‘I absolutely loved this book. Powerful and poignant, ‘Viro’ packs a punch. Sad and haunting, ‘Viro’ is a new take on the zombie genre.The characters are dynamic and interesting, finding strength despite their horrifying circumstances. Jake is a character that will stick with you long after the final page. The action sequences are thrilling. I was on the edge of my seat!’
Experiments in Independent Publishing
What started as an experiment in independent publishing has led to Book One in the VIRO series currently sitting at Number One in the Amazon charts. Book One has occupied this position for most of the Summer and from June 6th when the experiment started until today there have been 589 downloads.
Absolutely thrilling. I loved every page more than the previous, to the point that I couldn’t stop reading. Jake, a unique and curious character with good intentions. Ellis, the cunning and loyal girl who sees that Jake is different. Abe, brave but not so bold. Amber, intent on getting the Job done the quickest way possible. These four kids make their way through a zombie infected place they used to call home, struggling to cling on to the things they love and desperately seeking safety. I was left on the edge of my seat when I finished the book with a thirst for more adventure!
Phase One of this experiment has been to make Book One available for FREE download and as you can see from the graphic this has been successful so far. Though the percentage is currently relatively small, there has been some conversion in terms of people paying for Book Two in the series. This is something that I aim to increase through a new social media campaign for Autumn 2018.
A fascinating premise drives the narrative in VIRO. How would a zombie apocalypse unfold behind the eyes of a child? Jake, the central protagonist, embarks on a simple quest. He wants to reunite with his mom who has not returned home from work. From there, the reader sees the terrors of an increasing zombie infestation as Jake unites with Ellis, Abe and Amber on his journey to find her.
VIRO does a good job of capturing the voice of an older child reacting to the horrors unfolding around him. His thoughts and actions are simple and emotional and age appropriate. The developing friendships and relationships between the children drive the story. You get a clear sense of each character and become emotionally invested in them and their journey.
This book takes the zombie story in a different direction and that’s refreshing. It is much more unsettling to see children deal with the horrors of a zombie apocalypse than adults. Fans of zombie stories should add VIRO to their bookshelf.
Phase Two is to convert downloads to reviews. This is going to be much harder and will require a much greater effort to be successful. I have set myself a target of 30 reviews for Book One by the end of 2018. Again, this target will be part of the new social media campaign for Autumn 2018.
Feel free to join the #VIROSWARM by reading Book One and leaving a review.
Social Media Management
In terms of social media I have primarily relied on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and have been scheduling posts using Buffer. Buffer is a useful social media management tool but does have some limitations, especially if, like me, you choose to use their basic free service. It is useful to be able to schedule a series of posts that reach three platforms at the same time but Buffer is really let down by the limitations that these platforms, especially Twitter and Instagram, have in place. Twitter will not let Buffer share similar tweets too close to each other. Instagram does not allow links in the posts to be available to anyone reading the posts unless, I’m assuming, I pay a premium which at the moment I cannot afford to pay. With this in mind, I am looking to see how else I might use Instagram as a platform for promoting the VIRO series.
In fact, a WordPress blog like the one I am giving weekly updates on is, I think, far more useful in terms of reaching people and allowing them to interact with your posts. Nevertheless, Buffer does have some value in terms of the campaign to date and my plans for Autumn 2018.
Thanks for reading and if anyone has any experiences they would like to share then please feel free to comment on this post.