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Misadventures in Marketing

Capturing the Moment has been on sales for just over two months now (three if you count the Totally Bound early downloads). Here are some of the promotional tools I’ve used and how they have/n’t worked. Opinions are purely based on my experiences, your mileage my vary.

 

capturingthemoment_bookmark

Bookmarks

Totally Bound provided me with the jpegs to make bookmarks and postcards. I thought (and still think) that the bookmark is the better promotional tool. It fits into my wallet, and I can hand it out like a business card. That said, ordering 500 was absurdly optimistic on my part.

Given that I live in Singapore, there aren’t romance conventions where I can pass them out as swag. I assume over time I’ll eventually pass them out, but I think next time I’d keep it to 100 bookmarks at most. Specific to Singapore as well is the problem that it is a conservative, uptight culture. People generally are uncomfortable/don’t know what to do with the idea of erotic romance.

Virtual Book Tour

Eight different friends/bloggers were kind enough to let me guest post about my book before health problems made me pause the tour. I think that touring can be very effective to connect with a new audience, and it presents the opportunity to give out some of the free copies that Totally Bound provides to its authors.

It can be difficult to come up with topics, so here are some of the ones I used

  • How my experiences in Siem Reap inspired my setting
  • What music influenced me when writing Capturing the Moment
  • I interviewed my main characters, one at a time
  • I talked about how my main characters resembled myself and my spouse
  • I talked about writing persons of color as a white author
  • I was interviewed by two friends

giveaway

Amazon Giveaways

I gave away fifteen copies of Capturing the Moment. There were several lessons I learned about giveaways

  • Pick a reasonable number of books to give away (I suggest five to ten)
  • If you’re picking a ratio 1:5 finished the giveaway in less than an hour. 1:50 meant that I only gave away a few over two weeks.   My suggestions is to give away at a rate of 1:15 or 1:20.
  • I thought that I was asking people to follow my author page, but it actually had them following my personal reviews. In the end I think it’s easier to give the books away without any condition.

I then tried the experiment of giving away 10 books, but with a 1:50 win rate. Over two weeks just under two hundred people had entered and only three books had been given away. I did a first-come, first-serve giveaway for the seven books that were left over.

I have not gotten even one review, positive or negative from these giveaways. I don’t have figures from Amazon that tell me how many people who didn’t win still bought my book.

 

fb

Facebook Ads

I tried no less than ten different times to buy a facebook ad. My ads were rejected because RJ’s chest violated nudity standards, that my amazon book page was for “adult” material, and that my blog was also objectionable. I’m told that some people have been able to get FB ads through, but that FB rejects ads from everywhere at a high rate. (A friend is an editor for a diabetes magazine and they’ve had roughly half of their ads rejected for reasons that include “needles are icky.”) I am of the opinion that after you get three or five rejections, just move on.

Self Promotion

  • I have brought up my book with links at the end of a lot of my blog posts
  • I have advertised it on my twitter feed (which friends then retweeted)
  • I have advertised it on my own posts on Facebook (which friends have reposted)

 

How successful was I? I don’t know yet, because I haven’t seen my first round of royalties. It’s also impossible for me to know how effective each tool was.

I hope that my suggestions are helpful if you’re new to the game (as I still am).

Experienced authors–what promotional tools have you used and found valuable?

All Romance Sale—Today Only

For today (Monday, June 20, 2016), all Totally Bound and Pride Publishing books are on sale for 25% off!

That means Capturing the Moment and all other novellas are $2.81 instead of $3.75.

Click the link below for more discounted titles.

 

all romance promo

Even More Cambodia Photos (and a giveaway)

On Saturday, I shared photos of monks in honor of Vesak Day, and yesterday I posted photos of places that were featured in Capturing the Moment. Today I’m going to share a few last photos from my 2014 trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia. These are photos of things and places and people that/who do not appear in the book. All photos that feature a person were taken with their consent. If you wish to use a photo, please ask.

 

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As I shared yesterday, while schools are free in Cambodia, many children do not attend because they can’t afford the uniforms or textbooks. Children whose parents make a living at the temples, such as Angkor Wat, are often to put to work at a young age, selling postcards and other trinkets. Some are able to go to school (as school is a half-day program) and work, while others never get the chance. If you’re interested in helping out these children, you can

  • donate to the Cambodian School Project
  • shop the online store of Artisans of Angkor--a non-governmental agency that trains and employs over 1300 Cambodians to learn the art forms that were nearly wiped out by decades of warfare. I can attest that these are beautifully made products–I have a number of them in my house. (And yes, if you read the book and are wondering–I own both a linga & yuni, and mango massage oil)

If you haven’t entered it, don’t forget my Amazon giveaway for Capturing the Moment.

More Cambodia Photos (and a giveaway)

On Saturday, Vesak Day, I posted my photos of monks taken around Siem Reap, Cambodia. Today I’m going to share a selection of other photos from that trip. I limited today’s photos to a few places that appear in the book. I have done my best to put them in the correct order. If you’re interested in getting or using a specific photo, just reach out and ask.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While schools are free in Cambodia, many children do not attend because they can’t afford the uniforms or textbooks. Children whose parents make a living at the temples, such as Angkor Wat, are often to put to work at a young age, selling postcards and other trinkets. Some are able to go to school (as school is a half-day program) and work, while others never get the chance. If you’re interested in helping out these children, you can

  • donate to the Cambodian School Project
  • shop the online store of Artisans of Angkor--a non-governmental agency that trains and employs over 1300 Cambodians to learn the art forms that were nearly wiped out by decades of warfare. I can attest that these are beautifully made products–I have a number of them in my house. (And yes, if you read the book and are wondering–I own both a linga & yuni, and mango massage oil)

If you haven’t entered it, don’t forget my Amazon giveaway for Capturing the Moment.

Happy Vesak Day (and a giveaway)

Two years ago today I was in Cambodia, exploring the sites that would eventually form the setting for my book Capturing the Moment.

In honor of that anniversary, which happens/happened to coincide with Vesak Day (Buddha’s birthday), I’m sharing some of my photos of Buddhist monks, taken in Siem Reap, Cambodia. (If you want a copy of a photo or want to use a photo, just ask.)

In honor of Vesak Day, there was a grand gathering and procession of monks around Siem Reap. It happened to start at my hotel, which was a great opportunity to take some photos. In honor of the gathering, though, I ran into monks everywhere–at the temples, on the street, teachers taking their students around, and so forth. You’ll notice a lot of children–Cambodia is still a very poor country. If your son becomes a monk, he’ll be fed, clothed, and educated. Many families choose this path for their sons.

This is just a small sampling of my photos.

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I’m also giving away ten copies of Capturing the Moment on kindle (US residents 18+ only, sorry). Enter the Amazon Giveaway here.

updated so I could add captions!

Odds and Ends

I am unfortunately dealing with medical drama, and will be on and offline unpredictably over the next two weeks (at least). I will try to pop on here to do fast posts like today, though, as often as possible. When I’m having “good” days, I’ll probably write a few posts in advance and schedule them to try to provide content as much as I can

With that in mind, here are a few snippets..

 

Capturing the Moment

Oleander Plume interviewed me over at her blog. Come check out our conversation to learn what I always have near me when I write, and what my ideal writing space looks like. I also share three travel stories when things didn’t go quite as planned. Share your travel misadventure and win a free copy of Capturing the Moment.

cropped-img_7604.jpg

Before I moved to Singapore, the only things I knew about it were that gum is illegal and they caned an American kid named Michael Fey in 1996. Here’s your chance to ask me questions about life in Singapore. I’ve been here six months, and I think that could make for a fun blog post.

RoguesRogues is now on sale.

so right weatherspoon

I just read So Right and I thought it was a delightful follow up to So Sweet.

I’m being interviewed by Lynn Townsend!

My Capturing the Moment virtual book tour has landed at Lynn Townsend’s blog. Lynn was one of my beta readers for the book. In the interview we talk about everything from who inspired me, to Literotica, acceptance letters, and more.

literotica

I’m Delilah. I spent the first 31 years of my life in the chilly Northeast before my partner’s work took us to Singapore six years ago. Although I grew up telling and imagining stories, writing them was at best a part-time hobby. I was first introduced to erotica when my ex-boyfriend showed me Literotica.com. I was a senior in college with a thesis due, so obviously the best use of my time was to start writing erotica and erotic fan fiction. Thanks to Literotica, I found my first writing community, and physical friends when I made the move to NYC for grad school.

I’ve heard a lot of about Literotica — oddly enough, I myself have never explored its archives, but several of the writers I know got their start there, or in the various fanfic universes, like AO3… Any interesting stories from that world you particularly remember? 

Lit is such a great resource for new writers. There’s so much support and love for new writers (and yes, there are trolls sometimes, but that’s the internet). I haven’t been involved in the website in over five years, but I just re-joined under Delilah_Night if anyone wants to connect there. A lot of my friends have moved on.

I wouldn’t have had a social life in NYC if it weren’t for Literorica. There was a Boston vs NYC thread, and through that I met most of my friends in NYC. We had “lit-togethers” where we’d meet up for dinner and hang out.

If you  mean actual stories, I couldn’t find it on lit anymore, but a writer I knew on the site wrote the best crossover fanfic “Harry Potter and the Eagle of Truthiness” which imagines that Steven Colbert (in his Colbert Report persona) was the Defense against the Dark Arts Teacher at Hogwart. HILARIOUS

Read the rest here and get to know me a little better.

BTW if you want to read Harry Potter and the Eagle of Truthiness, I found it! Click here to read Christine Morgan’s story.