Category Archives: Book Promotion

Is Your Book Cover Killing Your Sales? Part 1 #indiebooks

Cain's_Coven_Cover_for_KindleIs your book cover killing your sales? Mine is. How do you find out?

Recently I shopped with my niece for a black leather jacket. It’s spring in Holland, so parkas–Dutch for jacket– are in abundant supply at the shops. We’re gearing up for summer storms, cool mornings and evenings, and rain of all shapes, sizes and directions. The classic black leather jacket hunt followed the size, cut, and price criteria my niece set forth.

Some of us are also stock piling our summer reading list. The criteria for shopping will include favorite genres, authors, and prices. In the midst of the search though, the covers and blurbs tantalize readers to buy or borrow, to reach out with hand, to click the button.

The cover is not only a billboard for the book, but, in a sense, the first page of the story, because it is here that the book can communicate a little of the style and mood of the tale inside…A well-designed cover is the first assurance the reader has that the book is of a high quality, both in content and delivery. The cover can scare away a customer or lure them in. Bad covers, with pixelated images, watermarks clearly visible, text badly formatted or aligned, and so forth, suggest to the reader that the interior of the book will be equally sloppy. (More from Jo Linsdell at

How do I know my cover isn’t working? Last fall I signed two books up for Reading Deals Reviews. The way their site works is that authors and small publishers pay $20 to list their book with a large community of reviewers. Reviewers get weekly offers of what’s available to read for free in exchange for an honest review. The listing is tailored by genre, so as a writer you know folks interested in your type of story are seeing your cover. The jacket fits and the price is right for the reader, will they click the button?

Each week an email revealed whether readers in the genre were lured in by the covers of the two book. Below is an update from November.

Here is your order update for your order of 10 reviews for the book Survive Little Buddy (Iron Curtain Memoirs 1-3) that was placed on August 26, 2015:

15 readers have requested and downloaded your book. (The requested number is higher than the number of reviews you ordered in order to ensure fulfillment of the order.)

7 reviews have come in so far.

Thank you so much for you order!

– The Reading Deals Team

Shortly after Christmas, all the reviews for Survive Little Buddy were in. Thank you very much.

Flash forward to this week and check out the update for my first novel.

Here is your order update for your order of 10 reviews for the book Cain’s Coven (Begotten Bloods Book 1) that was placed on August 26, 2015:

7 readers have requested and downloaded your book.

5 reviews have come in so far.

Huh. Kind of disappointing, to say the least. Worse yet, those 7 readers have had their downloads since (drum roll please)…November.

What I’m hoping is that when the book (series) get all new cover(s) (and series branding), I can change the cover with Readers Deal and see if that makes the difference. With one change at a time, first cover then blurb, I can experiment with the variables and report back to you.

Here are a few additional resources you might want to check out as you contemplate your next book’s cover or updating the one you already have.

Simple Tips for Hiring a Book Cover Designer from

3 Foolproof Strategies for Designing Fiction Book Covers (with video tutorials for each strategy) from

24 Extreme YA Book Cover Makeovers from


Coming next…French Tongue Twisters, Scottish Poetry and Skat


Kristin King is an author and publisher. She is most passionate about her family and her projects with Future Hope Africa which is experimenting in crowdfunding Congo VBS. Check it out.


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Are FB Ads Effective to Sell Indie Books?


Three weeks into a Facebook Ad Campaign I was completely up in the air about its efficacy. Did I get some new “Likes?” Yes. If they don’t translate into sales, though, the ad is like those Christmas lights we left on through the wee hours, wasted energy.

I followed the rules quite carefully. I’m marketing my vampire novel to fans of The Vampire Diaries, The Twilight Saga & Breaking Dawn. I narrowed the target to the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. My one mistake might have been focusing it on friends of friends connected to my page. That brought the pool down to 10K+ users.  My suggested bid for these folks’ attention? $1.17 – $1.61 per click. I bid a dollar which has resulted in me being charged $6.17 so far. The bump in sales covers that, though not well enough to put a smile on my face at the effort especially since there’s no way to connect those sales to the ad.

So now I’ve eliminated the friend-of-a-friend requirement. All else remains the same for targeted audience, but the pool jumps to 17+ million users.  The suggested cost/bid for clicks goes down considerably ($ 0.35 – 1.89), and I habitually low ball auction bids ($0.50).

Previous reach was 2K people with 4 “actions” and 8 “clicks.” I only pay when someone takes action, and I set a lifetime budget of $35. The campaign runs through the holiday season to January 2nd. From this point forward, though, the results will be tainted by a weekly re-tweet campaign I’m doing with a handful of other indie authors.

Are FB Ads Effective to Sell Indie Books?

For a single title, I say minimally to not at all based on my personal experience during the holiday season.


Kristin King is an author, publisher and US expat living in the Netherlands. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven.”

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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Book Promotion


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Putting My $$$ Where My Literary Mouth Is

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 8.53.50 PMOn the heels of George R. R. Martin’s Wolf Sanctuary Fundraiser ‘Got $20,000? Then you too can die in a Game of Thrones Book’ my in house guest blogger launches a challenge that 1) every reader can afford and that 2) oddly enough benefits poor and underprivileged people. Check it out. –Kristin King

Write a Review – Save the World (Guest Post by Ryan King, Author of the Land of Tomorrow Trilogy)

Wait…what? Yes, fine respectable readers, it can be done. Let me explain the what first and then the how.

Several years ago my wife and I lived in Belgium where we met a wonderful young Congolese woman named Bintu. Her family had sent her to Belgium to obtain her degree and  get her away from the war going on near her home in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Bintu lived with us for a while and became obsessed with using her God-given skills and talents to try and help her country and its peoples. More specifically, she wanted to help women and young girls in eastern DRC who had been abused, abandoned, and generally disregarded in many cases. She seeks to help them and other students through education, kindness and general support. The fruits of her struggle and efforts is a non-profit organization called Future Hope Africa

To date Future Hope Africa has helped and educated hundreds of young people by providing them a skill and convincing them of their genuine worth. My wife and I support this organization as much as we can. She is actually traveling to eastern DRC is a few months to assist Bintu in this endeavor.

So what does this have to do with book reviews? I’m glad you asked. I’m sure most people are familiar with a pledge system. People come door to door and ask you to pledge one dollar for every mile they run or car they wash or something of the like. Well, this is a reverse pledge system. I pledge to donate $10 of my own money for every Amazon review of one of my books or stories you write in the month of July. I will do this regardless of whether the review is in response to this blog, whether it be good or bad, or how long the review happens to be. At the end of the month I will post the results.

In order to help kick this off, I will even make four of my works free during the month of July and reviews of these free works certainly count.

2-6 July: The Protectors (Dystopian) –

9-13 July: Best Interests –

16-20 July: Better Off Dead –

23-27 July: Mask of Mitwaba (Paranormal) –


Here are links to some of my others works if you wish to write a review of one of them.


Glimmer of Hope (Post Apocalyptic) –

Children of Wrath –

Dead World Voices: Post Apocalyptic Boxed Set –

The Hanging of Hard Barnes (Historical Fiction – LA Noir) –

The Last Man –

No Kinda Life –

Kentucky Feud –

The Darkside of Down Home –

The Other Side of Down Home –


Is this proposal on my part completely selfless? Of course not, I want more reviews of my books. But I also want to draw attention to this wonderful organization that is trying to help people and in some small way make our world better. In short, I’m putting my money where my literary mouth is.

Will you help me?

–Ryan King


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Promote Your Book

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 3.20.21 PMCame across this in “advice to writers” on Seth Godin’s blog that included this bit on book promotion:

There is no such thing as effective book promotion by a book publisher.
This isn’t true, of course. Harry Potter gets promoted. So did Freakonomics. But out of the 75,000 titles published last year in the US alone, I figure 100 were effectively promoted by the publishers. This leaves a pretty big gap.

Hmm…I assume he’s talking traditional publishing. Read more at the link here.

Guess I shouldn’t feel too bad that although my Google Ad Words Express campaign increased sales, it was not cost-effective.


Kristin King is considering a promotion vacation.

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in Book Promotion


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G is for Giveaway – Titanic Giveaway

Kindle Book On Sale for 99 cents--Click photo.

Kindle Book On Sale for 99 cents–Click photo.

This week is the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic, and since my first ever published work was set on that ship I thought it was time to host a giveaway. Audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks. You can enter to win one of three Unsinkable Vampire copies, or one of my husband’s audiobooks: No Kinda Life (post-apocalyptic western), The Hanging of Hard Barnes (L.A. Noir historical fiction), or The Last Man (post-apocalyptic journey). Unfortunately, doesn’t allow the widget for the giveaway, so you’ll have to visit this link.

Why stop with one Giveaway? I thought.

If you like to browse books and possibly win one, visit the “Explore” tab at Goodreads. There is always a long list of books organized by Ending Soon, Most Requested (if you like bad odds), Popular Authors (like David Baldacci, Terry Brooks, and Mary Higgins Clark), and Recently Listed. Browse Goodreads Giveaways here.

Or you could go for the sure thing.

As a publisher, I give away a weekly freebie (short read) that I list here and Tweet here. A dystopian tale called The Protectors by Ryan King is free till Easter,

From the cover of The Protectors,  Dystopian book FREE till Easter. Click here to download.

From the cover of The Protectors, Dystopian book FREE till Easter. Click here to download.

Charles R. King’s military history Discipline and Decline: Collected Essays on Ancient Rome is free till Sunday as well.

Then there are always the Freebies you can access via the Top 100 Bestsellers (Free) on Amazon, or you can do a quick search on Twitter for #FreeBooks.

This way the odds really are “ever in your favor.”


Kristin King is an author and publisher. She thought G was scheduled and already published, but a couple of kind friends notified her it was not. Thus, G comes after M. 


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Twitter Newbie to #FF

Find me @KristinKingAuth

Find me @KristinKingAuth

I set up a Twitter account awhile back because that was on my book promotional “to-do” list. However, I did not really understand what it was for, so I did not use it much. Now I’m getting the hang of things promotionally but still struggling with what to share and how personal to get since my twitter is an extension of my author-dom. When I ran across the blog below on another author’s “adventures in twitterland” I decided to highlight the link. Hope other writers find this as interesting as I did. Here is the link.


Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her imprint, Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Book Promotion


I Won a Book Giveaway: Medical Suspense Book Review

Facebook Event Banner and  Link

Facebook Event Banner and Link










I love to read. I really do. Now as a writer, I truly enjoy helping get the word out about good books and helping promote Indie authors as well as small press authors.  I run book giveaways almost as often as I enter them. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually won anything.

Today I got the news that I won the entire Bloodline Trilogy plus a $50 gift card. I was so excited!  I’ve only read the first book, Proof. So now I get to read the other two.  And you can expect to see my reviews of these medical thrillers blogged here soon.

I looked back at my review of Proof and saw that I gave it 5 out of 5 stars and wrote this:

Terrific! Picked it up and kept reading till I hit the last page. These were characters I wanted to get to know and cared about. Now I want to know what happens next in the trilogy.

Here’s a link to Proof for you to check it out for yourself. I’ll be headed into the pages of Poison myself.


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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in Book Promotion, Book Reviews


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Old School Promotion

Hometown Paper

I worked for a professional story-teller, managing the office, mailings and such. That is where I first saw Press Releases and mailed them out.

Before that I always thought reporters went out and found stories. How wrong I was.

When it comes to entertainment sections, local businesses, and human interest pieces many of them are self-composed and self-submitted. Interesting, huh?

The IndieWriteNet Insider had a piece not too long ago on authors doing press releases, and I think it’s worth a look-see. There are some good pointers, and although the New York Times may not feature you just yet, your home town(s), alma mater, and such might give you some excellent face time.

For more info head over to IndieWriteNet.

Hometown Signing Event

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Posted by on April 8, 2013 in Book Promotion


Book Promotion that works? Blog within a blog within a blog 🙂 Interesting numbers.

David VanDyke's Author Blog

Here’s a great post by fellow author Nick Stephenson, explaining his experiences with KDP select and an ERederNewsToday promo, with comparisons.

While I agree with Nick as far as it goes, I also think it’s important to point out that ANYTHING that sells your book is good; his well-executed free promo netted him more money than the ENT promo, but the latter was still profitable and put money in his pocket and for a few days expanded his recognition.

I think of things like this as leaping upward for a time, before gravity always brings you down. Even bestselling books eventually fall in the ratings. The only question is how long they stay in that “air.” For the relatively new indie authors like me and Nick, any air is good air.

Combine this advice with everything you already have heard – or should have – about building your brand…

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Writing vs. Publishing

Writing vs. Publishing–some real gems in here. Take a look.

Daniel Kemp

The struggles of an aspiring author are widely known, it is a tough, uncompromising industry to break into. You have to get used to rejection, and constantly strive to improve your own work in order to reach an extremely high level of perfection. Many on this journey experience dramatic highs and lows with some giving up because of this and the loneliness of it all.

It does not have to be that way anymore.

Before the digital age, a writer’s only entrance into publication, and the readership they sought, was through the old and trusted method offered by traditional publishing houses, who had a shared monopoly of the market. That’s all changed, and dramatically so.

Nowadays many options are available.

That old way is still there of course but it has adapted to the modern world and the competition that self-publishing and print on demand, having moved on and developed…

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