Archive for March, 2014

It’s going to take a long time to really process–not to say try out–the things I learned at IndieReCon. (BTW, almost all of the content (minus a few twitter chats and one facebook chat) is still available on their website.

I’ll focus on a couple of things I’m putting into action now.

Amazon Book Description:

This is the description that appears second on your book page, below the cover and price. It’s your chance to tell readers what the book is about, similar to a query letter in some ways. In fact, back-cover blurbs are very often what’s seen here. But you can do more than that.

What I didn’t know is that you can use some HTML tags in the description. I don’t know what all of the allowed tags are, but I know a few of them:

  1. <H2> </H2>This is a heading tag. On Amazon, it will make the text inside the tags appear larger, bold, and orange.
  2. <B></B> Bold

These are the only tags I’ve tried so far. I used them on the description for THE CHIMERIA OMNIBUS.


Take a look. Kind of snazzy.

Free Books:

This one’s kind of interesting. I’ve heard before that free books, particularly making the first book in a series free, can enhance sales. I kind of worked around this with BLOOD IS THICKER by making THE CHIMERIA OMNIBUS (containing both BLOOD WILL TELL and BLOOD IS THICKER) temporarily the same price as either book alone.

That turns out to have been me, well, not quite getting the point. Not the first time. It was the Write, Publish, Repeat podcast that made it clear to me. It’s not just giving the reader a bargain. It’s giving them a friction-free way to try before they buy. Something they don’t even have to think about, or not much. “Friction-free” as they described it.

It’s not the same as a free sample. Free samples, by their definition, end somewhere in the first fifth of the book. They aren’t complete. Now, if you have a series of three or more books (which I don’t yet), it can make very good sense to make the first book free. If people like it, they’ll likely buy the rest of the series. But that’s not the only way this can work.

What I’m working on now is polishing up the short story that was the genesis of THE BARD’S GIFT. The plan is to publish this for free, probably with a sample of the first couple of chapters of TBG at the back. It’ll take some time. I’ve sent the story out for some more critiques. I’ll need to find a new title for it. (“The Bard’s Gift” would likely be confusing.) Then there’s making a cover and formatting. Plus the time it will take to ask Amazon to make it permafree. Look for this some time in April.

When I get around to THE SHAMAN’S CURSE, “Becoming Lioness” will only need a brush-up to fulfill the same role. It’s already in the same world and involves some of the same characters as TSC.

More to come.

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