Thursday, April 11, 2013

E-Book Experiment - Part 2

In my last post, I outlined my plans for an ambitious e-book promotional campaign, so this week I want to talk about how it’s going and what I’ve learned.

First off – The Mummies of Blogspace9 is DONE!!!  It’s finished, edited, Kindle-ized, and published.   Here’s my marketing prose:

The Mummies of Blogspace9 is a taut, high-stakes thriller about a team of archaeologists who inadvertently dig up more than they bargained for. Demons of antiquity are not easily amused, nor are those who’ve sold their souls to protect them. The Mummies of Blogspace9 will fill your heart with terror and with glee (but not at the same time, because that would be very strange, and also pointless).
You’ll laugh out loud, cringe in fear, and shake your head with delight. Here are some plot elements you might enjoy:
1) undead mummies;

2) archaeology;

3) very attractive protagonists who you will develop crushes on;
4) carefully-chosen fonts;

5) delightful full-color, high-resolution illustrations.

Here’s a blurb from one of Leon’s posts (Leon being a protagonist)
“None of us knew what was at stake. And that’s the thing about archaeology - you never know what you’ll find when you start digging into an ancient pyramid. Maybe some burials, mummies even. But surely not a five hundred year-old secret worth killing for.
Had I known at the onset that seven weeks later most of my friends would be dead, I would have left Peru in a heartbeat. But of course I didn’t know that.
I didn’t know that a demonically-possessed Spanish Grand Inquisitor would haunt the crap out of us, or that a pair of undead conquistador knights would help us find the secret to putting down walking mummies.
And surely, I wouldn’t have just sat around had I known that something was watching from inside that pyramid, some malevolent force that could animate the dead.
But it’s all true, as you’ll come to realize.”
The Mummies of Blogspace9: Horror has a new URL
 Support the arts, why don't you!  Only 99¢, so pick up a copy today at
For the bargain price of 99¢, I’m a little surprised that anyone can resist it.  Yes resist it they apparently can.  So that’s why it’s now time to execute the rest of the plan.
A caveat – I don’t think the book is worth 99¢.  I think it’s worth a hell of a lot more than that.  I worked hard on it, and I think it’s really good.  And judging by the lack of negative reviews, I’m thinking that most people agree.  Now, the fact that there are no reviews at all might suggest that nobody has actually read it yet, but I try to look at the positive.

I think the book is worth about $99, and I think it would be a good idea if people paid $99 to download a copy.  But they’re not going to.  The world of books and e-books is changing so fast that nobody knows how much a book is worth.  So I figured I’d try something affordable in hopes of dramatic results.

I put links on all my networks: on Facebook, Twitter, webpage, blog, LinkedIn, Independent Author Network, etc.  I even produced a dynamic book trailer for YouTube, which is rapidly going viral (if 5 views can be counted as viral).  You can have a look by clicking this handy word.

So I’m going to give this a week or so to judge the efficacy of my plan.  The next step is to implement a paid promotional campaign.  I tried to pay BookBub $230 to promote a free version to their readers, but they wouldn’t let me.  Seriously.  And I’m not sure exactly why. I got a nice rejection letter and it made me feel better. 

I think partly it has to do with the fact that I was trying to promote my book as a thriller, and most thriller titles don’t include the word “mummy.”  This could be a problem for cross-genre titles, and it’s making me rethink my new line of pirate erotica novels.  Maybe PIROTICA is not the way to go.

But I was able to convince some other kind folks to take my money.  
From April 15 to April 19th, you can download a copy for free.  

Just go to the page on Amazon.  Not that there’s any reason you should wait, because it’s still only 99¢, but if you have frugal loved ones, please let them know. 

And to help get the word out, I did the following: I paid $35 to ebook boosters to blast out notices to fifty free ebook sites; $45 to whizbuzz to promote my promotion; and $50 to Books & Authors to promote my promotion to their readership.

So here’s what I will be reporting on in my next post – the results of my free promotional campaign.   That being said, I can always use help, so if any of you readers would be so kind as to share this on your websites and family newsletters, I’ll be happy to get you a free copy (between April 15 and April 19).  Any help and ideas would be most welcome.



Lesley Diehl said...

I just finished the book last night. It was the best read I've had in a while. And so much fun. What a laugh. It is worth far more than 99 cents, original, unique, the reader can learn a lot and laugh a lot too. Buy it. Now.

John Brantingham said...

I've gotten and will read it. I love your writing man! I hope it goes well. You deserve to sell and sell!

William Doonan said...

Thanks, Lesley. I'm so happy you liked it!!
John, I appreciate your kind words. I hope you have fun with it.

john M. Daniel said...

Bill, I'm amazed by your energy, your know-how, and your sense of fun. I don't yet have a Kindle and don't read novels on screen (I'm stuck in the 20th century), but I hope you sell zillions

William Doonan said...

Thanks, John! I was pretty reluctant to jump into the Kindle world myself, but my mom foisted one on me, and now I love it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Excellent teaser ads. Definitely makes it look like a must have.

William Doonan said...

Thanks, Charles! Feel free to pick up copies for the whole family! Nothing says "I care" quite like an ebook.

jrlindermuth said...

Looks like you're doing everything right, Bill. I've got to pick up a copy. Good luck with project.

William Doonan said...

Thanks John. Let me know what you think of the book.

Jane Turley said...

This in a very interesting post, William. Here's my thoughts:

You definitely have a big cross-genre problem. From what I gathered from the cover of your book you displayed a few weeks ago it was horror/science fiction. Now I wouldn't buy this cos a) I'm a not a massive science fiction fan and b) mummies don't scare me:)) But now from reading your blurb I'm slightly confused as you mention Peru. So it's not set in space then? The Mummies just come from space? As a reader I definitely want to know where the story is set. Mummies in Peru sounds a lot more scary (although I'm still not scared really) than mummies in space which just sounds silly. BUT now I read your blurb it sounds as if Mummies from Blogspace 9 IS a comedy and might actually be taking the piss out of the horror/science fiction genre is which case I would probably love to read it! I'm now thinking Pride and Prejudice with Zombies etc etc...Anyway, all in all I'm probably too confused to bother to buy it.....

Conclusion: it sounds to me that you not only have a crossover genre problem but THE crossover genre problem! I would think very carefully and try to narrow it down and that probably means, in my opinion, changing the book title or the cover or very possibly both. Why mention space in the title (even if the mummies do come from there) and have a cover which implies that it is if the story is set in Peru? I'm not saying a story from mummies from space can't work but if (as publishers say people like to stick to genres) then you probably need to rethink just who you are aiming this book at. Then there's a comical writing of your book blurb - but the cover isn't comical (or didn't appear to me as such...) and if this is a comical story then you shouldn't you have some indication on the front? Think about the cover to Pride and Prejudice with Zombies - I pretty much knew straight away what I was getting without reading the blurb. Elizabeth Bennett as a zombie? No way! I think you can get away with the book title if the story is a comedy but you need still need to qualify exactly where the main setting of the story is the actual book blurb, sure drop in that the Mummies might come from space but don't dwell on it.

Also, something that niggled me in the promo stuff you sent out is that you say; "You’ll laugh out loud, cringe in fear, and shake your head with delight. Here are some plot elements you might enjoy" if I was a publisher to be honest I would be annoyed at that - because only the reader decided if their going to laugh or cringe I think you have to let your writing speak for itself rather than telling them what they'll feel.

I hope you find my comments useful and not offensive. It seemed to me that you were looking for answers so I thought I'd chip in with a few thoughts:)

By the way I'm a Brit so I may just see things a little differently from the way you do:)

Good luck with the promo!

William Doonan said...

Wow - thanks Jane!

No, I'm not offended at all. I'm deeply appreciative that you put the time into thinking this through. Clearly I have some things to think about.

I never thought I was giving the impression that the story was set in space. Blogspace is my invented blog platform - like Blogger, Blogspot, or Wordpress, etc. So I have to figure out how not to give the impression that we're in space here.

But I do mean to be funny, and I do mean to cross genres and send them up, so to say.

And I have to say, this did get you thinking, right? I have an idea - what say you read the story and then let me know what I could do to get the vibe out up front?

marja said...

I have the book but I'm not sure when I'll be able to read it. Soon, I hope. It sounds like you're going all out, and it should be interesting to see the results. PIROTICA? LOL
Marja McGraw

William Doonan said...

I'm giving it a shot, Marja. It was my new years resolution to figure out how to sell books, so I think I'm working on isolating all the ways of how not to!

Pirotica is going to be the next big thing - you watch.

Melanie Jackson, author, editor, piano student said...

Bill, I find you very funny, and I appreciate you sharing your e-pub adventures. I'm a non-believer so far, but I'm going to follow your reports. I may become a convert.

Best of the best to you in your adventures!


William Doonan said...

Thanks, Melanie!
I'll keep you posted.