How to Use Facebook Ads to Gain Subscribers and to Promote a Giveaway

Nicholas C. Rossis

As promised at the end of my post, My Facebook Ads Experience and 3 Marketing Rules, here are two alternative ways you can use Facebook ads to gain subscribers and to promote a giveaway.

One Alternative Model

FB ads - subscribers - Autumn | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books Click to open in Mailchimp

During December, I teamed up with authors Autumn Birt and P.H. Solomon to run Facebook ads in order to gain subscribers.

The way we did this was by giving away one book each, and sharing the subscribers among ourselves.

Autumn set everything up, and she did a wonderful job. We spent $1 daily each, and ended up with 85 new subscribers at a cost of $30. This means that each subscriber cost us just $0.35.

The only drawback with this model is that there is no tripwire page. Which means there’s not even the possibility of you recouping the money spent on the ads.

Incidentally, we…

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NEW: Share a Kindle Instant Preview

Thank you! I’ve been looking for something like this to add to my site. I didn’t realize it was there. I have seen some that used other plugins for their sites.

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Even better: Amazon will pay you to use Kindle Instant Preview.

You can use…

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The Writer’s Journey – Guest, Markie Madden

The next author on The Writer’s Journey is Markie Madden. Markie is a very busy woman and author. I met her last year on a Facebook group she co-moderates with Claire Plaisted, Interview Exchange. Check them out. It’s a great group.

The Metamorphosis of a Writer

Hello everyone, I’m Markie Madden, author, and founder of Metamorph Publishing. My journey into writing has been a long one, and as I look back over the path that led me here, I’m amazed at how much I have accomplished!

Let me start at the beginning. The first time I remember writing on a regular basis was in 4th grade. I had an imaginative teacher at the time who would come around and draw a squiggle on our notebook paper. Our assignment was to finish that squiggle into a full drawing, and write a short story about our drawing. I don’t remember if we did this every day, or once a week, but I do remember how much fun it was to do it. After fourth grade, my family moved from New Mexico to Michigan, and I started 5th grade in a new school with new teachers.

By the time I was in high school, I’d been bitten by the writing bug. I wrote stories all the time, often passing pages around to all my classmates, because they were enthralled by the tales I was weaving on the paper. I began work on my first full-length novel, based on a game that my best friend and I would play out in the woods near our home. That book eventually became my dystopian novel Once Upon a Western Way, though at the time, I don’t think the “dystopian” genre really existed.

During my time in high school, I had an English teacher, Mr. David Harshfield, who was a huge inspiration to me. He was a self-published author, back when it wasn’t a “cool” thing, and he was responsible for purchasing X number of printed books on his own, and then trying to sell them to bookstores, libraries, and so on. He even brought in his book, Manchild for real: the Life and Lyrics of John Cougar Mellencamp, to show to our class. He also enrolled me in a Young Writers Conference held at the local community college, and went along with me. His words of encouragement and advice have always been in the back of my mind throughout my adult life.

So, I finished Once Upon a Western Way and began submitting it to publishers (back when a few of them still accepted unsolicited manuscripts). Mind you, these were typed pages, as computers and word processors were not a staple item in every home. Most of the publishers didn’t even bother to send rejection letters. But Mr. Harshfield’s advice spurred me on: “Whatever you do, never give up on the dream of being an author. What is not possible today may, in the future, become doable.” And those words have stuck with me through all these years.

So next, I took part of my family’s income tax return and hired a literary agent for a year. His contract stated that he would submit my manuscript to various publishers and send me quarterly reports on his results. This was a huge step for me, because my family was living paycheck to paycheck and we always relied on our tax refund to purchase large or expensive items that we couldn’t afford during the rest of the year, like a newer car if we needed one or a new washing machine. I’m not really sure how good this agent was, I looked around on the internet, then in its infancy, to find someone whose fees I could afford to pay. Throughout that year, I did get reports from him, usually with rejection letters from four or five publishers. Though I thought he could have done many more publishers in three months, I shrugged it off and assumed he knew what he was doing.

By the time that year was up, I decided that the work my agent was doing wasn’t worth the precious money, so I did not renew our contract. But I know had Once Upon a Western Way onto a computer now, as well as a complete printed manuscript. Even over numerous family moves, even all the way across the country to Texas, the story came with me. I never gave up searching for a way to publish, and I always made sure that my  manuscript was safely stored and would never get lost.

Fast-forward to the spring of 2012, when I bought my very first e-reader, a cheap knockoff of the Nook reader that I bought from Big Lots. It worked on the same software as the Nook, and I was able to purchase Nook books with it. I also put a lot of free books on it, and I saw that many of those free books came from a place called Smashwords. Eventually, I checked out the Smashwords website, and discovered them to be a platform for publishing e-books.

Once Upon a Western Way went live on April 27, 2012 and became my first published book. However, at the time, I knew nothing of marketing, and I had a growing family and a full time job, so aside from posting my book on Facebook and telling my friends and family members about it, I really did nothing to help sell the book. I mean, it’s published and available, people will buy it, right? How wrong I was! I think I sold 4 books in 2 years’ time.

In May of 2013, I fell ill with a virus that I couldn’t manage to shake, and by the end of June I was diagnosed with leukemia (blood cancer). I spent the next 8 months in the hospital, 3.5 hours from home, enduring chemotherapy. During this time, an old high school friend sent me a friend request on Facebook and we started chatting off and on. She, too, is a published author, but her book is available in print as well. I told her how I’d never figured out how to get Western Way into print, and she gave me the valuable information about Createspace and how they work. Her name is Denise Mercer, and her book, My Father’s Table, is a great inspirational read!

After spending over 6 months recovering from my final chemotherapy in 2014, I began looking into Createspace and getting Western Way set up for print. I also had half of a basic horse care guide written, Keeping a Backyard Horse, and my husband suggested writing a cancer book, My Butterfly Cancer, and talking about my experiences. All three of these books became available in print for the first time in September of 2014.

While I was getting these books ready for publishing, I thought about starting my own publishing company, and I thought about my friend Denise and how her small, random act of kindness got me started on the path of publishing. I also thought about My Butterfly Cancer, in which I use the ‘butterfly effect’ theory to explain how Denise’s friend request had blossomed into something so huge. You know the theory: a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan and causes a hurricaine in Florida. This was the perfect explanation for how Denise’s friendship had struck my life, and I wanted the name of my company to reflect that. She also told me how butterflies hold a special symbolic meaning for her and her family. So, I tried Metamorphosis Publishing (that name was already taken), Monarch Publishing (that name was already taken), and I couldn’t find any other common names for butterflies that I really liked. So, I settled on making up a word, Metamorph, and an author friend of mine commented on how that sounds like an unfinished word, like my metamorphosis is still incomplete and the company is still a work in progress. I liked the sound of that, for I’m constantly striving to perfect my writing and improve the way the public views independent authors. Thus, Metamorph Publishing was born just one year ago.

Today, we offer 5 books, four of them mine, and the last a pagan reference guide given to me by reclusive author Naddya Foxfire. They are all available in print and e-book, and three of mine are in audio book format as well (my newest release is still being produced in audio and should be available in November, 2015)! And there’s no end in sight! I’m working with two other aspiring indie authors and will eventually publish books for them (hopefully), and all the while I’m working on the second book in my new Undead Unit Series. Book 1, Fang and Claw, just released on October 4, and it’s been very popular!

So, what’s the point of this long story? The same advice my high school English teacher gave to me so many years ago. What might be impossible today might be doable tomorrow. So, if you haven’t managed to get published yet, stick around. Don’t give up! And no matter what, if you love to write, then write! Even if you never publish what you write, if you love doing it and it makes you happy, there’s no reason to give it up. And self-publishing gives everyone the opportunity to publish. If you’re not sure you can do it on your own, there are many small-press publishers available out there now as well. So don’t you quit!

Bio

Markie Madden was born August 19, 1975, in Midland, Texas. She grew up in the markiesmall town of Flushing, Michigan. While in high school, she took creative writing and was a photographer for the school newspaper. In 1993, she won the National Quill and Scroll Society award for best photo in a high school paper. She began writing her first novel, Once Upon a Western Way, while still attending school.

Markie is now married with two teenage daughters, three rescue dogs, and her horse, Athena, who is featured on the cover of her horse care guide, Keeping a Backyard Horse. She tried many times over the years to publish her novel, first on her own, and then hiring a literary agent, all without success. In early 2012, after getting her first smart phone and e-reader application, Nook, she discovered the world of self-publishing through a website called Smashwords. She finally published Once Upon a Western Way through this distributor in April, 2012.

In the late spring of 2013, Markie came down with a mysterious illness, which was ultimately diagnosed as leukemia (AML specifically). She underwent a rigorous treatment of chemotherapy, during which, at one point, her life was endangered. While she was hospitalized, an old high school friend who is also a published author reconnected with her. Since cancer and the treatment of cancer forced her out of the traditional workforce, Markie turned her attention back to the world of writing.

By December of 2014, Markie was the successful publisher of three books, her first published work, Once Upon a Western Way, now available in print as well as e-format, as well as a self-help guide to horse care, Keeping a Backyard Horse, available in print and e-format, and her cancer memoir, My Butterfly Cancer, available in print, e-format, and audiobook. Her other two will soon be available in audiobook format as well. Markie has founded Metamorph Publishing, in order to publish her own books, and she is now working with two other independent authors as well.

Currently, Markie lives in the small town of Fisk, Missouri, with her family, her dogs, and her horse. She is still writing and is working on a crime/paranormal series called The Undead Unit Series. Book one of the series, Fang and Claw, is now available. The second book of the series, Souls of the Reaper, is expected out in 2016, along with a thriller novel entitled Cured Delusions. You can find her at her website: https://metamorphpublishing.com.

fangAndClawLatest Book

Fang and Claw (Book 1 of the Undead Unit Series)

Lieutenant Lacey Anderson of the Dallas Police Department heads up a elite new squad dedicated to solving crimes involving Immortals like herself. Lacey, a Vampire left for dead when her family was slaughtered by Werewolves, still has nightmares about the attack.

Detective Colton Scarber is her unwilling partner and second-in-command. He’s a Werewolf, a descendant of those who killed Lacey’s coven. She’s unaware of this, but she doesn’t trust him from the start. When the fragile beginning of the team is threatened by the truth, can they learn to trust one another as partners must, or will the Undead Unit be doomed to failure?

A mysterious suspect and strange physical evidence leads them to solve a case spanning decades, and leaves Lacey with no other choice but to rely on her enemy when her very life is at stake!

Links

ITunes: http://geni.us/40i
Nook: http://geni.us/1GaL
Google Books: http://geni.us/40b
Google Play: http://geni.us/3XfW
Kobo Books: http://geni.us/48pJ
Smashwords: http://geni.us/h7H
Kindle: http://geni.us/4BBh
Createspace: http://geni.us/2sw6
Amazon: http://geni.us/34xl
Barnes and Noble: http://geni.us/3jra

Social Media Links

Amazon Author Page: http://geni.us/3ZSX
Google Play/Books: https://play.google.com/store/books/author?id=Markie+Madden
Official Website: https://metamorphpublishing.com
The Undead Unit Series Home Page: https://metamorphpublishing.com/the-undead-unit-series/
Square Store: https://squareup.com/market/metamorph-publishing
Official eBay: http://www.ebay.com/usr/maddemargu
Zazzle Store: http://www.zazzle.com/metamorphpublishing*
Official Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/booksbymarkie
Facebook A-List Street Team: https://m.facebook.com/groups/873491482694797
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/metamorphpublishing
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Naddya819
Twitter @naddya81975
PRLog: http://biz.prlog.org/metamorphpublishing/
Scribophile: http://www.scribophile.com/authors/marguerite-madden
About.me: http://www.about.me/marguerite_madden
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/httpsgoodreadscommarkie_madden
Google+ personal: https://plus.google.com/+103793638053436988384
Google+ business: https://plus.google.com/+metamorphpublishingMP
Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/user/naddya819
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/naddya81975
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaDYw5Ocjq3zynC7LTOwXUw
OR: https://www.youtube.com/c/MarkieMaddenMetamorphPublishing
Photobucket: http://s1368.photobucket.com/user/naddya81975/profile/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/naddya81975/
StumbleUpon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/naddya81975
Booksie: http://booksie.com/MarkieMadden
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/MetamorphPublishing
Tumblr: http://www.metamorphpublishing.tumblr.com/
Bublish: http://www.bublish.com/author/view/4606
Storify: https://storify.com/81919752014
Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/

It’s Difficult Being an Author

Honestly, I had no idea being an author was such a difficult thing. You write your stories when you have a publishing company and you’re gold, right? Right? Apparently not. It seems that writing the book is the easy part and the struggle starts after that.

Let me first list my assumptions as a non-writer. You writers can IM amongst yourselves and snicker over my naivety. It’s okay, because I’m still going to buy your books. I like your characters too much…darn you. Then, I will let you know what the authors have told me we can do as readers to help them out. Ready? Get your IM windows ready authors.

Assumption One: All Authors Go on Book Tours

Nope. The publishing companies only spend the big touring bucks on their big names. A lot of the smaller names have to do what they can to spread their name. This…

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8 Ways to Share You Book Events

Archer's Aim

RaveWavesIn a recent guest post by Jill Bennett on Nicholas Rossis’ site about promoting your book, the writer shared that a writer should never shy away from sharing their book anywhere, any time. I’ve been interviewed on Beyond the Cover (hosted by Rave Waves/Rave Reviews Book Club) via Blog Talk Radio to promote The Bow of Destiny. I also have a number of events occurring before the release date.

With each event, I’ll work to get the word out as much as possible – taking the advice from the aforementioned blog post.

Here are a 8 ways to share your events with the world:

Businessman Speaking Through Megaphone1. Create an event on Facebook and share with all your followers/friends.

2. Create an event on Google+ and share with as many circles as possible.

3. Create an event on Goodreads and send it to all your friends there.

4. Create a Thunderclap and…

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Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Archer's Aim

mailYou’ve often heard the simple notion expressed, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” It has a meaning that if you do nothing don’t expect anything. When it comes to building your email list, this is still true. But how you approach it can make a difference between gaining and losing people from your list.

I recently approached my email list growth with some trepidation. Why? Well, none of us want to be, or feel like, we are being spammed. However, I was faced with a particular problem – converting blog followers to email list members.

For many self-hosted site owners followers and email list members are synonymous – whoever subscribes is a part of both sets. However, for someone like me who is hosted on WordPress, people can follow my site as a member of the WordPress community without subscribing to my email list (and there are those who do follow by…

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First Post Challenge

JOHN W. HOWELL NOMINATED ME FOR THE FIRST POST HONOR. THE IDEA IS TO GO BACK TO YOUR FIRST POST AND THEN PUBLISH IT AGAIN. SORRY, JOHN, I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO POST THIS EARLIER.

The rules are:
Copy-paste, link, pingback, etc. your first post.

Identify the post: introduction, story, poem.

Explain why it was your first post.

Nominate five other bloggers.

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON THIS POST: This is from my other blog KIM’S MUSINGS that I hadn’t planned to ever start, titled TWO DAYS OFF. The only reason I registered for my own blog at BlogSpot was so I could comment on a friend’s blog page. Then I thought why not give it a try. In 2005, I blogged only 4 times and in 2006 just once. Some years more and some years only once since then. I really didn’t start blogging regularly until this year.

BEFORE I GET TO THE POST MY NOMINATIONS ARE:

ELIZABETH DELISI – THE WORLD ACCORDING TO LIZ

CHARLES FRENCH

JOSHUA ROBERTSON

LIZ GAVIN

SMORGASBORD

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Two Days Off

For those who don’t know me, I’m an author, a web designer, the general manager and review coordinator for Word Museum and I work a full time job, 12 hour days that sometimes turn into 13. This is my long week, meaning I work Monday and Tuesday, Friday and Saturday — Sunday too, but that’s a new week. But today and Thursday I’m off. Halleluah!!!

But there’s work to do at home too. Not just the normal things, like laundry. But getting organized again is my goal. My home office has gotten so out of hand that I have to really get busy and organize it again before I can think of doing taxes. I know, the T word. 😦

Preparation is the most time consuming of my tax time. I not only do my taxes, but my two neighbors’, my son’s and a friends. Two down and three to go including my own. Enough said about taxes. Let’s talk about the other aspects of my life this early Wednesday morning.

I work in an office, but it’s not just sitting and filing nails in a textile plant office or any other office I’ve worked in for that matter. Time ticks away and I find I’m generally behind. The odd this is I’m so organized at work (opposite from home) and get stressed if I have to sway from the way I normally work. Which often happens. That takes care of all you want to know about the “day job.”

As general manager of Word Museum, I do a number of different jobs. Guess that’s what “general” means. I do the web designing and customer service, which includes billing, bringing in new customers and taking care of any problems that may arise, record keeping, and basically oversee all operations.

What is Word Museum? It’s a multi-genre site where readers and authors come together, and where authors can promote themselves and their work. We have a membership of around 50 authors, of which 4 have their web sites maintained by us as well as get promoted. We have a chat every Wednesday night at 10pm est with authors, publishers or any other writing oriented person/group.

Our promotion manager and Workshop manager are very busy ladies as well and two of my best friends. We have two newsletters, WordBeats which is free for anyone who wants to join and MarketBeats which is $6.99 per year. WordBeats is about writing, ups and downs, etc. and MarketBeats is just that, about marketing your book with a bit of promotion thrown in for good measure. The newsletters go out monthly through a listserv.

We have three contests, two monthly and one quarterly. The monthly contests are Win A Book and Amazon.com gift certificates. These books in our Win A Book contest are books written by our very own membership. And what a fantastic group of authors they are. To enter, you just visit Word Museum and fill out a short form. Each month I draw 2 names. For the quarterly contest, a name is drawn from those on our News listservs each quarter. The winner gets a basket full of prizes, including but not limited to books.

There’s probably all kinds of stuff I’m leaving out here. You’ll just have to visit the website and see for yourself. The URL is http://www.wordmuseum.com. If you’re an author, we do have a $20 off special on our membership at least through February.

Oh and I’m a wife, mother and grandmother too. My husband of nineteen years is a chain saw artist. I have two grown sons of 25 and 31. The oldest has a 6 year old son.

I have a dog and a cat, but you would think I have anywhere from 2 to 6 dogs as many of my neighbor’s dogs like to hangout in the yard with my dh while he carves. Animals love him. My cat rules them all.

Have a nice day. I hadn’t even planned to start one of these blogs, but I wanted to post on a friend’s page and they said I had to join up too which includes a blog of my own. So, I figured why not. I hope I haven’t bored you to tears as I’m just musing. Tired and very talkative or is that writative? when I’m tired. But that’s normal too. Okay, I’m getting really out there now. So, I’m calling it a night or early morning and heading off to bed.

Good night and God Bless.
Kim

The Best Pitch

Congrats, David! It sounds like you did a great job with the “pitch letter”

david gordon burke indie author

Yesterday I got my best rejection letter.  This was not related to pitching my book to some publishing house or something along those lines.  I was looking for someone to review one of my books.

Now I have a secret weapon for finding people to review.  That secret WILL not be revealed in this post.  However, it seems to me that as writers, our job is to convince people of the reality of our stories.  It´s out job to SELL with words.  I am amazed by the bland promos on Twitter, the boring posts on Facebook, the dull web-sites etc. that writers use to push their stuff.  Just awestruck by how utterly inane their promo.  God knows, if their promo and ads are an indication of their writing, I´m not buying any of it.

So I unleashed my Standard Form letter on an unsuspecting recipient.  This time, and I have…

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MARKETING YOUR BOOKS WHILE ON VACATION

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

 Guest post by Lois W. Stern

on vacation LOIS STERNGoing on vacation? Bet you can’t wait! But with a little advance planning, you can combine your “fun in the sun” with a few book marketing ideas.

Here are five ideas to set your marketing wheels turning.

1.Think of a topic for your presentation that relates to your books, but one that isn’t just about selling books.

Example:

My current books are filled with inspiring, true stories that come to me through an “Authors helping Authors” project I initiated four years ago. I decided that along with sharing some of these inspiring stories, my workshop would center on How to Write a Winning Short Story.

  1. Create a flyer or post card with your name and head-shot, title of your presentation, and its proposed length. Be sure to include your contact information: phone and e-mail address.

Post card png copy LOIS STERN

  1. Find a venue for your workshop.

If…

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