About Me

My photo
Bridgeport, Michigan, United States
In the beginning, Author Madison Johns, didn't have a clue what marketing was or even how to go about it, but she learned, and now... she wants to help you... the writers of the world whether traditionally published or indie.
Powered by Blogger.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Madison's Corner

I know I have so many other writers who follow me on Facebook and what I'd like to say is never be afraid to try something new. I was totally going to give up on writing paranormal romance. I just thought I'm no good at this and it will never take off for me, but what I learned was you just never know what will sell and what won't. Seriously I didn't even promote it more than a $5 a day Facebook ad. It got picked up by a ton of sites right now. (Believe me this is great and I probably will never know where exactly). Did I mention how hard it is to find sites that will put a book with any erotic content on their website? SO basically forget about ENT (Enews Reader Today) Kindle Books & Tips, and probably just about every other site that I regularly have advertised on. Except for BookBub, and this book won't make the word count and is too new. (News flash: if your book is performing well you don't need a BookBub ad anyway). What I did decide was that at 129 pages I'd leave it at $0.99 instead of raising the price even though it's worth the $2.99. My thought pattern went like this, maybe sales will build over time and they did. I swore I'd never go back into Select, but I did it anyway for an experiment if not for any other reason, making my book available in KU. The thing is you need to do the math when it comes to places other than just Amazon, and for my paranormal books they just weren't really selling enough to justify not trying it out. My firm belief that it's genre related. I have a cozy mystery in KU and don't really have enough borrows to justify it so will be taking it back out later this month. I'll let you know how it works out in a later post.

Right now I'm trying out pre-orders to see if it's something that will work for me or not. It's only been a few days and Ghostly Hijinks (My Agnes Barton Paranormal Mystery), is not burning up the charts, but I did wind up on #1 for ghosts and haunted houses, landing on the hot new release list for that category. At this point I just don't feel like I'll be able to hold that spot since sales go up and down.

Hmm, what else am I doing marketing wise? Writing and publishing more, but I'm sure that's something most of you know already. It's not easy for me and while you might think I'm inspiring, believe me I'm just like you. I struggle to write sometimes, but I have the drive and ambition to know that to maintain, I need to continue to publish good books that people love. Does everyone like my books anymore than anyone else's? Not a chance. Sometime you get lucky. My books don't get awards nor are they ever nominated for them, but I do have some great readers and have found some wonderful Facebook groups to interact on.

I have all these readers who love my Agnes Barton cozy mystery series and even when I published a new series, Target of Death, early this year, I swear I could hear crickets on Amazon. I've been told I need more books in the series, but how do you continue to write a series that bombed that bad. It's a great book, too, but my Agnes lovers just didn't latch on to it. That's totally up to you as the writer, to make the decision that suits you best. 

If you decide to genre hop, this is what you're in for. You have to basically start all over again. Last year I published a sweet romance, Pretty and Pregnant and it bombed. Then came Redneck Romance and again, it just didn't sell, which I think has to do with the title, but it's a great story that was published by Tirgearr Publishing. I tried out paranormal romance and writing a serial and while it tanked, I was forced to continue to finish all three books in the series. The thing about serials is that no matter how it does, you're committed to finish it. Talk about some serious writers block. I found out for me, I just hate the serial format. I'm a novel girl so my next book was longer and a standalone. Somewhere along the lines I think I did something right and it's performed well and I'm writing another standalone sequel.

My advice to writers is this: write good books and the readers will come. It might not happen in the time frame you hope, but above all be you, be unique, and come up with your own plots that don't mirror someone else's. 

Smiles :)
Madison Johns

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Publishing History of a mid-list indie

Some people call me inspiring and it's not something I set out to do. I thought it might be interesting to spell out what I published and when. If you'll notice after I published Armed and Outrageous it took me nearly a year to publish my second book. What a waste of a year. I wrote my second Agnes book in August of 2012, but it took me a long time to get it to market. Somewhere in 2013 there was this writer who was constantly publishing books and I was in awe of her. It was then that I decided to up my game and start writing more books more often.

If you'll also notice I went from June all the way until November before I published another book. I didn't write for the entire summer much, and Redneck Romance was already in the mix. Amazon has different dates, but I have updated files so the dates I'm giving you is more accurate. I'll admit I had a rough personal life last summer and a day job. The day I put my first box set together was the same day my boyfriend died. I didn't give up, I then became a single mother and it drove me even harder. I quit my job in September, but my sales were starting to take off because last summer I did pay for promos. My first three Agnes books soared into the Amazon bestsellers list and stayed there. All of this was before BookBub. I'd be willing to say that Grannies, Guns & Ghosts paved my way. I didn't follow anyone's advice. I came up with my own strategy and used it. Overall I'd say that I've been extremely lucky. Things now aren't like they were, but they're better than where I was at the beginning of last summer. I struggle to write, I struggle to continue to publish books. None of this is easy for anyone. You have to love to write above all and write what inspires you the most. If it's not fun, it shows and probably won't sell.

There are two types of people, ones who talk about doing things and those that do them. If you want to become a writer know firsthand that it will suck up all of your free time in the beginning. You'll find yourself having to schedule you family time. You might find it hard to stay in a relationship. You might find it hard to sleep when your mind only wants to think about writing. It's a great sacrifice, but the greatest thing in the world is hearing from readers about how much they love your books, or it makes them forget about their troubles, or medical conditions.

How do I start you ask: Stop making excuses. Take out your computer or laptop and start typing. Work on the story that has the greatest potential, and above all ... finish them. What comes next is up to you, but believe me with that finished first draft the work has only begun.

Publishing history:
Coffin Tales Season of Death (November 30, 2011)
Armed and Outrageous (April 28, 2012)
Pretty & Pregnant (March 8, 2013)
Grannies, Guns and Ghosts (April 2013)
Senior Snoops (June 2013)
Agnes Barton Senior Sleuths box set, books 1-3 (September 2013)
Redneck Romance (Published by Tirgearr Publishing October 16, 2013)
Trouble in Tawas (November 5, 2013)
Treasure in Tawas (January 24, 2014)
Target of Death (February 28, 2014)
Pretty, Hip & Dead (April 4, 2014)
Bigfoot in Tawas (April 27, 2014)
Agnes Barton in Tawas box set (April 27, 2014)
Hidden, Clan of the Werebear serial book one, (May 13, 2014)
Discovered, Clan of the Werebear serial book two, (June 5, 2014)