Thursday
Sep132012

Harry Potter Wizard's Collection

So, I was excited to buy the Harry Potter Wizard's Collection, but my thoughts have been swayed, since I've been watching the promo video and interviews with JK Rowling. I'm a Harry Potter fan through and through, but JK, you're about to make me mad enough to werecat your eyes out. I know people have suggested that Harry went mad from the abuse he received from his aunt and uncle, but don't you dare hint at it, or else it won't be your 31-disc collection kept in the fold out desk. That's over three hundred bucks I could put into a werecat costume. 

So, before I buy this collection, I need a definitive answer. JK Rowling, are you going to stand by your stories or are you going to go with the imaginations of fans worldwide and be swayed to alter the truth of your stories (as you've done in the past)? Because if Harry lived it only in his mind, you just destroyed my childhood fantasy and this is one girl who won't support you anymore!

Wednesday
Sep122012

Is Kindle Nation Daily a Scam?

Recently, an author friend of mine who is releasing a children's series asked my thoughts on Kindle Nation Daily. She is considering using the platform to skyrocket her book to superstardom. I am on their mailing list, mainly to check out new titles, but I never thought of using KND for increasing book sales, though 711 Press stands behind any marketing I am eager to do. However, her question piqued my interest and I began doing some research.

I reached out to several authors who've used the various marketing options on the KND pay platform and I quickly began to walk the fence on my thoughts on the benefits of KND. First, I've seen some amazing ranking climbs on their sponsorship page by clicking on the "Sponsorship Results" link, which pulls up a spreadsheet. I studied this spreadsheet and was quite impressed. I did however notice that the results were not in order by date, which leads me to believe that the website chooses to only release positive results. I also noticed that many of the amazing ranking climbs only occurred with the free books.

After studying this spreadsheet, I reached out to several authors that weren't posted on this spreadsheet, to ask how well they truly did from the marketing campaign through KND and asked if they would do it again. Most results were bleak and many have already turned to other marketing options. In fact, one author, who had paid nearly $200.00 for an email blast/book excerpt package only sold eight books in two days before the sales ceased.  Wow, that means that the author made less than $20.00 or less than 10% of the money they applied to the campaign. I don't know about you, but I'm not in the habit of paying ten bucks to make a dollar.

So, does this mean it's a scam? Will KND actually work? I am still on the fence. I believe a person would have to test the various payment platforms they offer, but who has a thousand dollars to play the game of so-so marketing. I'd rather go to the slots and have fun. Still, if you do plan to offer your Kindle book for free for a limited time, KND marketing may help to increase traffic to your book page. But, then will it convert to actual sales once it's not free anymore? Many people are freebie hounds and too cheap to actually pay a few dollars for a good read. Amazon, in my opinion, has created this new wave of freebie hounds. I am personally against the freebie releases to bump rankings, but that is out of my hands. 

On the other hand, it may help your sales and rankings if you promote your book while it is offered for free, but ONLY if you have a trilogy or book series, using KND to promote your freebie. If people love the first in a series, they may be willing to buy the next book. Still, the freebie hounds will hold off on purchasing, hoping that one day you'll release book #2 for free. Which brings up a great point--I would NEVER offer any book in a series for free except for the very first book. If you do, you're only feeding the freebie hounds.

Back to KND--My friend who used the email blast bragged how KND would be blasting her book to 30,000 opt-in emails. Yippydeedoo, I'm on that list and I can tell you from personal experience that being blasted everyday eventually looses its appeal. After a week or so of KND emails, I quit reading them. Of course, I've probably missed some great reads, but I cannot stand repeatedly being hounded via email, even though I've opted in. So, if I feel this way, imagine how many others feel the same.

Let's say 30,000 people get the email, only 3,000 open it, (because the other 27,000 are sick of emails just like me) only 300 actually read it all the way through, only 30 are interested in your book genre, only half of that visit your page, and only half of them buy. That's 3.5 sales. But let's round it up to four sales of a $2.99 book. That means you didn't even make nine bucks (since you opted for 70%) on a $179.00 marketing plan. Hmmmm, I could've found other creative marketing ways to spend that money, even some non-marketing possibilities such as buying a new purse ;)

So, while this blog may seem like a rant, blasting Kindle Nation Daily for poor results, it's more about me asking my readers for their personal results and thoughts on the KND platform. Am I wrong? Will KND actually work? Should an author spend hundreds of dollars testing each payment platform to find the magic marketing combination? Or is KND already so saturated with authors and readers that it has already lost its touch? Let me know.

Dru out

Tuesday
Sep112012

Library Roll: Boston Public Library

Our official Library Roll continues, wherein we list the coolest libraries on the planet: the ones that carry our digital titles! If you're one of the lucky readers who happen to live in an area that grants you access to one of these libraries, then you can read our books for free! Otherwise, feel free to purchase our titles by clicking on any book cover after browsing this page

This week we're featuring the Boston Public Library, where you can find our books. Boston Public Library serves Boston, Massachusetts, which features a large a diverse population. 26 individual branch libraries are tied to the same system, so if you live in Boston, Massachusetts, you can borrow books from them. And if you don't have a library card, sign up for one; they're free to adult Boston residents. So dive in and start reading!

The Werecat Saga
Feral

Rabid

Nocturnal

Tuesday
Sep112012

Voyager 1 Has Reached the Edge of Our Solar System

Wow, it blows me away to think that something NASA launched into space nearly 35 years ago has literally traveled over 11 billion miles from Earth, is still in one piece and is still transmitting information back to Earth. That is astounding. And people think we don't have extraterrestrial allies helping us on the technological end, hmmm. September marks an exciting month for the satellite, knowing it has traveled for so long and so far, that it is close to passing out of our solar system, making it the farthest Earth object sent from Earth.

I am so giddy, I feel like I am living Phoenix Earth or Battlestar Galactica. I wonder what data it will collect on its three computers, which holds a total of 68 kb (probably less than this blog). That's pretty crazy. But it's even crazier that we were able to send objects into space 30+ years ago, knowing the airplane was only invented (at least this eon around) in the twentieth century. Anyone else think it bizarre that we've advanced so far in a hundred years?

Anyways, hats off to NASA (even if they've been temporarily downsized) for their amazing contributions to the field of science. I only wish I could travel to Malakar in my lifetime to see outer space for myself. Pssst, for those of you not familiar with Malakar, check out the TV book series Phoenix Earth on Kindle. Trust me, you'll get hooked!

Monday
Sep102012

Anonymous Strikes Again / Godaddy Hosting Hacked

Today, the global hosting site, Godaddy has faced serious technical issues, knocking thousands of its hosted websites and email platforms offline. The hack is being claimed by @AnonymousOwn3r , who wrote on twitter, that “the attack is not coming from Anonymous collective, the attack is coming only from me to test how the cyber security is safe and for more reasons that I cannot talk now.”

Many are speculating that the actions of the elusive Anonymous are due to Godaddy's support of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) a legislative act that would give the government too much control in monitoring online citizens.

Though Godaddy changed their position on the support for SOPA, they lost thousands of accounts in the process. With Anonymous' latest attack on Godaddy, one must wonder if the web hosting giant is crumbling. Only the next few days will tell.

Monday
Sep102012

Order of 5ive: Season Two: Episode Eleven: Rogue Part I

In the first installment of this three-part season finale, Senator Aldridge fires up his presidential campaign while secretly operating a black-ops program to create a group of super soldiers based on hypernatural DNA. In attempt to foil his plans, King sends Diamond and Jack to the Mojave Desert to locate the Bunker, a super secret underground government-run testing facility. But, when Riker reports that scientists are experimenting on children without resignation, King calls in West Coast Ace and Clubs as backup and sends his team of misfits on a mission to locate and infiltrate Bunker in order to discover the truth.

Get your copy here.

Friday
Sep072012

Amazon Steals Serial Novel Thunder From 711 Press: Part 2

As promised, for our readers and subscribers who've sent so many wonderful emails in support of this latest 711 Press blog, we've decided to turn this particular blog subject into a series. Hey, we might as well "serialize" it, ha-ha. Through this blog, we'll keep you updated on our thoughts about Kindle Serials and how they compare to 711 Press TV Books over the weeks and months to come. Without knowing much about Amazon's Serials at this point, considering Amazon is releasing little information on the 8 titles they've announced except for the names of the books and authors, we've decided to make the focus of this particular blog post about how we stand out beyond what you'll receive through Amazon Serials.

First off, we're fine with Amazon putting out serials. In fact, we welcome it. It will only serve to prove what we've already stated in the past, that episodic fiction is the future for readers who love their Kindles. And who better to release a slew of serialized Kindle books than Amazon? However, with that said, one may wonder if Amazon is just trying to repackage their fallen "Kindle Singles" platform, re-envisioning the form of a single to stay at the head of the game, since that failed to catch on... No need to thank us Amazon, we knew you'd "catch on" eventually.

So, in our observation, if Amazon were a major television network such as NBC, 711 Press would be considered the Fox network in its beginning stages. As a "smaller" network, we (Daniel Middleton and Jaime Vendera) have the creative freedom to do what we want to create amazing, quality programming. Being a smaller network is to our advantage, because we started this company with a vision to release only books that we oversee from start to finish, refusing to release more than one serial at a time, choosing quality fiction releases over quantity. By focusing our combined efforts on one serial TV Book show at a time, while working with dedicated writers and a season editor, we can lift the storytelling to lofty and highly entertaining heights, particularly for those who are into the kinds of genres we are.

What does 711 Press being a smaller network mean to you? It means that you are guaranteed to receive one new Movie Book per month and one new TV Book episode per week. We stand by our "programming" and it's our promise that each Movie Book (check out our current Movie Book Titles here) and TV Book release, including Order of 5ive, Mafiosi, Age of the Sigil, Phoenix Earth, and all future titles, have and will be thoroughly plotted, eloquently written, and furiously edited to make sure that every single 711 Press release is grade A quality. And as each new 711 serial nears its end, we have a new TV Book series waiting in the wings to fill it's shoes. So consider us an alterntive TV Network or movie studio with literary programming.

Many have asked us for more products. To that we say, "Quality over Quantity." We believe that if we were to release multiple TV Books at once, each individual TV Book serial may suffer in creative quality, due to loss of focus or attention. Lack of attention toward a fiction title brings to mind companies like AuthorHouse who've released books featuring poorly edited content with subpar covers.

Will Amazon go the way of AuthorHouse? We wonder what lengths Amazon will go to to make sure each of their serialized books receives the care and nurturing required in order to provide the reader with typo free, inspired, quality content worth the reader's attention. I guess we shall see--but we already know where you can receive that kind of quality this instant. So if you want to read quality, cutting edge serialized fiction from the company that reinvented the episodic read, check out our TV Books here.