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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Status Report

Wow, what 2 sales will do to one's Amazon ranking.

Last week, Five Times Vengeance was languishing right around the 800,000 rank. As of today, it skyrocketed up the charts to 122,000. I checked the "Reports" tab on Amazon and learned that I sold 2 books.

Well, that's 70 cents that I didn't have yesterday. But let me be clear, it's not about the money. Really. If it was all about the money, I'd be buying 5 star reviews like a madman, as countless other authors have been doing.

Scouring the internet, I found that it is quite a racket--paying others to give your ebook a 5 star review. It's really a win-win situation. A "reviewer" gets a fee (I saw fees as high as $99) and they give your book an in-depth, glowing 5 star review. Buy enough of these "reviews" and watch your book zoom up the charts--and your bank account grow.

There are stories of authors becoming millionaires employing such a method, and "reviewers" (they usually never even read the book--they're too busy writing reviews) earning 6 figures a month!

I refuse to stoop to that level (I"ll probably never crack the top 100,000 as a result), and that's why my book only has 3 reviews.I"m relying on YOU.

Speaking of reviews, my last review was only 2 stars, but you know what? In a weird way, I value that 2 star review more so than my 5 star review. Nothing against the person who gave the 5-star (You made me the happiest I've been so far), but the 2 star review really addressed issues with my book. Issues and problems that I will not repeat with the sequel. As the old saying goes, you only learn from your mistakes.

Thanks for reading,

Jason Lee

Friday, December 21, 2012

2nd Review came in. 5 STARS!

The good news is, I have 2 reviews now. The 2nd one was a 5 star review, no less. Thanks a ton, you made my week!

The sad news is, Five Times Vengeance is slipping further into Amazon's ranking abyss--and I even lowered it to 99 cents. I'm getting to the point that I'd rather have decent reviews than sales. At least that is some validity that I can write an entertaining story.

It's less than a month before I can break away from Amazon's chains. As I understand it, I can't put my book for sale on any other website until my 3 month term expires from the Lending Library. Man, I can't wait to give FTV some more exposure.

I have been busy writing, both the sequel to FTV and a short story, which is turning out to be a rather long short story. I decided that I would break it up into several smaller parts and then set it loose.

It's not a fantasy, though. It's more along the lines of horror/thriller. It's so blatantly offensive and shocking, that I don't think it will ever see the light of day. I'll try, though.

Merry Christmas,

Friday, December 14, 2012

I got my first review on Amazon!!!!!!!

After two months on Amazon, I got my first review (3 stars) for my first book. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to name the person (you know who you are) so I won't, but I give a heartfelt THANKYOU to you for your review.

I must confess that there really is no feeling like reading one's first review--a very exciting few minutes.

I honestly am happy that the reviewer went into such depths in outlining the "cons" of my story, as that's the only way I will grow as a writer. I appreciate the honesty.

 I will keep in mind everything the reviewer said when writing Book 2. It will, without a doubt,  yield a tighter and more believable story.

Thank you.

ADDENDUM: It seems I have two more free promotion days to offer my book on Amazon. I will offer it for FREE on December 15th and 16th (Saturday and Sunday). Please download it and tell me what you think.

Jason Lee.

Monday, December 10, 2012

My Ebook Self Publishing Experience (after 2 months)

Well, I've had my first ebook Five Times Vengeance exclusively on Amazon for a few days short of 2 months now. Here are the extremely disappointing stats for the last 2 months.

You Tube trailer...........325 views.
I'd wager that a full 50 to 60 are my own. I clear my cookies after each browsing session, so Youtube  thinks I 'm a new visitor each time.

Google Adwords............Booooooooo.
I decided to pay 30 dollars to promote my You Tube trailer. Yes, in that week, I watched my trailer views jump from 70 to over 300, but who's to say that the views were from legitimate people actually interested in reading epic fantasy ebooks. Anyway, Google did their job and got me views, but nothing came out of it. Well, I tried it, at least. I would have much rather spent my $30 on a 5 pound bag of smokehouse almonds (man, I love those).

Blogger.............248 page views
Once again, 25% of those are probably my own. 248? Seriously? An utterly disheartening number.

Facebook...........1 friend

Currently, my book is ranked #669,250 in the store. Ouch!
I've sold a grand total of 5 copies for $11.23 (the dollar figure may be off slightly, I'm going by memory. I'll double check it later.)
I've given away 316 books during my promo period. I have 2 promo days remaining.

In the last 2 days, I've given it much thought, and I've concluded that for a nobody like me, exposure is the key. Amazon places such a high importance on reviews, that the key is to get your book in the hands of people who read AND write reviews. But, how are they going to read your book if they don't know you exist?
5 sales....316 giveaways. The course of action is clear. That's a potential of 316 reviews. And seeing my book is just as good as anything that that hack Tolkien ever wrote, I'd say that there's the possibility of 316 four and five star reviews. (That last sentence was pure sarcasm. Just trying to lighten the mood. I regard the late Mr. Tolkien as the greatest writer of fantasy that the genre has ever known. A true God.)

I think it's time for this wannabe to pay his dues. I'm not yet ready to offer my book for free yet, but I've decided to drop it to 99 cents, effective today. Sure I'll only make 35 cents per sale, but that's what paying your dues are about. In fact, if the numbers end up as dismal as the ones above, I may have to opt for the free route.

So, to the 5 people who bought it for $2.99, I am deeply grateful. If I knew who you were, I would give you  a copy of the sequel (when it gets done) for free, as a token of my appreciation.

So there you have it. I'm just glad I never set my expectations too high. Being a "glass half empty" guy does have its benefits.

Here's the link for Five Times Vengeance at the new, super colossal, low, bargain price of just 99 cents!
It's 141,000+ words and it's about an Assassin, Ogre, Elf, Barbarian, and Wizard coming together to form an alliance and exact vengeance upon everyone who has done them wrong. This story is about the good guys dying and the bad guys making them die. There's no redemption. There's no morality. There's no happy ending. There is but death and destruction.

Thank you,
Jason Lee

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Rethinking My Options

Well, I'm a little disappointed, to say the least. Five Times Vengeance has been on Amazon for 2 months and I haven't sold over 20 copies. I didn't expect to be the next Amanda Hocking (she's from my home state, by the way) but I thought I' d do a bit better than I have.

Firstly, I'm not really up on Social Networking. I didn't even have a Facebook account until a few months ago. I don't Twitter...yet. And this Blogger account is my first. I'll be the first to admit that I hate self promotion, and that is what this is all about. So, I have no one to blame but myself.

I also had too big of an ego to price my book at anything less than $2.99. And for a first timer like myself, that was a huge blunder. Also, I opted in to the KDP Select program. Another huge blunder, especially for a nobody like me. So far, after 2 months, by book hasn't been borrowed by anyone. Granted, Epic Fantasy isn't at the top of everyone's list, but I thought at least a few people would take a peek.

Once my KDP period ends in the middle of January, I will opt out of it. See, then I can put my ebook on other sites and reach a larger audience. KDP Select means my book must be Amazon exclusive. Booooo.

I'm flirting with the possibility of either dropping the price or maybe offering it for free for a few months and then raising the price back up. I'm not sure yet.

Well, for the next month I'll be shackled to Amazon. I can't wait to try other venues, experiment with prices and freebies, and see what the future holds.

Jason Lee

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thank you

I just would llike to say thank you to all who downloaded my first ebook Five Times Vengeance.

I would be interested in what you think of it--how I could become a better writer. Don't worry, I can take criticism very well.

Also, I would appreciate a review on Amazon, it doesn't have to be very long, just something. If you hated it, though, I think I'll pass on the review.

The next free offering will be on Saturday, November 24th.

Thanks so much.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

FREE Promotion: Five Times Vengeance

I will be offering my ebook Five Times Vengeance for Free for two days: Saturday and Sunday November 10th and 11th. Please download it for your Kindle and let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Trailer: Five Times Vengeance

Please follow the link to watch my very first book trailer. Let me know what you think. It's my first time using Windows Movie Maker.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sample Chapter

Here are the first 15 pages of my new novel Five Times Vengeance: The Guild of The Five. I hope you enjoy them. It will go on sale on on Friday, October 19, 2012 for $2.99. Thank you for your support.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Here is a high resolution image of the map of the entire land. I created it in Adobe Illustrator and it took me many weeks to complete.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Few Weeks Before Publishing

I've done tons of research and I came to the conclusion that I'm going to publish exclusively on Amazon.

I got the cover art done. I got a map made of the land. I got a book trailer done, created with Windows Movie Maker.

Now all I have to do is create an Amazon account, convert my book to their format, and upload it. In a few days I'll post the map on this blog---I just have to figure out how to upload an image. A few days after that, I'll post the cover art, then I'll post the trailer. Remember, this is all new to me, so bear with me if it takes a while.

Thanks for reading.


Friday, September 7, 2012

My First Novel is Complete!

My very first fantasy novel is complete. It weighs in around 141,000 words.

Now, I think, comes the hard part.