What's the point of this blog!

I'm documenting the marketing for my YA book series "The chick friends rules". I want to see which marketing strategies will work best in creating buzz and hopefully income. So, sign up below and take the journey with me.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5 writing milestones that comes once in a lifetime.

These milestones bring pure joy to writers.

1. Being inspired to write a great story - Some writers make themselves write. They sit down with their laptops and force themselves to write 30 minutes to an hour everyday honing their skills. I'm not as disciplined. I am one of those writers that is inspired to write. I find it difficult to force myself to write. I was inspired to write "The chick friends rules" series after a platonic friend of my son was molested by her stepfather. The story came out of me like water from a faucet and I didn't stop writing until 2 years later. The last time I was inspired to write was about 13 years ago. Yes, that's how long ago I wrote something. So, for me personally, being inspired was like a gift from the heavens that came once in a lifetime.

2.Finishing your great novel - Every writer can give testament to the exhiliration one feels when writing the words "The End". Ahhhh, talkin' bout pride and satisfaction. Of course all stories will come to an end but the joy of finishing the story you're working on will only happens once. You will never write "that" story ever again.

3.Holding your first book in your hand for the first time - When I received a proof of The chick friends rules!Freshman year; I did the happy dance. I smelled it, I thumbed through it, I called all of my family and friends, I wanted to go out and celebrate, I slept with it under my pillow and turn the lights on in the middle of the night just to look at it. I had a permanent smile on my face for the entire day. It was like giving birth to a first born child. The excitement and joy is unimaginable. The subsequent books, not so much. Yes, I was happy to see the finish product but the feeling wasn't the same as the first novel. It was just business. The first book holds the joy.

4.Your first sale - Oh, my god, do you remember the feeling? I do. A tear came to my eye. I remember thinking to myself; "I think I can pull this off." I stared at the computer screen for about an hour with a smile on my face. And I wondered who was the one person that was enticed to purchase my novel. I called all of my family and friends just to make sure the sale was "legit". And when I realized I sold my book to a stranger; I wanted to track them down just to thank them. Yummy, yummy joy.

5. Breaking 100 sales - For an author signed with a major publisher this may not be a big deal but for an independent author the thrill of selling 100 novels is a milestone. I reached the 100 milestone today, 103 to be exact. I woke up this morning to find the pleasant surprise. Everyday I check my sales on Amazon and B&N and today was the day. I started selling my series back in July. I had a total of 5 sales until the tide turned sometime in December and then January pulled me over the 100 mark. I've been walking on clouds all day.

Please share your milestones as a writer by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 call to action words to help sell your book

I found it funny that it was easier to write a 90,000 word novel than to come up with a 30 word ad.I'm really interested in this topic because my Facebook ad always leaves me wondering how I can improve my sales numbers by just changing a few words around. FB is the only marketing I'm doing at the moment, frankly because I'm lazy to do anything else. Blame it on the lack of sun from the blah Chicago winter. I read lots of blogs from other writers who are hitting the pavement going to libraries, book clubs, neighborhood book stores, etc to sell their books and I always feel like I should be doing more. But if I can sell my books from the comfort of my sofa with nothing more than a laptop and some creative wording; I'm going for it. I'll do footwork in the spring. Anyway, I was digging through an old box of junk in my basement and I found an old book I bought back in the 90's on advertising. Although it's a 20 year old book it offered some timeless advice on selling. Here are some simple "call to action" words that I will be using in my ads.

1. Buy Now

2. Free

3 Register

4. Subscribe


6. Offer expires

7. Click here

8. Hurry

9. Free gift

10. Limited time

Here are some "call to action" word that's relevant for today.

11. Immediate download!

If you guys want to add some of your own "call to action" words that have worked for you; leave it in the comment box.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How I wrote a Facebook ad that pays

Before I start, its really good to be back. I'm sooooooo glad the holidays are over. After a one month visit, I sent my daughter back to school in Hawaii, my husband found some temp-work to keep him busy after being laid-off and I FINALLY finished "senior year" and just sent it off for formatting, now I can nurture my blog again.
With the craziness that was my life I didn't do much in the form of marketing. But the one thing I did do was revisit my decision to advertise "The chick friends" with FB. For those who were following I placed an ad with FB back in October and accidentally deleted it and couldn't retrieve it after receiving almost 300 likes. I swore off FB because there was no one I could go to for help because FB doesn't have a customer service staff. Anyway, back in mid December I decided to give it one more shot. I placed an ad and to my surprise I started getting sales; not enough to pay the mortgage but enough to cover the advertising cost and to buy groceries. I was very pleased with the results. I went back and looked at my old ad and compared it to my new ad to see what the difference was; it's all in the wording. I used the same photos for both ads; but this time I simply changed the wording.

Old FB ad

Hey girls...ever wonder what he's thinking?

Find out in this edgy coming of age series
"The chick friends rules"

With this ad I sold a whopping...get ready for it...4 books.

New FB ad

The Chick Friends Rules teen book series only $0.99

With the new ad I sold 48 books in the remaining two weeks of December.

Somehow the formula is working. I was honest and got straight to the point. So, whomever clicked on my link knew immediately I was selling an Ebook for $0.99. I'm seeing a steady stream of sales as those who purchased "freshman year" are committing to the series and buying the subsequent titles as well. That's $6.11 in royalties per customer if they purchase the entire Ebook series. I'm selling between 1-5 books per day. It's not a lot but it's a significant jump from the first FB ad. However I've only sold 2 actual paperback copies generating $1.62 in royalties. With those low numbers I should continue to nurture the Ebooks. My goal is to sell about 300 books per month but I'll take what I can get. I'm still in the learning phase.

It's funny how changing a few words around can be the difference between selling and not selling.