Can You Spot Scam Book Promotion Sites?

Front Cover: A Morning Murder

The completion of the 20th book in The Freeman Files Series must wait until after my scheduled visit to the eye clinic. I’m 50% through ‘A Morning Murder’, which deals with a sensitive, topical theme. First, Gus and the team had their 19th case to finally put to bed before starting a hard-earned holiday.

Last month I promised to deal with issues that can frustrate an indie author trying to get their books read. I’ve lost count of the emails I’ve had from people encouraging me to promote a book on their site.

Some of the following names will be familiar to you. I don’t know which of these sites are genuine, and which aren’t. Each has suggested that using their services will change my life. What do they all have in common?

They claim to have large followings on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. They promise to write exclusive content and spread the word  on my book for anything between 2 days to 2 years. Their pricing structure looks almost identical on whichever site you view.

What makes me suspicious?

The numbers of followers never matches the claim in the email when you check the main account. They reckon they have multiple accounts but don’t disclose the names. How can you check whether they’ve sent the content they promised? How can you estimate how many people they reached?

The person sending the email isn’t someone you can trace on social media. I suspect the names are fake, because I looked everywhere, believe me. Oh, a couple had died recently. Any testimonials are from authors with one title of non-fiction, one in an obscure genre, or someone with several books, none of which has warranted a ranking.

If that’s life-changing, you can keep it. 

So, whichever site it is between Author’s Book and Writer’s Warmth and the many others in between that pester me – I have no idea whether they are genuine or not, but I know they can’t deliver what they promise.

What’s the life of a social media post? Twitter – less than 30 minutes. Instagram and Facebook – around 24 to 30 hours.

Why does anyone believe you can sell books on Twitter by posting tweet after tweet, anyway? It didn’t work a decade ago. Nothing’s changed. The same goes for Facebook and Instagram. 

In ten years, I’ve learned a promotion costing less than $50 is pointless. You might get one decent ROI and then you need to walk away. These sites rarely have enough readers on their listings in your genre to support more than one visit, and the small sites stagnate quickly. There’s no point in me peppering a 25k listing every 90 days hoping to find new Freeman Files readers. Far better to submit to BookBub, pray for a Featured Deal, and access four million crime fiction lovers. There are only a handful of sites where the numbers get refreshed by newcomers on a regular basis – Freebooksy and The Fussy Librarian are the two I use regularly, and although their ROI will drop over time, it can take three to four years with a promo every 90 days.

So, choose the sites you spend your hard-earned cash on with care. Never rely on social media-based promos, because they never provide measurable positive results. Build a mailing list of readers you know are invested in your books, and hang onto them. They’re gold dust. I’ll be back in August with updates and another rant.

Best wishes

Keep reading

Ted Tayler

 

Writer’s Lift

WHISPERED TRUTHS #19 in The Freeman Files Series went ‘live’ on Amazon on the 31st MAY.

Front Cover: A Morning Murder

 

I’ve received notification of the date of my next eye operation. I’m booked in for Friday the 8th of July. I hope to have a clear and corrected vision in the right eye to match the left one. Unfortunately, there may be some disruption to my writing progress in July. So, I won’t make rash promises on Gus Freeman’s 20th mystery, ‘A MORNING MURDER’.

A further update in July.

Last year, I published a bonus collection for anyone joining The Phoenix Club. As from today, (June 6th) that’s the only way you’ll access the material it contains. I intended The Long Hard Road to give new readers a flavour of what to expect from my books.

My first seven years writing weren’t wasted, even if I never broke even. Those years taught me several hard lessons. One was nothing ever stays the same. So my bonus collection needs refreshing regularly. With each passing year the number and flavour of my books has changed.

I feel the people who do me the honour of joining my mailing list should receive any exclusive content I have to pass on.

Going forward, this blog will dispense the latest news, and a personal view on something in the media that has delighted or annoyed me. 

A fellow writer gave me four words of advice that changed my fortunes. Within months of adopting his mantra I made my long-hoped for breakthrough.

WRITE; EDIT; PUBLISH; REPEAT.

Which brings me to #writerslift and other similar hashtags on Twitter.

Why do so many younger writers waste time on social media?

I spend 10 (TEN) minutes each morning to check out Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram before I start writing. A quick trawl this morning and I found – ‘I need three more followers to hit 5000’ ‘What do you listen to when you’re writing?’ ‘You can have 5 people (alive or dead) around for dinner. Who are they?’ ‘I just found a their/there error in my manuscript. Now I’m re-evaluating my life.’

My advice? Check the mantra above. If you want to have even a small degree of success then you need to accept it’s hard graft. You won’t find it  posting inane comments and questions on Twitter. 

One sane person I spotted on my trip through the dross was Patrick Morgan Book Promoter – His tweet was ‘Why are you reading this? Shouldn’t you be writing right now?’ It’s good to know I’m not alone.

Next month’s topic:  Promo sites that offer to tweet your book to  thousands of avid readers. Are they worth it?

 

 

 

 

 

Onwards and Upwards

Front Cover: Whispered TruthsUPDATE: –

WHISPERED TRUTHS #19 in The Freeman Files Series is 50% complete.

We arrived home from our week in the sun early yesterday morning. I’ve got a Bookbub Featured Deal for Books 1-3 of The Phoenix Series to attend to today; so, the writing restarts tomorrow.

I’m on track to publish the new title ahead of the next Newsletter in June.

I signed the licensing agreement with Blackstone Publishing for the Freeman Files audio books on the 19th of April. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

 A quick Q&A this month so you can learn more about what makes me tick.

 Q. When did you discover your love for literature? Was being a writer something you always planned?

 A. My mother loved to read. She was the one to encourage me. Her eldest sister, and her sister-in-law were both English teachers, so there was no escape. Whenever I visited them they devised word games, and spelling bees, or sat me down with a book if it was raining outside. There was no electric light in the countryside where they lived. Many games on winter’s evenings involved creating shadows on the walls and ceilings by gaslight. I loved literature, but I never dreamed of writing until I was in my mid-sixties.

 Q. Your books contain a lot of twists. Do you plan them before you start writing, or do some of them just happen along the way?

 A. I prepare a rough outline for each chapter with specific twists where I feel they should be introduced. These chapter outlines merely serve as signposts. I set off on the journey between Point A and B, and let the characters take me wherever they wish to go. I end up in situations I never dreamed of with twists I didn’t see coming, but I make sure I get back to Point B before travelling further. That works for me.

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of June.

Take care. Stay safe. Keep reading.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Warm Sounds

ONE TRUE FRIEND #18 in The Freeman Files Series is LIVE on Amazon.

Yes, a little earlier than forecast, but I received an email from Blackstone Publishing in the States expressing an interest in securing the world audio rights to The Freeman Files Series. That put a spring in my step! I must be doing something right. 

Blackstone does very well with crime novels in audio, and they can widen the audience for Gus and his team to those who enjoy listening to a good story while they drive, work, or exercise, as well as those who have sight disabilities, or just prefer to listen rather than to read.

On signing the contract, I get the opportunity to approve the narrator for the series, and work will begin recording ‘Fatal Decision’ at one of their five recording studios in Oregon. Book #1 should be available later this summer, with the next seventeen books in the series following at monthly intervals.

Blackstone are open to adding books #19-24 scheduled in the series, and box sets could also be included in the Freeman catalogue. (Sorry, couldn’t resist it! – although it won’t mean a thing to many outside the UK).

A seven year licensing agreement was something I never dreamed possible when I started on ‘The Long Hard Road’ as an indie author. I’ve consulted a solicitor, and if two minor queries can be resolved to our satisfaction I shall take the plunge. 

You will learn of any progress in my next blog post.

I start writing WHISPERED TRUTHS #19 in The Freeman Files Series on 11th April.

As we are soon flying off on our first holiday for three years, I won’t make rash promises, but the end of May seems a reasonable length of time to create the next gripping mystery.

I’ll be back with the latest news in the second week of May.

Take care. Stay safe. Keep reading

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Risen From The Ashes

The combined promotion for the first two Box Sets in The Phoenix Series on Monday the 7th March was successful.

It achieved everything I’d hoped for – a significant number of downloads, healthy sales of other titles in the series, and the first BookBub Ad to achieve quantifiable positive results.

Only TWO opportunities left this month to take advantage of FREE promos.

Conception- Birth of The Phoenix on the 12TH MARCH

Front Cover: Conception

The Freeman Files Box Set – Books 1-3 on the 19TH MARCH

Freeman Files Box Set #1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What else is happening? 

The website continues to receive a refurbishment, and the eighteenth title in The Freeman Files is 60% done. I’ll be back next month when ‘One True Friend’ will be ready to fly!

Best wishes

Ted Tayler