Journey to a Bestseller: FREE Dystopian Reads, The Secret to AMS Ads, and Editing-for-Sale (Series #36)

Last week I told you about some FREE book giveaways I’m currently in. This week, I have two more! If you love dystopian novels, have I got a deal for you! These books are on BookFunnel.com, so some of them require your email before you download the book or sample. If you aren’t familiar with BookFunnel or what it is, hop on over to last week’s post, where I explain it. Just click here. These titles look fabulous!!

Click below to find your next dystopian must-read!!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dystopiancrosspromo/c3wiblflxc

https://books.bookfunnel.com/dystopiaonku/qz3tmxqvv2

But you may be asking, What do I do with a bunch of downloaded files of free books? 

That I can help with. Everyone knows how to download a pdf file, but they’re annoying and don’t keep your place when you read, which is very frustrating. But a kindle holds your place. And if you set up “whisper syncing” you can read from your Kindle at home, and then open up the app on your phone during soccer practice, and it will be on the right page! (By the way–the best type of file for a Kindle is a mobi file, in case you are offered one.)

Hang on, I hear you shouting, I don’t have a Kindle.
That’s okay. The Kindle app works just the same and you can put that on your phone, computer or tablet. Here’s what you do:

1. Download the free book(s) to your computer. Make a file in your documents folder titled: “Free Books,” and keep all your book files there. Make sure the title of the book is in the title of the file for your own sake.
2. Next, download the Kindle app.
3. Look in your “Documents” folder and scroll down until you see your Kindle email address. (It’s usually your own email@kindle.com.) Copy that down.
4. While you’re there, add your own regular email to the list of “approved senders.” Only “approved” email addresses can send files to your kindle or app.
5. Next, email free book file(s) one at a time to your Kindle email address, with no subject or text, and the book will appear on your app in just a few minutes! Easy-peasy, lemon squeezy.

Now, if you have an actual Kindle device, it’s not much more involved.

1. First, you’ll want to go to Amazon.com and from the main page, hover your mouse over “accounts & lists” in the upper right-hand corner. Scroll down to “your content and devices” and click.
2. Here it will list all your books and any content you have saved. From the bar under the header, select “preferences.”
3. Scroll down and click “personal document settings.” Here it lists your Kindle email(s) for any devices or apps, as well as a list of approved senders.
4. Make sure to add your personal email to the “approved senders” list, or you won’t be able to send yourself free books.
5. Between these two, click to enable “personal document archiving” and that will make sure that what you email to yourself gets put in your Kindle library, rather than the “documents” folder.  
6. Now email your files one at a time to your kindle address and they should show up within 5 to 10 minutes.

If you need any help with this, I am happy to give it my best shot. Just comment on this message, or use the contact page, to send a screenshot of where you are and what’s happening so I know what the problem is.

After you set up your email once with your Kindle or app, you will never have to do it again. (Unless you want to add or subtract more people from your list.) You can also let an author send a book directly to your kindle. You just have to add them as an approved sender, and afterward, take them off. It’s very easy. I, personally, just have them send me the file, then I forward the email to my Kindle. You will love how easy this is once you’ve set it up.

I want to tell you about something else I’ve been doing this week. I joined a class put on by Amazon Ad School, with Bryan Cohen teaching, The Amazon Ad 5-Day Profit Challenge. This is a fantastic class. It’s free, but yes, there is homework. What you learn is invaluable. I found it on Facebook and it is so cool.

I can’t even begin to tell you all I’ve learned, but suffice it to say that I was doing it ALL wrong. I was bidding high and getting those impressions, clicks, and sales, but I was also bidding so high I was paying more for the clicks than the sales. If you think, well my book is $0.99, so I should be able to bid up to almost $0.99 on an ad and break even, right?

Nooooo. First of all, Amazon doesn’t figure in the taxes they’ll take out before you’re paid, but more importantly, say you only get 35% of your book sales, if so, then out of that dollar you think you made, you might only have $0.29.

How am I ever going to break even?

Yes, how? By bidding small. It takes longer to get those impressions and clicks, but eventually, some of the ads take off. The question is, with as many impressions as you need to make a sale, how many ads should you run? Amazon rarely spends all of your budget, especially if you are bidding low. To be profitable you have to change your strategy.

Set your daily limit under $10 and set your bids lower than $0.50.

They say about 1,000 impressions equals 1 click, and 20-30 clicks equal 1 sale. So, if you are bidding low, the process is the same, but it’s the equivalent of throwing an e-brake on the highway to my previous ad process. So you are going to need more ads running at the same time.

The other things still matter. If your cover doesn’t catch the reader’s eye, they aren’t even going to read your engaging ad copy. But if you have a dynamic cover AND engaging ad copy in their favorite genre/age group, you’re going to get that click. And when that reader gets to your sales page, they already like the cover, so now your sales description has to shine. If it sounds up their alley, they check the price and buy. Or, if they have Kindle Unlimited, they get it for free and you amass KU page reads, which pay out according to the number of page reads you have per month.

The real secret is patience.

Pure and simple. There’s so much more to know and I encourage you writers to look into it and take the next course Bryan offers. He speaks to us live every day of the challenge if we have questions. Nobody with real answers to real problems does that for writers for free. Bryan is a good guy. He teaches us and shows us how to do each step by sharing his screen, he taught us how to make killer ad copy, and we still have two days left.

I’m actually keeping today’s post short as well, because I need to work on my ad homework. And the WIP (The Clockwork Pen) needs its final polishing. I am on the final draft, giving it a final read-through, and I’m almost done. So exciting! If I get it done this week, I’ll send out queries and show you what to do next week. I know, I know, I’ve said that before. I apologize. That’s part of the process.

You think you’re ready, then read a bit of your manuscript, and realize you aren’t even close. Then you let someone else read it and they have a creative suggestion that leads you to change the whole thing, but it makes it better. And we are slaves to the keyboard muses, so we tweak and we tweak until it’s done.

One final thing before I go, because I overbid on my ads, I managed to spend $670 on ads last month and I would like to recoup that. Those of you who know me, know that I am the Associate Editor at a small publishing house. I have had many people ask if I would do editing on the side, but I generally have enough work to keep me busy; however, with this quarantine I am getting a whole lot done. So I am open to editing a manuscript or two on the side.

Don’t assume you are late to the party. A lot of writers doubt themselves and say, “Oh, I’m sure she’s found someone by now.” But when you all say it, no one responds. So if you’re ready for an editor, drop me a note. I am looking for something quickly, as I am scheduled to have spinal surgery in Mid-May. I’d like to either get it done beforehand, or work on it while I’m recovering. If you know an author looking for some editing, please pass on my information. I cover copy and developmental edits, basically anything that needs to be done to help you create a work of art you are proud of.

My rates are: $10 per 1,000 words, no limit to pages. My favorite genres are YA fantasy romance and sci-fi. There are referrals on my “Referrals” page. Send all your questions and work to: consulting.haskin@gmail.com

“Jenn, you were so helpful and encouraging to me. I appreciated how specific your comments were, and the help in knowing how to proceed.” ~Beth Carroll (Author)

“Your knowledge of the industry is nothing short of fantastic!  For someone trying to break in, you’ve been extremely accessible, responsive and helpful.  Your engaging personality helps, too.  Everyone else in the business seems too busy to even return emails.  You take your time and explain it in a way that makes sense and is very helpful.  You always respond like a friend, which means a lot.” -Bill DeFoor (Author)

“Jennifer has been such a blessing in my writing life. She has been so kind and patient in helping me with the smallest of details on my query letter, and even offered to help with my synopsis and beginning pages of my story. She is someone who roots for you on your writing journey and will go above and beyond to help you get there. I am so glad to have had the opportunity of receiving her feedback to learn and create a great query letter. Thank you again Jennifer, you are truly a wonderful soul.” -Hope McKee (author)

Stay healthy, stay sane, and I’ll see you next week. Until then, keep writing!

~jenn

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