My Target Audience Epiphany

Check out any writing site and it will tell you how important it is for an author to build her mailing list. Mailing lists help you to get noticed and build a relationship with your readers which, in turn, helps sell books.

I’ve been trying to build my mailing list for my publishing company for a while now, without much luck. It wasn’t until I was organizing yet another Facebook ad that I had an epiphany–I was targeting the wrong people.

Knowing Your Audience

As a publisher, I mistakenly thought I wanted to market to authors. If I could get their attention, they’d see the books I was selling, read about my authors’ successes, visit them when they did their book signings, etc., and want to publish with me. The problem was that most authors I was targeting were self-published and had no need for a publisher.

I had to ask myself: as a publisher, what is my main goal? Signing authors was great, but no matter how many authors I signed, if no one bought my books, my company wouldn’t be very successful.

My ideal audience was composed of people who read English, fiction readers living in North America and maybe the UK. Their sex wasn’t an issue, but since Facebook tends toward an older audience, I needed to target adults, 18 years of age and older.

Offering Incentive

Many sources will tell you to offer people an incentive for subscribing to your email list. Plenty of authors offer free books as an incentive, so I put together a book documenting how I’d planned and executed my last blog tour, complete with links to actual sites I used and statistics for click-throughs vs. impressions vs. sales. It was the perfect incentive for authors.

After my epiphany, I decided to offer a free eBook, any eBook in my catalogue. To do this, I created a Google form on which subscribers could request a specific book or choose a genre and let me choose the book for them.

Results

I generally run my Facebook ads for a week with a budget of $5.00 per day. When targeting authors with my ads, I was lucky to have 10 leads per ad campaign. With the same run of $5.00 per day for a week when targeting readers, I found 62 leads!

The day after my campaign closed, I emailed everyone on my list of new leads with a link to the Google form. Only 5 people replied to ask for books, which was disappointing–eBooks cost nothing to give away, and once my audience had gotten a taste of the quality of my authors, I had hoped to sell more books.

My Newsletter

This month I sent my newsletter out to 62 more people than usual. Two people unsubscribed the next day, which was to be expected. Now, in addition to new books for sale, my newsletter includes a list of advance reader copies (ARCs) which readers can order for free, with the hope they’ll post a (hopefully positive) review when they’re done.  Out of the 82 people on my list (I had 20 people on my list before), 2 people requested ARCs.

A 2% response rate might not seem like a lot, but it’s a start. It’s more engagement than I had before, at any rate.

I’m building it and they are slowly coming.

Sign up for my mailing list to request one of this month’s ARC eBooks for free!

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2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist

I Was, Am, Will Be Alice has made it through to the 2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finals.  Keep reading for a very special offer at the bottom of this post.

2017 Kindle Book Review Award Semi-Finalist

Winner of the 2015 A Woman’s Write Competition

When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn’t.

It’s bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn’t, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time.

Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD–Voldemort Day–but it’s not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police,  and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she’s been time travelling.

Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She’s just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Alice resolves to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who’d shielded Alice’s body with her own.

To celebrate, the eBook of I Was, Am, Will Be Alice is on sale for $0.99! Get your copy wherever eBooks are sold

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Re-issues of Police Procedural Mystery Fiction Books

In 2012 I published my first book, Phase Shift, the adventures of Molly McBride and Palmer Richardson. Phase Shift was actually the second book I wrote with these characters, the (still) unpublished The Guardian being the first. Since then, I’ve written a number of short stories and novellas with these characters including Aliens’ Waltz–featuring Josef Schliemann; The Nexus–featuring Molly, Palmer, and Josef (both of which have now been published in The Nexus and Other Stories); The Mummy Wore Combat Boots–featuring Palmer and Michael Crestwood; and Throwaway Child-featuring Molly, Palmer, and Josef, with a nod to Clinton Johns from The Guardian.

This month, I’ve re-issued Throwaway Child and The Mummy Wore Combat Boots. Here’s what the two books are about, both of them reissues of police procedural mystery fictions involving forensic anthropology to solve the case:

Throwaway Child

A recent report written after a six-year investigation into residential schools for Canadian First Nations people stated that at least 3,201 student deaths occurred in these schools, with many more going unrecorded.

The report goes on to state that “many students who went to residential school never returned. They were lost to their families…No one took care to count how many died or to record where they were buried.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in a 2016 speech to the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly said, “We know all too well how residential schools and other decisions by governments were used as a deliberate tool to eliminate Indigenous languages and cultures.”

 Throwaway Child is the story of one of these children.

The skeleton of a young girl is found beneath the cement basement floor in an abandoned Victorian in Toronto. On duty is Detective Constable Michael Crestwood who contacts forensic anthropologist Dr. Palmer Richardson to assist in the investigation. What they uncover is the story of a six-year-old Cree girl, stolen from her family, warehoused in a government run facility and then forgotten.

In a story with ties to current headlines, Throwaway Child explores the injustice experienced by two girls imprisoned in a mid-twentieth century residential school, their families, and the tragedy that results from one girl’s need to find a home.

Buy Throwaway Child on Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold. 


mummy, archaeology, police procedural, toronto, gaming

The Mummy Wore Combat Boots

The Sandy Hook School shooting, the Colorado movie theatre massacre…was online gaming to blame?

Psychologists believe that engaging in violent virtual gaming desensitizes the player and dehumanizes opponents. When the division between what is real and what is virtual becomes unclear, the results can be catastrophic.

When forensic anthropologist Palmer Richardson is called to investigate an uncatalogued sarcophagus found in storage at the Royal Ontario Museum, he has his work cut out for him. Upon investigation, he discovers the mummy inside is that of a teenage boy and involves Detective Constable Michael Crestwood of the Metropolitan Toronto Police.

Their investigation delves into the world of online gaming, where losing health points in a skirmish could have serious implications for a player’s life in the real world.

Inspired by real-life headlines, The Mummy Wore Combat Boots highlights the growing divide between children who live their lives immersed in a digital culture and the adults tasked with raising them who live in the real world.

Buy The Mummy Wore Combat Boots on Amazon and wherever eBooks are sold. 

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A Science Fiction Sensation: The Nexus and Other Stories

science fiction short stories with zombies, ghosts, aliens, clonesThe Nexus and Other Stories

by Elise Abram

Aliens, ghosts, clones, zombies, vampires, nightmares come to life, teleportation…

There are more things in heaven and earth than modern man will ever know or understand.

The Nexus

They say be careful what you wish for. Meet Josef Schliemann, noted expert in pseudo-archaeology who sponsors a dig beneath a historic church in downtown Toronto. Said to have been built on a tract of land sacred to prehistoric Indigenous peoples living the in the area the secrets of the site have been lost to time. Will Josef survive when he finds the object of his desire?

 A Morgan by Any Other Name

In a future where cloning has been perfected—sort of—Rachel, a Morgan model, should have the world at her feet, but she’s not happy. What is the one thing a teenage clone desires?

At the Mere Thought Of

 What happens when your worst nightmare comes true? Businessman Crane is about to find out.

The Circle of Life

Bob wakes up the night after attending a wild rave to find he’s not himself. He wakes up, buried alive, and hungry…for flesh. 

One book, thirteen stories.

In The Nexus and Other Stories, science fiction author Elise Abram explores the myths of the modern world. When, science fiction author Elise Abram explores the myths of the modern world. When vice overcomes common sense, the results cannot be positive. Elise Abram writes from the heart, examining the beliefs and obsessions of contemporary life, speculating what might happen if the science we are toying with and/or if the creatures we glorify in our popular culture become commonplace.

Buy The Nexus and Other Stories today!

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