Experiments in Independent Publishing – ‘FREE #VIRO Amazon Kindle Downloads’ – GET YOURS NOW

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‘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!
Amazing.

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.

In case anyone reading this wants to be part in the ongoing experiment Book One in the VIRO series is available for free download here http://bit.ly/VIRO1 and here http://bit.ly/VIROBOOK1

Feel free to join the #VIROSWARM by reading Book One and leaving a review.

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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.

I will keep you all informed as to how the experiment is going and in the meantime, if anyone is keen to join the #VIROSWARM then please find and follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks for reading and if anyone has any experiences they would like to share then please feel free to comment on this post.

 

Top Tips for Being a Better Independent Publisher – Number One

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Hi Everyone

We are quite literally inundated with lists of tips in their fives and tens and twenties about how to be better at things and how not to do things so badly. Inspired by this avalanche of tips I thought I would offer some top tips of my own. Here is my top tip for today.

Despite All Appearances to the Contrary The World is Still Full of Strangers

We are an optimistic bunch and for the most part we have come to believe that the proliferation of digital technology has made the world a smaller place. Not only that, this same technology has also brought people together in ways that we have never seen before. This is of course true but this does not mean that our lives are enriched in new ways by the enormous number of friends we now have, despite the various ways in which social media platforms encourage us to connect with each other.

The simple fact of the matter is that we are all now in some form of new relationship with a wider range of strangers than ever before. Once you chip away the real friends and relationships we have on something like Twitter, it is a simple fact that most people we follow or follow us are complete and utter strangers.

And here is the thing.

Once upon a time we might have understood our average potential social reach – pre- social media – as something like the number of people sitting on both decks of an average double-decker bus. We might not know everyone as well as each other but if we were to sit next to someone else on the bus it would probably be possible to strike up some kind of kindred conversation with them.

That was then.

Nowadays, especially given the constant exhortations that each and every social media platform bombards us with in terms of making new ‘friends,’ establishing connections, or adding new followers (and there is something very archaic about this very notion), it is simply the case that our new potential social reach is very often something less like a double-decker bus and now something more like a sports stadium.

A sports stadium?

I don’t know about you but the last time I went to a sporting event I was struck by the sheer logistical difficulties in gathering so many people together in one particular space at one particular time.

And by people I mean strangers. 

Yes, we might go with some friends or family and we might see other people who have gone with their family and friends but for the most part we are alone in a stadium full of strangers.

Of course, we can further understand that this stadium full of strangers all have something in common; a love of the sport, for example or the affiliation with a particular team. Nevertheless, with very few exceptions, we would enter the stadium as strangers and leave the same way.

But how do sports stadiums relate to independent publishing?

If I was sitting on the top deck of a bus and and I started telling people about a project I was working on, or had completed, it is possible that very quickly I might be able to get some people interested in what I was doing. Of those people interested, it is also possible that some of them (a few of them) (one or two of them) might want to learn a bit more about my project. That would be great but very quickly I would run out of people to tell.

Now, imagine trying to do the same thing in a sports stadium. How long would it take before you ran out of either steam or people who were interested enough?

You could start by telling the people you had gone to stadium with – but they probably already knew (I’m sure you had told them about your new project the last time you saw them).

Then what?

How do you tell a stadium full of strangers about your new project? More importantly, how do you get a stadium full of strangers to care about your project? Most of them probably already have projects of their own that take up all their time and mean more to them so why should they even care about yours?

And this is the crux of the matter.

For example, every time I am on Twitter – and I am on Twitter for an awful lot of my time – it is like being in a sports stadium and everyone in the crowd is trying to get each other to care about their projects by hoping that their voice will be louder than the other voices in the same stadium but they are not and so eventually we fall silent.

And despondent.

And concerned that our social media techniques are not as developed as they should be and then we start scouring the internet for lists of tips of how we might do things better and then we realise that everyone is offering the same and different advice and that essentially everyone is in the same stadium shouting at each other. Shouting at strangers.

 

Personally, I prefer to try ignore the sound of the crowd.

I have lost my voice too many times trying to shout out loud enough for strangers to hear what I’m saying. And even if they heard me they probably wouldn’t be able to listen for long enough for me to tell my story properly before another stranger caught their attention. Or before they needed to shout about their own project to the same strangers.

So what’s the answer?

I don’t think there is one. Other than the understanding that you wouldn’t walk down the street telling everyone you passed about your new project so why would you spend your time online shouting at strangers about the same thing?

Currently I’m working on simply talking to people.

As many people as possible.

More importantly, I’m asking people about their projects rather than shouting about mine.

So, you glorious stadium full of strangers, tell me about your projects.

What are you working on?