I may not have won Kindle Scout, but I learned a heck of a lot about blogging and marketing. This blog post is recapping my 30 day campaign:
“You think the dead we loved truly ever leave us? You think we don’t recall them more clearly in times of great trouble?”
– Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Light of Supremazia, book #1 in the (after)life lessons series, is dedicated to those who have passed away, but who’s spirit remain with the living.
The book is now available on Amazon (CLICK HERE!).
About the Book
Think it’s difficult to get into Harvard University? Try Vita Post Mortem Academy, a prestigious high school where John F. Kennedy teaches a class called American Ghosts stories, Albert Einstein grades science tests, and history’s most brilliant and deceased minds make up the rest of the teaching staff. Not a problem for Jules Winklevoss, one of the few who can see spirits.
Getting into school was a cakewalk, but Jules learns not all spirits are engaging and inspiring teachers. Fourteen years ago, Jules’s family thwarted an evil spirit’s rise to power. Now, the evil spirit wants revenge on all Winklevoss’s, beginning with Jules. As if evil spirit problems aren’t enough, add best friend drama, unattainable boy crushes, and homework to the mix, and needless to say, high school is going to be dreadful. Jules is determined to protect her family and keep herself alive, even if that means delving into the world of the dead.
My Kindle Scout campaign for my book, The Light of Supremazia ended this week. Unfortunately, my book was not selected to be published by Kindle’s publishing house.
Stay tuned for another blog post with the link to buy the book on Amazon through their Kindle Direct Publishing website (aka self publishing).
I am sad, but as I mentioned in my first post at the beginning of the campaign, it was a great marketing effort and a way to get supporters involved.
As the days ticked by and I reviewed my stats, I had a feeling I wouldn’t win. The are bloggers out there with tens of thousands of followers. When they post their book on Kindle Scout, they automatically have tons of votes. I’m not saying this is unfair, just a reality. Blogging and writing books isn’t my day job, so I was starting from a few yards behind already.
I also wonder if the cover sells the book on these crowd-sourcing campaigns. How many people actually read the free excerpt from my book?
Or perhaps September is a bad month to market a young adult book since most kids are back in school?
Kindle Scout is vague when it comes to the actual parameters to “win.” For others who are looking to try Kindle Scout, here are the stats from my campaign:
Its fun inventing things for my novel. I love putting a fantasy twist on existing items. Here are two of my favorite from my book, The Light of Supremazia. It’s trending as HOT on Kindle Scout! Three days left to vote for it on Kindle Scout! CLICK HERE!!!
GhostFeed is a social, content-driven news and media site reporting all things relating to the spirit-seeing world. It has updates on the latest spirit gossip and nostalgic lists of spirit-seeing pasts.
Wikispirits is a collaborative encyclopedia about all things spirit related. Want to know who was the first principal of Vita Post Mortem Academy? Look it up on Wikispirits.
Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout here!
What do you invent for your fantasy novels?
What better time than now to tell you about my serendipitous moment with Jimmy Fallon?
The Year: 2003. It was Christmas time during my freshman year at New York University.
Thirty-Fourth Street was lit up with strands of red and green lights and packed with tourists.
My best friend, Emily, had taken the Long Island Railroad, and when I picked her up from Penn Station, she gave the bums a tentative glance.
I was going to assuage her concerns. I had just finished my first semester, and felt on top of the world. Manhattan was my kingdom, and I was going to show my best friend how I reigned as queen.
We walked along Sixtieth Street arm and arm, our heads held high, immune to the cold and unaware of our innocence. Bursting through the old time-y double doors, passing by the opulent and playful oddities, we announced our arrival. We were the most important people there.
I walked straight up to the distracted hostess…
…and put my hands on my hips…
…and right as the hostess looked up with a condescending smile, I felt someone push against my arm to get past.
I was the queen in her kingdom. No one was going to get their table before me.
I pulled up to my tallest height, pushed my elbows out a little more, and would. Not. Let. This. Person. Past.
Just as I was about to give this guy a piece of my New Yorker mind, I caught of glance at the line-cutter.
Giggles erupted. It was Jimmy Fallon.
Too high to notice, Jimmy probably didn’t have a clue what just happened, but Emily and I went from confident, controlled ladies of Manhattan to hysterical, little girls. We rushed out of the restaurant as quick as possible.
Unrelated to anything I just wrote, vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout! CLICK HERE!!! 6 days left!
There are 8 days left to vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout. CLICK HERE TO VOTE!
As the days for my Kindle Scout campaign wind down, I want to write about a place that inspires me to write.
I love the city that never sleeps. I have fond memories of taking the LIRR into the city with my mom to see our favorite shows. We get a kick out of trying new restaurants and shopping on Fifth Avenue.
I spent my college years at New York University, where the city was my playground, particularly around Washington Square Park. My friends and I took dance classes and drank beers at dive bars.
My working years introduced me to the financial district and TriBeCa as I crunched numbers at Goldman Sachs while the financial world crumbled around us.
Now, I sit on the opposite coast, dreaming about the Big Apple as I write fantasy fiction. My main character’s favorite city is always New York, and you can see why. It’s perfect.
Jules Winklevoss, the confident protagonist of my novel, has fond memories as well. She dreams of kickball games in Central Park….
…riding the subway with her best friend…
…and visiting the New York Public Library with her sister.
Want to know some of her other favorite spots? Vote for The Light of Supremazia and find out!
Book marketing is not a clear cut task. There are no guaranteed marketing plans, and there’s lots of advice out there that might not work for you.
Ensure you have a solid product, because content is king. Otherwise, the rest is up in the air.
Since there are no foolproof promises, I thought I would try as many techniques as I could. One friend’s blog advised to jump on the newest trends and try to ride the wave.
I liked that advice, so when another friend told me about #TagsForLikes.com, I went for it.
Once you download the app, you search for the topic you will be instagramming about, and the app provides all the trending hashtags. Copy those hashtags into your post and voila! My post below tripled the amount of likes I had been receiving.
So far, it seems to be working pretty well.
Perhaps it’s a stupid trend, but as Einstein says:
Speaking of Einstein, want to hear more of his witty quotes? Vote for my book, The Light of Supremazia, on Kindle Scout. It’s about a school run by spirits, and Einstein’s a teacher!
I think coming up with a cast for your book is a great exercise. Just like pinning ideas on a pinterest page, it helps you determine qualities of your characters and brainstorm traits you didn’t think about.
I put together a cast for my book currently posted on Kindle Scout, The Light of Supremazia! It’s about kids who can see spirits and attend a high school run by famous dead people.
Jules Winklevoss would be played by Kiernan Shipka, also known as Sally Draper from the Mad Men series. Just like Jules Winklevoss, she can be tough, brave, snotty, and vulnerable at the same time.
Jules has two best friends at Vita Post Mortem Academy. Dahlia Langdon is the shy and awkward friend who grew up in a prestigious, broken family. She would be played by Ariel Winter from Modern Family.
Jules’s other best friend, Logan Klomp, is a know-it-all, lovesick half-Asian dude who doesn’t care about fitting in. He would be played by Nickelodeon’s Ryan Potter.
Jules’s equally brazen, but less approachable, sister, Sharpee Winklevoss would be played by Emma Watson. Honestly, I picked Emma because she looks a bit like Kiernan, and of course I loved her as Hermione.
Sharpee’s best (and only) friend is Chase Hastings, a rich kid, living in his older brother Ryder Hastings the Third‘s perfect shadow. Chase and Ryder would be played by Nash Overstreet (from the band Hot Chelle Rae) and Chord Overstreet (Glee).
Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!
That’s a ton of hashtags!
As a millennial, it isn’t surprising that I LOVE social media. I am the person walking down the street with her phone in her hand. I guess I don’t need to “disconnect.” It’s fun to catch up with friends, or read local news, or post my favorite cat meme.
However, as an author, the task of sharing on social media is daunting. I don’t mind if my Aunt Sally doesn’t comment on my picture of dinner last night, but there is a negative outcome if people don’t like my author posts…they won’t read my books! The trick is to ensure the information you share is interesting and useful for the reader. Keep ’em coming back for more!
Today’s post is an example. I prepared the picture below, which is a setting for my book called The Light of Supremazia, and I’m going to write this blog post on managing your social media and post it on all my sites. The picture might be intriguing for a potential reader, but if not, at least they got some value out of my post on social media presence.
Here are all the sites today’s theme will be posted on:
Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!
In my view, ensuring proper sequence of events in a book includes two parts.
1) The flow of events has to make sense and connect the pieces of the story.
2) And perhaps more importantly, unnecessary events that do not add to the story should be left out.
For example, your character has to turn the appropriate age to drive before they can take their driving test. A birthday and then a drivers test is a sensible order.
However, we may not need to know she turned the appropriate age, then she chatted with her Mom, then she walked to the coffee shop, then she stepped in the DMV, and then she failed her driving test.
Tell the reader what they need to know in an order that makes sense.
For my book, The Light of Supremazia, students attend a school run by spirits. Here’s a calendar depiction of the events the students participate in:
Vote for The Light of Supremazia on Kindle Scout!