The Freeport Robbery Release!

Woohoo! The Freeport Robbery, the new Travelers eBook, is now out on Amazon. It  will be priced at $0.99 today through Thursday as my way of saying Thank You! Then the price goes up to $3.99.

Here’s the Amazon link to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071NHN3VZ

Just like the other Travelers books, this novel received an excellent review from Kirkus Reviews. Here’s the link to the review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/michael-p-king/freeport-robbery/

And here’s the official description:

Treachery. Conspiracy. Murder.

The Travelers, using the names Ron and Nicole Carter, break into a freeport vault to recover a stolen jewelry casket for return to a museum. Easy money. But after they’re ambushed during the break-in, they have to recover the casket if they’re going to stay out of prison. And now a vicious gang is hot on their trail . . .

 The Freeport Robbery is a noir crime thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you like nonstop action, exciting plot twists, and criminal machinations, you’ll love the fourth installment of Michael P. King’s Travelers series.

Finally, if you could leave an honest review on Amazon after you read the eBook, it would mean so much to me. I need reviews in order to promote the book to new readers. Just a few words is all it takes. Here’s the review link: http://amzn.to/2pbpcHv

Thanks so much for your support!

 

3/24/17 The Freeport Robbery Cover Reveal

Exciting news! The Freeport Robbery, the new Travelers novel, will be released in May.

The cover design is by Paramita Bhattacharjee at creativeparamita.com. As usual, she’s taken my ideas and turned them into something special.

The jumping off place for The Freeport Robbery‘s plot came from an article in The Economist about freeports being used to hide wealth from tax authorities. (Freeports are transit ports for moving goods between countries so that the goods don’t have to go through customs until they reach their final destination. If an object never reaches its final destination, it never gets taxed.)

Here’s the description:

Treachery. Conspiracy. Murder.

The Travelers, using the names Ron and Nicole Carter, break into a freeport vault to recover a stolen jewelry casket for return to a museum. Easy money. But after they’re ambushed during the break-in, they have to recover the casket from the hijackers. With the FBI and a criminal gang hot on their heels, can they retrieve the casket in time to return it and escape with their lives?

The Freeport Robbery is a noir crime thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you like nonstop action, exciting plot twists, and criminal machinations, you’ll love the fourth installment of Michael P. King’s Travelers series.

The Freeport Robbery will be $0.99 for the first few days after its release to say Thank You! to all of you. And not to worry, I’ll send a reminder when the release date is certain.

The Blackmail Photos Release!

The-Blackmail-Photos-AmazonWhoo-hoo! The Blackmail Photos, the new Travelers eBook, is now out on Amazon. Just a reminder. It will be priced at $0.99 today through Saturday (September 3) as my way of saying Thank You! Then the price goes up to $3.99.

Here are the links to the Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L7INK96

And the Kirkus Review: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/michael-p-king/blackmail-photos/

Kirkus Reviews call The Blackmail Photos “A tightly executed thriller, and the high point of a great series.”

So click the Amazon link and get some fun holiday reading at a great price.

Here’s the official description in case you didn’t get last week’s email:

Blackmail. Deceit. Revenge. The Travelers, going by the names George and Roslyn Harrison, entrap a congressional candidate with photos of his extramarital affair. But just as George is hatching a ploy to increase their ill-gotten gains, the candidate’s wife uncovers the plot. With their scheme careening sideways and the sheriff closing in, Roslyn receives news that drastically alters the scope of their plan. Is this a golden opportunity or a horrible misstep?

 The Blackmail Photos is a noir crime thriller that will keep you turning pages until the very end. If you like fast-paced action, surprising plot twists, and criminal shenanigans, then you’ll love the third installment of Michael P. King’s Travelers series.

The Blackmail Photos Releases Next Week

Exciting news! The Blackmail Photos, the new Travelers eBook, will be released on Amazon next week. To thank all of you for your support, it will be on sale for $0.99 for the first three days—1 September through 3 September. Then the price goes up to $3.99. So if you were planning on buying the book, take advantage of this great opportunity to get some fun Labor Day reading at a great price.

The-Blackmail-Photos-AmazonHere’s the official description:

Blackmail. Deceit. Revenge. The Travelers, going by the names George and Roslyn Harrison, entrap a congressional candidate with photos of his extramarital affair. But just as George is hatching a ploy to increase their ill-gotten gains, the candidate’s wife uncovers the plot. With their scheme careening sideways and the sheriff closing in, Roslyn receives news that drastically alters the scope of their plan. Is this a golden opportunity or a horrible misstep?

 The Blackmail Photos is a noir crime thriller that will keep you turning pages until the very end. If you like fast-paced action, surprising plot twists, and criminal shenanigans, then you’ll love the third installment of Michael P. King’s Travelers series.

Just like The Traveling Man and The Computer Heist, this novel received an excellent review from Kirkus Reviews. The review isn’t published yet, but it will be when the book comes out. I can’t wait for you to see it!

I’ll send out a reminder with the Amazon link to the book and a link to the Kirkus Reviews review on 1 September.

8/17/16 The Blackmail Photos Cover Reveal

Excitement!

Here’s the cover of my latest eBook The Blackmail Photos. It was designed by Paramita Bhattacharjee at creativeparamita.com. Once again she did a marvelous job of turning my bad sketch into a great looking cover.

The-Blackmail-Photos-Amazon

My third book in two years! Never would have thought it would happen. I’m looking forward to the release in the next few weeks. The Blackmail Photos is another well-reviewed thriller loaded with plot twists and criminal shenanigans. I can’t wait to share it with you.

47:3/24/16 The Computer Heist is crawling off the blocks

Computer-Heist-no-review-AmazonThe Computer Heist is in soft release right now! It’s up on Amazon and Kobo, but still in process on Barnes and Noble. And the review is live on Kirkus Reviews, even if the shopping links aren’t up. My goal is to provide entertainment value to readers, and I couldn’t be happier with this review. “King mines another vein of modern noir gold. . . .”—Kirkus Reviews. Check it out: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/michael-king2/the-computer-heist/

I’ve taken a more hands-on approach to distribution this time. Instead of using BookBaby (which was a great choice the first time around when I was completely clueless), I’m distributing directly to Amazon myself and using Draft2Digital for all my ePub distribution (Kobo, Barnes and Noble, etc.) Using Scrivener to format from Word to Mobi, ePub and PDF made this possible. This gives me the maximum amount of flexibility moving forward. I can change pricing to run specials or make editorial changes at will. (Shout out to Nick Stephenson and my friends at Your First 10,000 Readers!)

After I went live on Amazon, I got the Amazon link, added it to the end of the ebook to make it easier for someone to leave a review, and reloaded it. As soon as I have confirmation that this change is live, I’ll buy a copy onto my Kindle to make sure everything is as perfect as possible, and then I’m start my hard release by spreading the news on social media and running some ads. More about this soon.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re having a great week!

46: 3/16/16 The Computer Heist Is Almost Ready

 

Computer-Heist-no-review-AmazonI’m busy, busy, busy getting ready to release The Computer Heist. I’ve proofreading the novel one last time using the Word document, the copy editor’s notes and the Mobi file to cross check for any typos or format discrepancies. I learned how to make ePub, Mobi, and PDF files using Scrivener. It was surprisingly easy, even for a person with as little technical ability as me. (Okay, took me a couple of days to figure it out, but now I can translate Word documents into other formats whenever I want. Even learned how to include active hyperlinks.)

And while I’m finishing up checking over the novel itself, I’m also thinking through my release week strategy. Will I have a price drop for the first few days? What kind of ad campaign will I run? How will I coordinate my efforts to the best effect?

Last April, when I released The Traveling Man, I was entirely clueless. My thinking about marketing matters was completely wrong. (I’m not kidding. Go back and read my early posts if you don’t believe me.) I thought having a well-reviewed book at a fair price was the answer. But now I know that I have to convince readers of my book’s quality if I want them to take a chance on me. The Computer Heist is another fast-paced, well-reviewed thriller. It’s a fun read. So I need to find ways to help readers discover that I’m offering them the entertainment value that they deserve. That’s the trick. Hopefully, I’ll find a few ways that work for me while I’m rolling out The Computer Heist. Whatever my experience is, I’ll share it right here.

That’s all for now. If you have any comments, I’d love to hear from you.

37:1/12/16 Price, sales and immediate feedback: the real skinny

In a much earlier post, I mentioned that my information about sales was running about 90 days behind. (A sale made in June would post up on 15 August) This was a problem for 2 reasons. 1, it made it difficult to know what impact my actions were having. Was all my social media effort making a difference? And 2, looking at my Amazon ranking, I might think I was making progress, but I had no real data to help me evaluate what my Amazon rank meant.

But since I’ve taken over direct control of my Amazon sales (with the change in the Amazon link and subsequent Google problems of showing the bad link), I now have real information. And I know just how poorly I was doing before I took over active control. April – October (that’s all the info I have as of yet from my old system) I made 57 sales. Since 14 December (less than a month), when I took over active control, I’ve made 147 sales.

A general observation. What the Amazon ranking seems to mean: If your ranking stays between 100,000 and 200,000, you are probably selling 4-5 books a week. Something like that. 200-260 books a year, more or less. If you can stay in that slot. Anything below that is just white noise; your book’s ranking being pushed around by the movement of other books. (Okay, you’re selling a book every now and again or you’d be dropping below 1,000,000.) The real action is between Amazon ranking 100,000 and 1. In that slot, you are making regular sales, and the online Kindle books sales estimators will probably give you a reasonable estimate of how you are doing.

Specifics: I dropped my price to $0.99 on Amazon and ran an ad on Ereader News Today on 5 January. I made 56 sales between 5-7 January. My Amazon rank topped out at 9,808 on 6 January. I ran an ad on BookSends on 10 January. I made 25 sales between 10-11 January. Today my Amazon rank is 35,823. Why were the BookSends sales so low compared to Ereader News Today? Was the second ad too closely spaced to the first ad? Was Sunday a bad day to run an ad? Does BookSends have less thriller readers? (Their category is “Mystery Thriller.” Ereader’s is “Thriller Suspense.”) I have no idea.

What I do know is that my current strategy of low price plus ads leads to readers. And I need readers. Now I need to find a way to take my strategy to the break-even point.

All my social media platforms continue to develop. (Thanks, friends!) One observation. If you want to reach people with a post on Facebook, do not mention a specific price in your post. Facebook will severely restrict that post’s reach in hopes of you paying to boost the post. Hey, it’s America.

Well, that’s all for now. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.

34: 12/16/15 The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned This Year

You have to control your eBook distribution to Amazon yourself. In the current marketing environment, you need to able to change pricing and run contests at will, which is extremely difficult to do if you have an distributor controlling access. Plus, professionals need to be paid. Paying your distributor every time you want to change your pricing is going to add up. You, as an independent publisher, need to control costs and use your marketing money as effectively as possible.

When I started out last April, I didn’t feel comfortable loading the files for The Traveling Man into Kindle Direct myself. I wasn’t sure the eBook would look professional, and I’m no coder. So I went with BookBaby. I followed all their directions, and they created the Mobi and ePub files and did, I think, an excellent job. Plus they designed the cover from a really crappy drawing of mine. The Traveling Man went into wide distribution. Yippy!

But over time I’ve discovered that I only have sales at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iBook, and very few from the latter two, so really I don’t yet need wide distribution. Wide distribution is for someone who is well known. And to get well known, you have to get people to read, which means dropping the price until they will take a chance.

The day before yesterday, I had BookBaby stop my Amazon distribution. I uploaded my mobi file to Kindle Direct myself. Yesterday I was back up on Amazon with a new ASIN. I reinserted my professional reviews, I got my Amazon Author page working, and I got Amazon to move my customer reviews to my new page. (It was exactly the same book with the same title and author, so no problem.) I’ve been replacing the Amazon link to The Traveling Man at all the sites where I linked back to my Amazon page. I’ve got the most important ones done already, but it’s going to be a long slog before they’re all changed.

Still, this process went much more quickly and easily than I thought it would. So now I have to do a little more tweaking, then try running some sales, and on that basis decide whether to enter the KDP Select program and drop all my other distribution.

The crazy part is that I now have no Amazon best seller ranking. (Starting over, remember?) Somehow I have an Author ranking, which is not too bad, even though I have no sales. So now I‘ll be able to see how many days I go before I sell even one book. Ah, the mystery that is Amazon ranking.

As per usual, if you read The Traveling Man, I would appreciate your honest review at the place where you bought it (Amazon, iBooks, Barnes and Noble, etc.). Just scroll down to the customer review area. Doesn’t have to be an essay; eight to ten words would do the trick. (Of course, I wouldn’t turn an essay down if you had it in you.) Just looking for your honest opinion. Take a look at what others have written and you’ll get the idea.

That’s all for now. Any thoughts? I’d love to hear from you.