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Old 05-18-2012, 06:17 PM   #196
davidwfleming
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David Munch,

I don't have personal experience on publishing a series but current wisdom seems to advocate putting out a series and making the first book free. (I'm not really a fan of this but I think my reasons are beyond the scope of this discussion).

Steven Lyle Jordan,

To get 40 followers or more on Twitter I would suggest putting a link to your Twitter page in your autosignature here and there's a "Latest Tweet" widget for Wordpress.com that can be used for Wordpress bloggers.

Other quickest way to get 40 or more followers on twitter include the following:
1. Find an author that is doing unreasonably well in a short space of time (i.e. they haven't tweeted that much but have a lot of followers. For example an author who has tweeted 600 times and has 800 followers. Or you can just follow me because I've already done this @DWallaceFleming).
2. Click on their "Followers" and add about 100 to 150 of their twitter followers that have the word "author" in their bio.
3. Make sure your Twitter bio includes the word "author"
4. Give until it hurts (Retweet and comment on about 4-10 struggling author's Twitter profiles a day for about 7 days.)

Yes, this will give you a bunch of author followers, but that is your base. You can use this base to gain credibility and reach the "avid readers".
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:23 PM   #197
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In reference to QR codes, thought I'd mention that I have tried this for a business card advertising my audiobook. Bit.ly is a great place to get free, permanent QR codes.

I wish I had made the cards to advertise and link to my blog instead of a specific product. The product(s) you want to push change with time and I think that an author's blog is really the best place to start a sales funnel.
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:16 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwfleming View Post
David Munch,

I don't have personal experience on publishing a series but current wisdom seems to advocate putting out a series and making the first book free. (I'm not really a fan of this but I think my reasons are beyond the scope of this discussion).
Yeah, I've also read that a few times on this site, and I personally don't really like the idea either. Give away the first couple of chapters from the first book, and you'll either hook the reader to buy the book and earn some money, or you won't gain anything anyway.

But what I was thinking was, that if a reader has read the first book in a series and liked it, I would of course assume that they are inclined to pick up the sequel(s) in the series. 3+ books later, they know your writing style and has a more 'personal' feel towards you, and would thus be more inclined to pick up a second random book from you, even though your last name is not Tolkien. And suddenly you have sold 4 books, instead of one.

And personally I feel that a long, epic-ish storyline, sticks better than stand alone stories. So, would having a series out have a bigger sales effect, than having each book contain a widely different background?

Last edited by David Munch; 05-19-2012 at 06:39 AM.
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:21 AM   #199
Steven Lyle Jordan
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This blog interview suggests the metrics of cheap and free books (at Amazon, anyway) may be in for a change: http://www.lindsayburoker.com/amazon...rithm-changes/
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:46 PM   #200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidwfleming View Post
Other quickest way to get 40 or more followers on twitter include the following:
1. Find an author that is doing unreasonably well in a short space of time (i.e. they haven't tweeted that much but have a lot of followers. For example an author who has tweeted 600 times and has 800 followers. Or you can just follow me because I've already done this @DWallaceFleming).
2. Click on their "Followers" and add about 100 to 150 of their twitter followers that have the word "author" in their bio.
3. Make sure your Twitter bio includes the word "author"
4. Give until it hurts (Retweet and comment on about 4-10 struggling author's Twitter profiles a day for about 7 days.)

Yes, this will give you a bunch of author followers, but that is your base. You can use this base to gain credibility and reach the "avid readers".
This has managed to win me "twitterspam," and a grand total of 3--count 'em--3 new followers. This is never gonna work. It'll have the benefit of incrementally boosting other authors... but not me.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:58 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
This has managed to win me "twitterspam," and a grand total of 3--count 'em--3 new followers. This is never gonna work. It'll have the benefit of incrementally boosting other authors... but not me.
I demand a recount! (Sorry, been watching too much Simpsons. )
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:23 AM   #202
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I demand a recount! (Sorry, been watching too much Simpsons. )
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:00 PM   #203
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I do get a decent amount of Twitterspam. I don't really think much of it. My account is also set to only email me when a person mentions me on Twitter or Direct Messages me.

Most people on twitter are essentially out for themselves, so most messages can be perceived as spam, I suppose.

It can be hard starting out on Twitter.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #204
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I have had a fantasy trilogy for sale for some time now and my sales went up about 500% after I made the first book free, even factoring out the loss of the sales from that opening title. I have just published the third book in a four-book series and am planning on dropping the price of the first book to free; even discounted to $1.00 I was only selling a handful of copies, with only a fraction of the interest I've gotten in the trilogy. Even with half of my books available as a "free preview" I still find that I get many more downloads (and presumably, based on the sales results, later purchases of my other titles) when I make the whole book available for free.
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Old 05-30-2012, 02:52 PM   #205
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Relevant to this topic: The 18 rules I learned in my 1st year as a full time writer.
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:50 PM   #206
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That article was a great find, Steven.

Lazybones, thanks for sharing your experiences.

It seems like there are new success stories popping up all the time and in new ways.

My novel went free on Amazon recently and I got a fairly big surge of free downloads after that. Now, I'm hoping to get some reviews out of those downloads.

I got my first somewhat critical review (on my birthday) two stars. This reviewer didn't have the experience she expected. It's available to read on Goodreads. Don't ask me why I'm advertizing my bad reviews. But it is an interesting experience to really leave yourself so open to criticism. And it's interesting to read people's reviews and try to figure them out.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:40 AM   #207
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Another nice find: Confessions of a Dog Eater: One Author’s Flight From the Horrors of Social Media

If you think you're seeing a trend in my posts, you are: This whole social media thing just feels like it's for the birds, consuming way too much of my time and resulting in NO SALES. The efforts I've put into SM have not panned out at all, and it's making me feel useless and unproductive spending so much time catering to it.

So, in the interest of mental self-preservation, I'm going to have to try a different tack. I'm going to write stuff, and maybe post an occasional update on that. At least I'll feel more like a writer than a shill.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:11 PM   #208
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Interesting post from Richard Curtis. Thanks Steve!
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:14 PM   #209
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I hate to admit it, but in the interest of honesty and full-disclosure, I've been backing off of my "social media" efforts as well.

I haven't seen a real strong correlation between all these efforts and sales. Actually, the most useful things I've done have been putting ebooks up for free on Amazon. That has actually resulted in sales. Everything else: it was worth a try; but sometimes you have to know when to cut your loses.

The idea of just writing from time to time is sounding more appealing.

This all reminds we of the when Monster and Careerbuilder first came on the scene and everybody said you could get a job on the internet. But you couldn't. Now, twelve years later you can, but the hype came first.
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Old 05-31-2012, 12:18 PM   #210
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Thanks for that David, as I continue to say (and as we all know) this whole industry is in flux at the moment, no one really knows where the pieces will all settle, but for me as a writer, it's the writing (and learning to improve it) where I'm going to put the majority of my time.
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