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Monday, January 23, 2012


Free Book Promotion Results

Greetings and welcome to Self-Publishing Central. Thanks for stopping by.

Today I’m going to give you a summary of the results of my recent Free Book Promo for my suspense/thriller, THE COVERT ELEMENT. I promise you, this will be an interesting read.


Book Title: THE COVERT ELEMENT (Published in May, 2011)

Pre-promo Book Kindle Ranking: >#100,000.

Requirement to hold promo: Sign THE COVERT ELEMENT up for KDP Select Program

When promo held: Jan 10 & 11 (Tues & Weds), more precisely, 12 am PST Tues to 12am PST Thurs.

Book Pricing: Decided to leave the Kindle book price at $6.99, where all my books have been priced for most of the year.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with this giveaway. I had done book giveaways on my website, on this blog, and on Twitter before. Never was I able to give away so many as 25 FREE books. However, I was inspired by the detailed Free Promo results David Wisehart posted in his nine consecutive blog posts. So I thought I’d give it a try.

These were my (very optimistic) hopes for the promo:

Maybe give away as many as 8,000 or 9,000 books.
Maybe get into the Kindle Free Top 100.
Maybe sell 500-700 books after the free period ended.

As you will see, these “hopes” fell well short of the realities this promo achieved. I should have dared to hope bigger.

Here are some key facts and statistics from the two days during which my book was free to buy from Amazon:

Books given away: Over 25,000, including >1000 in UK and at least 1 in on every Amazon site.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking: #10.
Highest Free Kindle Suspense Ranking: #1.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking in the UK: #84

Okay. So the giveaway portion of the promo was fantastic! 25,000 books out to potential readers. I was thrilled. But how would all these free books affect my sales? Had I given away any hope of selling even more books?

I’m thankful to say that quite the opposite was the case. Here are some relevant rankings and statistics from the first 7 days that THE COVERT ELEMENT was back in the paid column on Kindle:

Highest Paid Kindle Ranking – #162 (achieved 3 days after promo)
Highest Paid Kindle Suspense Ranking – #13.
Highest Paid Kindle Movers & Shakers Ranking – #45.
Highest on Kindle Most Popular List – #12.
Ranking at end of First Seven Days Post Promo: Approx. #800

Okay, those rankings were a big improvement from the book’s pre-promo status. But how do the rankings translate into sales? (I had two other titles in the same series as THE COVERT ELEMENT, and since the promo substantially affected their sales, I am listing them here as well.)

Here’s what I have found out regarding that first seven-day paid period. These are actual numbers of kindle books sold at $6.99 each:

THE COVERT ELEMENT (Promo Book): >1,150


Compare this to my December monthly sales for the same titles:


Wow! I’d say the promo was a huge success in the sales column. I sold more than two year’s worth of Kindle books in seven days!

But you know, there is a new source of revenue in the Kindle world these days – royalties from the KDP Select Library. In December, publishers (in my case, that’s me) were paid $1.70 per borrow of their books. It is uncertain whether that per-book figure will increase or decrease. But in any case, it appears to have some value beyond the minuscule. So here are the number of Borrows during the seven days post promo:


–     There have been four reviews from Free Promo book readers on Amazon so far – three Five Star and one Four Star.

–     The “Liked” button for The Covert Element on Amazon went from 4 to 34 since the promo started.

No promotion can be successful without the help of many people. Here are a few who helped me a ton with this promotion. Please forgive me if I omit your name. There were so many. And I truly appreciate you all.

Websites that helped promote the Free Book Promo:                       
Reviewers Roundup on FaceBook
LinkedIn Writers Groups
My FaceBook Author Page
Twitter – Especially members of The Independent Author Network (#IAN1)

Special thanks to:

David Wisehart and his blog at:

David’s detailed coverage of his 9 day promo and post promo results inspired me to try a free promo in the first place.

L.M. Stull – Who tweeted David’s blog. That’s how I found all of David’s great info.

All members of IAN who tirelessly tweeted and RT’d the availability of my books.

My many other Twitter and FaceBook friends who so faithfully spread the word. (Far too numerous to name, but each was crucially important.)

Finally, I credit the huge success of this promo to God. You heard me correctly. I have been praying for direction in my life. And I have specifically asked God whether I should continue writing novels. I think the results of this promo provide a clear answer. Without Him, nothing is possible.

Well...I think you’ll agree that the promo was a success by any measure. If you feel moved to give this marketing strategy a try, I’d say, “Go for it.” Honestly, there are so many potential book buyers out there, even if you gave away 100,000 copies, there’d still be millions of them left. It’s essentially an endless supply of potential readers.’s not endless. But after you sell a million or so books, who cares?

That’s it for today. I encourage comments and suggestions that can help every self-published author make the most of this marketing opportunity.



PS: I have another free book promo going on THIS WEEK Tues and Weds, Jan 24 and 25, for A HIGHER COURT. Please take a copy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CreateSpace Offers Pro-Plan Benefits for FREE

Hello all. Thanks for stopping in at Self-Publishing Central.
I just have a brief notice for you today from CreateSpace, one of today's most popular POD providers.

In the past, in order to receive reduced pricing on print costs of your book, and to have access to multiple distribution channels, such as Ingram and Roberts & Stevens, CreateSpace authors need to pay an addition $36 to $39 per title to join the Pro Plan. 

CORRECTION: Now reduced book pricing is available FREE to all CreateSpace authors. A charge of $25 per title will be assessed to access expanded distribution channels.

This is GREAT news!

Here's the announcement I received a few minutes ago via email.


As a member with Pro Plan, we're emailing to let you know that Pro Plan is being discontinued  as of January 18, 2012. We're now offering industry-leading royalties, low costs on copies of your books and improved distribution options to all our members, free of charge.
Here's how you are impacted:
·         The availability of your title(s) through our free Standard Distribution channels, including and CreateSpace eStore, will remain unchanged.
·        If you purchased Pro Plan for any of your titles, the availability of those titles through Expanded Distribution channels will remain unchanged.  You have the option to change enrollment in Expanded Distribution channels at no charge. To make your selections, go to your Project Homepage, click Channels, select your Expanded Distribution channels, and hit Save.
·         You'll continue to receive the benefit of improved royalty payouts due to lower unit costs on orders for all your titles.
We value your membership and we're here to help if you have any questions.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Free Genuine Amazon Kindle Ebook NOW!

Greetings all,

I'm hijacking my blog today for a bit of self-promotion. I'm hoping it's something you all will enjoy anyway, because it's an opportunity to get a free Kindle copy of my newest novel, THE COVERT ELEMENT.

Here are the details:

WHEN: Tuesday, January 10th and Wednesday, January 11th.
WHERE: The Covert Element at Amazon
WHY: This is my best opportunity to expose new readers to my books -- to let them try one for FREE. What have you got to lose?

HOW: In the US, just click on the link and download your FREE Kindle book from Amazon.
IN THE UK: Use this link instead.

Please confirm that the book price is listed as $0.00. Sometimes it takes Amazon an extra couple hours to complete the price adjustment.

After these two days, this book will not be offered for free again. It will return to its regular price of $6.99 in the US.

Here's the book cover and summary:

SILVER MEDAL - 2011 Readers Favorite Book Awards.
Former military intelligence operative, James “Beck” Becker and his CIA code-cracking wife, Beth, have retired to Beck’s hometown of Red Wing, Minnesota. Their retirement has already proven more exhilarating than they’d expected.

But they could never have anticipated the new source of crime and intrigue in their small community. A Mexican drug cartel has set up shop a few miles down the road. And they’re not just selling. The new meth production facility is the largest north of the Rio Grande.

To complicate matters further, Terry “Bull” Red Feather’s former comrade-in-arms has come to visit. And he’s on a mission. His decades-long assault on the cartels is coming to a head. His plan is to blow up the drug plant . . . if he can find it. He wants Bull to help.

The Beckers’ challenge? To dismantle cartel operations before a full-blown drug war breaks out in Red Wing.

Get one for yourself and gift as many as you like to friends through Amazon's gifting button.

Hope you enjoy the free read.



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Interview with Author Jennifer Chase

 Author, Jennifer Chase

Hello all. Thanks for stopping by Self-Publishing Central. 

Today we welcome crime thriller author, Jennifer Chase, who has graciously agreed to take time out from her busy schedule busting perps to grant us a brief interview.

John: Hey, Jennifer. How's it going today?
Jennifer: Great, John. Thanks for inviting me to visit with your followers.
John: Okay. Let's kick things off with the basics. How about your bio?
Jennifer: Here's the formal into I generally use:
BIO: Jennifer Chase holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists. Her intense curiosity into the psychological aspect of crime is what drives her to write crime fiction. She has published four crime thrillers and one screenwriting workbook.  She lives in California, where she's currently at work on her next book.
John: Please tell us a bit about your book: Dark Mind (Emily Stone Series #3) - characters, plot, etc.

Jennifer: A Serial Killer Plagues an Island Paradise.
Vigilante detective Emily Stone continues her covert pursuits to find serial killers and child abductors, all under the radar while shadowing police investigations.

Emily searches for an abducted nine-year-old girl taken by ruthless and enterprising slave brokers. Following the clues from California to the garden island of Kauai, she begins to piece together the evidence and ventures deep into the jungle.

It doesn’t take long before Emily is thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracy. Locals aren’t talking as a serial killer now stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are unprepared for what lies ahead. In a race against the clock, Emily and her team must identify the killer before time runs out.

John: If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

Jennifer: I would love to meet my heroine Emily Stone because she inspires and reminds me how we all need to look out for one another. However, she’s smarter and definitely tougher than I am.  She’s a character that goes out and does what we “would like to” do in order to assist law enforcement by finding serial killers and rescuing children from abduction.

John: If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

Jennifer: Ever since I was a little girl I’ve wanted to solve a mystery – something that has been on the books for a while, like a cold murder case or a great train robbery.  I would fictionalize myself as a character that’s a cross between Nancy Drew, Jessica Fletcher, and a smidge of the Scooby Doo gang.  This character would be light hearted, but making a difference in solving crimes that have been forgotten by law enforcement and the general public.
John: Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your "writing mood"?

Jennifer: Well… the cat is out of the bag. I write barefooted.  Yep, I’ve admitted my weird writer quirk.  I like to write in my home office where it’s quiet and with few distractions.  I find that I can get more done in a shorter period of time.  I don’t drink coffee, but you can find a large glass of mineral water with a slice lemon sitting on the corner of my desk.  When I’m writing, I have classical piano playing even when I’m writing a stressful scene or inside the mind of a serial killer.

John: What are you reading right now?

Jennifer: I just finished a great thriller Hunter by Robert Bidinotto and I’m in the middle of a fun, local mystery A Slice of Carmel by Barbara Chamberlain.  In addition, I’m frequently referring to many of my non-fiction textbooks on forensics, criminal profiling and serial homicide.

John: Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

Jennifer: I love so many authors.  The authors that stand out for me and what you’ll find on my bookshelf right now are Dean Koontz, JT Ellison, Vince Flynn, Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles) David Baldacci, Stephen King, Jeffrey Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme Series), Lee Child (Jack Reacher rules), many independent authors (the list seems to grow everyday), and the list goes on…

John: If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Jennifer: This is a great question! I’m torn, but I would pick Shakespeare.  Why you ask?  I have some questions for him about his insight into murder, crime, psychology and the motivations of people in general.  I think he was a criminologist of sorts.

John: Okay, here are a few "get to know you better" questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

Jennifer: There’s so many!  From childhood, I would say the times I spent riding horses from the ages of seven to about fourteen years old.  That was a much gentler and wonderful time in my life.  As an adult, getting married on the island of Kauai with all of those wonderful memories my husband and I have shared together.  My own personal independent favorite memory would have to be the experience training my Labrador with the local police K9 units. 

John: Please describe a perfect meal - including menu and those present.

Jennifer: Perfect meal… so many tasty entrees to choose from… It would have to be an authentic Caesar salad, a perfect medium rare filet mignon, mango seasoned rice, assorted steamed vegetables, a nice red wine, and crème brulee for dessert.  This meal would be perfect to share with family and friends, especially people I haven’t seen in a while.  It would be nice to have everyone all together for a perfect meal.  Did I write the word “perfect” too many times in my answer?

John: What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

Jennifer: I love to take leisurely hikes around my California area up in the hills, around the forests of the state parks, and along the beaches.   It’s a way for me to completely relax and just concentrate on my surroundings.  It’s a stress reliever for me and sometimes I get some of my best novel ideas. 

John: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Jennifer: This is a difficult question, but I’d have to say Greece.  I’m not sure why because I’ve never visited, but I would love to spend some time writing there.  It’s a magnificent, picturesque area with wonderful food and a warm culture. 

John: I know this is an inconceivable thought, but if you could only read books by one author, who would it be?

Jennifer: Yikes only one author!  My pick would be the entire library of Dean Koontz.  He blends genres of mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and paranormal.  I wouldn’t get bored reading his books more than once.

John: Share with us a few of your dreams.  Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

Jennifer: I’m sure that many writers share this dream to be a household name.  That would be wonderful along with my own personal getaway beach house.  But, seriously I would like to make a difference in some way, bigger than my own personal life.  There’s an organization called Project Pooch matching juvenile offenders with rescue dogs.  It’s an amazing project of rehabilitation for both parties involved and producing some great results.  I would love to be instrumental in a project like this in my area, especially with my background in criminology. 

John: What are some of your guilty pleasures?

Jennifer: Ice cream!!!  I can pass on most desserts and sweets, but I couldn’t live without my ice cream: butter pecan, chocolate chip, and French vanilla.  That reminds me, I need to buy another gallon at the grocery store!

John: If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

Jennifer: I may be exceedingly naive, but I like to stay hopeful and optimistic in the difficult days ahead.  We all should leave the world a little bit better than how we found it.

John: Jennifer, I really appreciate you visiting with us today at Self-Publishing Central. Perhaps we'll see you again when your next book comes out.
Jennifer: That would be fun. Thanks for having me today.

Check out Jennifer's latest book on Amazon or Nook. And visit her on The Independent Author Network at her member page.

Thank you all for coming by.