My ‘failed’ wide experiment: update on Royal Scales series

Hey all! So it’s a bummer–it is what it is–and I’m ultimately happy with having tried the ‘wide experiment.’ Why? Because if nothing else, we garnered a couple new reviews (favorable which is nice, but we like getting any and all reviews even if they might hurt) my favorite one coming from a lovely blogger, Greta Cribbs, who featured Once Lost Lords Royal Scales Book 1 as her Indie Book of the Month for June! How awesome is that? Here’s a little snippet from her post:

This time it was an urban fantasy with…gulp…vampires and werewolves. I almost rejected it outright just from reading the blurb, but my submission policy clearly states that I will at least read the sample chapters before making a decision. I wasn’t expecting much. So many people have come along, in the aftermath of Twilight, trying to write the vampire/werewolf story, that I was sure nothing original could come out of the genre, but I was wrong. This month’s book proved me wrong.

I submitted the book on her blog and there were quite a few others who submitted their books in the comments, so to have been selected and then to have surprised her with how much she enjoyed it, well… it makes me even more proud of Stephan.

That aside, as far as the ‘fail’ part of my wide experiment, this is for those of you who like numbers:

Permafree since Feb. 2017

  • Amazon total free books:  5,643
  • Kobo total free books: To be fair, we went direct with them as of March. Their free book counter never worked while with them the only number I have from them is 95, I’m sure it’s more but we’ll never know the true total.
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) total free books: 65
  • D2D (Draft2Digital vendors Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc…) total free books: 687
  • Smashwords total free books: 32

So a little over 6,000 free books, which yay?! I’m going to attribute all reviews from Feb. 2017 to the permafree experiment – we started with 5 reviews on Amazon and it went up 7 reviews! While that doesn’t seem so great, consider the last review before this all started was Nov 2016 *gasp*. We got our first new review in March and 6 more trickled in, it was nice!

Okay great, so what does this mean? I’m not sure, but here’s more numbers:

  • Amazon: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 109 sales
  • Amazon: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 95 sales (a good portion of the total was from the $0.99 preorder price THANK YOU all you awesome people who preordered!)
  • Kobo: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 19 sales
  • Kobo: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 5 sales
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) = 1 sale
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Trials of the Chief (Book 3) = 1 sale
  • D2D: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 9 sales
  • D2D: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) April-May = 9 sales
  • Smashwords: 0 for both since I did not list book 2 or 3 there… honestly I’d pretty much forgotten about them >.>

Total of 248 sales… hmmm compared to 6,000 free books that seems underwhelming, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m wrong, but Stephan basically said if it’s not making traction wide then it needs to return to KDP Select. And that’s what I did, so –shameless plug here– the entire Royal Scales series is now free to read with Kindle Unlimited. I do wish I hadn’t pulled them from wide so quick, as some of you may have noticed the books got brand-spankin’ new covers that better depict the genre (Urban Fantasy) and I noticed with each passing month as wide–even though it was only 1 or 2 sales–there were more copies being sold with each month. Oh well… maybe I’ll get to try again with another series.

*Edited to add – I just re-read my prior post about going wide and permafree with book 1 in the series and wanted to mention we still never got the elusive Bookbub even with the new covers and being widely available!

What do you awesome readers think? Was it a ‘fail’? Do you love/like/hate the new covers? Feel free to comment below!

Amazon Giveaway – Ends Tonight – Enter to Win a Fire Tablet :) Oh and Trials of the Chief published today!

Hi!

So I just want to apologize for the email that went out yesterday about a ‘newsletter’ poll… you’d think I would have this figured out by now, right? *sigh* Anywho! I wanted to let you all know about the Amazon giveaway we’re running that ends tonight.

Amazon giveaway for 8GB Fire Tablet here! Haven’t entered an Amazon giveaway before? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Requirements for participation:
    • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
    • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
    • Follow Stephan Morse on Amazon

And that’s it! (the top two are per Amazon, the last one was our requirement for entering).

And in other news… Trials of the Chief Royal Scales book 3 is out now! Thank you to all who requested an advanced review copy and read the book, reviews are much appreciated and welcomed!

StephanMorseT3.jpg

Headtalker Campaign for Trials of the Chief Request: We need your help!

Hi all!

We have a campaign on Headtalker for Trials of the Chief that is in need of support, want to know more? This is the “How it Works” directly from the website:

What is HeadTalker?

HeadTalker is a crowdspeaking platform that allows a group of people to share a single message at the same time.

How do I add support?

Choose one or more of your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn accounts to grant HeadTalker permission to post this campaign’s message on your behalf. If the campaign reaches its supporter goal by the end date, HeadTalker will automatically post your message and all other supporters’ messages at the same time.

A note on your privacy

When you log into HeadTalker using your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or LinkedIn account, you’re allowing our platform to share a single message on your behalf. That’s all. We use the absolute minimum permissions possible to post a message on your behalf. The social media platforms we integrate with sometimes include additional permissions that we do not use.

Any support is greatly appreciated, plus if you have a campaign or plan one for the future you can leave a comment on this post and I’ll happily support you!

And for a limited time, Trials of the Chief is $0.99 on pre-order and will return to $3.99 the  day of release. You can pre-order here! (Pick your favorite retailer)

 

Do you have a Headtalker campaign? Feel free to share the link to it in the comments!

Thank you all! 🙂

Going “wide”, permafree experiment, and ARC reader request (again)

3BK_promo

Hi all, Samantha here!

As you may (or may not) have noticed, the Royal Scales series went “wide” a few months back, what does “wide” mean? Well, it means the series is no longer available through the Kindle Unlimited program where it is required to be exclusively offered through Amazon. It is available at almost every book retailer except Google Play.

Why did we go wide? Because the series didn’t gain the same traction as Continue and I wanted to experiment with being more widely available plus having the option to make book 1 ‘permafree’ as a lead in to the other books in the series. While there are currently only two books out as of this posting, with book 3 releasing in April, I thought it would be a good time to go forward with the permafree book 1 and as such it is now available free! The link can be found here on the blog, or on the sidebar by clicking the cover for Once Lost Lords.

The following stats are from 2/20/2017-Today:

980 free books  – Amazon ~~ 12 free books – Smashwords ~~ 31 free books – Draft2Digital

So 3 weeks and 1,000+ books with minimal advertising/free advertising avenues.

New reviews? 0

I was hoping, more than anything, reviews would come from the free copies – maybe that’s naive or now an outdated strategy, perhaps it needs more time, but I promised Stephan if nothing came from being “wide” and permafree I would end the experiment. I’ll likely give it another month, maybe two… anyway, I thought sharing the current stats would be an interesting read.

We are still looking for some ARC readers for Trials of the Chief Royal Scales Book 3 with the intent of leaving an honest review, if you’re interested please email frustratedwriting AT gmail DOT com and I will happily provide an ePub or Mobi version. Also due to my mess up, Trials of the Chief is available in paperback format on Amazon, ARC readers can either wait until the eBook releases on April 25th or feel free to leave the review on the paperback version since they will eventually link.

PB

I also wanted to update about The Fiasco – I completed the ‘edits’ of book 1 (there’s 4 more chapters I think he’ll be posting to his WordPress soon?) the next step is for him to review/make changes to the comments I’ve left and then it’ll be shipped over to our editor in early April. We’re on track for a July release at this point, and if you missed it, Jeff Hays of Soundbooth Theater Live on Twitch.com read part of the first chapter of The Fiasco on 3/5/17 starts around 22:00 – Jeff then finishes the chapter on 3/12/17 – it reads very well and we are seriously considering getting the audio book done to release with the eBook/Print versions.

Oh, one last request, I promise! I need to know how readers feel about pre-ordering books, do you feel as though a discount is required if you’re pre-ordering in advance? A lot of books I see available for a special $0.99 pre-order and then they increase the price of the book to it’s normal price a few days after release. Does this work for you? Are you more likely to pre-order for  $.99 vs. $3.99?

As always, thank you for reading this far if you did! I hope to hear from you, please feel free to leave comments below 🙂

 

 

Free Fantasy and Sci Fi eBooks! Plus News and Updates

happy girl reading book by the window in winter

Hi everyone, Samantha here! I know it’s been a while since I last posted, but with Stephan’s back issues I had a lot more on my plate, he has since improved but still feels shaky at times walking around. We’re moving forward on projects nevertheless and I have some exciting news to share.

As you can see from the clickable banner above, free eBooks are being offered from now until the 28th of this month, specifically fantasy/sci fi. Among the 18 books is Once Lost Lords Royal Scales book 1, if you haven’t had a chance to read it you can do so now, for FREE! Please check it out and feel free to share the page with others, they are even hosting a giveaway for an awesome coffee mug-seriously, I want it! Click HERE to visit the page.

i-am-a-book-dragon-mug

All right, news:

As promised last month, the cover reveal for Trials of the Chief Royal Scales Book 3!

webrsb3

I am very pleased with how this came out! Do you guys like it? ALSO – we are looking for some ARC readers – 20 or so, if you’re interested in reading Trials of the Chief (fully edited version – different from the draft version on the website) with the intention of leaving an honest review – please send an email to frustratedwriting AT gmail DOT com. Haven’t read books 1 and 2 yet? Please let us know in the email and we’ll happily send you a copy of each book, .epub and .mobi format available. The official release date of the book is April 25th, 2017 and is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Kobo, and iTunes.

And the last bit of news for today, Stephan finally dipped his toe into the ACX audio book route and we’re happy to announce that Continue Online Memories (Book 1) will begin recording as of March 1st with hopefully a release by the end of March!

audio

Continue Online and Royal Scales Update

 

 

Hi guys, Samantha here with a short blog post!

As promised I’m updating to share that both Continue Online Book 2 and Royal Scales Book 2 have completed professional editing and the new manuscripts have been uploaded to all available channels.

What does this mean for those of you who already have a copy? Well, if you purchased either book through Amazon you’ll have to contact their customer service and request the book to be “unlocked” to update to the latest version since it is not an automatic process (not for us anyway!)

Continue Online Book 3 is currently being worked on by our fabulous editor, Cassie @ Joy Editing, and is due back on November 20th THEN Book 4’s edits begin on November 21st! We are going back-to-back with these edits, as the 5th and final book of Continue Online edits starts on December 1st — that’s right, it’ll be fully edited before releasing in January 2017. Oh…and a little tease, our cover for Book 5 is done and we will be doing a reveal sometime later this month!

One last note before my “short” post ends-we received another review of Once Lost Lords by lovely Hannah over at Paperback Reading and More. Please check it out!

Enjoy your morning 😉

 

Friday Face-Off – Friday 4th November

Hi guys, Samantha here!

So as you all know Stephan is participating in NaNoWriMo which doesn’t leave a lot of time for new posts or content. Today’s reblog comes from Steven over at Books and Beyond Reviews where he’s awesomely featured Stephan’s covers for Royal Scales Book 1 – if you hadn’t noticed we got a sparkling brand new cover designed by Dafeenah @ IndieDesignz and we couldn’t be happier and the consensus so far on his post is that others seem to like it also!

Thank you so much, Steven, and we’re looking forward to the review!

Books and Beyond Reviews

Friday Face-Off is an idea originally thought up by Books By Proxy which I stole from the fantastic The Tattooed Book Geek. The idea originally was to compare UK and US covers based on an assigned theme each week and choose the winning cover. I will be twisting it slightly: not specifically US and UK covers, just different editions.

This week’s theme is a cover with a wanderer: “Nomad is an island.”

I am currently reading a fantastic fantasy book called Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse. Earlier this week he kindly sent me his hot-off-the-press new cover art for the book, which is perfect for the book, and lent well to this theme.

Cover A:
oll1

Cover B:
oll2

Cover C:
oll3

And the winner is… COVER B!

When Stephan informed me he was working with an artist on a new cover for this book, I was excited to see what they would…

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