Getting More Instafreebie Downloads

Instafreebie is one platform authors use to distribute free stories to readers. A bonus to using Instafreebe is they have author group giveaways with a purpose of growing your newsletter. (Readers get a free book if they sign up for your newsletter.)

I had been struggling with this a little, as I only had short stories that I could give away free. All my novels and novellas are enrolled exclusively with Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited. In addition, I don’t have the budget for a fancy designer cover for a free giveaway, so I make my own.

Both these issues (average covers and shorter stories) resulted in less downloads than the other authors in the group giveaways. This was fine, as I continued to grow my mailing list, but made growth slow and I questioned the cost-effectiveness of this method.

Well, I found the secret for me to have DOUBLE (or Triple!) the downloads to my free stories!

It’s bundling them into a box set — and making it LOOK like a box set. (Note: I think this method will work for ANY platform, including Book Funnel, and even for sale on Amazon.)

For example…Here is what my Quick Escape: Fantasy Tales freebie used to look like:

Quick Escape LQ

And now, I give away the same freebie, and changed the image to this:

Quick Escape 3D

And it gets double the downloads, even though each story averages only about 2000 words.

I did the same with my Superhero Wives short stories. I used to give away just one story:

Stellar Life of SH Wife

But I bundled it with a few other short stories I had to create this:

SHW Box

And downloads doubled!

You can see how Quick Escape: Fantasy Tales stands out on the page here:

instafreebie

That’s it. I just wanted to share this little trick with you. (FYI: I make my covers at http://www.canva.com and then made them look like a box set through https://lite.boxshot.com)

are physical books obsolete_

Of course, now that I have the subscribers, they need to be paired with a stellar newsletter welcome series to keep them reading.

As always, thanks for reading!

–Joy

 

Please Join My Launch Team

Six days into 2018, and I’m finally solidifying my writing goals. The focus of this year will be on my Angels of Sojourn series, which includes Blood & Holy Water and four other stories.

I’m getting some fabulous covers for this series, creating some memorable characters, and trying to gain some new readers & fans.

To do all that, I need your help. I am looking for people to join my launch team. People who will help spread the word of these stories by purchasing the book(s) when they’re specially priced at 99 cents, leave reviews, or help share Facebook posts.

of sojourn

Here’s my (ambitious) plan for the year:

  • Blood & Holy Water: New Cover in Spring
  • Fangs & Fairy Dust: Publishing February 1st in the Darklight & Daydreams anthology, then republishing as a stand-alone novella in May.
  • Fur & Feathers: Publishing late spring/early summer
  • Untitled Novella: Publishing in the Unleashed anthology in August, then republishing as a stand-alone novella in December.
  • Lily & Grimm (or some other titled): Publishing late fall/early winter

And then that may be the end to this series with new things for 2019.

Please join my launch team HERE:

Here’s my tentative calendar.

January

1/15/18: Hexes and Ohs Published

February

2/1/18: Darklight & Daydreams Published (Fangs & Fairy Dust)

March April

Relaunch Blood & Holy Water?

May

Publish Fangs & Fairy Dust independently

June

Publish Fur & Feathers

July August

8/20/18: Unleashed Anthology Published (untitled novella in Angels of Sojourn world)

September October

Publish Lily & Grimm

November

 

December

Publish untitled novella from Unleashed independently.

How about you? What are you focusing on in 2018?

My Book Marketing Plan

After releasing four books, I’ve tweaked and retweaked my new-release marketing plan. I’d love feedback on ways to improve it, but here’s what I have so far.

First, I release a first in a series at 99 cents for 8 days, though when I release Fur & Feathers, I may try a release at full price ($2.99). The reason for 99 cents is to encourage sales and hope that the Amazon algorithms pick it up to be “sticky.”

Here’s my advertising plan:

Paid Promos: Schedule about $100 of paid promos (This also helps with Kindle unlimited page reads) I learned that more promos is not worth it, as you end up hitting the same readers over and over.
Newsletter Swaps: Participate in as many newsletter swaps as possible – make sure to have a sign up and require proof they shared. Also, send a reminder/confirmation, otherwise, sometimes I think the other authors forget to do their end of the swap. Honestly, I think with the right network of authors & newsletters, you could do a release solely on free swaps.
Multi Author Cross Promo: Sign up for as many KU or 99 cent sales as you can find.
Create your own KU & 99 Cent Cross Promo if not many are available during your release week. I did this, you can see what they looked like HERE (99 cents) or HERE (KU)
Daycause campaign: Create & ask for support. I used to use Headtalker, but they went out of business. Thunderclap is another one, but you need so many supporters, I fear I’d work hard and my campaign would never be published.
Social Media: Post on all channels you utilize. I think, at some point, I need to break into you tube.
Schedule twitter & facebook posts
Blog Post
Boost Facebook Post: People who like your page & their friends. This has been the most effective for me.
Genre Targeted – I haven’t found much success with this yet.
AMS Ad: Begin selecting keywords early.
My Newsletter: Send on day 2 or so. Resend in 24 hours to non-openers or do the below.
Non-openers (a thank you on my new release) – Day 6
Non-openers (gmail-repeat last email) – Day 8
Other Bookbub email – automatic, work on gaining follows
Amazon email – automatic, work on gaining follows
KDROi promos
Misc Ideas Goodreads Giveaway
Amazon Giveaway
Sample Chapters on Instafreebies
Schedule a Facebook Hop
Blot tour?
Post on reader facebook pages?
Goodreads Lists?

So what does it all look like? Here’s how my release of Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey went. I don’t follow the plan above perfectly, but it serves as a guide. Of note, I couldn’t promote using some of my favorite paid promo sites because of my story being a novella or they were booked when I contacted them. Also, some of the paid sights below, I wouldn’t use again due to lack of sales.

**Note: I had a 3 month pre-order period. For Amazon, this does nothing to help your ranking, but does help build also-boughts for some free advertising a little later.

Date Price Promo 1 Promo 2
11/7/2017 still on pre-order Reader’s Gazette 1 Author Newsletter Swap
11/8/2017 pre-order
11/9/2017 $0.99 Facebook
AMSMy Kindle Unlimited Promo
KDROi (until the 14th)
1 Author Newsletter SwapBookbub Email (automatic)
11/10/2017 $0.99 Book Sends/eReader IQ
Amazon New Release Email
Choosy Bookworm
My Mailing List (List 1 – 1st 1/2)
11/11/2017 $0.99 Book Runes My Mailing List (List 1 – 2nd 1/2)
Resend Mailing list 1 (1st) after 25 hrs
11/12/2017 $0.99 Romancing the Dragon Blog Post
Resend Mailing List 1 (2nd) after 25 hrs
11/13/2017 $0.99 Fussy Librarian Author Newsletter Swap
11/14/2017 $0.99 eReader Café 3 Author Newsletter Swaps
11/15/2017 $0.99 Awesome Gang 2 Author Newsletter Swaps
11/16/2017 $0.99 BK Knights 1 Author Newsletter Swap
11/17/2017 $0.99 My 99 Cent Promo My Mailing List (list 2)
1 Author Newsletter Swap
11/18/2017 $0.99 My 99 Cent Promo
Light UF Promo
My Mailing List again (list 2)
11/19/2017 $0.99 My 99 Cent Promo
Light UF Promo
11/20/2017 $2.99
11/21/2017 $2.99
11/22/2017 $2.99

How am I doing so far? Okay, but I have four more days to go at 99 cents. Someday I’d love to discover the secret formula, but I think massive sales takes a bit of luck as well. Here are my Amazon sales charts so far:

hidden release

And don’t forget, I hit #1 in a category (humorous fantasy) and earned the elusive Amazon best seller ribbon. Both of which are a huge win for me!!!

Hidden #1Hidden best seller

Oh, and I saw my name on the same page with two of my favorite authors, Patricia Briggs & Robin McKinley. You can’t put a price tag on that one.

schultz mckinley briggs.png

So, what marketing am I missing? What’s worked for you?

Four Books Later, I Finally Hit #1

That’s right. I finally did it!

Hidden #1

Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey hit #1, and I received the elusive Amazon Best Seller orange tag!

Hidden best seller

And it didn’t take many sales. The day it hit number one, I sold 50 copies.

The key was a good cover, a little bit of the right advertising, and picking the correct categories for the book. Here are a few tidbits:

  1. The right cover: I’ve finally given in. I did make my Hidden Cover, but moving forward, I think I’ll be hiring cover designers. I reached out to one of my favorite designers to work on redoing Blood & Holy Water & making one for book 2 & 3 in this series.
  2. The right advertising: Having a group of authors that help support this project has helped me bring in sales (if you haven’t read my blog about the “Hidden” project, check it out HERE.) I’ve also developed a new release spreadsheet/plan that works on multiple angels of advertising, including paid promos, newsletter swaps, social media, cross promo with other authors, and Amazon/Bookbub notifications. Someday, I’ll write a blog about this — if you want a copy sooner, just comment below.
  3. The right categories: Yeah, this makes all the difference. There’s a whole mess of sites about getting into specific categories, but what I do is just browse every ebook category on Amazon, write down which ones I want, then contact Amazon (thorough author central) to add my book where I’d like it. This article has been helpful. I go right to step 3.

Oh, and a bonus to all of this…my reviews are coming in better than I expected. I have 18 reviews so far (it released three days ago,) and I’m currently averaging a 4.6 stars!

Now, my next goal: figuring out how to get “sticky” on Amazon. First, I’ll have to write more books!

Thanks for sticking with me & my writing journey.

Talk to you again soon!

 

Sneak Peek of Fur & Feathers

Angels of SojournAs some of you know, I’m trying NaNoWriMo again this year. I know I won’t be able to hit the 50,000 word goal, but if I write half of that, I’ll be happy!

To celebrate writing my first 3 chapters of Fur & Feathers: Angels of Sojourn Book 2, I’m being brave and sharing my completely unedited, un-beta-read first chapter of my first draft.

Blurb:

Katrina Hartley is determined to protect her five-year-old werewolf son, but when the boy’s accused of a gruesome attack during the recent full moon, Katrina must clear her son’s name…only she’s not sure where the child was during the full moon. When one clue after another points towards her son, she never expected the help of a fallen angel.

After recently falling, angel Simon Parker searches for his long-lost family and his place in the human world, all the while trying to forget about the woman he loved for nearly 100 years. When a desperate mother crosses his path, he can’t help but wanting to feel useful again…even if she doesn’t want his help.


Chapter 1

 

SIMON

The moonlight filtered through the pine boughs and cast long shadows across the front of the old fieldstone home. Tucked a few steps into the neighboring forest, Simon leaned against an oak tree watching for a sign someone was home.

After two weeks of waiting, his stomach still danced in anticipation for meeting his family…again.

He pushed himself tighter to the tree, enjoying the uncomfortable sensation of the bumps digging into his back. Since falling from Sojourn six months ago, he hadn’t got used to his heightened sense of touch, especially in a spot that had held wings for over two hundred years.

The other thing he hadn’t gotten used to was not having a purpose in life. He’d always taken pride in his position as head angel advisor, but now, he was nothing but a washed-up angel in love with a woman he could never have.

And he wasn’t even waiting in front of that woman’s home. In fact, he was on the other side of the country, in Maine, avoiding her, waiting outside his old family estate and attempting to relish in the memories from when he was human…the first time.

If you call the limbo he was in being human.

Every night for the past two weeks he had been coming here under the cover of the pines and oaks, trying to get up enough courage to knock on the door. To announce that he was their long, dead great, great grandfather. His family had to still live here, as the mailbox at the end of the windy driveway still said “Parker.” A couple with mostly gray hair lived in the home now. Simon tried to find the resemblance to his wife, or perhaps himself, but failed. How would these people take his news?

When a shadow drifted in front of a window, towards a large mahogany door, Simon jerked forward.

Perhaps now was the time.

This whole dream was ridiculous. They wouldn’t know him, and how would he explain? Would he reveal his hidden wings then make them pull out some old war photos and show them the resemblance? Would they even believe him? Humans were always so skeptical – always looking for the trick.

Could he ever make up for what he lost so many years ago?

Do it. You have to. Why else are you on earth?

Taking a deep breath, he stood tall and took a step towards the small home.

From beside him, a snap came from the woods, halting his progress. He flicked his head in that direction.

When the snapping of branches and feet thumping against the dirt grew louder, Simon stepped out of the moonlight and returned to the shadow of the oak.

On a small, worn trail emerged a sprinting pup. Its front and back legs were moving fast and when the pup turned a corner toward Simon, it’s legs flew out from underneath it, sending it tumbling on its side.

“Whatcha doing?” Simon whispered, squatting down to help the pup over.

The pup flipped to its feet without assistance, and when it flicked it’s head up, the its yellow-green eyes widened at the sight of Simon. It darted around again, brushing a pine bow out of the way as it turned back into the woods down a different path.

Out from the pup’s trail came a gentle rustling of branches and shuffling of fine gravel. Simon stood and tilted his chin. Another dog?

A light shadow moved from behind the trees and before Simon could process what was happening, a beautiful, white wolf leapt into the clearing, plowing right into Simon, knocking him to the ground with a thump.

With a racing heart and all the air knocked from his lungs, for a moment all he could do was look into the wolf’s knowing eyes. As the beast leaned down to sniff…or bite his neck, he stepped into Sojourn and transported himself behind a boulder just far enough to be out of the wolf’s way.

How did humans survive without special abilities?

The wolf’s head jerked left, then right, then put its nose to the ground and followed the trail the pup had taken.

Was the big wolf hunting the smaller one?

Simon felt a tingle in his chest, the pull of a miracle.

Could it be fallen angels get miracles, too?

Even if it wasn’t possible, it had been a while since he had done something for someone else…

Ignore it. Those are only animals.

Simon returned his gaze to his family home and focused on the peacefulness of it.

But his stomach still tingled, pulling him back into the woods, away from the house.

Oh, Great Angels. You can’t ignore a miracle.

Hiding in the shadow’s of Sojorn, he transported himself along the path of the white wolf until the animals came in sight. The wolf had tackled the young one, pinning it down and growling. Simon’s heart raced at the sight of the sharp white teeth reflecting the moonlight.

Taking a deep breath, he stepped from the shadows right beside the wolf. With all his might, Simon threw his body into the animal and knocked it over while keeping his eyes on the wolf’s fangs, prepared to transport away if it went in for a taste.

The wolf shook its head, dazed, and Simon used this to his advantage. He scooped the pup into his arms, holding its snout closed with his hand, and transported…

Oh no.

He tried again, thinking of the mattress he’d been calling home for the past two weeks.

Nothing.

He didn’t budge.

The white wolf snarled in front of him as it stalked closer. Simon turned the pup in his arm, squeezing it tightly against his body with one hand. Twisting around, he scrambled to the closest pine and gripped a branch above his head. With all his might, he hefted himself up, grateful that angels, fallen or not, were stronger than humans. His feet found two limbs and he steadied himself, climbing up and feeling his fingers stick to the sap-filled tree limbs.

Beneath him, the wolf growled and nipped at his shoe. Simon scrambled to pull himself up another branch, but the beast’s teeth sank into the sole. Simon kicked it off, continuing to climb. One branch after another and he hefted himself and the pup up. When the wolf’s growls grew silent, he turned down and a rush of dizziness hit him.

Who ever heard of an angel afraid of heights.

He hugged the tree trunk tightly and turned to sit on a thick limb…and at that moment, the pup bit the lapel of his jacket.

He jerked, wanting to throw it down, but from this height, it would mean the animal’s death. Leaning back against the limb and balancing steady, he looked up into the nearly full moon and pulled the wolf back, clasping his mouth shut once again.

Once Simon’s heart stopped pounding, he focused on the sounds of rustling leaves, breaking pine branches, and something else loud, but unidentifiable from below. “Holy Sojourn. What are we going to do?”

The pup whined.

In a moment, the noises stopped and the forest grew eerily silent.

“We did it,” Simon said, focusing on the tingle still in his chest. Was saving the pup not his miracle?

He tried to transport back to the ground, but, once again, nothing happened. What was wrong with his abilities?

Simon took a deep breath, tightened his grip on a branch, and glanced down. He hadn’t climbed up far. He could get down, if only he didn’t look.

Twisting in the tree and holding on tight, he lowered one foot down, searching for a branch.

“Let him go!” came a woman’s voice from below.

Simon jumped, hugging the tree tighter.

“Thank you ma’am, but be careful. There’s a wolf in the woods.”

The woman sighed. “You’re holding a wolf. Let him go. I’m sure he wants to get back to his mother.”

His mother?

Simon glanced down at the woman, and before another rush of dizziness hit him, he was certain he saw a woman, completely naked, using a few pine boughs to shield her body.

“Oh, great miracle!” he exclaimed. “Um…I’m not coming down with you naked below me.”

A heavy huff came from the woman, “Fine. Let me get my clothes,” she said as she stormed away.

 

KATRINA

 Katrina kept one eye on the man holding her son as she edged herself to the white fence surrounding the home. She pulled the pale blue dress off a post she had left it on and pulled it over her head. “There,” she called, spinning around to the man sitting on a branch, clutching her son, and covering his eyes with his free hand. “I have clothing on, you can look.”

Truth be told, she didn’t know when she’d get used to running around in the woods naked. Did anyone get used to that? But she’d do anything to ensure her son was safe. She’d even galivant through downtown Portland bare-skinned, if that’s what it took.

As she returned to the foot of the giant yellow pine, the tree’s slightly citrus scent flooded her sensitive sense of smell. There was another scent there…one she couldn’t quite identify, yet was familiar.

“Okay, give me the wolf pup,” she called up the tree in her sweetest, calmest voice, despite the turmoil spinning inside.

She took another whiff of the air, confirming the man was not a wolf… She had gotten a good whiff when she knocked him over. He was not wolf, for sure…but she wasn’t certain he was human either. He smelled slightly of cinnamon—a scent that had been prevalent in this forest for the past few weeks.

“You better not bite me,” he warned the pup as he shifted it in his long arms.

Katrina reached her arms up. “He wouldn’t have bitten onto you if you’d let him alone.”

“I saved him from that other wolf.” The man attempted to lower himself down, but his foot missed the branch and he stood there, in the tree.

“That wolf…was his mother! Now, I’ll need to find her to reunite them.” The man hadn’t moved. His knuckles white from gripping the tree. “You’re not afraid of heights, are you? Do I need to call the fire department to get you a ladder?” Katrina couldn’t help her laugh. The big tall man afraid to be up twenty feet or so. The man swayed in the tree. “Stop. Don’t move,” Katrina yelled, thinking of the worst case. What if the man let go of the pup?

Branch by branch, Katrina climbed until she was beside the man. Contrasting with his nearly black hair, his vivid blue eyes almost seemed to glow in the dark. Did her yellowish ones look the same way? Katrina leaned forward and gave him a cautious whiff. The cinnamon scent was strong…and he had no scent that reminded her of human. The usual metallic, salty human odor was absent.

She leaned closer and gave another whiff.

“What are you doing, smelling me? You’re not a vampire, are you?”

Vampire?

What did this man know?

Katrina snatched the pup from the man’s arms and pulled away. “Who are you?”

“My name’s Simon.”

Katrina left him in the tree, climbing down as fast as she could. “No. I meant WHAT are you?”

A nervous laugh. “Just a normal guy…”

When Katrina’s feet hit the soft pine forest floor, she let out a nervous laugh. “A normal guy outside at night…window peeping.”

She dropped her son to the ground and they both took off running.

A man outside at night…who isn’t afraid of a wolf.

Who seemed to believe vampires are real.

Protect Alex at all costs.

When Katrina was certain she was out of sight, she whipped the dress over her head and shifted into her wolf form in one huge leap. When she caught up to Alex, she nipped his heels, urging him to run faster. Daylight was coming and they needed to be home before anyone spotted them.

To read Book 1 in the Angels of Sojourn series, Blood & Holy Water Click HERE.

To read Katrina’s story for free, check out Bitten in my free giveaway, Quick Escape, Fantasy Tales HERE.

 

 

Hidden: One Title. Endless Possibilities.

I’d like to officially introduce everyone to a project I’ve been working on since spring. You’ve all read about my novella, Hidden: A Pregnant Fairy Godmother’s Journey… Well, this was written as a part of a 70+ author collaborative where we each wrote a story with the same title: Hidden.

Confusing, right?

When you see the variety in the covers, it’s not confusing at all, just take a look at these October/November releases.

HIDDEN (1)

Each author could write any story they like, in any genre they enjoy, as long as it has the title, Hidden. Then, once weekly, a book is released…and we’re booked out into 2019!

The purpose of the project–besides having fun–was to connect indie authors for cross-promotion. Hopefully, when someone reads my eBook, they find another one of the Hidden authors and read their book as well. (Those that are interested in the outcome of this, don’t worry, I’ll blog about it sometime during this project.)

You can follow along on our website or with any of our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram) to see what this fantastic group of authors came up with, or simply sign up for our newsletter to receive updates of the current new releases.

Here’s what’s in store until the end of November:

Here’s October/November’s Releases:

October 26thCheck this out HERE.

Laura Greenwood – Dystopian RH Fairy Tale Retelling

November 2ndCheck this out HERE.

Alasdair Shaw – Military SF

November 9thCheck this out HERE.

Joynell Schultz – Quirky Fairy Tale / Urban Fantasy / Romance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

November 16thCheck this out HERE. 

Troy McLaughlan – Dystopian Science Fiction Adventure

November 23rdCheck this out HERE.

Deidra D. S. Green – thriller, murder mystery and suspense

 November 30thCheck this out HERE. 

A.J. McWain – Post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t wait to see all 70+ covers, side-by-side, in 2019 when this project concludes…and, of course, read every one of these titles!

1000 True Fans – 14000 Readers in 10 Months.

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Wow!

Ten months has passed since I started my quest for 1000 True Fans. I was diligent in posting until an accident with my father had my life flipped upside down. Behind the scenes, though, I still plugged away, trying to grow my mailing list.

In these ten months, my mailing list grew to over 14000 readers…and is still growing, but, at the same time, I’m working on cutting out people that appear that they’ll never be a true fan. I want to maintain an ACTIVE list that sits around 10,000 subscribers. (Why 10,000? Purely a balance between being effective…and cost effective.)

So, of these 14000, how many are true fans?

Honestly, not that many…but enough. When I send out an email, only about 30-40% of the people open it…and 7% click on any links. So, of 14,000 people that’s about 4500 opening the email and 1000 clicking something…but mostly freebies/giveaways.

A good test of my true fans is to see how many of my newsletter subscribers clicked the link to purchase my latest new releases.

  • I sent Witch or Treat out to about 4000 subscribers. Of these, I had 211 click the link to purchase on Amazon.
  • I sent The Secret Lives of Superhero Wives out to about 10,000 subscribers, and I only had about 100 clicks…but many of my true fans are on my advanced reader team or ordered it on pre-order. All in all, I sold over 500 books in the month since it’s been released. (Still not at 1000 true fans.)

So, on this journey for 1000 true fans, this is what I’ve learned so far.

Your best fans come from slow, organic growth. Patiently waiting for people to read your books, fall in love with your writing style, and join your mailing list (or follow you on BookBub/ Facebook/Etc.)

  • I get a few organic sign ups every day…and that’s because I have stories out there. The more I publish, the more signups I receive. I adore little notes on how they fell in love with some of my characters or love my book.
  • The key here is to ensure joining your mailing list is visible in your printed books. I have a nice page in the beginning of the book and another link at the end (see the graphic I posted below.) I also have links on my Facebook page, website, and amazon bio about all the ways to follow me.If you enjoyed... (3)

Participating in anthologies, has been more effective than I expected in extending my reach. I have spurred a lot of new interest in my Superhero Wife World through my short story published in Witch or Treat. This brought me a lot of exposure to fans who enjoy stories like mine. I have another short story coming out in 12 Days of Christmas which I hope brings similar results. I’d love to have a full novel in a box set someday.

Participating in freebie giveaways is not a bad thing, as long as you don’t allow dead weight to sit on your list & cost you money. (When I say “dead weight” I mean those that use false emails or a separate email account they never use to redeem freebies. I love anyone who opens my emails, whether they click or not.) What I like about having some stories out there for free, is they attract readers I wouldn’t have run across any other way. I classify these giveaways into two groups: Individual downloads where a reader is interested in your book specifically and downloads the story or group email collection where a reader enters a contest to win free stuff and all the hosting authors receive the email address.

Either way, these are much faster ways to grow your list…and some, like the huge multi-author group email collections, can get you up to 5,000 emails in a few months. I was in a Science Fiction & Fantasy paperback giveaway this summer that brought me 5000 subscribers, but note, of these, only 1100 are still on my list…and of these, only about 300 have ever clicked a link. BUT, don’t discredit this. It’s a wide net, but if I end up with 100 true fans from this, I’m happy.

These mailing list signups that come from freebie giveaways are are like like running sand through a sifter. Most of the small grains pass through, but when all the dust settles, you’re still left with a few good pebbles…or fans in your sifter. Most of my Advanced Reader Team has come from this method, and they are wonderful to work with. I also have some close fans that sprung from a few freebies. Also note, many people sit on your list and haven’t had time to read your stories yet. Most of the time, they open an email here and there, and I appreciate the casual interest.

Another tip is a good automation/welcome series can help trim out some of the sand that is passing through. I send a three to four part series and if someone doesn’t open any of them, I send them one more titled Have you been receiving my emails? from a different email account. If nothing is opened, I remove them from my list. If they open the one from gmail, they get added to my “send from gmail only” list.

My frustrations!

Even with this solid mailing list, many of my emails to “true” fans are filtered out by the readers’ email service. Google throws them in their “Promotions” tab while other services filter them to spam because they’re from a mailing list. Its frustrating not to be able to contact my loyal readers.

To overcome this, I’m focusing more on growing different social media channels instead.

Facebook is my favorite, so I’m trying to use it more. I have twitter, but don’t find much engagement. Facebook has been good to me. I’m diversifying my posts to add more variety and interest. Check out my page HERE. I started posting about my life running a zoo. Cute/Fuzzy animals always gets some attention. What I don’t like, is Facebook still filters out who see’s your posts…unless you pay to promote it.

Also, I’m trying to grow other services. With each new release, BookBub sends an alert to my followers. Amazon does the same thing, so I’m trying to get my readers to follow me on these two platforms. (Shameless plug: Follow me on BookBub HERE and Amazon HERE.)

In Summary! (I know, this has been a long post.)

My goal is to filter out the dead weight on my newsletter and add in quality subscribers. What I’m learning is it’s a never ending process. New people in, old people out until your left with a tight list of loyal followers.

The best followers come organically…and the best way to get these is simple: WRITE MORE BOOKS AND BE IN MORE PUBLICATIONS!

Thanks for following my journey! I’ll update again when I learn more. If you’ve been following my growth, here’s how my audience has changed in 2017.

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If you want to get caught up on 2017’s journey to find 1000 fans, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.

Do you have any tips for me? I’d love to hear!

I’d also love to answer any questions you have.