Slur in Kindle Autumn Sale

I am pleased to announce that Slur will be in the Kindle Autumn Sale on Amazon UK from 5th October until 13th November so it’s a good opportunity to buy it for just 99p. Here is the link: http://viewbook.at/Slur.

Slur is book 1 of The Riverhill Trilogy and the first book that I published independently prior to being signed by Aria. It has a review average on Amazon UK of 4.2 out of 74 reviews. The second two books in the trilogy have a review average of 4.5 for A Gangster’s Grip and 4.7 for Danger by Association.

If you want to be introduced to The Riverhill Trilogy this is a good chance to try it at a bargain price. I’ll hope you’ll enjoy it and please feel free to spread the word.

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SLUR on Special Offer

I am pleased to announce that SLUR will be available for the special promotional price of 99p (or 99 cents in the US) from 13th May until 20th May. If you want to grab a copy while it’s on special offer, here is the link: http://viewbook.at/Slur.

SLUR is the first part in a trilogy. The second part will be released late summer/early autumn of this year followed by the final part in summer 2016.

Book Cover

If you haven’t already read SLUR, here is the book blurb:

How would it feel to be accused of a murder you didn’t commit? To believe your friends, family and colleagues had turned against you. Would you reach breaking point or fight to prove your innocence?

Julie Quinley finds herself in this position following the events of one fateful night. She has to bear the slights and accusations of colleagues and acquaintances, and life becomes unbearable. Eventually, thinking that she has lost the respect of everyone around her, Julie plunges into a deep depression.

However, unknown to Julie, those closest to her are rallying support. She reaches a turning point when her friends reveal that they may have found the real killer. Realising she must act in order to clear her name, Julie joins them in trying to find evidence.

But proving a vicious murderer guilty is never going to be easy, especially when the police remain unconvinced. Will Julie and her friends succeed? And is their suspect really responsible for the crime?

I hope you enjoy SLUR. If you want to find out more about future books or receive other free gifts and special offers including a free copy of my short story collection “Crime, Conflict & Consequences”, please sign up to my mailing list here.

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What’s Next?

It’s been such a busy time since the book launch party for my debut novel SLUR so I thought I would take a moment to reflect on the position to date and look at what direction I will be heading in next. First, a little bit about the launch party:SLUR

I have to be honest and say that if I was to look at the launch party solely in terms of financial gain, then I haven’t recouped the rewards for the efforts that I put in. However, for me it was about more than that. The launch party was a way of celebrating the culmination of many years of effort. It was a really fun couple of days and I want to extend a big thank you to all the people that took part including those that entered the competitions. I’d also like to thank the people that featured the launch on their blogs and helped to get the word out through social media.

Although a novel is the end product in terms of the creative process, it is only the beginning when it comes to promotion. I am therefore viewing the launch party as not only a celebration but also the first step in my promotional efforts for SLUR. This isn’t the first book that I have published but the non-fiction books cater to a different readership so in a way it is like publishing a first book. So at the moment SLUR has to stand alone until I follow it up with more fiction books.

Having said all that, SLUR has made a good start. I had hoped to reach the top 20 in each of the categories I had chosen so that the browsing public could spot my book, but I didn’t quite achieve that. However, at its peak SLUR reached around 11,500 for all paid books on Amazon UK (out of over 2.5 million) and number 76 in one of my chosen categories. So, with a few more sales I would have reached the top 20. I am planning to follow up the launch party with further promotional activities as follows:

Book Signing Event

I will be signing copies of SLUR at my local book shop on Saturday 11th October. The local press have promised to feature the book signing so hopefully this will boost sales.

Goodreads Giveaway

SLUR is currently being featured as a Goodreads Giveaway where readers can win one of two signed print copies. Here is the link if you would like to enter: http://bit.ly/1vKnLvh. The closing date for entries is 22nd October 2014.

Reviews and Blogs

I haven’t submitted my novel to as many of these as I should but I find it a very time consuming process. I always check the blog or website first to see the type of thing they publish and then send them an email together with details of my book. This invariably takes up some time but unfortunately only about 50% of them reply. Of those that reply, many of them already have lengthy reading lists so they are unable to take on any more work. Therefore, when I am planning promotional activities I tend to find other things to do that are more productive in terms of the time expended. I wonder if anybody else has had this experience.

Free Promotion

Front book cover finalPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve decided to run a free promotion on both of my parenting books. Whether this will have any impact on sales of SLUR remains to be seen as the readership is different (as mentioned above). I hope there may be some chance that readers downloading the free parenting books might also spot the novel but, if not, there’s nothing to lose by trying. The promotion applies to Kindle copies and is set to run from 23rd till 25th October.

Libraries

I’ll be approaching libraries to stock my novel as I did with my parenting books. I don’t think that the appeal will be as nationwide for my novel as it was for the parenting books though. Libraries tend to go for anything regional and with the parenting books there is something for all regions. As my novel is based in Manchester I will concentrate on libraries based in the northwest. I think it is still worth doing because not only are there the initial sales to consider, but also public lending rights as well as getting my name out to a wider network of readers.

Promotion is very much an ongoing process but once I’ve completed the main thrust of activities I’m anxious to get back to some writing. Apart from writing articles and web copy for clients, I haven’t done any other writing for weeks. I’m hoping to publish a blog soon revealing my plans for my next book writing venture. Watch this space!

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Book Promotion Continued

It’s been a busy week with the ongoing promotion for “Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK)”. Here are just a few of the exciting things that have been happening:

Book Reviews

“Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK)” has already received some favourable reviews on Amazon. Here are some of the comments:

“Great ‘dip into’ resource for harassed parents with shallow pockets! Well researched, well written and easy to use. I would recommend this book to all parents/carers in need of inspiration in organising kids’ parties with a difference without breaking the bank!”
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“A real gem, I would recommend this to anyone, the possibilities for its use are endless. There are also exclusive offers and discounts available too, which is amazing. Me being a neat freak means that this book greatly appeals to me as it is so organised and informative, and parents who are more fly by the seat of your pants people will love this book for its simplicity and ease of use. A great idea.”
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“Who knew there were so many choices for birthday parties in the UK! There are some great ideas I never would have thought of. This guide is full of useful tips too, the detail the author has gone into is fab. A great one stop shop, will save me plenty of time trawling the internet for ideas.”
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The book will be featured on a couple of parenting review sites and parenting magazines over the next few weeks. The first of these is already online at the book reviews for mums website and you can see it here. Big thanks to Becky Goddard-Hill for kindly featuring a review of my book on her website.

Local Press InterviewRadio Interview

I’ve got my first local press interview on Monday for a feature about me and my books, which will appear in next week’s edition of the Tameside Reporter together with a competition to win a copy of the book. The interview will be recorded for local radio as well, which will be a bit nerve-wracking, but it’s all part of the author experience. Additionally, I’m waiting to hear back from a local magazine about the possibility of a photocall at my local bookshop.

Stockists

Great Places for Kids’ Parties (UK)” is available in digital and print versions at Amazon and can be ordered online from Waterstones. I have also arranged with a couple of book/gift shops to take initial stock of a few copies of the book. However, at this point it isn’t a long-term arrangement so fingers crossed that the books will sell well with them.

If you have any questions or tips on book promotion for independent authors, please feel free to share your comments in the box below.

Let the Book Promo Begin

I was a little late starting the promotion for “Great Places for Kids Parties (UK) for various reasons, which I’ve covered in previous blogs. Thankfully I’ve now made a good start with the promise of a guest blog on the netmums website. This is one of the biggest parenting websites in the UK and the guest post is already written and agreed. Apparently it’s just a matter of scheduling it and then it will be up and running on the site. The topic is all about taking the stress out of children’s parties. An impossible feat you might think but believe it or not it can be done as long as you make sure that you have everything organised well in advance.

I’ve also written two other guest posts, which are currently appearing on the following sites:

Kiddy Cook – This guest blog relates to why kids’ cookery parties are a good idea and you can see it at: http://www.kiddycook.co.uk/blog/.

Tameside Sports Trust – This blog announces the inclusion of Tameside Sports Trust’s swimming parties in my book, and you can read all about it here.

Parenting Magazines

As my name isn’t Jo Frost or Miriam Stoppard I realise that any editorial I receive in parenting magazines is more likely to come through regionals rather than nationals. That won’t stop me trying though so waSpringtch this space. In terms of regional parenting magazines, most of them tend to be quarterly, which means that they will be planning their Spring editions now. I have therefore been sending emails out fast and frantically to try to get some coverage in their Spring issues. I’ve just got my first one agreed which is for a 800-1000 word article in a Southern based magazine, which has a good coverage. I’m pleased with that one but am working on getting into a few more magazines yet.

Print Copies

My print copies have finally arrived so I’ve been busy packaging and sending complementary copies to each of the organisations that were involved in the book. It’s my thank you for their contributions to the book as each one of them provided detailed information that cannot be found on the company websites, and they were willing to answer my probing questions. I’m especially thankful to the 11 organisations that featured exclusive special offers as these will no doubt increase the appeal of this book.

Still to Do

I’ve a few more blogs and parenting magazines to approach yet. With my last book I found that most magazines don’t respond unless you follow up your email so I’ll probably be phoning a few of the larger ones.
In terms of local coverage, I haven’t even started yet so there’s lots still to do. I’ll be updating my blog with news of any articles, reviews, competitions etc. which may be featured in publications over the coming weeks.
You can find details of both my parenting books plus details of my soon to be released novel on the book page of my website at: http://www.dianemannion.co.uk/books.html.

Book Promotion – My New Approach

Since I published my first book “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” a year ago I have learnt a lot about book promotion. As an Independent author I have to learn as much as I can because it’s my job to market my books as well as to write and publish them. I had a marketing plan ready when I launched the book and I thought that I had tried just about everything I could to get the word out. How wrong I was! I realise now that all Indie authors are constantly learning and finding out new ways to promote their work.

Last week I had my first free eBook promotion, which I see as another step in my ongoing effort to promote my work. As well as propelling my book up various lists, I also learnt a lot from the experience, which I will put to good use with future books. So, I’ll start this article by taking a look at how it went before talking about other new approaches that I am taking in relation to my book promotion. At the bottom of this post I’ve also included a list of people that I want to thank for helping me to spread the word about my eBook promo.

The Free Promo Day

I had a key objective in mind when I decided to do a free eBook promo day, which was to get my book noticed in more competitive categories so that I could hopefully attract new buyers. A specific aim of this was to appear on the first page of the Amazon UK popularity list for the parenting category, which has over 17,000 books. So, before I listed the book as free I swapped my categories to others that were more competitive but where I could also expect to achieve a high rank in the popularity lists.

I wasn’t expecting the mammoth number of downloads that novelists receive because my book fits into a specific niche and its readership is predominantly UK based. Therefore, I will focus on the results that I achieved in accordance with my objectives as well as the positions achieved on the free eBook listings.

Free EBook Listings

The maximum positions that “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” achieved were:

–        First in the UK list Parenting and Families>Family Activities, a category which has about 1000 books.Popularity Lists

–       Second in the UK list Parenting and Families>Parenting, a category which has about 17,000 books.

–       Tenth in the main UK category listing for Parenting and Families, a category which has over 61,000 books.

–       Second in the US list Parenting and Relationships>Reference.

N.B. The latter category only has about 300 or so books, but I was surprised to make the US listings at all as my book has a UK bias.

Popularity Lists

At the time of writing (Saturday lunchtime) “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” achieved the following positions in the UK popularity lists for my chosen categories:

–       First in Parenting and Families>Family Activities, a category with about 1000 books.

–       Eleventh in Parenting and Families>Parenting, a category which has about 17,000 books.

–       Number 88 in the main category Parenting and Families, a category which has over 61,000 books.

That put me just one place behind Richard Madeley’s book “Fathers and Sons”, and seven places behind Paul O’Grady’s book “At My Mother’s Knee” on the Amazon popularity list for Parenting and Families. I must admit that I never envisaged a day when I would be running closely behind Richard Madeley in hot pursuit of Paul O’Grady. What diverse lives us Indie authors lead!

I am now waiting to find out what impact my position in the popularity lists will have on book sales – fingers crossed!

Shouting about It

ShoutingI must admit that shouting about my achievements is something that I am not comfortable with. I am naturally quite reserved and prefer not push myself forward. However, having a free promo day gave me a reason to shout about my work. Apart from the results described above, this enabled me to connect with more people on social media and by email. Having said that, I did feel guilty about directly approaching Twitter users who were involved in parenting, and asking them to RT my tweets. My direct approach paid off though because I had a couple of opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have come across.

The first was a request for help with the editing of a book and the second was a promotional opportunity. The latter consisted of an interview about me and my work, and the accompanying article will be published on a major UK website for mums later this week. I’m looking forward to seeing the article and will definitely be doing a bit more (online) shouting in the future.

Mailing List

My first eBook now has a mailing list in the back as well as details of my two forthcoming books and my social media URLs. The mailing list was something I hadn’t thought of until I read David Gaughran’s “Let’s Get Visible”, which is a really useful guide on how to get your books noticed online. Having all of these details in the back of “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” means that, in effect, the book acts as an advertisement for future books.

Blog

For almost a year I pressed on with the blog that came as part of my website software package. There were a few problems associated with this. Firstly, the RSS feed didn’t work so people couldn’t follow my blog. Secondly, there were no statistics attached so I didn’t have a clue how many people were reading the blog.

Thankfully, I recently swapped to WordPress. I love the statistics that WordPress provides because I can see how many people are reading my blog posts. This enables me to assess which posts appeal to my readers the most. Additionally, because WordPress has its own community, it gives me another opportunity to connect with people online. That means I have more people to share my news with whenever I launch a book, run a promotion etc. I was also able to import it into my website so that you can still view it through www.dianemannion.co.uk as well as through my WordPress URL.

Future Promotional Ideas

All of the knowledge that I have gained over the last year should stand me in good stead for future books. When I release my second parenting book (hopefully in the next couple of months) I will do a few things differently, and I will give you details of any triumphs as I go along. However, there are some promotional measures that I would repeat for my second book. Basically, it means that I won’t waste time on promotional areas that haven’t worked in the past and I will focus more on those that have worked as well as trying out some new ideas.

Special Thanks

I am really grateful to all the people who helped to get the word out about my book promo by various means, as follows:

StarsAll Round Stars – These are the people that have gone the extra mile e.g. tweeting, retweeting, mentioning the book promo on their FB pages, websites or newsletters, or downloading a copy to add to the numbers (even if the book wasn’t in a genre that appealed to them). Here we go: Alice Huskisson, Guy Portman, Anne Coates, Terry Tyler, Charlie Plunkett, Jess Sturman-Coombes, Working Bees, Steve Hill, Mark Richards and Selva Sugunendran. You are all wonderful people and I’m very grateful for all your help and support.

Terrific Tweeters and Fabulous Facebookers – There are too many to list all of them, but a few people tweeted and RTd repeatedly about my book promo so I want to give them a special mention. They are: Lizzie Lamb, I C Camilleri, Rose Edmunds, Rachel Dove, Rosie Morgan, Clare Davidson, Bestiary Business and members of the #ukLL. Some of my Facebook friends were also willing to share my incessant postings about the promo so a big thank you to them as well.

As always I love to receive your feedback in the comments box below so if you have enjoyed this post please let me know by clicking the like button.

Free Book – Kids’ Clubs and Organizations

21st August is FREE PROMO day for “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations – A Comprehensive UK Guide”. It’s almost here so put the date in your diary and spread the word to anyone in the UK with childrenFree Book Promo from toddlers to teens. The book will be available to download FREE to the Kindle at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU for ONE DAY ONLY so be sure not to miss it. It’s an invaluable guide for anyone with children. If you want to find out why, here are some details about the book:

“Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” introduces you to literally thousands of groups that provide children’s activities and events at little or no cost to families. You’d be surprised at the number of activities that you never even thought about for your children.

Children’s groups are available for all ages from babies to young adults, providing a broad range of enriching and educational experiences. Although the book is aimed primarily at UK parents, there are plenty of useful ideas for parents everywhere.

Here are some of the ways that you and your children can benefit through membership of a local kids’ club or organization:

Front book cover finalChildren can develop new skills

– It can prevent your children from becoming bored and disruptive

– Children can discover previously unknown talents

– You will be able to meet other parents with children of similar ages

– You can take pride in your children’s achievements

– Children will be able to make new friends

– You will get satisfaction from seeing your children happily engaged in worthwhile activities

We have divided the book into 24 chapters with each one focusing on a particular type of group. The chapters are then split into sections, starting with an overview and followed by sections about who can join, benefits, costs, how to find a group and how parents can get involved (where appropriate).

“Kids Clubs and Organizations” is the definitive guide to the wealth of groups in the UK that are devoted to children. Sometimes it’s just a matter of knowing where to find the right group and that’s where this book can help. Although each chapter gives a comprehensive guide to each type of club or organization, the last chapter provides even more sources of further information.

Great ideas to keep your children happy and fulfilled!

The free offer applies to the Kindle download only. If you prefer a printed copy you can purchase one using the same link at www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B008IG41DU.