Weekly Writerly Witterings ~ On Writing to Market & Craving Beauty

witter (ˈwɪtə)
vb – (often foll by: on) to chatter or babble pointlessly or at unnecessary length
n – pointless chat; chatter

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

Since today’s post is more like a “bi-weekly” writerly wittering, I have a little extra to share. 🙂 Around two weeks ago, Craving Beauty, first of my Wylder Tales Series went perma-free on Amazon.

I have read many conflicting articles and opinions about the whole perma-free argument. Sometimes it does wonders for a series, other times, not so much. I tend to think, like with many things in the publishing industry, it’s a combination of luck and the right story at the right time. Sometimes you may have as polished a product as you can conceive (with much beta, editing & revisions of course), but for whatever reasons, you don’t hit the market at the right time.

As I’ve been studying more about marketing, thanks to Bad Redhead Media and Chris Fox’s “Write to Market,” I’ve come to realize a few things about my Wylder Tales Series.

  1. No direction – I did zilch pre-marketing for the first book. (hangs head in shame) After publishing a re-write, I still didn’t know what kind of story I was trying to sell, besides [dark fantasy / high-fantasy Beauty and the Beast retelling] lol.

  2. Timing – Fairy-tale re-tellings have their ups and downs. While I thought the release of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast would help generate interest in my genre. I wasn’t counting on an overflow of other re-tellings to crowd market, especially by traditional authors with established followings.

  3. Cover art – I picked my covers based on what I felt fit the story, without polling or at least studying similar covers in my genre. While I love standing out from the crowd, there really is something to selling a product that people recognize from the get-go.

These are just a few big reasons Wylder Tales has struggled to get off the ground. Something I plan on doing the next time I publish a series, is writing the other books together and then publishing back-to-back. While some authors can afford to wait years between novels, knowing their fanbase will be there, most of us indies don’t have the luxury.

Clearly something had to change. I didn’t want to keep publishing books into the dark without a plan. With nothing to lose, I chose to go by my writing partner’s advice and put the first in series perma-free. A side note about this. On kindle boards I noticed many authors frustrations about trying to report lower pricing in other markets, which Amazon seemed to ignore. Well apparently they changed their terms (again lol) and now they have a specific section you can access via your publishing platform. So, it was easy-peasy.

After putting Craving Beauty free, I spread the news on my social media. However, I wanted to help promote as much as possible, so I signed up with several different newsletters to help spread the word. These promo sites are all places I discovered thanks to info other authors provided via Kindle Boards.

  • AskDavid – This supposedly has helped out quite a few authors. The site made me a bit skeptical, since it comes off at first as another “AskJeeves” (for all you old web surfers 😉 But the promo for your free books is legit and you get to create your own tweets to use via that page.

    • Results –  I did see a lot more traffic for my book, and quite a few more downloads. My favorite part of this is the fact you can word your own extra promo tweets, so it doesn’t all look like the uber spammy book tweets you often see.

  • BKNights – I was polly the most skeptical of this service, because you purchase it via Fiverr and I have had zero experience with them. However, the moderator for BK is very helpful and polite and was easy to coordinate with.

    • Results – Since I also signed up with an additional promo service I can’t tell for sure how much this impacted sales. Good news, more venues, bigger potential audience. 🙂

  • Kindle Boards Blog – They feature your free book on their “Book Discovery Day” and you get a chance to be listed alongside some fantastic authors in a large audience.

    • Results – I believe this feature brought in the most results, possibly because of it’s huge establishment in the community.

These are all the promo services I used this round. I plan on using others for the Extended Edition Re-release of Scarred Beauty later this month 🙂 There are plenty of other marketing methods you can try, like online book tours or local indie store signings. I’m still learning and I’m no expert. But I hope you can take something away from my experience 🙂

Above all I plan to keep reading, keep learning from the wisdom of others and keep writing. Lather, rinse, repeat: you must keep writing. If you don’t have a polished professional product, you won’t win readers. If you don’t write more books for your series, you never will see results. Good luck! Feel free to share in the comments below what works best for you and your series’. Or if you have more questions, I promise to answer with as much authority as I am able 😉

Reader’s Favorite Book Review

Vynasha has been caring for her ill nephew since the raging fire that took the lives of his mother and Vynasha’s other two sisters in Craving Beauty: Wylder Tales Book 1 by Jennifer Silverwood. Times are getting tougher since they live so close to the Wylder Mountains which ruined their family’s life in her grandfather’s generation. Wild creatures and strange happenings are a threat to anyone who dares to enter the forest, and the danger is coming closer. After meeting an old beggar, though, Vynasha is convinced that there is Majik, or a Source, hidden somewhere up in the mountains that would save Wyll’s life and she will do anything to make that happen. After leaving Wyll with some friendly mountain folk, Vynasha continues on until she arrives at what seems to be an abandoned castle. Little does she realize what fate has in store for her inside! Not only is there a beastly Prince who wants to claim her as his bride, but there are fearsome creatures that roam the lower levels of the castle and strange beings that are more like ghosts than people. Not knowing whom she can trust, if anyone, Vynasha escapes from the castle, but a cliffhanger of an ending prevents me from saying more.

Jennifer Silverwood has woven a skillfully written, complex tale based loosely on Beauty and the Beast with plenty of interesting characters and a lot of action. Many secrets remain hidden throughout the story, probably to be revealed in the next volume, so Craving Beauty may leave you with few answers to the questions that burden Vynasha. Craving Beauty: Wylder Tales Book 1 is certainly worth the read, though, for the beautiful and vivid descriptions and the emotional ups and downs of the main character, who fights through for the love of her nephew. You will just have to be prepared to read a companion book, Wolfsbane’s Daughter, and Book 2: Scarred Beauty, but altogether I am sure this epic fantasy series will be exceptional. Beautifully written with evocative language and descriptions.

–Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite

 

(Note: You can sign up your book for free on Reader’s Favorite and submit it for a free editorial review. I’ve done this with two books so far and highly recommend utilizing the opportunity.)

Goals for this week

  1. Write at least one scene/day for Silver Hollow 2017

  2. Participate in blogger events 🙂

  3. Continue studying market.

  4. Pre-market Scarred Beauty re-release.


Helpful Links

“Your 1st 10K Readers” – Free Book Marketing Training

“Fair and Honest Marketing Strategies for Indie Authors” – by Author Sever Bronny

Kindle Boards – Go to the Writer’s Cafe: seriously, do it now 😉

 

About jennifersilverwood (454 Articles)
Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of the Heaven’s Edge series, Stay and Silver Hollow.

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