Little Gou and the Crocodile Princess New Release Sale!

Crocodile Princess  Front-med

Little Gou’s first novel-length adventure is now available on Kindle for just 99 cents for the month of September. Grab it now while you can!

The story:

“Every last member of the Mao family will die by the Hour of the Rat a fortnight from now.” 

With these words begins a race against time, as the roguish martial artist called Little Gou hunts across the back roads and waterways of Old China to find a young bride-to-be who has become a pawn of the mysterious Lady Moonlight. He must outwit friends and foes alike, all of whom are dancing to the Lady’s song, and unravel a scheme that could see thousands dead or enslaved and the Middle Kingdom aflame with rebellion if he fails. But, worst of all, he has to face the woman who abandoned him in the name of family duty- the love he can never be with, or forget. 

Influenced by Legendary Wuxia novel writers Gu Long and Jin Yong; and in the spirit of movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Little Gou and the Crocodile Princess is a martial arts action & adventure thriller set in the Jianghu martial underworld of Old China. Through a combination of wits, swordplay and kung fu, the martial artist Little Gou, and his companion the warrior nun Sister Cat, must uncover the truth behind a deadly plot to bring the martial underworld to its knees, or die trying.

 

Amazon’s “Secret” Kindle Category Passwords

Being a self-published writer is never an easy thing, it requires you to be half-writer/half-marketer to succeed, and the ever changing self-publishing world is full of all sorts of little tricks and traps. The traps are mostly about people trying to take your money for “services” you may or may not need, and the tricks are all about getting your book seen by the largest number of people. (And thus improving your chances of people buying your books!)

It doesn’t help that Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform is itself a giant labyrinth filled with ever changing rules and channels. One recent change is to their “Refine By” sub-categories, which can make a big difference in how your books are shown and presented.

Normally, when you self-publish a book on KDP you get to pick two categories for that book to be in. Say, “Romance>Historical” and “Romance”, and your book would be cataloged under those two categories and subcategories. The problem is that each category already has a certain number of titles in it, arrayed by their ranking on the site as a whole and other factors Amazon doesn’t reveal. So, for example, Romance>Historical has 24,420 ebooks in it at the moment, and Romance itself has 194,408 ebooks.

Good luck getting anyone to notice your nice new book in those piles!

Now, to make things a bit easier on authors, you also get seven “keywords” (which can actually be more than one word) that you can pick to describe your book. Traditionally more keywords could be added later by readers as well, and Amazon would use your keywords and theirs to add your book to a few extra “Refined by” sub-categories that you could only get to by Amazon employees adding your book to them.

Say, for example- Romance>Military. It’s a sub-category that exists, but they had to manually add you to that list if they thought you belonged and you didn’t have any say about it. Being included in that list could also be huge, because instead of competing with 195,408 ebooks the Romance category, your book might now be one of 3,128 books moving up and down within Romance>Military group. This could really help up your odds of being noticed and your books being sold.

And now, Amazon has changed their system. Instead of them adding you, if you use certain keywords when you register your book they act as passwords that automatically get your books added to these select lists! For example, if I included any of the the words “military, navy, army, soldier” among my keywords when I added my book to the Romance category my book would automatically be added to the Romance>Military “Refined by” sub-category. You can find a complete list of the “passwords” and more details on the KDP Selecting Browse Categories page, which you can then use to more accurately get your books into the sub-categories you think they belong to.

These will get your books into the “Refine by” lists you can see under the main category lists when you’re Browsing on Amazon, and those are definitely places you want to be to reach the most eyeballs. I’ve seen “Refine by” lists that have as few as 1 or 2 books- I kid you not! Can you imagine what getting your book onto a list that small would do for your chances of being noticed?

Of course, this is all about gaming the system, and I feel a little guilty talking about it. But then again, Amazon isn’t really hiding this, so why not take advantage of it while it’s still an advantage?

Good luck!

Rob

 

How To Sell Ebooks

From Joe Konrath’s blog:

How To Sell Ebooks

I just hit a milestone that is hard for me to grasp. As of January, I’ve sold over one million ebooks.

That’s a lot of ebooks.

The question I get asked more than any other is: How can I make my ebooks sell more copies?

That’s actually not the right question to ask. Because there is nothing you can do to make people buy your ebooks, except maybe hold them at gunpoint or kidnap their pets.

This business isn’t about what you have to sell. It is about what you have to offer. And luck plays a big part.

But I’ve found you can improve your odds. Here are some things I’ve done that have seemed helpful.

GOOD COVERS

I can’t overemphasize how important a good cover is. Hire a professional. And keep these things in mind:

1. At a glance, it should convey the type or genre of the book you’ve written.

2. It should be readable in grayscale.

3. It should be readable as a thumbnail.

4. Your name and the title should be large and clear.

There are other little tips that I recommend. Usually legacy book covers have a lot of writing on them, and that makes them subconsciously identifiable as professional. Taglines. Blurbs. “By the author of Whiskey Sour”. That sort of thing.

Your artist should know what vectors are, and the rule of three, and the importance of the color wheel, and all the other tricks used to make a cover pop.

If your sales are slow, consider getting a better cover.”

This is just the tip of the iceberg, lots more great advice at…

via A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing: How To Sell Ebooks.

The Fox’s Tale- Now Available on Kindle!

A disgraced musketeer without hope. An orphaned native child. A new frontier.

This collection of interconnected short stories follows fugitive Musketeer of the Black Gerard la Russo and his daughter Renard as they navigate life in New France (Canada) at the dawn of the 18th century.

Come get them while they’re hot!

I’ve released a Kindle version of my “Fox Cycle” stories under the title The Fox’s Tale for 99 cents (but free for Amazon Select customers). Funny, tragic, heartwarming and thrilling, these ten stories of a father and daughter trying to navigate life between old worlds and new will bring a smile to your face and a make your heart skip a few beats.

I apologize to my readers on other platforms, I’m going to hold out on the other e-book platforms for now, as I’m trying out Amazon Select to see if it makes a difference. It requires that I be Amazon exclusive while I’m trying it out. Sorry.

Rob

Free eBook: Suffer the Poisoner

 

“There’s poison in your soup.”

With these words, Little Gou is thrust into another adventure as he finds himself struggling to get the woman who poisoned him past an army of soldiers hunting her. Even if they can get past the army, their greatest challenge lies ahead- facing an ancient secret society who will stop at nothing to keep their existence hidden.

 

I’ve just released my newest Little Gou adventure, and I’m offering it for free for the next two weeks! Until July 2nd, if you go to Smashwords and enter the coupon code EG77P you can get it in the format of your choice absolutely free! All I ask is that if you enjoy it you leave a rating on Amazon, Smashwords or Goodreads to help me promote the story.