Well, after a busy week, I thought it might be useful to review what I’ve been doing since deciding to go full-speed on the promotion of Flight Into Darkness (http://getBook.FlightIntoDarkness) using the free tools available on Amazon, Goodreads and Twitter.
The KDP Countdown Deal worked well (price reductions to $0.99 and £0.99 on .co and .co.uk) and I was able to do it twice, even though their rules state that there has to be a 30 day hiatus. I had to set up two on .com because I hadn’t read carefully enough the default settings and the first promotion stopped a day early. This was embarrassing because it was the day of the Goodreads book review group downloads. Anyway, let’s just say that the promotion has kick-started the downloads but it’s nothing dramatic. Remember that, at any one time, there are around 2000 of these promotions running. The Amazon ratings vary from day to day and I’ve swung from #145,000 to #16,000 and everything in between, so I don’t take them too seriously. It was nice to be in the top 20 political thrillers for a day! Incidentally, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk do not talk to each other; ratings on .com do not get reflected on .co.uk.
One problem was that I could only set up the promotional deals on .com and .co.uk whereas there are quite a few Goodreads group members in Canada and elsewhere and they didn’t see the $0.99 price, whereas I did, even though I am in Portugal. This is also strange because all the other books I downloaded as part of the Godreads review Group which should have been $0.99 were $1.22 because Amazon (rightly) adds VAT which in Portugal is 23%. In the past, I’ve been critical of Amazon’s opaque pricing policy outside the US or UK which resulted in me having to pay almost $7 for my $2.99 book. This has now changed to what it should be; $2.99 + 23% = $3.68. However, the Goodreads review group depends on the book being $0.99 and members are told not to download the book if its price is higher. Hence less downloads. Bummer. Goodreads and its members are predominently US-based so they probably have a problem understanding that there are readers living outside the great US of A.
I have downloaded 15 books as part of my commitment to the Goodreads review group and have read one and am halfway through a second. What concerns me is the poor standard of editing and lack of attention to detail. They are riddled with punctuation errors, typos and mis-spellings. I suspect that they have never been properly edited or proof-read and that’s one of the problems with Amazon KDP; you canpost rubbish and sell it. One book has multiple punctuation errors on each page but I’m comitted to the review so have to press on, grumpily. Also, these writers seem addicted to adjectives and adverbs which just impede the narrative flow. Do people not know how to write these days? Are my personal standards too high? Am I out of date? Frankly, if I adopted the policy of stopping a read when I count more than six errors, I’d never get past page 2. Call me a dinosaur.
I’ve been more active on Twitter but not obsessively so. I’ve linked this blog to Twitter so am not limited to 140 characters and, in any case, am not sure how to create the short URL links that twitter needs. However, whenever I post a blog entry, it is tweeted. My followers have increased from 50 to over 100 but it’s a long job. I have drafted a set of different tweets promoting FID with the Booklinker URL and post these two or three times a day. Twitter does not allow you to post identical tweets so you need to introduce tiny variations which is easy. There is software to do it but I think that’s a bit obvious and prefer to do it manually. I’ve also decided to tweet and follow on subjects other than writing and these include music and aviation plus Stephen Fry, of course! Ah, to have a retweet from him! Dream on…