Pre-launch promo deals, updates and news


The Shattering Waves“, book 7 of the Year of the Dragon, is now available for pre-order – and to help you prepare for it, I’ve reduced the prices of all the prior books, starting with the bundle of all first four volumes:

The Year of the Dragon, 1-4 $9.99 > $0.99

The Chrysanthemum Seal – $3.49 > $2.99

The Withering Flame – $3.99 > $2.99

The Shattering Waves (pre-order) – $3.99 > $2.99

This promotion lasts only until Thursday, so hurry up!


Part of a promotional push before the launch of “The Shattering Waves” is a little interview I did with the ManyBooks site – I’m the author of the day there.


As always, there’s a new map coming for your enjoyment in the new volume – this time it’s the Kanto Plain, a region around Edo.

Map of Kanto Plain
Kanto Plain

A finally, a bit of fun – I made a “What’s your attunement?” quiz based on the elemental magic system as described in the books.


That’s all for now – see you again on May 15th, when “The Shattering Waves” is released on Nook, Kobo and Smashwords!

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Perma-free on Amazon, 2015 version


Perma-free is a controversial method of getting your work out there, but it still works as a promo tool for some, especially if you have a series of books. I will not be discussing here whether it’s a good or bad thing to do; but if you do decide to do it, here’s how. I just did these steps, so I know they work.

Step one, of course, is to ensure your book is free elsewhere. This one remains the same as always, and has been described countless times. Just to refresh your memory: use Smashwords. Even if you have publisher accounts on Nook or iTunes already, these won’t let you set up a price of zero. Only Smashwords can do that for all channels – as far as I know (still not sure about Draft2Digital). Kobo is the only publisher that lets you set up a perma-free book directly, and that will come useful later, but Amazon doesn’t see Kobo as as much of a competitor as Nook or iTunes in US, so that alone may not always work.

All your other books, you can sell directly through retailers, if you so wish. But the book you want perma-free, has to be distributed through Smashwords (or equivalent).

Once you’re sure your book is free on as many other stores as possible, you have to inform Amazon. The old way was to simply get your friends to report the price match from the book page, through the “tell us about lower price” link. But this no longer works as well as it used to. In fact, it didn’t work for me at all. I waited and waited, and the price remained stubbornly as it was – until I’ve discovered the truth. So here’s what’s changed: right now, the best and most reliable way to ensure your book is price-matched to other retailers, is to write Amazon a letter.

Log in to your KDP account, click Help, then Contact Us. From the list of topics, choose Price Matching. Fill out the form with the following information: your book’s Amazon info (title, link, ASIN), and all the channels where your book is currently free that need matching to.

The Shadow Third Cover 250The turn-around on this is almost immediate – for the main Amazon regions at least (see below) – as opposed to the “Tell Us” button. A day or so later, your book will be price-matched – plus, you get an e-mail confirmation, which is always nice. But there’s a trick to it. Amazon now wants you to inform it of EVERY COUNTRY your book is free in, to match it to its own regional stores. Linking only to .com versions of the retailers will only match your book on Amazon.com.

This isn’t easy, since some stores don’t have regional versions, so I had to do some digging. I used the following list of links to make sure I covered all possible regions for “The Shadow of Black Wings”:

(The only one I’m missing so far is India, but I never had any success selling books there, so it’s something I will have to live with for now.)

Just search for your own book at each of these links, and you will have the contents for the letter ready. Click send, wait no more than a few days for a reply, check if the books are really free everywhere you wanted them (you may need to clear cache or view in incognito mode to see the change) – and start promoting! 🙂

Note: it may still take a few weeks for the effect to trickle down to the more obscure Amazons, like NL and BR – and they might revert to full price at any moment without notice. Just another down-side of the silly way in which KDP manages regional websites.
Thanks to the good folks at Alliance of Independent Authors, who first taught me this trick!

Promoting a stand-alone novella: Dragonsbane #free #kindle


Dragonsbane

The hardest task of a self-published author is promotion; the hardest books to promote succesfully are stand-alone ones, and out of these, the most notorious must be novellas.

A stand-alone book cannot be used as a loss-leader. It can’t be offered free or cheap, in an effort to guide the readers to your other work. A novella, especially a new one, without reviews or ratings, is a terrible thing to promote: most of the big sites will not accept a work like that, or if they do, it will cost you more than you can usually hope to get back from sales.

It’s a conundrum. It helps if you’re an established author, with large following, and plenty of fans that will buy anything you release; but even they may not be willing to spend money on a short work with completely new characters in a completely new world.

So what is there to do? Well, bugger me if I know! Today, I’m doing a one-day free promo on my latest novella, Dragonsbane. It’s not quite a stand-alone, as in, it’s set in the same Mirror Worlds multiverse as Dragonbone Chest; but that is meaningless, as the multiverse is vast, and the only thing the two works have in common are dragons.

I’ve used my list of book promo sites to find the ones that accept freebies without reviews on short notice (this, incidentally, is why it’s important for readers to leave reviews – any reviews – on Amazon books: we need those stars to get advertising space). There aren’t that many, and most of them don’t have much following. I’ve scheduled a few tweets, and a reddit post. This blog can hopefully bring in a few downloads, too. It would certainly help to have a big mailing list that I could now bomb with the promo information – but despite my best efforts, I could never get more than a couple followers (it’s here, by the way). So yeah, I did all I can think of. Will any of that work? And what will be the effects of the free promo on what matters – ie. sales? We’ll just have to wait and see…

For now, click the cover above, or go here, for a free download of Dragonsbane, the second Mirror Worlds novella! It’s short, it’s fast, and it’s more action-packed than anything I’ve written so far 🙂

Ennaki’s Master is a dragon slayer. But not just any dragon slayer: each beast he slays is greater and more powerful than the previous one, and each fight brings more woe and damage to the innocents around. As the knight proceeds with his murderous scheme, Ennaki begins to doubt and wonder. Is his Master’s secret plan really worth the slaughter? And is this really the best way to win the everlasting War against the Shadow that threatens to engulf all Mirror Worlds?

Midsummer Anniversary Bonus Sale


NEW_BUNDLE_250 It’s hard to believe it’s been two years already since I’ve published “The Shadow of Black Wings” – the first book in the Year of the Dragon series. It was in June 2012 that I’ve started on this long journey. I’m now at book 5 – with book 6 in the (painful) making…

In celebration, the full Book 1-4 Bundle is today (and today only) on a super-sale, reduced from the full price of $8.99 to a no-brainer bargain of $0.99! The deal is available on Amazon, Kobo and – for the first time – on Nook!

I will have another major announcement to make shortly, but for now, that’s all from me. Stay tuned!

The Indie Steampunk Lit Extravaganza – starts tomorrow!


Aberration
Discovering Aberration

S.C. Barrus

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An ancient map stolen. A lost civilization discovered. A terrible secret unleashed.

Set in an alternate Victorian era, Discovering Aberration follows Freddy Fitzgerald, a rebellious writer and ex-scuttler, and Thaddeus Lumpen, a desperate archaeologist with a slew of dangerous rivals. Together they will stop at nothing to make the discovery of a lifetime. But their island destination hides it’s own dark secrets which can push even the strongest minds into madness.

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james calbraith
The Year of the Dragon

James Calbraith

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Best-Selling Oriental Fantasy – Dragons, Wizards and Samurai!

It is the Sixteenth Year of Queen Victoria. In the powerful empire of Dracaland, a young dragon rider joins his father on a military expedition to the mysterious lands of the Orient. In the reclusive Yamato, a tomboy samurai girl, strives to prove her right to inherit her father’s school of western magic, and a timid shrine apprentice, is haunted by the visions of dark future she must keep secret even from her best friend. They don’t know it yet, but their paths will cross… And when they do, nothing will ever be the same again. Described as “part Harry Potter, part Last Samurai”, James Calbraith’s “The Year of the Dragon” series is an epic tale of magic, intrigue and war in a world of dragon riding marines, wizard-controlled ironclads and vampire samurai.

This is a bundle edition of the first four books of the best-selling historical fantasy saga, containing the entire Crimson Robe arc: Book 1: The Shadow of Black Wings, Book 2: The Warrior’s Soul, Book 3: The Islands in the Mist, Book 4: The Rising Tide

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Pauline creeden
Armored Hearts

Pauline Creeden

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When a crippled young lord rescues a girl falling from a tree, it reveals a secret about himself and his mother’s side of the family that could put him at the center of a war with beings he thought only existed in fairy tales.

Tristan Gareth Smyth lived his entire life stuck at home at Waverly Park, left behind while his Grandfather makes trips to London, all because of his blasted wheelchair. Then an American heiress falls in his lap, literally, and he must find a way to keep her at a distance to protect not only his secret, but everyone around him from an assassin sent to kill him.

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fires2thumbnail
Fires of Alexandria

Thomas K. Carpenter

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The greatest mystery of the ancient world remains the identity of who set fire to the Great Library in Alexandria.

One hundred years later, Heron of Alexandria—the city’s most renown inventor and creator of Temple miracles—receives coin from a mysterious patron to investigate the crime. Desperate to be free of the debts incurred by her twin brother, she accepts and sets in motion a chain of events that will shake the Roman Empire and change the course of history forever.

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deamon device
The Daemon Device

Wendy L. Callahan

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Saving the world from power-obsessed madmen is all in a day’s work for half-daemon artifact hunter Demetra Ashdown. It’s her potential mother-in-law who proves most vexing.

Yet, Demetra is determined to charm her, even if that means a journey around the world for answers to the most perplexing questions, such as what is the difference between infernals, like herself, and celestials, like her fiancé, Francis? Can they marry, despite being from disparate bloodlines? And just how much lemon cake does it take to keep Demetra happy?

Whether by railway, steamer, or airship, Demetra and Francis will not rest until they can allay Lady Winterton’s concerns about their union.

Nor will they realize the unimaginable discovery or danger to which their inquiries will lead until a chance meeting leads to a long overdue reunion…

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jack conner
Nightmare City

Jack Conner

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Zeppelins, mad scientists, zombies, oh my!

When beautiful young thief Katya goes on the run in the strange and mysterious city of Lavorgna, she gets mixed up in events that are rapidly spiraling out of control. A horror from another world is terrorizing the city, and only Katya can stop it, but only if she can first evade warring mobsters, the undead, homunculi and one very upset psychopath. No pressure, Kat.

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martin kee
A Latent Dark

Martin Kee

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Skyla has lived secretly within the city walls of Bollingbrook for eleven years, playing among the airship factories and trainyards.

As one of the Gutter District’s nameless destitute, it has gone undiscovered that she has a unique talent: when Skyla looks at a person’s shadow she sees through it and into another world. She can see people’s fears, desires–all as swimming, living creatures.But when her mother’s past catches up with her, Skyla finds she must flee from the city, into a world still recovering from a second Dark Age, a world of adults with secrets only she can see.

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Ava Morgan
The Lady Machinist

Ava Morgan

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The Lady Machinist: A romantic steampunk tale of clockwork soldiers, persistent pirates, and political intrigue.

Book One of the Curiosity Chronicles1837: Lydia Dimosthenis detests pirates, especially those of British ilk. The lady machinist will do anything to protect her island home of Aspasia from the scurvy knaves, even if it means crafting seven-foot clockwork soldiers to drive intruders away. When her automatons catch the eye of a charming yet stubborn ambassador from New Britannia, she is given an offer that she truly cannot refuse. But that doesn’t stop her from trying.

Rhys Cartret, ambassador and agent for the Cabinet of Intellectual Curiosities, didn’t count on having a strong-willed, attractive inventor thwarting his every diplomatic move. It’s hard enough keeping his pirate past a secret from Lydia. Matching wits with her is the last thing he needs, especially since New Britannia’s rival France is racing to get the automatons before he does. Intrigue, romance, and striking bargains abound in this curious tale of clockwork soldiers, ruthless pirates, and steam-powered ships.

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Daniel Ottalini
Brass Legionnaire

Daniel Ottalini

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When Julius Caesar survived the assassination attempt on his life during the Ides of March, the history of the Roman Empire was changed forever.

Now, just over 1800 years later, an industrialized Rome sits at the forefront of technological innovations and exploration. But the facade is cracking, and espionage, corruption, and revolution are pulling the empire apart. Into this steps newly minted Tribune Constantine Appius, backed by a cohort armed with new, experimental tactics. Legions, airships, mechanical elephants, and yes, togas, play a part in Daniel Ottalini’s award winning steampunk adventure novel, Brass Legionnaire.

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AethericElements-frontcover-march-2014
Aetheric Elements: The Rise of a Steampunk Reality

Travis I. Sivart

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Automatons and airships, bustles and beasts, corsets and curses, dandies and dastardly deeds, all await you as you explore the cultures which evolved into a Steampunk industrial civilization.

Learn about the people who made history and created the events that molded a world into a near utopia, only to be torn asunder as the society was about to achieve the pinnacle of its existence. Enjoy a savory sampler of Steampunk society and sinister scenarios to whet your appetite for the author’s upcoming full length novel.This anthology of nineteen tales of terror, mystery, and adventure takes you into Travis Sivart’s weird and wonderful world.

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Ichabod Temperance
A Matter of Temperance

Ichabod Temperance

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After the near miss of a fateful comet, a young inventor and aristocratic débutante are among Earths strangely changed populace.

Thrust into mortal danger, these plucky protagonists fight inter-dimensional monsters to save a besieged world. This is a Steampunk, Paranormal, Happily Ever After Action/Romance told in a Humorous fashion. This novel contains NO graphic sex, violence nor strong language. However, there is some monster violence, but nothing ugly, and a light sprinkling of mild innuendo.

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Steve Turnbull
Murder out of the Blue

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&

Blood Sky at Night

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Steve Turnbull

Murder out of the Blue

1908. A gruesome death on board the Sky Liner RMS Macedonia exposes the clash of class, secrets and sexuality in upper class Edwardian society.

On her journey home Maliha Anderson, Anglo-Indian daughter of a Scottish engineer and a Brahmin scholar, hopes to make peace with what she sees in the mirror every day until the nurse of wheelchair-bound General Makepeace-Flynn is murdered.The General declares his innocence and Maliha is the only one who believes him. With landfall only hours away Maliha must find the murderer before they can escape, even if it puts her own life at risk.

Blood Sky at Night

1908. Ceylon. The British Empire tightens its grip on the world. Attempting to deal with questions of race and identity Maliha Anderson is faced with a murder that brings her face to face with her past. And it’s a murder that’s interwoven with international politics, that even she may not be able to solve.

Both are the same price and both will be reduced for the duration.

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Jack Wallen
Klockwerk Kabaret

Jack Wallen

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Mainspring – a quaint town removed from time and era. Powered by steam and clockwork, Mainspring has enjoyed decades of peace and prosperity … until, from a far-away land known as The Keep of Keys, Hieronymus Ebauche unleashes Hell.

Born of a long-forgotten vendetta, Ebauche transports his clockwork demons through a trans-dimensional portal to exact his revenge. Mainspring’s only hope – Nathan Gage and Olivia Nightingale; the proprietors of the Klockwerk Kabaret, where desire is brought to life with flesh and clockwork. When the doors to the Kabaret close, Gage and Nightingale slip into the shadows as vigilante crime fighters. The fight leads them to The Keep of Keys where they discover a much darker truth.As the clock winds down, so too does the hope of Mainspring.

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90 sites to advertise your book


kindle

As far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! 🙂 she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of updating this on April 17th 2016, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

Don’t forget you can also promote your tweets and Facebook posts on Twitter and Facebook, though that is known to be not very effective unless you know what you’re doing.

Also, make sure to follow Lindsay Buroker’s blog, as she always has the most up-to-date notes on what works and what doesn’t in advertising.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books 🙂

URL Free Ad Paid Ad Comments
100 Free Books $75-100 $75-100
Amazon KDP Advertising CPC min $100 CPC min $100 Amazon’s own marketing
Armadillo eBooks Guaranteed Guaranteed $25 boost available
Addicted to eBooks Guaranteed registration required
Ask David  $15 one-time “promotion pack”
Author Marketing Club Membership + listing
Awesome Gang Guaranteed $10
Bargain eBook Hunter – now Hot Zippy Guaranteed
Best Indie Books $8-$30, free to premium members Requires registration
Book Butterfly free option also available various options, $50+  (reportedly not working, see comments)
Book Deals Daily $5 $5+
Bookpinning Guaranteed “Pinterest for Books”
Book Daily Membership + samples
Book Goodies Guaranteed
Book Goodies $5
Book Goodies $25
Book Goodies For Kids Guaranteed Children only
Book Matchers Listing + search service
Book Tweeting Service (now Tweet Your Books $59+
BookBrowse $2-7 pm
BookBub Various options. $60+ probably most effective right now. Novels only.
BookGorilla $40+ May also post deals from other sites
BookSlut $175-$450
Daily Free Books Guaranteed $7.5
Digital Book Today Not guaranteed 4 stars minimum
Digital Book Today Various options, $15+
eBookSoda $15 Flat Fee
eBooksForFree $12
eBook Daily Deals Guaranteed
eBookLister Not Guaranteed Not Guaranteed
Eat Sleep Write Book plugs from $50+
eBook Impresario $20+
eBooks Habit Guaranteed
eBooks Habit $10
eFiction Finds Guaranteed $5+
eReader Girl Guaranteed $20
eReaderIQ various options, $25-$180 BookBub model, claim 150,000 subscribers
eReader Cafe Guaranteed
English Books XTME $9-$30 No longer guaranteed. For Amazon.de
EReader News Today Not guaranteed Various options Very limited selection, 4 stars minimum
Fiverr $5 per service individual people advertising your book
Flurries of Words $4+
Free Books Hub $10+
Free Books Guaranteed
Free eBooks untested
Free eBook Dude Guaranteed
Free Kindle Books&Tips Not guaranteed,$25 $30+ 4 stars minimum
EReaderUtopia (Free Kindle Fiction) Not guaranteed Needs registration
Free Kindle Giveaway $10+
Freebooksy Not guaranteed $50
Frugal eReader Tweet package $15+
Frugal eReader $50+
Frugal Freebies $3-$8
Fussy Librarian Guaranteed
Get Free Books Not guaranteed
Good Kindles $10-$20
Goodreads custom budget largely ineffective
Hot Zippy Not guaranteed $15 own several other websites
Humanmade Guaranteed Boost your listing – prices vary
iAuthor UK £0.6 per click
Ignite Your Boook Guaranteed
iLove Ebooks various options, $25-$300
iLike Ebooks $0.99-$9.99
Indie Author Anonymous $5 $10-$20
Indie Book of the Day Not Guaranteed
Indie Book Promo Guaranteed Four options, $25+ or small options, $8+
Indies Unlimited Freebie Friday, 99c Thursday
International Book Promotion $30 a month social media burst One-off promotional events
Jungle Deals Guaranteed
Just Contemporary Romance Romance only various options, $10+
Kindle Book Promo Guaranteed
Kindle Book Promos Various options
Kindle Book Review Not guaranteed $5+
Kindle Mojo Not guaranteed $25+
Kindle Nation Daily Guaranteed
Kindle Nation Daily Various options, $100+ number of options, effectiveness reduced lately
Kindle Romance Review various options, $25+ Romance only
KUF Ads various options, $7.50+ several websites, incl. DailyFreeBooks
Kindleboards various options, $35+
Lendle various options, $35+
Lovely Books KDP Guaranteed, Permafree $7.99
Many Books $25
My Book and My Coffee Guaranteed On Hiatus
My Book Buzzing Guaranteed Requires registration
New Free Kindle Books Free only $5
Pixel of Ink Not guaranteed Very limited selection
Pixel Scroll – NOW HOTZIPPY $5+
Reading Deals Not Guaranteed $15
Reddit Guaranteed On the day. Must have account.
Robin Reads $25
Snicks List Guaranteed On the day
Writerful Books Free Manuscript assessment and reviews
YA Book Promo Central Same as Indie Book Promo YA only

“Transmission” revamp; Diwali Free Promotion


Transmission

A lot of things to cover today!

First off: my short story collection, “Transmission”, has just DOUBLED in size! That’s right, there are now SIX stories, not three! Three new stories are: The Twitching, O Lucky Man! and Teophany.

To celebrate the relaunch, the collection is FREE all day today on Amazon. If you bought the book earlier, a free update is coming your way.

Oh and by the way – “Transmission” got honourable mention in this month’s On The Premises magazine, so be sure to check them out.

And Transmission is not the only thing FREE today! In a ONE DAY HAPPY DIWALI PROMO, two more of my books are FREE right now: Dragonbone Chest (fantasy novella) and The Shadow of Black Wings (1st volume of “The Year of the Dragon“)

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY DIWALI!

Kindle giveaway, Oct 1-2


 “Fast paced and full of energy”
–Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt

“This manuscript is full of highly crafted detail that will make readers shiver at times with fear and delight … a familiar yet highly original fantasy that is a worthwhile read.”
— Publishers Weekly

“The real-world cultures are incredibly well-researched and truthful, and yet well-balanced with the fantasy elements. An intriguing and impressive series.”
— Ben Galley, author of the Emaneska Series

I’m running another Kindle giveaway today, to see what the results are the second time around.

Here are the links, just click, download and read on!

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon DE
Amazon IT
Amazon FR
Amazon ES