. The competition for horror dollars is fierce. The Halloween marketing machines are oiled-up and out in full-force.

Last month, I was selling books most days. This month, I've gone up to five days at a time without selling any books at all. And, then, three of the precious few books I've sold this month have been purchases of my Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual, which I have barely begun to market.

I can only hope that my marketing efforts will pay some dividends in the coming months and years. I like all the data I'm getting from Facebook about the performance of my ad; and it's giving me a lot of affordable exposure. I simply must accept that I may not sell gobs of books this month, despite my marketing efforts.

I'm getting it out there. That's no small feat.

Acetone Enema Kindle Countdown 1st Day
My Acetone Enema book deal started yesterday at 8AM. My Amazon ranking improved immediately; but I believe that was from someone borrowing my book...no sales were reported for the first day of the $0.99 promotion. Since I'm not a marketing robot, I find the results moderately discouraging. In the past, I had achieved some good first day results by sharing the promotion through Read Cheaply, amongst other sites. Read Cheaply declined to run my promotion this time, perhaps because I did a free book promotion 4 months ago. Unless you're in it for the long haul like I am, there's nowhere to go from free. Of course, it isn't all about a race to the bottom. I would hope I've built some equity over the past several months by releasing an extreme sci-fi/horror novel and a new Invisible Children's Book Instruction Manual with rave reviews.

Perhaps, I have grazed all the grass I can graze in some of these old haunts. If the sites aren't exploding, they are bound to see diminishing returns from any particular listing. While I am disappointed, I can appreciate the reality of these marketing efforts.

My hope is that people will spread word about my writing organically, and that word of mouth will get my name around. Some months I see accelerated sales; and it looks like I'm going somewhere. Other months, I see precious few sales, regardless what I do.

What I take away from all of it is that one simply must stay the course. Only time will tell what is truly important.

This weekend, I'll use a Facebook Ad credit to test the waters with Facebook. Stay tuned for the results.