Author Olivia Boler

writing is fun
April 25th, 2014

Why Does KDP Hate Me?

Unfortunately, there was a snafu with my Kindle Direct Publishing account, and my special sale was cut short today. I hope to have it up again, but here’s what I take away from the experience:

When I decided to independently publish my novel, I went with Smashwords first because they have a wide distribution, not just on their own website but also with other major retailers—iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, etc….They don’t have a deal with Amazon, so I put up my book there later, unaware that Amazon had this KDP Direct program. What is it? Basically, if you publish your ebook exclusively with Amazon, you can do a couple of promos. One is a free giveaway of your book, run for up to 5 days. The other is discounting your book, again for 5 days. You also apparently get a slice of some profit-sharing that I only vaguely understand because I find such things tedious, even though they’re important.

I hesitated to take my book off Smashwords. They are great to indie authors, and they don’t ask for exclusivity. But sales had become non-existent, and I wanted to get some traction and exposure, that would be simple to run and not too time consuming. I took the book down and signed up for KDP Select. That was a mistake. I should have waited a couple of weeks because it takes a while for all of Smashwords’ partners to take down your book from their websites. KDP immediately sent me a warning. They have creepy crawlers out there, just looking for you to mess up.

When I was sure that I was in the clear, I went ahead and put the book up for free in March. It was great! Tons of downloads. Then, yesterday, because KDP has some kind of time constraint on when you can offer the Kindle Countdown Deal (the discount), I put the ebook up for 99 cents. Yay!

This afternoon, I got another robot-like email from KDP that “our records indicate that we previously informed you that submitting non-exclusive content to KDP Select is not acceptable and may result in loss of KDP Select benefits” and “as a result of repeat violations of the KDP Select exclusivity requirement, we have removed all of your books from the KDP Select program. Your titles remain available in the Kindle Store.”

WTF!?! (Deep, calming breaths. But why is it suddenly so hot in my brain???)

They sent a link (so helpful!) to the offending site, and sure enough, there’s my book on a French site—FNAC, actually, where I used to go shopping when I lived in Paris 20 years ago. How do I like them pommes? Not very much.

I contacted Smashwords about this, and got an immediate (human!) email response. They are going to work on getting this down, and they didn’t even call me a traitor for leaving them. Sniff, sniff!

Back on Amazon, my discount promo was taken down within an hour.

So, word to the wise, if you want to play with KDP, go ahead, but take advantage of KDP Select before you upload to Smashwords. Your iTunes, B&N, etc. friends will grumble, but it will definitely save your grief and time.

April 24th, 2014

Kindle Countdown Deal

I’m putting on my retail cap to tell you that from now through April 30, 2014 (that’s a Wednesday), the Kindle version of The Flower Bowl Spell is only 99 cents. That’s 2 bucks off the regular price, a 67% discount. What a deal! So tell your friends to buy up and enjoy the wonders of Wiccan Memphis Zhang and her crazy supporting cast members.

Click here to go straight to The Flower Bowl Spell Amazon page. Happy reading!

March 24th, 2014

Underground Book Reviews

I’m happy to report that during the recent Kindle Free Promo last week, almost 3,200 copies of The Flower Bowl Spell were downloaded! Not all of these were from the United States and UK, although those were the two biggest supporters of this little adventure. What’s exciting is the fact there has been an uptick in “real” sales of the e-book version post-promo, not a huge amount, but a bigger surge than I’ve seen in many months.

Another exciting tidbit is that there’s a new review of the book on Underground Book Reviews, an online magazine written for and by indie authors. It’s always nice when someone approaches you about running a review or interview about your book, rather than chasing down the opportunities. I want to thank Candi Sary for shining a light on TFBS. I understand the magazine is pretty selective about the reviews they publish, and only posts one per week, so their site is nice and uncluttered. Check out Candi’s own award-winning novel, Black Crow White Lie, “the story of young Carson Calley who discovers he has the curious ability to heal people.”

Happy reading…and a Happy Monday to you as well.

 

March 16th, 2014

Free Book Promo for Kindle

Just a quick post to let you know that today is the first day of a 5-day promotion. Download a free copy of The Flower Bowl Spell to your Kindle. Already, the book has reached the #5 spot in the category of Free Books about Witches or Wizards, and #442 overall! That is pretty exciting. Thanks to those  who’ve downloaded a copy, and I hope you like it enough to leave feedback on Goodreads, on Amazon, or wherever you may roam.

 

December 31st, 2013

Pop that Cork!

December 31 has always been kind of a big deal in my family. Not only is it the last day of the year—it’s also my mother’s birthday.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!!!

My Mom and Me in Hawaii 2012

My mother doesn’t accept gifts anymore—her rule. She has enough “material possessions.” So as my nonmaterial gift to both of us, I’m making a slight change to The Flower Bowl Spell publishing model.

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) Select

For the next 90 days, the e-book will be available exclusively on Amazon as part of their KDP Select Program. If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can check out the book and add it to your library for free. There are other promotions through this program that I’ll be doing in the near future post-holidays (read: when my kids are back in school and I can concentrate!), like a Kindle Countdown Deal and a Free Book Promotion Deal. More details on that soonish.

Kindle MatchBook

If you have a print copy of The Flower Bowl Spell that you purchased from Amazon, then you can get a digital copy of the book for the discount price of 99 cents. Pretty sweet, right? The regular price of the e-book is already fairly low—$2.99—but who doesn’t like to save money wherever they can? I know I do.

But What About Non-Kindle Copies?

Already own a copy of the e-book through iTunes, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, etc.? Fear not—your copy is safe. I’m trying this KDP Select dealio out for 90 days to see if I can drum up some sales of the book, and then I’ll likely go back to selling it through other outlets.

So, that’s my New Year’s news. Have a very happy 2014, whether it’s crazy or tame, your birthday or not. No matter what you do, be safe.

February 10th, 2013

We Have a Winner!

Rafflecopter crunched the data and picked a winner for my giveaway, someone who happens to like author Charlaine Harris for her strong female characters. Congratulations to Slawka Grabowska, who gets a $25 Amazon gift card!
Thank you to everyone who entered. I’ll have another giveaway in May to celebrate The Flower Bowl Spell paperback anniversary.

May 6th, 2012

The Flower Bowl Spell paperback is here!

Finally, after months of anticipation (at least on my part) The Flower Bowl Spell is available as a paperback. I thought it might not happen after everything it took—hours of formatting, proofreading, editing, sending back the cover design, waiting for changes, finding more errors, and starting over—but it’s as good as it’s going to be for now. So go to my personal e-store on CreateSpace or head over to Amazon to purchase the real deal. Better yet, go to your favorite local bookstore or public library and ask them to order some copies. Give them the ISBNs so they can look it up easily:

  • ISBN-10: 1470177781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470177782

And please spread the word to your friends, frenemies, and family. Thank you!

 

March 30th, 2012

New Review of My Humble Novel

Peeps, I just want to share the latest review of The Flower Bowl Spell by author Roberta Goodman. Here’s a link to her review. Just click here. A highlight: “The Flower Bowl Spell by Olivia Boler is a fantastical fast-paced roller-coaster ride. This story will keep you guessing until the end as to the identities of those trying to gain power through sinister means.”

You can find out about Roberta Goodman’s novel, Snow Escape, by clicking here. But to whet your interest, here’s a brief description: “Set against the backdrop of a historic snowstorm, Snow Escape is the story of one woman’s innocent foray into the world of online dating turned deadly.”

goodman_SnowEscape_final

 

Intrigued? Me, too.

Thank you, Ro, for the review, and to Book Blogs for another great writing/publishing connection!

March 14th, 2012

Kobo Readers, anyone?

Thank you to all who downloaded a copy of The Flower Bowl Spell from Smashwords last week during Read an E-book Week. I really hope you enjoy reading the book, that it keeps you up at night thinking, Well, just one more chapter…

Since then, things have been quiet. I probably shouldn’t share this because it’s kind of negative, but I haven’t had one sale on Amazon this month! And I have no idea how things are going over at iBooks, B&N, etc. I do know the book is finally up at Kobobooks, so if you have a Kobo Reader, go for it! And to buy one, click here.

In the meantime, I am nearly done getting the book ready for the paperback version. So, so close. I hope to have it done before heading out with the family for Spring Break, but there’s also a giant freelance project looming over my head…and a little one…Ah, life!

February 14th, 2012

Hey, all you Nook & iPad peeps!

It’s my duty to tell you on the blogosphere that The Flower Bowl Spell is now available through Apple’s iBookstore and/or iTunes. To answer my aunt Deetje, yes, you can buy books through iTunes. Movies, TV shows, and podcasts too, as well as other stuff that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with tunes, but there you go. If you are an iPad or iPhone or iPod user, go crazy! It is also available in the Barnes & Noble online store for all you NOOK fans out there. And yes, it’s still just $0.99 in both stores. As my author colleague, the talented Tina Boscha, would say, “WOOT WOOT!”

Sooooo…FYI, I’ve received some feedback from friends and family who have finished the book. And of course all the things they say are very nice. Some have even written reviews on Amazon. OK, two have, plus there’s another review on Goodreads. Thank you, readers! I know I’m starting to sound like the dreaded broken record, but please do post your thoughts about the book after you’re done because the more reviews there are, the more new-reader interest there will be. Yay, fun! And if it helps, I’ll tell you something sad: I haven’t had any new Kindle sales in days. Days, people! Clearly, I need to do more promo work, I hope without spending any money or as little as possible. Is this possible? Must I break those eggs to make an omelet?

Well, before I get out those eggs, let me wish you and yours a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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