Wednesday, May 8, 2013

God Bless!!!

A couple days ago, somebody asked me what I’d do if I became the “next” Rowlings or Tolkien.

Without hesitating I said, “I’d stop promoting my book.”

Honestly, I love writing. But I HATE promoting my book (Riddle in Stone…a dark fantasy available for $2.99 at and other places where e-books are sold). 

Seriously.  I really can’t stand this marketing stuff. And I’m sure that many of you are getting tired of hearing me talk about my book (Riddle in Stone). And for that, I am HUGELY sorry. Sincerely! 

I am so tired of asking people to read it, to review it, to spread the word!  But it’s what authors have to do nowadays otherwise books don’t sell.

UGH!!!  I feel so dirty!

I’m afraid I’m just not a “marketing kind of guy”.

I’m a “dark room, antisocial, writer kind of guy.”  It’s a good day when I can just bask in the humming glow of my computer screen and not interact with anybody. 

No offense.

I just hate trying to get enough people to buy RIDDLE IN STONE so that my publisher will publish more of my manuscripts.

With that said, I have stumbled upon something really wonderful. 

Many of you experienced writers mentioned it to me before, but it wasn’t until a couple days ago that I checked it out.

At, you can make ads promoting your book.

This is how it works. . .

You create a little ad with the picture of your book and a brief blurb (I think 150 characters long). The ad appears on the side of Goodread’s pages. If people click on the ad, they are taken to whatever link you want—such as your book’s page on Further, you don’t pay unless people click.  I think I pay $0.50 per click.

Not a lot of people click on the ad, so it really doesn’t cost that much. Only 12 people have clicked on my ad. 

But the big thing is that you get people to view your ad and see your book!

So far I have had 24,731 views.  Now, of course, most people aren’t even noticing my little ad.  But some are! I’ve noticed a significant upswing in how many people have put Riddle in Stone on their “to read” list. In fact, within the past couple of hours, five new people put Riddle in Stone, on their “to read” list, whereas I hadn’t had somebody do that for a couple of weeks!

And I’ve only spent $5.00, which I think is a bargain!

What’s even better is that you can target certain audiences. For example, you can make your ad appear for people who like “fantasy, horror stories, and thrillers.”

You can also play around and see which wording seems to attract people the most. 

For instance, I have three ads running.  One is pretty straight-forward.  It basically says, “Tired of feeling like a loser, Edmund sets out to become a famous adventurer, but his first quest goes horribly wrong…”

The second is supposed to be more mysterious: “Edmund knows a secret, a secret that every king, thief, and assassin would kill to have…” 

And the third focuses more on the romance aspect of my story: “Trying to win the heart of the woman he loves, Edmund sets out to come a famous adventurer…” 

It’s interesting to me that the one focusing on romance is getting far more clicks than the other two.  In fact, the straightforward one isn’t getting ANY clicks…which gives me a clearer idea of how to approach the market.

Plus, it’s kind of fun to see how many views they each get and by what groups of readers.  It’s like watching the stock market or a telethon.  Okay, that didn’t sound too exciting, but you’ll have to trust me!  It’s fun!

Since I have a feeling that the romance aspect of my story is going to attract more readers, I’m tinkering with new ways to rephrase the other ads so that I can attract female readers (who tend to buy a lot of fantasy books). 

How is this?

Riddle in Stone
Tired of being made fun of, Edmund sets out to become a famous hero, but finds being a hero isn't as easy as it sounds. (Dark Fantasy)

What do you think?

At any rate, the Goodreads program has really made promoting RIDDLE IN STONE fun and interesting. And best of all, it seems to be working.  Another person just added my book to their “to read” list!


  1. I'm going to go click your ad over and over and over again until you are bankrupt! Kidding, of course, but .50 seems expensive to me for each click given how little you make from each book sale. I know some viewers just see the ad and go straight to Amazon, but still...

    I'm with you on hating the fact that authors are supposed to do the marketing these days. How am I supposed to focus on writing if I have to be a marketer?

    1. Maybe $0.50 is a bit much. But what I'm hoping is that most of the people who see the ad won't click, but will rather type in "Riddle in Stone." I'm just hoping to attract a few people to the book. We'll see if it works.

      Five people have added the book since I put up the add and it's cost me about $ you're right, there isn't much of a profit margin even if all five people buy the book.

      Still, I suppose I'm not writing to become rich...though that would be nice!!!

  2. "Real women like heroes who stutter" is quite catchy and suggests a romantic comedy, but your blurb beneath it doesn't mention a woman, which makes me doubt the romance angle and suppose instead it's about a clueless guy hoping for some heroics to get a girl (again, comedy rather than dark fantasy). The one-liner comes across as very young and light, like "I'll show them" rather than something I'd term dark fantasy. "Being made fun of" sounds like a petty school kids thing. I prefer "Tired of ridicule," or something like that. I certainly don't have your insider knowledge on your book, but based on the blurb at the top of your page, I'd say your short advert isn't properly conveying the feel of your book. I hope this comment proves useful. I'm no marketing maven myself; I find outside commentary helpful.

    Best wishes with your novel.

    1. I think you're brilliant, Shannon! Thank you. Both "ridicule" and the love story comment are spot on. Thanks!! Let's see if I have better results now! :)