Recent Posts

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I am the owner of the BKLNK site. I thought I'd add a few notes to clarify how it works.

The site uses the Zon API to get category information about the book. That information includes sales ranks, but not on all categories. The sales rank is shown if the info is available via the API.

The API gives information about all the categories that are assigned to a book. Although you can only assign two ccategories with the KDP entry, you can email Zon and ask to get into more categories. The format to show them is as shown in the BKLNK CATFINDER.

If you use the CATALIZE button on a category found by CATFINDER, you can see the categories used by the top 25 books in that category. That gives you information that you can use to determine the categories that might be good for your book.

There is a PDF on the CATFINDER/CATALIZER page that tells you about how to do that, and how to put the category info into a spreadsheet and analyze it.

It is true that KDP also has the CATFINDER information - that's something that was added very recently. But I like to think that I did it first - BKLNK has been doing it since about Oct 2019.

Note that the keywords you enter in KDP have nothing to do with the categories for your book. The keywords are only used if someone uses those keywords in a search. And the API doesn't give you info about the keywords, so there isn't a KeywordFinder thing that is available.

BKLNK also does Universal Book Links, and if you sign up (all free, no obligation), you can add your country-specific affiliate codes to your UBL. The UBL is simple to use - and doesn't require a signup - you just add your ASIN/ISBN10 number to the BKLNK URL, and you're done.

It's a tool I built for myself - for the UBLs first, then the CATFINDER to help with the marketing of my books. I decided to make it free for all. I gain a tiny bit of revenue (enough to keep me in Jelly Bellies) by using my Zon affiliate code on UBLs.

Note that CATFINDER/CATALIZE is working well for the US Zon store. There's a recent issue about results from the UK/CA store related to not enough affiliate revenue from those stores... in order to use the API, you have to have sales resulting from your affiliate codes on that country store. Working on that issue.

But, the whole BKLNK site is free to use. You can contact me through there. Hope it is helpful.
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I think Pinterest is working.  Too soon to tell for sure, but I've had clicks to my website and I am selling more fairytales...which is where most of the Pinterest people end up.  I like that it's free, since I have more time than money right now.
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I can tell you the best way NOT to build a newsletter list. Do everything halfheartedly. Try a little of this and a little of that. Be inconsistent about the kinds of newsletters you send. Be random about when or how often you send a newsletter. Get addresses from multiple sources with different motivations: contests, freebie hunters, group promos, swaps, organic. Don't segment out readers of different subgenres. Oh, and don't have an automation to welcome anyone, or if you do, don't have it lead anywhere in particular.

I've done all that and more. Still, I have thousands of people on my list who simply cannot be bothered to unsubscribe. And I, halfhearted, also can't be bothered to remove the dead weight. That it is dead weight is proved by the lack of response when I announce a new book for sale or even a new freebie. 

If you're going to do anything significant with your newsletter, you need a plan and then you need to be consistent with the plan and follow through. If you can't bring yourself to do everything a newsletter guru recommends, you're better off doing none of it. If you write in multiple subgenres, as I do, having just one newsletter to serve them all probably isn't effective, either.

And by the way, I don't think back-of-book signups or front-of-book signups or active links in the books or excerpts of other titles move the needle much if at all unless people actively want to read more of your books right away. If your books don't inspire that urgency, no smooth marketing ideas will produce the dedicated readers who will buy each and every one of your new books as you release them.

This is so true! You have to separate the people by sources and email on a schedule. I used to only send emails when I had a new release. Turns out, that was completely wrong!!

I disagree about back and front of book sign ups. I get a steady stream of people every month that way, with no extra freebie offer. It's all in what your newsletter has to offer them and how you phrase it.

14
You can mail order worms and throw them in your compost bins. They eat everything and poop the black compost stuff. When I am digging for edging or anything and find a worm I put it in my earth machine. I wonder if worms think of that like winning the lottery.

The worms in our worms farms are not ordinary earth worms. They come with the worm farm when you buy it. One of our residents is in charge of our one and dishes out the worm wee to anyone who wants it (and who can put up with the smell  Grin.)
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Because I don't know when to quit I went to Whole Foods and bought one russet and one gold organic potato. Cut them up to dry out on the counter over the weekend and I will plant them next week. I am now convinced there are only weeds in the potato place, but I do have a zucchini coming up among the berry bushes from the buried compost.
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I can tell you the best way NOT to build a newsletter list. Do everything halfheartedly. Try a little of this and a little of that. Be inconsistent about the kinds of newsletters you send. Be random about when or how often you send a newsletter. Get addresses from multiple sources with different motivations: contests, freebie hunters, group promos, swaps, organic. Don't segment out readers of different subgenres. Oh, and don't have an automation to welcome anyone, or if you do, don't have it lead anywhere in particular.

I've done all that and more. Still, I have thousands of people on my list who simply cannot be bothered to unsubscribe. And I, halfhearted, also can't be bothered to remove the dead weight. That it is dead weight is proved by the lack of response when I announce a new book for sale or even a new freebie. 

If you're going to do anything significant with your newsletter, you need a plan and then you need to be consistent with the plan and follow through. If you can't bring yourself to do everything a newsletter guru recommends, you're better off doing none of it. If you write in multiple subgenres, as I do, having just one newsletter to serve them all probably isn't effective, either.

And by the way, I don't think back-of-book signups or front-of-book signups or active links in the books or excerpts of other titles move the needle much if at all unless people actively want to read more of your books right away. If your books don't inspire that urgency, no smooth marketing ideas will produce the dedicated readers who will buy each and every one of your new books as you release them. 
17
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18
Bar & Grill [Public] / Re: 50+ words a day...no matter what!
« Last post by notthatamanda on July 10, 2020, 10:10:14 AM »
2829

Today was a good day and not just for writing. Very productive. Summer routine seems to be settling down.
19
I absolutely agree that it is about having engaged subscribers. I have scrubbed a large portion of the freebie seekers out of my list. I do offer a freebie through BookFunnel for signing up, but you are highly unlikely to find that except through the back matter of one of my novels. That means that by far most of my list is people who are actually willing to plunk down some money for one of my books. I average around 55% opens and 10% clicks which is considered quite respectable.

Basically, I'd repeat Timothy's advice to build an organic list through backmatter.
20
Marketing Loft [Public] / Re: What is the best way to build an email list in 2020?
« Last post by Denise on July 10, 2020, 08:48:56 AM »

You need a third party when you have a high amount of emails. It's the way they manage the emails. There are ways to send emails from Wordpress byt they're not recommended.

But there are cheap opions like Sendfox and Sendy.


The problem is, it's really costly when you go over their free limit. I try to make my emails very pretty with pictures behind my messages and stuff. Mailchimp can do all that. But only the first 1000 addresses are free. After that, it gets very $.

Denise, do you use Sendfox or Sendy? Are they viable?

I use Sendy and I love it. I posted a review on my blog: https://dayleitao.com/how-i-saved-by-switching-my-newsletter-to-sendy/  It's a one-time fee of $59, plus whatever you spend on Amazon SES, which so far has been free for me. I also paid a developer to install it.

I know quite a few authors who use Sendfox. Some of them are happy with the service, some aren't. It's just a one-time payment of $49, and you can send up to 50k emails a month. And Mailerlite is another alternative, too. It's not that much when you have fewer than 2500 subs.

For pretty emails you can use a free email builder like  Stripo or Beefree. You can even keep using Mailchimp to set up the newsletter, then just copy the code. I also like my emails to be pretty! I think it makes a difference. Now that I'm using Stripo, I think my emails are much, much better than when I was using Mailerlite.

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