Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Still Number One

After Sixteen Hours…

Wow, what fun this Bookbub promotion has been on Kill Game: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.

We put Kill Game free for this promotion. (You can still get it on Amazon US and Kobo around the world and other sites. You can get information on it and the other books in the series here.)

Now I understand that all the downloads are not sales. But there are six more books in the series plus a bundle. All of them cost money and all of them are selling well.

Called a halo affect. We are so far beyond making money on the halo just from Amazon, it is funny. A prime example of using free specials correctly.

Now, over the years of this blog, we have done some promotions on my books and some Bookbubs, but I never talked about them. They just sort of happened. And they did great.

But I have talked a lot over the years about the wrong use of free and I hear claims that I never do anything with free, so I wanted to kill that thinking. I hate free when it is done wrong. I like it just fine when done right.

Since about ten this morning, and it is after two in the morning now, Kill Game has been number one on the overall Amazon free books store and number one in the three categories. Now for Amazon, that’s a pretty good run.

I never look at this stuff and won’t start now, but this morning Kris woke me up to tell me it was number one in the free store. I laughed and said, “Oh, good, now I can finally call myself a bestseller.” (I have been a USA Today and Times Bestseller for decades now under varied names.)

Being number one on a free list is pretty worthless without the other six books that the free book is hopefully pushing. But it is working this time. Yeah! Excites me that new fans are finding my Cold Poker Gang series.

So for fun I went and took a screen shot of the ranking lists on Amazon of Kill Game tonight to show you all what it looks like. Now if this was all on the purchased book lists, I would be writing another post completely. (grin)

Also note, this book is four years old. Books never spoil.



July Regular Workshops… Still Time to Get In…

This might be out best list for a month of workshops we have ever done with the addition of the Magic Bakery workshop and Information Flow. I am very, very pleased these workshops have come this far.

And are still moving forward.

You can find the workshops under Online Workshops to the right of this post. Sign up for July on For credits or workshops beyond July, write me.

Each regular workshop is 6 weeks long.

Again, it will take you about three hours per week on your own pace to do each of these if you do the assignments. All workshops have now started, but still enough time to jump in and openings in all of them, including the new ones.

And Lifetime Subscriptions are available on Teachable. Write me with questions about any of this.

Class #1… July 10th … Depth #3: Research
Class #2… July 10th … Author Voice
Class #3… July 10th … Dialog
Class #4… July 10th … Writing into the Dark
Class #5… July 10th … Writing Fiction Sales Copy
Class #6… July 10th … Writing and Selling Short Stories
Class #7… July 11th … Depth in Writing
Class #8… July 11th … Business
Class #9… July 11th … Writing Fantasy
Class #10… July 11th … Information Flow
Class #11… July 11th … Magic Bakery
Class #12… July 11th … Advanced Depth

Again, if you don’t have credits, sign up directly at Teachable.

I will be putting up the August workshops in the next few days. So stay tuned for that.




  • Harvey

    First, my sincere congratulations. I’m glad the promo is going well. In fact, I took advantage of it by getting both books free in the current offer.

    Second, this is the biggest reason I dislike the business end of writing.

    You have to have a lot of good reviews to get a BookBub, but it’s a bad idea to pay a company who will send your book to reviewers. If Amazon even suspects you did such a thing, they might even close your account.

    To clarify, I don’t want to pay to get “good” reviews, but just to get the book in front of reviewers at all.

    Even when I offer free ARCs to readers, I do so with the proviso that I only want honest reviews, not necessarily good reviews. I’ve still found that Amazon strips away reviews at times if you’ve had any dealings whatsoever with the reviewer. (Case in point, I copyedited a novella for a guy several years ago. Later he reviewed my first novel. His review was there maybe two weeks before it disappeared.)

    This is among the main reasons I’m glad I started writing late in life and that my children and grandchildren probably will make more money than I do on my books.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, why I tell people to do what they can, get ARCs out when possible, but write the next book. Reviews come when they come. And remember, free always attracts the bad reviews. Automatic, like flies to honey. So I am expecting that, although I will never read the reviews.

      Why do I not read reviews? Because I did the best I could with everything I put out. I can’t control other people’s opinions of a story or even care to try. I know I did the best I could, wrote what I wanted to write, had fun with it. Not one damn thing else matters.

      • J.A. Marlow

        “. And remember, free always attracts the bad reviews. Automatic, like flies to honey.”

        Amen to that. It happened to me. Took it off free and the reviews naturally flowed in, and they are almost always better ratings. There’s something about the mentality of those who go for free books and then thinking they are somehow getting ripped off or miffed that a genre they usually don’t read in isn’t to their liking. (or so many other reasons.

        I second not reading reviews. Not just the bad, but also the good. Even the positive ones can insert that critical voice into your head and stop the writing. It’s just not worth it.

  • Kessie

    Congrats on the great sales! I hear indies whining about how Bookbub is less effective than it used to be, but I think it really depends on the book and the halo effect. I mean, if the free book is no good, I certainly won’t be buying the rest, you know?

  • D J Mills

    I have heard that Bookbub has a good/large email reader list.
    Also, you could have lots more downloads after your blog announcement, because I downloaded from Smashwords from reading your blog. Hope the halo effect continues for months.
    And I can’t wait to read it.