Stuck in the Mud

I’m here to rant. I’ll try to keep it clean but I’m a bit miffed and downhearted. I may scream. If that doesn’t interest you, well, you know where the egress is. Please use it.

These four day weekends from work are both blessing and curse. I have not sat on my butt for just one of those four days yet! Nope. I have been busting my butt putting all of these truly cool little touches on “The First Sin” and getting everything all pretty-pretty for the e-book release date of August 18th.

Paperbacks are available on Amazon! Check ’em out HERE

I have to shout it like that or, as I’ve recently re-discovered, no one will frickin’ do it. Not one person will take ten seconds to click that link and just have a peek.

Not. One.

If one does dare to do so and then goes so far as to…OMFG!….hit the ‘buy’ button…then that one can have and read the novel before it comes out in e-book. I know, I know, print editions aren’t that “popular” anymore. Everyone and their mother wants ebooks.

So I’ve been looking forward to August 18th because that should be the actual Big Day as far as the release goes.

I’ve been on sites, oh so many sites! People are Twittering My Name and the book title all over the place as they enter the 1 currently open contest. Another contest opens on July 28th with the second leg of the Big Book Tour. The third will begin on August 6th with the last leg of the tour.

As with the first and the third, the prize is a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card. I swore when I started even looking at that huge hunk of granite affectionately known as The Promo Wheel that I was NOT giving away any ebooks this time.

This time I’m keeping a lid on that, not just in hopes for sales and a few nickles coming my way, but in the desperate hope that it will stay off pirate sites! The more I give away the more unscrupulous people are and the more I found my work on several sites like that.

It’s not right. Do you know some of them charge for the book? MY book! It’s only like $0.99 but I’m not getting a cut of that and I can’t stop them.

Not this time.

Anyway, I’ve been very diligent about going over to every host and thanking them for having me on their blog/site that day. I also post that that I’m open for questions from anyone. Well, I do that when the scheduled stop actually has my post. There have been a handful of hosts that just, well, let’s say they ‘overlooked’ me. One of them even got my name wrong; Lisa BELL Darling.

Geez.

A few people respond, not many. Most seem to really like the cover and to find the concept interesting.

I’ll continue doing that for every stop on each leg. Just trying to get some interaction going and…well, I don’t expect it to go much differently except maybe on the few stops with an interview or guest spot. Let’s hope those draw some attention anyway.

Yet, with all of that, I’ve sold 5 e-book pre-orders.

I know, I should be grateful for the 5.

When I consider how much money I’ve shelled out for the promotion…eh…..not so much.

I know. It’s still early. There are two more legs to go and the release.

Yet, I’m certain–absolutely bone certain–they’re waiting for their chance at free ebooks.

And, yes, it pisses me off that they can’t plunk down the $2.95 for the pre-order. It really does. I must be honest about that. You know what also pisses me off?

I felt so bad about that, I was going to break down and offer a giveaway to the people on my mailing list because I like to be nice to them. I went to Mailchimp to do just that. I looked at my stats for the last two campaigns and saw I only had a 20% open rate and, of that, only an 8% click rate.

Why bother announcing a giveaway?

Just to prove my own point and watch the click rate skyrocket when they see ‘free’ and/or ‘giveaway’ in the title of the email?

I said; fuck it. I went to LibraryThing. There, if you’re lucky enough after cruising through reams and reams of books under Member Giveaways, you’ll find 15 ARC copies of “The First Sin” (South of Eden) are being offered.

No one has requested a copy.

No one!

Ok. Ok. I try to calm myself by telling myself the truth which is; that site is damn hard to navigate. Things easily get lost and aren’t completely searchable. It was worth a shot and by the end of the week I’m sure someone who follows me over there will request a copy.

I’m feeling really down. Like just completely deflated but I keep trying to pump myself up. For a few days I really thought about plunking down the $99 to run an ebook giveaway on Goodreads. That’s a lot of money but the good news was they would all be Kindle copies and Goodreads would notify winners and send them the links to their books. Good deal.

Then again, Amazon owns Goodreads so this is more to Amazon’s benefit than mine when I factor in that those 100 free copies that I paid $99 for….will NOT count toward my sales numbers.

No good. Nope. If they did count towards sales I would probably give it a shot.

I tried to get in touch with “The Day” paper to see if they’d be interested in doing an article. I’ve tried it before. I get the same results every time. No reply. Nada. That kind of pisses me off when I think about the absolutely stellar review the person in charge there once gave my husband’s band. He couldn’t say enough good things about The Hookah Kats. But I can’t get him to answer me. Now, I admit, this time around, because of past non-dealings with this reporter (I can tell you some horror stories about a different “Day” reporter!) I shot off a quick email, at work, using voice recognition on my phone. I hit ‘send’.

Yep, I have to learn to speak clearer! LOL

Oh well.

Not my best 58th impression I suppose.

I sat down and composed an email to a local publication but I haven’t heard back.

I spent yesterday going through my Google Contacts, my Twitter followers, and cruising Ye Olde Internet for reviewers. At the end of the day, along with filling out a few forms online, I sent out a mass email to several dozen bcc’d individuals. 12 of them bounced immediately because they’re closed and that’s how long it’s been since I tried to do this and that’s how out of touch I am! Got rid of them. 4 people responded right away and were delighted that I contacted them.

Thanks the Gods for those lovely ladies!!!!!!

They brought my spirits up, that’s for sure. It was clear they’d all heard of the book and were intrigued. So, you know, hopefully at least two of those reviews run in my favor.

Today I kept thinking about doing that giveaway for members and digging my heels in over it. A lot of people joined the mailing list explicitly for a free book offer and then unsubscribed. A lot of people joined and never read it. I can’t force them to do it. I don’t have to feed their need for free stuff either. I worked my ass off on this thing for years and suffered, really suffered, for this story more than anything I’ve written and I’m not going to just give it away.

It is worth something.

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful towards the people on my mailing list, I really don’t. If you’re out there reading this AND you read my missives and you’ve bought at least one book…THANK YOU! There are so many other people who are just hanging around waiting for their chance to get something else free from me and offer nothing in return, not even a review or a ‘thank you’. I’m not sure those people have any idea of how utterly used that makes me feel. I hope not anyway. If they do then they’re just a frickin’ asshole.

So, I went to my aggregate and did what I wasn’t going to do. I was going to give Kindle people the first shot at it. Then I figured since anyone who cared already knew it was releasing to Kindle on August 18th–with no where else being listed–perhaps they thought it would be in Kindle Unlimited.

If so, they were wrong. I never intended to put it there.

“The First Sin” (South of Eden) is now set to release on August 18th to Nook, Kobo, iBooks and others. It will shortly be available for pre-order on those sites as well.

Hopefully that will plant the seed that they should buy it soon if they’re going to. After all, the price goes to $5.95 right around the release date.

Part of me thinks I’m being very mean…vindictive even. That part still wants to do a mailing list giveaway. After all, we always do a mailing list giveaway. It’s tradition! That part will probably win out in the end and maybe I’ll offer a paperback as a prize. I don’t know. Stupid WordPress won’t let me add a Rafflecopter so, if we do it, it will really have to be The Old Fashioned Way. People will have to share and comment on the post or something.

This is the shit that completely knocked me out of the game for a time–well this disheartening soul-crushing shit and a few dozen cases of vodka.

Hey! At least I’m honest.

With that we say; Forward. Ever Forward.