For fans of Jane Austen, Marriage & Ministry by Amanda Kai is a must read. The author excels in making her writing style feel like a natural flow-on from Austen’s beautiful book Pride & Prejudice. Did you ever wonder what married life was like for Charlotte and William? Well wonder no more. Amanda Kai has woven together a beautiful Christian story, not only reflecting on historical attitudes but on Christian values.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the moral behind this story is how do we, as Christians, see other people who may currently test our grace and mercy? This book is so well written and beautifully edited. With wonderful characters, a great story line and values to boot, I can honestly recommend this as a great book. Also, I find a lot of Christian ebook novels really over priced, and I can’t afford to buy them. I am pleased to say that this is very reasonably priced at only $3.99 – a steal for such a beautiful book. Why not encourage this author by buying her book today? I’m sure you’ll love it as I did.
Okay, for the first time, Tracy Traynor owes me a box of tissues! Wow, she just ripped out my heart, stomped all over it, and I didn’t even see it coming! Keep the tissues close by as you are reading FAITH IN ABERTILLERY . She will have your emotions all over the place. I have never read any other books by Tracy Traynor before but I know FAITH IN ABERTILLERY won’t be the last! Wow! What an awesome story. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop! Tracy makes her readers feel every emotion her characters are feeling to the point where you feel as if you are right there, struggling along with them.
Faith needs to find a job and quickly. Her mother relies on her as well as Bertie. She begins working for Lord Geoffrey Driscoll as a maid. Before that, she was a…
With ‘An Officer & A Gentleman’ feel, and a Christmas Day ending, this is a perfect festive season, feel-good book. She’s given up on love. He’s marrying for money. But God has other plans…
South Wales, 1905. Faith only believes in the certainty of pain and suffering. Born with a club foot and harboring a dark secret, the barmaid can’t escape her sinful past. But after the country’s religious revival puts her out of a job, hope sparks when a handsome aristocrat gallantly offers her a second chance.
Lord Geoffrey Driscoll fears his estate will run out of money before he can find a suitable bride. However, the devout nobleman can’t keep his mind off the stunning redhead despite her lowly status. As the attraction between them grows, Lord Driscoll is torn between his need for a wife of means and his heart.
Wow – what a book! I wasn’t expecting to be so emotional or brought to tears so many times as I was. Doreen recounts her life story in this book in a very matter-of-fact way, despite having a very dramatic life she tells her story plainly and simply, in easy to read and easy to understand language. Whereas, ‘This Present Darkness’ is an author’s artistic license to interpret the Bible’s teaching on spiritual warfare, ‘From Witchcraft to Christ’ is the real life happening of spiritual warfare within a person’s life. Astounding, astonishing and moving beyond words.
As a person who has never come face-to-face
with the supernatural (and hasten to add that I am happy for it to stay that
way) I do acknowledge the Bible as true in its entirety. What that means is… I cannot discount the parts
that I am a little afraid of and more than a little don’t really want to
believe. But the verses are there for
all to read and believe.
Ephesians 6: Finally, be
strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the
devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the
spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Jesus himself cast out demons from
people, do we believe this? I have to say
yes because I can’t break up the Bible into section and only read those verses
that I feel comfortable with. Matthew 8:28-34:When he arrived at the
other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men
coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that
way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have
you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs
was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the
herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So
they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep
bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those
tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including
what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the
whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him
to leave their region.
I don’t want to dabble in the dark, nor do I wish to come face-to-face with a demon in order to cast him out. But, I have felt the call to prayer. Both of these books from my ‘research’ list have touched and moved me to tears and prayer. I am burdened with the ever-growing oppressiveness of evil seeping – seemingly without opposition, into the world that is slipping steadily into immorality, where people seem blind to notice the loss of innocence. I know a great many Saints are praying, if they weren’t we would be lost already, to those prayerful warriors go my eternal thanks.
In research for my next novel I selected 10 books to read, ‘This Present Darkness’ was book no 2 on this list.
Well, wow, what can I say? I certainly hope my next book ‘Hope in Blackshaw Moor’ turns out to be a page-turner like this book by Frank Peretti!
This is one of those books that, although it starts interesting, it starts slowly. Then it builds and builds into a tense crescendo that explodes towards the end. I loved the pace, the steady build had me on the end of my seat, and by the time I was two-thirds of the way through nothing was going to make me put the book down!
The characters are very real, and our main
protagonists are thoroughly lovable, whereas the antagonists are easy to ‘boo’
Although first published in 1986 (some 33 years ago) this book hasn’t aged. In my opinion it is quite a classic thriller.
Taken from Eden.co.uk website: Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. This Present Darkness rivals The Screwtape Letters with its keen insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer. It is fast-moving, riveting reading, ranking with the best thrillers on the bookshelf. Readers have picked up more than 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1986, and, with its companion volume Piercing the Darkness, it has sparked great interest in spiritual warfare over the years.
I was captivated by the angels and demons that fight over the town and the people. I really enjoyed the way the people (with a couple of rare exceptions) never saw the spiritual warfare going on all around them. I was completely emotional at the end when the town’s believers rally together for prayer. What an image! This is well written and very biblically correct. I can’t recommend it enough, this is simply a fantastic read.
I thought I might share how I recently got to be a Amazon UK BestSeller. Below is a graph showing the dates, who I used to promote, how much I was charged and how many sales I received. Hopefully, from the below you will be able to ascertain whether running consecutive promotions is something you might consider.
Books Go Social
BookBub (not on in USA)
Books Go Social
All 5 days
Total promotion cost
I reduced the price of ‘Idi & the Oracle’s Quest’ from $2.99 to $0.99 on Tues 10th Sep. On the 10th I received 3 sales and this can confidentally be accounted for by friends on FB sharing my post and also tweeting. Throughout the entire 6 days I tweeted numberous times and it is hard to know if any sales came from these tweets. I use Bitly to monitor link clicks on Twitter and in total I had 122 clicks, whether a few of these resulted in sales is hard to determine. I also can’t be 100% sure if the sales on the lines match the promoter as there would of course been a merging of promotions at certain times. This time round what was dissappointing for me where the two Amazon Ads I ran, normally these bring a much higher amount of sales.
Although I didn’t break-even during this promotion, let alone make a profit, that wasn’t the object of the exercise. The point of this campaign was exposure, to which end I am very confident to having received a measure of success.
The biggest success, of course, comes from the BookBub sales in the UK which took me to #1 and awarded me the Best Seller badge, which I can assure you I was over the moon about and opened the champagne to celebrate!
With a book only earning $0.34 per sale you can see I only received back a 5th of output. However, besides the books sales I received 6 audio sales, at a far better rate of return, and had many downloads with KDP Select, some days hitting over 3500 pages read, which in turn generates a fair income.
The last thing that upped my return were sales on my other books in the series, both book 2 and 3 sold 8 copies each at full price of $2.99.
Do I think the promotion was successful, and would I do it again – yes and in a heartbeat. It’s only been a couple of days since the promotion stopped and I’ve already had a review, just can’t beat that.
IDI &The Oracle’s Quest (Born To Be-Book 1) by TN Traynor
IDI & The Oracle’s Quest is a magical story with many different and wonderful characters. This is the perfect book to read when you have a free day and a long evening. I felt that this book expresses that everyone is special through the character IDI an Orphan living a life where he doesn’t feel loved or understood and doesn’t feel special at all. But life and growth can make all the difference.
The story itself follows Marcus and the band of brothers as they prepare to meet the chosen one. However, Marcus is sent by a magic oracle to help IDI discover he is magical and special and hopes he will help him discover the chosen one. However, will Marcus convince IDI of his hidden powers? Will they go on a journey to find the…
Magical, enchanting, romantic, heartwarming… just a few words to describe this lovely book. Ever since I was little I have loved fairy tales. The magic, the mystery, the happy-ever-after. In For A Spell is definitely an adult (quite adult in one particular section!) fairy tale – and I loved it!
Finn, the interfering Elf, reminded me so much of Rumpelstiltskin it just made me smile every time he turned up on a page. This book is, however, much more than a fairy tale. For a start it’s a time-travelling romance, and a really good one at that. Maisie Armstrong is a wonderful character. I loved reading about the virtues that we nowadays would consider ‘old-fashioned.’ And who wouldn’t want to travel back in time to a place where honour was held in high regard? Especially if there was a tall, handsome, complicated laird Thane McKendrick waiting to sweeep you off your feet? This story is told really well, it flows smoothly and held my attention on every page. The theme takes you on a debate as to what really defines love and it’s importance in society in general, rather than just in your own life. Quite thought provoking. If you’re an adult, who like me, still loves a bit of magic, then this is a book you should read.
Sharon Clare has written other books and I really look forward to reading them. She is also an artist and offers book cover designs for authors. Sharon’s web page
I need to start by saying thank you for narrating my books. I think you do a wonderful job of portraying my characters and bringing the stories to life. I never could have afforded to pay up front the recommended thousands of dollars for the narration of my books. Without royalty share, I can honestly say I would have no audiobooks. It really was a good day when you popped a comment onto Facebook saying you would narrate my books for me.
I have been looking into how you promote audiobooks and
during that process I came across some facts about narrating which I didn’t
know. This instantly made me appreciate
you, and Stevie Zimmerman (who narrated Grace in Mombasa) so much more. I say more, because in all honesty I did
already appreciate both of you already, today just increased it.
This got me to thinking about why you might choose profit
share and so I decided to invite you to this short interview, so that I and
others, can learn what motivates narrators.
So here we go…
What first drew you into narrating as a possible
way of making a living?
Narrating was an
idea initially for my good friend Harriet, more of a hobby than a living
What do you most enjoy about narrating?
The challenge of
different accents, the chance to read great stories and have the characters
come to life,
I understand that it can take a narrator up to
5 or 6 hours to produce 1 hour of audio, so for example, Idi & the Oracle’s
Quest is 7.15 hours long, meaning this could have taken you 40 hours – a full
weeks work, to narrate and produce. With
this in mind why were you happy to accept royalty share when there is no
guarantee of making your weeks pay up?
I enjoy narrating –
it’s a good hobby. I make a penny or two here and there but in the end it’s a
good hobby. I also get to practice voices – which I can then use if in a stage
How do you select the books you want to
Reading the blurb
can do it, reading the author’s bio can do it. There are some stories that I
always wanted to have a go at such as Sherlock Holmes – one audiobook would
have been good – so far it’s about 90!
What attracted you to the ‘Born to Be’
The story sounded
full of life and didn’t disappoint.
How did you decided on what kind of accents
my characters would have?
They seemed to come
to mind as soon as I started reading. I tried to group the witch clans with a
certain region and as new characters are introduced, pick what seemed to be
appropriate based on their speech.
With book 1 & 2 narrated on Audible, what
has inspired you to carry on and narrate the last in the series, Idi & the
Sirocco Witch, when we really haven’t had many sales for the other two books
Can’t do book 1 and
2 and leave 3 out. The sales will come to this series once people start to get
Are you enjoying book 3, and if so, what is
it that you like?
Very much – all the
characters are great, even the naughty. As
the build from book 1 and 2 has gone, Idi is indeed becoming what we expect.
The story continues as though you had never stopped writing, sometimes sequels
can have you wondering what is going on.
What acting choices do you make when you’re
going to narrate a book? When you narrate
are you expressive with your hands and face, do you feel like you become the
characters or are you simply reading?
I do fling the arms
and thankfully don’t have a mirror to hand so see the faces I pull.
What advice would you offer to people who
want to become narrators?
Pick a few small
(30-60min) projects first. This will allow you to gauge the time required to
produce a 7+ hour book. I use a spreadsheet with each chapter listed – the
start, end and total pages and current progress, a 1 for record, edit, listen
and upload. This allows you to gauge the time required a chapter – so perhaps 5
pages will take you 15 minutes or so – 15 pages 45 etc. this could allow you to
record out of sequence based on time spare on a given session. Depending on the
pagination, 5 pages can seem like a lifetime to record.
Also, if producing
older material, it will be good to have a lookup for words that have fallen out
Do you think the ACX royalty share scheme is
It allows for
authors to get an audiobook published without an upfront payment.
It allows the
narrator to want to do a good a job as possible to ensure that the book sells
What other books have you narrated?
Many – up to 150
now. Lots of Sherlock Holmes stories – published by MX Publishing and Belanger
Books. Quite a number of Horror titles, and so far 13 Hotdog Man books which
are fun to do.
Where can authors find you if they would like
to approach you to consider their books?
Via email or my Facebook profile, look for “Steevin White” – this spelling
is also due to my friend Harriet – it’s how she spells my name.
Thanks Steve! It was really interesting to get the POV of the narrator and to learn a little more about the hard work they put into producing an audio. I think I have been very lucky to get my books out there via royalty-share, so thank you very much for picking up my books.
When you’re someone like me, who struggles so much with grammar and the rules of good writing, then this tool is a lifesaver!
The above is my score for Faith in Abertillery before sending it to the professional editor. This is amazing for me.
If you score over 85 and apply for a Quality Mark from BooksGoSocial you could get a gold badge! This is a good thing to have to show people that the quality of your book is to a certain standard.
My score used to be appalling, however, using AutoCrit is teaching me what to look out for and how to improve my writing. It is like having a teacher as far as I am concerned.
Just the Grammar section alone, is worth every penny, but there is so much more to this tool that I just can’t recommend it more highly. The very first time I ran my first book through summary I discovered I had used the word ‘lovely’ 138 times!
The pacing tool is also fab, showing you where your chapters run slow or too fast. There is also a comparrison tool to compare your books to well known authors. I have been using it for a year now and don’t know how I managed without it. I am learning more and more every day.
You can get a 10-day trial for $1 and for anyone thinking about it I think this is a fab service, if you play around for 10 days and decide it’s not for you all it’s cost you is $1!
Anyway, I’m just that happy with it I wanted to share it with you. 🙂
Whatever tool you use to help your writing I hope it works for you, good luck everyone, knock some cracking stories out!
Not only do I hate writing blurbs, but I’m awful at it. I don’t think I’d even want to buy a book after reading a blurb I’d written.
So what do you do when you can’t stand doing something? Well you get someone else to do it for you of course! And that’s exactly what I did for Faith in Abertillery. I can’t afford to get all my books done professionally, in fact out of six releases I’ve only paid for 3 blurbs. Time will tell whether it’s is beneficial and actually does help sales.
Ok, I admit it, I’m a fantasy fan through and through. What I’m an even bigger fan of is, fantasy books that are both gripping and easy to read. This means that, Darkspire Reaches has to go onto my list of really enjoyable fantasy books.
Raven is a wonderful heroine, a witch, who from the first page, brings the story to life and makes you want to know what happens to her. The author carries Raven’s story from start to end in a smooth, page-turning way. Poor Raven has it tough, her life seems to take her from the frying pan to the fire, over and over. Someone weaker might have been destroyed, but Raven uses it to mature her character. Diamonds are formed by heat and pressure, right? She isn’t the only main character though, and one of my favorites is Kryling, the endearing Firedrake who just simply has a great personality!
Oh how I enjoyed this well-written book! I can’t wait to read more books by CN Lesley.
I loved how the author took her time in explaining everything, while at the same time never once writing anything not necessary or boring.
The story line is unique – something quite hard to do when just about every story line possible to write has already been done in some way or another. Darkspire Reaches is filled with a rich tapestry of characters that just make this a really great fantasy read.
Well wow, you would not believe that this was Sean Robins first book! At the end when I read his short bio and discovered he’s a teacher, that made sense – because the book, especially for a first novel, is beautifully edited, easy to read and well-structured.
If you’re a SciFi fan then you’re going to love this big book. It’s meaty (long and detailed) bringing all the characters to life, making you like and care for them. They’re real people, in hopefully, not so real circumstances. Normally long books lose me, but not so this one. Each chapter kept bringing everything to life, definitely could see it as a mini TV series. Loved the alien humour – who’d of guessed that four legs and antenna could host a joke prankster? I really enjoyed that you saw the ‘bad guys’ (aliens) through their own eyes so you could see each aspect of the story as it came together. Well I could go on and on, because as you can see, I thoroughly enjoyed this story – highly recommend. ps also loved the GOT references, nice touch 🙂
I just found a new tool – absolutely free, for creating 3D images of your book covers. Love it, love it, love it. So easy to use, unlimited use and great PNG transparent images for using on ads. Want to try it out? Here it is 🙂 https://diybookcovers.com/3Dmockups
The other tool I use, to upload my pics and create ads, is Canva. Also free to use, although they have reduced the amount of stuff you can do for free it is still an amazing free tool. https://www.canva.com
This little ad just took me five minutes to create using the above two links. Why not give it a go?
research on the Welsh revival of 1904/1905 I came across two novels.
of the Rushes by Allen Raine &
Withered Root by Rhys Davies
I enjoyed reading these books and if I wasn’t a Christian I would quite happily
have read them and put them down and thought no more of it. However, as a Christian it was with heavy
heart that I read stories about revival that were both written from a non-Christian
POV. Davies openly declared himself an
atheist whilst Raine states that although not against the chapel itself she was
very suspicious of the revival.
here are my reviews…
The Withered Root by Rhys Davies
This book caused mixed emotions for me. On the one hand I think it deserves five stars and on the other hand only one star, so I went for three. The beginning of the book had me chuckling out loud quite a few times, especially over the conversations between Reuben’s parents. I loved how the writing reflected the way the Welsh talk and I loved the detail in which you can practically ‘see’ the old valleys in and around 1904/1905. It is also superbly written with beautiful flowing, almost poetical language. The downside for me was twofold. One was the author’s obvious dislike of women made blatantly obvious by his lack of even a single woman having any virtue or a good character, every woman doing nothing but flaunting her femininity in a derogative way. The other was in his portrayal of fanatical and shallow Christians. I found the second half of the book dark and depressing and was quite frankly glad to turn the last page. For research into the Welsh revival this is worth a read. For the beauty of the writing this is definitely worth a read. For its portrayal of women or Christians if you’re easily offended I would give this a miss.
Queen of the Rushes
I loved this book by this not so well remembered lady Anne
Evans, pseudonym Allen Raine. Her
characterisation is vivid and authentic, her settings skilful and poetic and
her portrayal of women so much more realistic than Davies. Writing about a time in which she lived she
is able to capture the rift in status between men and women beautifully without
labouring it or making it obvious.
She does, however, portray the people caught up in revival as
fanatics and one of her main characters is ‘touched’ as in loses her mind
because of it. Not a good light on the
outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Still
this book has many hidden lessons in it if you care to look and I really do
Anne didn’t start writing until she was 60 and received crushing reviews when first published… by men. Born in 1836 Anne was a Victorian through-and-through and I love that this emerges in her story. I wish I could have met Anne and sat down and discussed this book with her, arr well hopefully when I get to heaven!
Faith in Abertillery
In contrast to the two books above I will be writing about the Welsh revival from a Christian POV, I didn’t live in those times so I have done a massive amount of research to ensure my story is as authentic as possible. I wonder if anyone will read my book in a hundred years and look me up to see who I was and why I wrote the book!
Well for me they do. If you are thinking of following the steps below to set up an ad I would suggest you do something first. Go to Amazon, put in books and then write your category in the search bar. This will bring up 400 pages of books in your category. Search for your book, if you find it then congrats you’re already doing something right. Didn’t find it? Good, now when you run the advert you will see how fab it is! Before I ran my advert for my book Grace in Mombasa I went through the 400 pages and didn’t find it. After I put my advert on the book has always appeared within the first 5 pages as a sponsored ad.
Don’t be put off by technical jargon. Just follow the steps below and if you have any difficulty please don’t hesitate to ask me a question below. Good luck!
Before you run the ad you need to do something very important. Go to Amazon.com select kindle books, then type your genre in. Look at the first five pages that come up. Make a note of the books that have lots of reviews and I mean way over 100 reviews, the more the better. Write down the author names and the book titles. Keep the list next to you when you start your ad.
Go to your kdp Amazon Direct Publishing book page
Click on promote & advertise to the right of your book
This brings up a new page, click on ‘create an ad campaign’ (you’ll probably be asked to sign in again)
Choose your campaign type is your next option. Select Sponsored Products
Give the campaign a name. It can’t include any signs such as an exclamation mark, do not include numbers. The name should be all letters, no spelling mistakes. Don’t leave two spaces after a word. Make it as tight and clean as possible. Such a fuss just for your campaign name but trust me my campaigns got rejected over and over just because I couldn’t get the name right. I now keep mine simple so something like… book title and campaign one. eg Grace in Mombasa campaign one.
Dates: leave this as it is, it will start as soon as it is authorized and you don’t want to put a close date in, if it is successful you want to run it for ever, and if it isn’t after a month or so you can go in and cancel it.
Put in a daily budget. Don’t be frightened to put in here more than you would like to spend, for two reasons, 1) I’ve never yet spent my daily allowance and 2) you will hopefully be making this money back! It really is up to you how you wish to proceed, if you are a bit hesitant then just put in $15 per day. I have set all my campaigns (yes all because I am adding a campaign once a week now) at $25 per day, I have never, ever spent this amount of money.
Underneath Daily Budget is Targeting. Select Manual targeting.
Next is Ad Format. Select Custom text ad.
Products, if you only have one book this will appear here, if you have more than one book make sure the book displayed on the right hand side is the book you want to advertise.
Next is Targeting. Select keyword targeting.
The next box is keywords and bids. It will automatically default to $0.75 – change this to $0.45. Then tick the little tiny box under it that says bid+ (this means for you to win the bid Amazon might have to increase your bid slightly, I suggest you tick this.)
You can now see ‘Suggested’ ‘Enter Keywords’ & ‘Upload file’ depending on confident you are you could upload a file. I always choose ‘Enter Keywords’.
Click in the box that is now saying, enter keywords separate by a new line. Now type your list you wrote down earlier of authors and book titles that are in your genre. Put one name or book title in, press enter and start the next one on a new line.
The next section is ‘Creative’ here you must put in your catch line to attract people to come and have a look at your book. Must be interesting and catchy. Your ad is now displayed below and you can check the catch phrase really is eye-catching. Remember we can go through all the logical steps of setting up an advert but if you don’t write something interesting here people are not going to want to look any further.
Press launch Campaign.
Hurray you did it! Good for you, so pleased you have taken a step of faith and launched yourself into the world of advertising.
It takes a while for Amazon to authorize your ad, then it takes at least 24 hours after its been authorized before your book starts having ‘impressions’ on Amazon. An impression is when your book is presented on a page in front of a prospective buyer. Reading your results and changing your ads is a whole new lesson, so maybe if anyone wants that lesson please let me know and I will do a new post in a few weeks time.
Lastly, give it a day or so and then repeat the first instruction… go to Amazon.com, select kindle books, put in your genre… now where is your book?
Some people don’t rate Amazon, a friend of mine has stopped buying from them due to their tax evasion policies… however, let’s face it, Amazon is a book lover’s paradise and they are, after all, the world’s number 1 book seller. So as indie authors we really are losing out if we don’t use them as at least one of the places we sell our books.
The author’s dream is normally multi layered but I suspect, like me, that the biggest part of that dream is that readers would enjoy our stories.
Some people only dream of holding their book in their hands and having that reality come true it therefore doesn’t matter that they only sold 50 copies – probably all to family, friends and work colleagues, but that’s OK because for them their dream is complete.
There are a plethora of reasons why people sit down day after day and slave over producing a book, but honestly we’re fooling ourselves if we don’t acknowledge that we hope to sell lots of books and make an income from doing so.
So here’s why I recommend putting your books on Amazon, putting them into kdp select (so that people can read them through kindle unlimited), and why advertising is so important.
I might be the only crazy author around… although I doubt it, but when my first book went on Amazon I scrolled through 400 pages of sword and sorcery books trying to find my book. Needless to say I never found it. Now if I couldn’t find my book when I was looking for it how was anyone looking for a book in that genre going to find it?
The average person will scroll through the first 10 pages of a certain genre trying to find a book, if they haven’t found it then they either give up or try searching through a different category. Our aim then as indie authors is to get our books onto the first 10 pages of our category/genre. This is hard if the only thing you do is put your book up for sale, because you are waiting to sell approx 75 within a day to get your book into the top 100 of your category, but hold on, once there you need to maintain 45-75 sales a day to stay within those top numbers. Now I wish that was happening to us author-preneurs but unfortunately unless your famous we have to work to get our books there.
As it turns out making our book visible on Amazon isn’t that hard after all, hallelujah I hear your cry. To make our books visible we need to do only two things.
Enroll in KDP Select
Create an Ad Campaign
Enrolling in kdp means that two things can happen, the first and the most important is that people who have bought into Amazon Unlimited can read your book for free – hey hey you cry, we’re supposed to be talking about making money – trust me, we are. Remember the fact from the last post? If your average monthly earnings are around $500 then at least $200 of that will be from KENP which basically is the number of pages that have been read through kindle unlimited. This is a great income, but there is something else to consider, and that is your ranking. The higher your ranking the further up the scale your book travels. Let me give you two examples from my books.
a) One of my books was ranked 1,298,428, I had 1 sale and my ranking instantly ascended to 120,148. b) Another one of my books was ranked 1,108,847, I had one person rent it on kindle unlimited and my ranking instantly ascended to 161,020. So, the thing to take from this is as far as ranking goes – and we need to get as high as we can, then it is almost as valuable to have someone obtain a copy through kindle unlimited as it is through purchasing a copy.
Create an Ad Campaign, honestly unless your famous or have thousands of friends willing to support you this is the only way you are going to obtain sales. I have attended seminars and read and researched the ways people can sell books. The biggest ‘seller’ seems to be having a mahoosive mailing list. If that’s what you want then go for it, good luck to you. But it’s not for me. I am hoping in time that as I bring out more books people who enjoyed them would be likely to buy another one from me, but I am patiently waiting for that list to build up organically, I don’t think having thousands of people on an email list just for the sake of it is the way to go, but I am fully aware this is just my opinion and you must make your own.
There is a reason that advertising has been around for years and is not going anywhere. The most common way to learn about a product is through seeing an advert. Obviously, some adverts like the one above (although funny) just should not happen, however, on the whole advertising serves a purpose and if we stick within acceptable boundaries there is no reason why anyone would think our book adverts are derogatory.
Now if you are like me and you’re on a budget you might say ‘this isn’t for me’ but hold on, before you go let me tell you that if Amazon Ad Campaigns are run correctly you should be making money and therefore getting all your advertising costs back. I think I should also mention here, I am an indie author and I am in no way connected to Amazon as in I am not an employee etc and there is no financial gain from Amazon to me for mentioning them. I am doing this blog solely because I wish to help and encourage other indie authors.
My next blog will contain step-by-step guide to setting up an advert on Amazon that will hopefully make you money. (Just realized I made this post too long to include the guide.)
Well in my experience anyway, and I’ve been an indie author for three years now. In fact yesterday I removed some of my books from various other sites – from which I had zero sales, and put my books back onto kindle select.
The reason? Well to make money of course. The main reason for putting books onto other sites, for me, was so that I could get a BookBub deal – which are supposed to be amazing, however, after I think about 30 submissions to BookBub with a no-no response I began to wonder if it was worth it. I decided ‘no it’s not’ yesterday, took my books off other sites and returned to good old Amazon kindle select kdp.
Here are some interesting things I’ve learnt recently.
The average indie author only ever sells around 50 books
People who know how to use Amazon kdp and advertising move out of being an average indie and earn approx $500 per month and sell a lot more than 50 books
Out of that $500 around $200 will be from kindle pages read
So the answer to… Is Amazon kdp select and advertising worth it… is a very loud yes!
To make sales and earn money… and get good reviews… you need firstly to enroll in kdp select and then you need to advertise.
However, before you follow the steps in my next blog for setting up your own advertisement campaign with Amazon I need to point out some things.
The first thing people see is your book cover, if your cover is not eye-catching and appealing then forget about advertising, no amount of pushing your book before people will encourage them to buy if the cover is flat or boring. There are great cover designers out there, if you want me to suggest a couple then please ask in the notes below. In my experience you can get a really good professional cover done for approx $100.
The Blurb… the blurb… we hates the blurb! Well I do anyway, again if your blurb isn’t punchy and interesting, and pleasing to the eye (in other words do you know your amazon formatting?) forget it, you can spend $100’s on advertising and no one is going to bite. I know a really good company that do blurbs but unfortunately they charge $300. Again, if you would like to know who they are, please ask in the notes below. (ps I’ll tell you a little secret… I paid $300 for the blurb on my first book, it really is a million times better than anything I could do… however, not being able to pay $300 for all the other books I copied and pasted the formatting they gave me – double dutch jargon that makes your blurb stand out as professional on the Amazon pages, and just changed the words to the other books. The blurb itself might not be amazing but at least it is presented well ha ha) I suggest you look for help from friends – especially book readers, and also ask several different book clubs, I belong to three book clubs that I really rate on FB, you pop a post on and get invaluable information and help. This is a good place to put your blurb and listen to the comments that come back.
Last, but by no means least, the book itself MUST be a) a gripping story and b) edited to perfection. I got this wrong with my first book and I so regret publishing before I was ready. Some readers are vicious, I mean down right uncaring of the years of hard work you’ve put into a book, if the editing is bad they will give you 1* and tell the world your book is not worth reading. Once that review is on there you can’t get it removed, it is there for eternity and once people see that review you have an enormous amount of work to do to try and correct it. Please, please, do not list your book until you have had it proof read by a professional.
So, have you got all the above 3 points done? Then you’re ready to start advertising. My next blog will be a step-by-step guide to setting up an advert that should make you money.
I love a good book with a good story, and if that book happens to promote Christian morals and standards then I am doubly-happy. It is therefore, rather distressing that so many good books by Christian authors are priced out of my price-range.
Who is it that set a kindle book at $8 – $15? Seriously, you can buy paperbacks for that amount of money in the UK. Other genres don’t have their books priced so high – does this mean that Christians are greedy and money grabbing, or just good business men and women? Bestselling authors set their prices really high, bleeding their readers dry because they know they will buy regardless of price. So, does that mean that every Christian author thinks they are a bestselling author?
What on earth is going on?
I can’t set my book at that price; I want as many people as possible to be able to read it, so currently mine is set at $3.99 probably going to $4.99 next year, which I think is a reasonable price for an e-book. And, 50% of my commission is being donated to Barnabas.
Please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below, would love to hear what other people think about it.
I’m so excited to say that I will probably have the kindle of Grace in Mombasa up by Friday 23rd November – a whole week early!
I’d like to share with you the two endorsements that I have had for the book.
Tracy Traynor’s writing transports you from World War 1 and 2 England to the courts of heaven, via Mombasa. With characters which pop off the page and straight into your heart, this is a book you will remember for a long time. Wendy H Jones, author and member/webmaster of Association of Christian Writers.
The story of Grace captures the experience of many others who, though quite ordinary by themselves, find that the love of God propels them towards quite extraordinary endeavours. Tracy is the author of Grace’s story but the inspiration was Moira Smith and the author of her story was none other than God himself, described in the Bible as the ‘author and finisher of our faith’. I commend Tracy’s book Grace in Mombasa to you in the hope that, inspired by the story of Grace and Moira, you will become hungry for a story of your own and that you will turn to the great author of all our lives. He already has a story prepared for you” Sean McIntyre, missionary with Barnabas and now minister to the Assembly of God Church in Colchester.
When you’ve spent most of your life… and you’re 57 so that’s a pretty long time… thinking that you’re stupid and rubbish and an idiot, it can be hard to change. I do believe I’ve come a long way to getting over low self-esteem but then in times like this, that old nagging voice “you’re an idiot” returns to throw me into chaos.
What is causing this sudden panic attack that I might not have changed after all? The release of my new book. Aha, you may say, really? that all? Unfortunately, yes. I have poured myself into my latest book ‘Grace in Mombasa’ and the fear of rejection is making me ill. I have to wonder why I put myself through it. Writing the story itself was quite fun and even relaxing, but then editing started and demanded sweat and tears from me in an effort to get it to a level that people could enjoy it. Then all the expense comes, professional editing for someone with dyslexia like me is crucial and must be paid for. Then there is advertising and promoting to be done. I’m sure my friends must be sick of hearing about my books.
And now when I am waiting for the first reviews to come in, there is nothing left but feeling sick. Maybe I should give writing up and leave it to the more hardy people out there.
I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that people will enjoy Grace’s story, and until release date of the 1st Dec ’18 I am just trying to keep myself as busy as a bee and trying my hardest to switch off the anxious button!
Good news, getting an article in the local newspaper about the story – also keeping my fingers crossed to have a feature on Christian Premier Radio.