Monthly Archives: November 2013

The purpose of giveaways and Dolbin School for the Extraordinary giveaway on Goodreads

First the Promotion

I’m giving away 10 signed copies of Dolbin School for the Extraordinary on Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dolbin School for the Extraordinary by Martin Tiller

Dolbin School for the Extraordinary

by Martin Tiller

Giveaway ends December 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And if you wanted to just pay for a signed copy just email me and I’ll send one out. I’ve been too lazy to get a link up on the autograph page.  Eventually I’ll get one out.

Why Do This?

For those of you that follow this blog in hopes of learning about indie publishing, I have found Goodreads giveaways a decent way of getting good reviews, meeting new bloggers, and gaining fans.  As I wrote before that we need to be dandelions, you just never which thing you do will take root and spread.  Try everything and be willing to fail.

This is a wonderful review that I got on Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien.

I do recommend that when you do a giveaway that you send a personal note, both in an email and in a letter with the book asking for a review.  I started doing that with the second Kevin book and got more reviews on Goodreads because of that technique.  Kevin and the Three-Headed Alien has more text reviews than Kevin and the Seven Lions does on Goodreads, and I think that is because I started asking for reviews when I did the giveaway.

If you have done a giveaway, I would love to hear your experience.  Leave a comment sharing your experience.


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Thankful for Technology, Creativity, and just plain Luck.

I’m 40.  I should be a curmudgeon.  But I love 21st century technology.  I love Amazon.  I love Youtube. I love Google Docs, and I love my Skydrive, since I can access Word apps on my phone.

And unlike most people my age I think technology has made life better.  A lot better.

Like most indie-writers I go through bouts of obsessively checking my Amazon numbers.  (Note to self-stop that.)  But in the midst of an obsessive Amazon checking episode I noticed that I should some ebooks in Germany and the UK this past week.  Wait?  What!

I’ve never been to Germany.  I’ve been to Oktoberfest at Busch Gardens, but not Germany.


I guess this is Oktoberfest.

I had a stop over at Heathrow airport at some point the 20th century.  But I’ve not visited England this century.

So how did I sell some books in the UK and Germany?

I honestly have no earthly idea.

Whoever bought them, I hope they like them.  Thank you for giving me a chance!

What a different time we live in.  You don’t need to throw yourself at the mercy of the gatekeepers in New York and LA.  Make your own creation and let others decide if it should live.

I am thankful for living in a time that allows me to do that.

Dolbin School for the Extraordinary is free today and tomorrow.

The free days on Amazon aren’t the same as they once were just a short 10 months ago.  But they can still bring in reviews and get drive people to other books.  So anyway my newest books is free today and tomorrow, but I don’t see me using another free day after that.

If you do pick it up, please leave a review, because you’re awesome.  You know you are.

Dolbin Kindle Cover

Click here to get the book at Amazon.

New Paperback proof for Dolbin School for the Extraordinary.

Got the first proof back today for the paperback of Dolbin.  Tonight’s lesson is I see formatting issues that I should have caught in Photoshop and Indesign, but I didn’t see until I had a physical copy in hand.  Lesson learned.

It will be ready soon, and when it is it will be definitely be a part of the Matchbook program.

Dolbin Proof

This one is big enough to fit the title and my name on the spine.

Is Select Back? Kindle Countdown Promotions – yet another reason why Amazon continues to win.

I have tried twice to expand my horizons, leave KDP select, and sell in other stores, but I give up.  No sales in Barnes and Noble, while Amazon continues to sell.  Both times just when I thought I was out they pull me back in.  (That last sentence is to be read in an Al Pacino voice.)  Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords and Apple’s only approach seems to be, “Hey, we’re not Amazon.”  Great.


They pull me back in!

Amazon has just unveiled its Countdown Deals Promotion, and to me it looks to be a winner.  Here’s how it works, you set a discount for your book and Amazon puts it on sale.  At the same time it puts in a whole category, a category for just these promotions, yet another way for customers to discover your books. And a category that is sitting on the front page of Amazon.

Why is this different?

Before I could set my own promotion, by republishing my book by resetting the price. And within the description I state the current promotion I am running. I recently ran a promotion where the book was lowered to 99 cents and that the book would go back to 2.99 after Halloween.  But the book wasn’t put in a separate category or given special promotion, it was all on whether or not people found the book.  When doing a promotion this people will now find the book much easier, the original digital price is still visible, and there is a countdown clock urging customers to hurry up and purchase.  Wins all around.

Kindle Countdown Deal

A whole new category. A huge new level of visibility.


Part of the original promotion for Select was the ability to set a book free for 5 days.  That is still an option, but an author must now choose between the free days or promotion.  Amazon has been throttling free books over the last several months, thus making Select less attractive.  As authors know free books did not count in regular sales, but now these promotional sales are regular sales and can possibly help move a book back of best seller lists.  Free books only work in the algorithm after the free promotion has gone off.  I am going to assume that sales during the promotion will count immediately thus moving the book further up the best seller and popular lists.  No need to wait two days to see the results of your promotion.

The Basics

You also need to wait 30 days before your promotion begins after enrolling in KDP select.  You cannot change your price, so in others set it and forget it.  Other wise, you really don’t have a regular price.

You keep 70% royalties on your promotion if your regular price is between $2.99 and $9.99.  So you can take a $2.99 book, promote it at 99 cents and get 70 cents as opposed to the 35 cents as it used to be.

Amazon really wants books to be priced in the $2.99 to $9.99.  There is an ocean of data supporting that these prices are best.

The Other Stores

I don’t like only selling my ebooks through Amazon, but Amazon actually promotes my books.  Putting them up at Barnes and Noble, and Kobo was like putting them on an infinite pile and hoped that someone would see them.  At this point in my career, as I build my audience, I need Amazon to be promoting my books.  That’s something Barnes and Noble, and Kobo didn’t seem up to.