Hi everyone From today until 21st May ’19, Grace in Mombasa ebook is discounted from $4.99 to $0.99! Why not watch the 2 min video clip below to see if this is a book you might be interested in?
Do they really work?
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?
Amazon kdp select and Advertising
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.
I am happy to say, that Grace in Mombasa is now with a professional editor being polished.
The release date on Amazon will be Sat 1st December 2018.
I’m so excited and can’t wait for people to read it and find out what they think.
53 days to go….
I have to begin by saying I think the book cover is great! If you want a picture to draw you into a story, this one certainly does. Its atmospheric black and white picture of a moonlit street simply shouts mystery and intrigue, a very good start for a detective novel!
As the blurb tells you, Cass Claymore is a red-headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits her uncle’s detective agency. That alone was enough to tickle my interest buds and make me buy the book.
And I wasn’t disappointed. From the get-go this tongue-in-cheek detective novel had me turning pages.
I really enjoyed the ‘lightness’ not taking itself too seriously, tone of the author. The editing style also helped keep things crisp and easy to read and I found this very easy on the eye and relaxing to read.
The story is well paced and has good structure. I instantly liked Cass Claymore and enjoyed the world-building that was created around her. But I simply fell in love with the dwarf Quill (as apparently all the women around him do). He’s a marvellous character, laid back, smooth talking and totally knows how to wind up Cass, just loved the conversations between the two, and have to say I do hope the author is planning a book two because I want to see more of them.
The only, very slight, downside for me was the ending. It felt rushed, unlike the rest of the book which moves along at a lovely steady pace. One minute something is left on Cass’s doorstep and the next minute (it felt) it was all round-up and over. Who did leave the clue on the doorstep and why did they? That’s too much of an unknown to leave me completely satisfied with the ending of the book.
That said, I totally enjoyed this book and found myself smiling in every chapter, and I would most definitely recommend you read it for yourself if you like murder-mysteries.
To conclude: A great, tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted mystery. Highly recommend.
Love my latest review, which is by Autumn aged 14. Nearly all my reviews are by adults and I was really happy to receive this one through the website Reviews by kids, for kids.
Idi & The Oracle’s Quest by T N Traynor
Reviewed by Autumn (age 14) for Reader Views Kids (7/18)
If you like mysterious rendezvous, witches, castles, demons, dragons and a quest to save the world then “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest,” book one in the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor, is a story you definitely should read.
A spell of forbidden love is cast, only to leave a princess grieving over her love after he is killed, and she is banished from her kingdom for the child she is carrying. Little does she know that the elements or earth witches have taken a solemn vow to protect her and her unborn child from an evil wizard by the name of Norvora. If he gets control of the child, he will unleash unimaginable horrors from the depths of Astaroth.
A plan is made by the fairies to intercept Princess Cassandra and her unborn child before Norvora can reach them. Their journey takes them through a forbidden forest to reach the mountains to a town called Tamarind.
A great and kind wizard named Marcus is called upon by the oracle Oleanna to find a boy named Idi who will become the greatest wizard of all time. Idi is an orphaned boy who has been pick on his entire life and felt like he would never amount to anything, until Marcus finds him and asks that he accompanies him on an important quest to save the kingdoms. Together they will set out on a journey to find the child who is meant to be king.
I really enjoyed reading “Idi & The Oracle’s Quest.” The story line was fast paced with hint of suspense. I liked how the author combined characters such as wizards, elemental witches, dwarfs and a dragon in a not-so-fairy-tale-like setting. The chase through the forest kept you on the edge of your seat, not knowing if Cassandra and the fairies would make it to safety before the evil wizard Norvora and his henchmen caught up with them. Every chapter had a twist in the story that was exciting and unexpected. My favorite character would be Idi. He felt like no one cared for him, but he would not give up on others and was always there for them.
“Idi & The Oracle’s Quest”, book one of the Born to Be series, by T N Traynor is a magical story that will leave you wanting more. I would recommend this story for 9th graders and up, and I look forward to the next book in the “Born to Be series.”
Link below to view the review on their website.
Over time, many authors have painted a different image of angels and demons. I loved the film Michael with John Travolta drinking, smoking and smelling of cookies… ingenious. Also, really enjoyed Constantine with Keanu Reeves, which was intriguing and spellbinding. And City of Angels with Nicolas Cage, which was lovely and moving. These are just to name a few, there is a plethora out there.
So with so many books and films to choose from, do we really need another?
Well, I’m happy to say that yes, there is still more space for unique and interesting stories. That’s what I found Ruin’s Lot by ID Johnson to be.
The story is well written and flows, making it an easy page-turner. I won’t say too much about the story itself as I don’t want to ruin it (sorry no pun intended) for you.