Alternative book covers

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I sure hope you’ve read my books. They might not be perfect but hopefully enough for a little amusement. I’m currently at work on my third novel and try to squeeze in some night-time writing. Passion fuels energy etc…

These are two “covers” I whipped up in a few minutes featuring two of the locations in The Wake-Up Call (New York) and Hollywood Assistant (Los Angeles). My third novel is set in another place close to my heart, Washington D.C.

It will be out in 2016.
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A/B-Testing Book Covers

HOLLYWOOD ASS HollywoodASScover3
Here you have two covers of the same novel, my Hollywood love story called Hollywood Ass.

Despite positive reviews and feedback, it hasn’t really taken off in sales, the way The Wake-Up Call did, so I decided to put my online marketing cap on (an indie author is really like a  one marketing man band) and A/B-test two different book covers.

Since Amazon doesn’t allow you to see traffic to your book page or any kind of conversion figures, everything boils down to sales and setting up short links to bit.ly – but I hope I can still see a positive or negative pattern and be able to compare the two.

The funny thing is that as an independent author, one of the perks is that you don’t have to compromise with your publisher’s wishes. You are your publisher, marketing machine, agent etc. But you’re obviously still a slave to sales. Because if nobody is downloading/reading your book, what’s the point of it?

So you fiddle around with different things like book covers, descriptions, blurbs, reviews. You buy media space on different sites and networks. You stay active on Goodreads, you take an outrageously attractive author photo, and you hope to see your numbers spike.

We have to use the weapons given to us. That’s the name of the game.

And the weapon I’m using right now is A/B-testing book covers. But while I wait for the results I would love if you could comment on this blog on which one you prefer. Book cover 1 (original to the left) or 2?

Thanks for your help and have a nice weekend.

 

 

Everyday Psychopaths for Free?

Yes, the headline is right. Right now, I’m giving away my short story collection Everyday Psychopaths for free at Smashwords and Kobo.

The idea with giving away a book for free is obviously that you check out my other books, The Wake-Up Call and Hollywood Ass.

Right now, I’m slowly hacking away at my novelette Six Strings, but I’m not exactly moving at light speed, to be honest with you. But, writing a book is nothing that needs to be rushed, it’s my little self-indulgent hobby that I tinker with from time to time. You could say that I’m slowly learning to keep my giant expectations at bay.

However, I’m happy that the New York start-up Pubslush wrote a few words about me and my books in their blog.

I’m also honored to have had business guru Tom Peters buy The Wake-Up Call and tweet to me about it. He’s a person I respect very much. I shared the event on my facebook page like this: “Honored to have business author legend Tom Peters buy The Wake-Up Call today and then tweet to me about it. The only problem is that the importance of my own books are puny compared to his.”

That’s enough about what’s going on in my writing life. On a writing-related side note, I’m happy that Lenah is getting more and more writing gigs. It’s a big plus that we share the same passions in life and can urge each other on, not to mention proofread each other’s work!

Being an independent author or freelance writer can be pretty lonely, so it’s great to be able to tackle things more like a team.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to download a free book or tell your friends about it. My next post won’t be so much bragging/marketing-focused, I promise!

“I wanted to achieve greatness and prioritized accordingly.”

I wanted to achieve greatness and prioritized accordingly. Relationships were contra productive to my career. Starting a family was out of the question. Keeping up with friends didn’t really make the list – hell, I didn’t even know who my real friends were.

– Jack Reynolds.

Read how Jack gets his Wake-Up Call

What’s An Everyday Psychopath?

hello-psychopath

That’s the question I asked myself before I published my new short story collection by the same name, Everyday Psychopaths. There’s something fascinating about people going crazy and doing unpredictable things. Crazy people are all around us and there’s at least a little bit of crazy in all of us.

Being crazy or a psychopath are of course loose terms that are hard to define. People tend to throw them around without any medical examinations to back them up. But if you google/wiki the word the following definition comes up:

Psychopathy is a personality or mental disorder characterized partly by antisocial behavior, a diminished capacity for remorse, and poor behavioral controls. As a diagnostic category in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, psychopathy has been replaced by antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).

Surely, most people don’t see it exactly like that when they hear the word “psychopath”, but the “diminished capacity for remorse” is pretty much spot on.

In Everyday Psychopaths you find three stories, all with some level of psychopath in them. They’re full of dark humor and best described with the line:

[symple_highlight color=”yellow”]Everyday Psychopaths is a collection of short stories that will both frighten you and make you laugh out loud. Warning: reading these three stories can make you sound like a crazy person. Kind of like an Everyday Psychopath…[/symple_highlight]

Everyday Psychopaths-lowThe stories in Everyday Psychopaths:

A Killer Date

This is a horror story written with portion of humor. Inspired by Stephen King. Here you find the most obvious use of an Everyday Psychopath.

30 minutes into the date, Sheila thinks there’s magic in the air between her and Terry. She can hardly believe her luck to have met a man who seems to have everything. She wants to pinch her arm and ask herself if it’s too good to be true, but if she did the answer would be: Yes, it is too good to be true, because the truth is actually horrifying…

Quotes from A Killer Date:

Terry loved relaxed candlelight dinners and red wine. It was a nice contrast from work and killing people.

“You are so beautiful, I could eat you,” he said.
And it was true. Her smile was as intoxicating as the wine.
And he could eat her.

“You have really nice teeth,” Terry said and thought they could be excellent for his collection of exquisite human body parts.

 The Development Talk

In the Development Talk you find Jasper who’s up for his yearly development talk. Jasper hates meetings and he hates them even more now that his new manager is Stephen – a classic everyday psychopath.

Quotes from The Development Talk:

“He was a strange mix of Heinrich Himmler and Barney the Dinosaur.”

“A perfectionist,” Stephen repeated. On his lips the word seemed to taste of excrement.

He gave Jasper a look of…yes what was that look? Amusement, malice or constipation?

 The Worst/Best Day of My Life

Joe hasn’t had the best time lately. His life seems to be going steadily downwards – at least if you asked him. When his hated colleague Mary Pedersen (everyday psychopath!) steals the promotion he thought he was going to get, things get even worse. And sometimes things has to get a lot worse before they get better.

Quotes from The Worst/Best Day of My Life:

I guess all my afternoon beers and burgers were catching up with me, which made me want to scream THEN WHY NOT MY HAIR!? 

No matter how many tapes of whale sounds I listened to, I made Hitler look like a Woodstock survivor.

That casserole tasted like mashed-up sewage rat and I knew I couldn’t force that down one more time, even if it was chased by a pint of beer.

And to top the collection off I’ve included generous samples of The Wake-Up Call and Hollywood Ass. where both womanizing, workaholic, narcissist Jack Reynolds and Hollywood A-list actress B possess excellent everyday psychopath qualities.

I hope you like my little tribute to everyday psychopaths. May we never become like them.

EVERYDAY PSYCHOPATHS

A collection of short stories that will both frighten you and make you laugh out loud. Warning: reading these three stories can make you sound like a crazy person. Kind of like an Everyday Psychopath…

BUY EVERYDAY PSYCHOPATHS HERE

In Everyday Psychopaths you find three stories, all three of them containing an everyday psychopath of some kind. The first one is close to a horror story with a dose of dark humor, the short second one is more literary but scary in its own right, and the third one is all dark comedy. Included in this collection is also two samples of my novels, The Wake-Up Call and Hollywood Ass. I hope you like them enough to consider checking them out in full.

The Stories in Everyday Psychopaths

A Killer Date
30 minutes into the date, Sheila thinks there’s magic in the air between her and Terry. She can hardly believe her luck to have met a man who seems to have everything. She wants to pinch her arm and ask herself if it’s too good to be true, but if she did the answer would be: Yes, it is too good to be true, because the truth is actually horrifying…

The Development Talk
Jasper is in for his yearly development talk and he’s feeling very uncomfortable about it. He usually doesn’t like meetings and his manager, Stephen, is kind of creepy. Little does he know how creepy…

The Worst/Best Day of My Life
Sometimes one day is enough. One day can change your life from heaven to hell. Or vice versa. This is what happened to Joe in the craziest 24 hours of his life…

The Wake-Up Call (sample)
On the surface he has it all: the women, the career, and the Central Park view penthouse, but behind his well-groomed and chiseled facade he has nothing. At least this is what he’s about to realize. Find out how Jack gets his life-changing wake-up call in this fast-paced, heartfelt and funny novel about soul-searching, friendship, and love.

Hollywood Ass. (sample)
A Hollywood superstar suffers a mental collapse, her marriage is falling apart, her career is on the ropes and the only one keeping it all together is her loyal assistant and friend, Darryl. Problem is, he’s kind of in love with her. Soon he finds himself drawn into a story that is much like the movies his employer stars in. But in real life the answers aren’t in the script…

BUY EVERYDAY PSYCHOPATHS HERE

THE WAKE-UP CALL

You either love him or hate him. No matter if you think he’s an asshole or just a nice guy in a heap of trouble, Jack Reynolds will stir your feelings. Do like 40 000 readers and enjoy his story…

You can buy The Wake-Up Call (print) at The Book Depository or Amazon US and UK Or why not as an e-book? Amazon US, UK, FR, IT, DE, ES.

Book description:

On the surface he has it all: the women, the career, and the Central Park view penthouse, but behind his well-groomed and chiseled facade he has nothing.

At least this is what he’s about to realize.

At age 35, alpha-male Jack Reynolds’ workaholic, womanizing and self-centered behavior is catching up with him both physically and mentally. After a series of grave romantic mistakes, he tries to get away from it all by boarding a plane to Cancun, Mexico.

But Jack soon realizes he can’t really run away from anything…

…especially not himself.

Find out how Jack gets his life-changing wake-up call in this fast-paced, heartfelt and funny novel about soul-searching, friendship, and love.

Readers response to The Wake-Up Call…
“A contemporary Don Draper!”
“A riveting page-turner.”
“Brilliant fun for small money.”
“If you don’t smile to this book, you probably never smile anyway.”
“Like a male Bridget Jones in the voice of Marian Keyes.”
“Good style, great flow! Can’t remember that a book entertained me this much.”
Gritty, realistic and a damn good read!”
“The Wake-Up Call really has it all – you laugh, you’re moved and most of all you’re entertained.”

The Wake-Up Call reached the semi-finals in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012.

I Know You Want a Piece of Ass.

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I know, I know. It’s an absolutely ridiculous headline showcasing my very bad taste.

But it does look good though, doesn’t it? And by that I don’t mean any old ass, I mean the print edition of Hollywood Ass. as displayed in the picture above. The cover is designed by the excellent designer Etienne Bugeja who also designed The Wake-Up Call.

(By the way, Ass. is an abbreviation of assistant)

Print UK: http://amzn.to/12hWggM

Print US: http://amzn.to/XZcQLC

If you prefer e-books, Hollywood Ass. is actually FREE today.

Links for Hollywood Ass kindle version:

US: http://amzn.to/XZcQLC

UK: http://amzn.to/Z3jMHL

DE: http://amzn.to/XqZzkb

FR: https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00BMU0GT2

ES: https://www.amazon.es/dp/B00BMU0GT2

IT: https://www.amazon.it/dp/B00BMU0GT2

JP: http://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00BMU0GT2

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BMU0GT2

BR: https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B00BMU0GT2

 

 

 

 

 

The power of free – tips on Amazon Kindle Select

Trying to “make it” as an indie author as taught me a lot about the power of the word FREE. The reason is that with Amazon Kindle Select you can run promotions where any of your self-published books are free for a set number of days. The idea is for the book to climb the many top lists on Amazon so that it gets maximum exposure. The “only” thing Amazon asks of you is that your book is exclusively published with Amazon for a three-month period.

I’ve tried free days on Amazon Kindle Select quite a few times now with some success and found it to be one of the most powerful marketing tools an indie author can find. When I’ve run it for The Wake-Up Call I’ve had up to 26 000 downloads in two days. This helped the book to climb the top lists and to my amazement it managed to reach #4 in Contemporary Fiction and #1 in Humor. Since the book stays for some hours on the top list even after the promotion is over, this will obviously net quite some sales as well.

That was the most successful Kindle Select Promotion I ever ran. Other times, it’s been decent to completely pointless. The success of your promotion depends on a number of things:

1. The days you choose. Weekends are rarely good, because people tend to do other things than browse for free e-books.

2. That the book has a decent rating. Less than 4 star reviews in average will be less effective.

3. That you do your homework and make sure to advertise the book everywhere you possibly can. There are loads of free book promotion websites out there. I will list some below.

4. That you use all your communication channel in getting out the message. Social media can be very effective and Twitter has done wonders for me in the past.

5. That your book has a good looking cover (people are very visual) and an interesting description.

6. That the first pages of your book (what readers usually sample) really hook the reader.

7. That your book is placed in the right category for it. Categories like Mystery and Thrillers is extremely competitive, but maybe you have a smaller niche that is easier to reach out through? This means it will be easier for you to climb to #1 on the Amazon top lists.

The reason I started writing this post is that I’m now trying two free days (3rd and 4th of April) on Amazon Kindle Select again to see if it can do any wonders for my recently published novel “Hollywood Ass.”

I have done some promotion, but sadly the book is yet to have a review so I’m not sure it will get enough downloads to make a difference. But as an indie author you have to try your best and see what works.

Sites where you can promote your books (to be updated):

Digital Book Today
The Kindle Book Review
World Literary Café
Freebooksy
Author Marketing Club
Bookbub
BookDaily.com
Ereadernewstoday
Booktweetingservice
Free Ebooks Daily
Kindle Nation Daily
Centsiblereads
Kindle Mojo
Kindle Book Promos
Book Goodies
Bookdealhunter
Zwoodlebooks

Some useful twitter hashtags courtesy of Jeff Bennington:

  • #kindle #kindlefire #ebooks #FREE #mustread #goodreads #greatreads #freeebooks #Kindlefreebooks
  • #AmazonPrime #Kindledeals #kindledeals
  • @FreeKindleStuff @FreeReadFeed @free_kindle @Freebookdeal @freebookpromos @freebooksy
  • @KindleBlaze @KindleBookBlast @KindleBookKing @KindleDaily @Kindlbookreview @digitalBKtoday
  • @KindleFireDept @KindleEbooksUK @KindleFreBook @KindleFreeBooks @KindleFreeStuff @KindleKing
  • @KindleSurprise @KindleUS @KindleUK @KindleDE @KindleES @Kindle_Max @kindle_mojo @Kindlefreebies
  • @Kindlestuff