New Book Cover!

Well it took about 2 months for me to get fed up with my old cover. It was a bit textbooky and didn’t really give an idea of the genre and feel of Entangled Earth so here were are on launch day for the brand new, sparkling (not really sparkling) cover!

Here it is!

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Ooh, the mystery! Who are those people? Are they alive or dead? How did they get trapped? All will be answered (well, maybe not).

Check it out on Amazon when it goes live (eventually) here.

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An experiment in Free

Later this week I’m doing an experiment. Now admittedly  I’m not a scientist. I used to be but that was a while ago so my skills are somewhat rusty but let’s give it a go anyway. Last month I ran a promotion to give away Entangled Earth for free for 2 days. I popped this on a few promotion sites and blasted Twitter and Facebook. In the end, possibly due to a tweet by Rufus Hound (thanks Rufus and my wife who knows him on twitter), I managed to give away 377 copies.

Hypothesis – Can I give away over 1000 copies of Entangled Earth in 3 days?

Now this time there are a lot of variables:

  • The promotion is over 3 days instead of 2
  • Instead of zero, Entangled Earth has ‘some’ reviews on Amazon.com now
  • The notification has gone out early and to a lot more promotion sites, hopefully covering a broader reach of people.
  • It’s on Thursday-Saturday rather than just a weekend, so should catch a better buying time for readers (apparently weekends aren’t great, who knew?

So what do I get from giving away my book? I know, it sounds counter-intuitive to give a book away when you are trying to sell it, but bear with me. I get:

  • Reviews – hopefully, a percentage of those who download it will read it, and a percentage of those will review it. Even if it nets 2 or 3 reviews it’ll be worth it, that’s how precious those verified reviews are.
  • Rankings – With a big push it might rise high enough in its category to get some notice and then after the 3 days it’ll still be there and get promotion by the great Zon and sell a few copies. This noticeably didn’t happen last time as it didn’t get far enough up, but we’ll see if there’s a post-sale bump.
  • Readers – after all is said and done, I really just want people to read it, so there’s that.

Results: Check back in on Sunday for a preliminary report!

UPDATE 1:

We’re live! Entangled Earth is free right now, with a brand new 5 star review just in time!

UPDATE 2:

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Out of my way Awakened! I’m charging up the charts!

UPDATE 3:

Well, that was… fast. 10 hours after the 3-day promo started I’ve hit 1000 downloads and reached number 2 in the “Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure > Science Fiction” chart!

UPDATE 4:

End of day one. Total Books ‘sold’ 2213. Vastly exceeded my expectations.

UPDATE 5:

And we’re done! The total copies given away comes to 2694! Reached a peak of number 2 in the chart (for both Science fiction adventure and post-apocalyptic).

 

Ahoy Pirates!

I love this so much. Some website (I won’t name it) has stolen Entangled Earth, not surprising as I’ve been chucking free copies around for reviews. I’d be mad but nah, it’s still publicity. The best bit is they’ve clearly run the synopsis through a thesaurus machine and what’s come out is brilliant! This is how you sell a book! Look at it!

“Physics isn’t effortless. Rule #1 must always be ‘Don’t wreck the world’, yet occasionally technology doesn’t stick with the rules.
An scan long past mistaken ability the Earth may possibly basically have days left. The planet is being torn aside through an invisible and lethal… whatever.
Physicist Mia eco-friendly needs to get domestic to England, from a devastated Paris, to discover her family members and perhaps, simply probably, cease the scan that’s finishing the world.”

I adore this. Illiterate pirates sailing the internet ahoy!

P.S. I’m going to edit Entangled Earth and rename Mia Green to Mia eco-friendly.

Escaping the masses through AMS

5 million. That’s a big number. Now imagine someone presenting you with a choice. Here are 5 million books, pick one to read.

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That’s what readers are now faced with when looking for a book on Amazon and, more pertinently, that’s the size of the task facing authors when trying to break out from the masses of published and self-published books that are filling up the behemoth. To make it worse, more are added every day and generally, the old ones don’t go away.

So how is a book, particularly one by a new author, supposed to get noticed? Well, it’s bloody hard. Getting reviewed is a biggie, but I’ve talked about that before, so let’s assume Entangled Earth has a healthy pile of 4 and 5-star reviews (and it’s moving slowly in that direction thankfully). What do you do with all that feedback?

Shove it in people’s faces! That’s what you do. Right in their face, just when they are shopping. In your face potential reader! In your face!

This is where Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) comes in. It’s the self-publishers main tool for getting your book seen. There are a hundred articles on how to go about doing it, and most of you will either know already or won’t care in the slightest about the details so I’m not going to go into them here. This is where I’m at now. Currently running is my first Sponsored Link campaign (Amazon US only as that’s the only place it’s possible for some stupid reason).

As of today, I’ve shoved Entangled Earth into 715 faces at a total cost of $0.76. Not bad value really. They haven’t all bought it, but you never know…

On genre

Entangled Earth is a science fiction horror apocalyptic adventure thriller.

There, that was easy wasn’t it? Genre sorted. Except that’s completely useless for categorization, and for telling someone anything about the book. That could describe The Passage or Turbo Kid (both of which are excellent by the way in their own way, buy them immediately).

Amazon have a wide, but also restrictive range of categories that you can place a book in. Entangled Earth currently sits in Science Fiction > Adventure, Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic and Science Fiction > Metaphysical & Visionary basically because there was no better place to put it.

Adventure makes sense, it’s one big adventure, and it’s happy alongside Ready Player One and All Systems Red (definitely read All Systems Red, best thing I’ve read this year).

Post-Apocalyptic on the other hand, does it count if the apocalypse is happening during the book? I’m not sure, I mean it’s definitely not The Road!

Metaphysical & Visionary was where I started taking the piss. What do we have in there? I Robot? The Bone Clocks? I didn’t think so either, but with the lack of an Invisible Planet Intersecting With The Earth Due To An Experiment Gone Wrong category it has to do for now until I find something better.

Since Entangled Earth was released I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time on various sites with book listings and the only place I see proper, flexible categorization is Listopia in Goodreads, and even there I can’t add Entangled Earth to any of the lists as I’m the author! I might have to rope in some friendly volunteers. Immediately lists like This is the End pop out and maybe even Best Science Fiction With a Female Protagonist.

So what am I trying to say? Genre is nonsense. I didn’t set out to write a science fiction horror apocalyptic adventure thriller. I had an idea for a book and wrote my story. I understand that maybe I’m making life difficult for myself. I’ve read the “I can write one  novel every 2 months and make a fortune by sticking to a formula” stories. That sounds like the least interesting kind of writing process I could imagine. I have a folder full of ideas, most of which are nonsense or would make terrible books, but there might be some gems in there. None of them are remotely like Entangled Earth, and yet in the past few days one has been running round my brain that might actually work as a sequel. Don’t worry, no resurrections, no retcons, and if I do write it it might even not end up being a sequel after all, but you never know. Besides I’m 50000 words into a science fiction post-apocalyptic space adventure about the nature of identity, so let’s get that finished first.

David Lea, clocking off.

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