Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Brave New World of E Marketing

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Ebook A lot of authors are jumping on the E publishing bandwagon.  Those of us who have our rights back can't afford to see our work sitting on the shelves not earning any income.  Hey, we've got mortgage, car payments, and health care premiums to pay for and except for often paltry advances, we get paid twice a year.  (It's just about impossible to pay the dentist in January when you won't get paid again until April or May.)

Of course, putting our work up on Kindle and Nook means we have to wear hats other than just that of author.  Now we have to think about marketing as well.

The truth is, I'm just not as good as it as I would like.  There's a reason big publishers have whole staffs dedicated to getting the word out on a book.  And they know what sells.  Me?  Not so much.  But in order to compete, I've got to be willing to say, "Hey, this doesn't work.  I'll try something different."

I'm doing that with new covers.

OnlySkinDeep.sm Here's the original cover for one of my short stories.  It's a sweet little story about a woman who makes one mistake that snowballs and changes her life forever.  Because the story revolves around a child with a visible birth defect, I called it "Only Skin Deep" (as in "beauty is only skin deep).  There are pink daisies in the story.  I thought pink daisies would help sell this little story that is so dear to my heart.

It didn't.

In fact, it didn't in spades.

So, it was time to call on the big guns.  What actually sells?

Sex-Stranger_cover.sm Sex.

Why not put that in the title?  After all, it was a one-night stand that changed my heroine's life forever.  (The title is supposed to be a take-off on "Love With A Perfect Stranger.)  I haven't changed the book's blurbs, which says:

A one-night stand changes Leslie Turner's life forever when she discovers she's pregnant. Keeping the child means losing her business. Even more devastating, the baby is born with a disfiguring birth defect. Her carefully planned life falls apart . . . until years later when she once again meets her baby's father. Can they ever be a family?

Now, will this cover change actually sell more copies of the story?  I'm hoping it will.  What do you think?

And did I mention the price:  99 cents.  Think of it as 1/3 of a Starbucks coffee.  And, if you like it, you can read it again and again.  (Try that with a cup of coffee.)

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By the way, Sex With an Imperfect Stranger is available at these locations. (and remember, you don't need an e reader to download an e book or short stories.  Kindle, B&N and Smashwords all allow you to download to your computer or ipad or ... whatever.)  Maybe you'd like to give "Sex" a try. (P.S. Kindle, Nook and Smashwords all allow you to download samples of the stories/books, too.)

Kindle     Nook      Smashwords



UPDATE:  Thanks to a lively discussion on Facebook, my readers and I (with help from Dru and Heather) found a great picture and new title.  Would THIS version entice you to read the story?


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P.S. Backlist Ebooks is sponsoring a Halloween Sale at Smashwords.  44 books by 15 different authors of mystery, romance, and fantasy -- all 25% off.  (And what do you know--some of those books are by my alter ego L.L. Bartlett and our own Deb Baker!)  Check out the links at the Backlist Ebooks web site -- click the SPECIALS tab.