I self-published. I'm pretty technically adept at formatting and marketing so I didn't think a publisher would add much. Because I keep all of the profit, I can promote and market more than if I had to split the royalties with a publisher.

For those of you who purchase books online via a Kindle, Nook, iPhone, etc., what time of day do you think you do your purchase? I'm looking at some data from my campaigns and it looks like the biggest spike in sales is between 8-10 in the evening. I'm wondering if this squares with your personal experience.

Considering the time it's been on Amazon, a 20,000 sales ranking is good!

Thanks! It's now at 11,762. I'm going to optimize my marketing tomorrow and hope to bring it under 10,000 in the next day or two.

Hi all,

Just an update on my marketing efforts. My initial goal was to get 5 reviews and then begin phase 2 of my marketing program. I stalled out at 3 reviews but decided to move ahead anyway. I figure more reviews will come and I wanted to see how important reviews are. The verdict: reviews  help but are not necessary.

I started a Facebook campaign for the book and it's doing quite well. In the last week I have spent about $200 and generated 26 sales. That's a cost of $7.70 per sale. So, I am still losing money on each sale but this gap is narrowing and as I optimize the campaign I expect to be at break-even soon. Once that happens, I can ramp up the campaign. But more importantly, I am getting lots of Facebook shares and discussion going about the book. The book's Kindle ranking has hovered around 20,000 and I hope to punch it above 10,000 in the next week.

I'm hoping these sales will lead to a few more good reviews. Once that happens, I will do a short promo deal and pump the book on some of the deal sites to try and shoot it into the Top 1,000.

I work in digital marketing and this expertise has been crucial in promoting the book. I experimented quite a bit on Facebook until I got it to start working and I'm still tweaking and experimenting to find the right combination of ad and audience.

I hope some of this info helps your efforts. I'll continue to provide updates as the campaign develops.

- Jake



(11 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)



(2 replies, posted in Marketing Your Writing)

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I received a message from Amazon today asking if I'd like to be included in a future promotion they are planning. The price of State of Vengeance would be reduced for the time period, as long as one year. Has anyone else received this kind of notice before? Do you recommend I accept? I'm always a bit wary of Amazon and some of their promotion tactics.


(6 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I think the sales will help long term. Once you get a spike in sales, it greases Amazon's algorithm and they increase the visibility of your writing. Good luck with it!

Thanks, Jack. That's good advice.

Regarding Choosy Bookworm, is that the Read and Review program? I have had some experience with that and will share if interested. A short $.99 sale is a good idea, but I'd think about doing that in conjunction with a promotion website that has a large social media and e-mail reach.

It was the Choosy Bookworm Bookbuzz program. Hard to know what I got out of it. What was your experience Jack?

I signed up for bookbuzzr.com and they send out regular tweets regarding The Kurdish Connection. As Jack mentioned, others will begin retweeting.

I'll check out bookbuzzr. Thanks for the suggestion, Randy.

Hi Gacela,

If you look on Amazon, they show featured recommendations. They also list books  in certain orders when you do a search. For instance, search for terrorism thriller books. The results depend on many factors, but one of factor is how much money Amazon will make if you purchase the product. All things being equal, does Amazon want to promote a $.99 book or a $3.99 book?

- Jake

So, I promised to provide everyone with an update on my marketing efforts for State of Vengeance. If you have any comments, thoughts, etc. please free to append these or ask them.

I launched State of Vengeance on September 27, 2017. I could have waited longer and perfected a few more things but my wife told me to finally let it go. Lesson 1: don't procrastinate; let the book go when it's good enough. I've since found a few typos which I'll correct.

My strategy is the following:

My initial goal is to get 100 sales and 5-6 reviews. This is phase I. To do this, I have done the following:

- Price the book at $3.99. This is cheap enough that is should encourage browsing, but also provides Amazon enough revenue that it will want to promote the book. After doing some research, I came to the conclusion that Amazon wants to maximize revenue, so pricing a book at $.99 is not in the company's best interest.
- After some thought, I also decided to sign up for Kindle Select. This will allow readers who are part of the program to get the book for free. So, I decided this and the $3.99 was the best of both worlds.
- I sent an email to contacts, early readers, giveaways, etc.
- I did a book giveaway on Goodreads.
- I purchased a book promo deal on Choosy Bookworm for $40.
- I have boosted an excerpt of the book on Booksie.com and also have purchased a lead program there where an excerpt is sent to readers who opt-in.
- I ordered 10 copies of the hardcover to distribute to some influencers and I have chosen.

The result so far of Phase 1:

- I have sold 35 books and 2,081 pages on KENP. These are modest numbers but I'm really not promoting much yet.
- More importantly, reviews have started to come  in. I have one review on Amazon and one on Amazon.uk. These are unsolicited reviews.
- Sales are building and increasing over time, which I take to be a good thing

https://www.amazon.com/State-Vengeance- … 7613LCZV/r

I hope to get to the 100 sales goal by the end of November. Then, in December and January, the height of the holiday season and after, when people need to spend their Amazon gift cards, I will move on to phase II.

Phase II:

- Cut the price to $.99 for a couple of days and blast the book out through as many deal sites as I can. The goal is to jack the visibility.
- Once the blasts are done, I will bring the price back to $3.99.
- Continue to send copies out to interested Bloggers, readers, people in industry, etc.

Phase III:

- I haven't fully formulated my phase 3 yet. It's still a work in progress.

So, that's how it's going so far. I hope this helps. If you do have suggestions, I am all ears.

Hi all,

I just wanted to let the community know that State of Vengeance is now published. The book would not have happened without this community to not only provide feedback, but to motivate me to continue writing. I can't tell you how much the reviews kept me going when I wanted to put the book away and forget about it. It's finished because of TNBW and much better for it.

State of Vengeance is available here.

https://www.amazon.com/State-Vengeance- … +vengeance

Thank you again!

I have been able to sell books by giving free talks to local groups and libraries. I don't charge, but sign and sell at the end.  Look for book fairs too.

Great ideas! I'll have to think about what kind of talk I can give based on the book.

Are you self-publishing?

Technically, I am. I am using the WordMaker Media imprint, spun-off from this site. I've also hired some members of TheNextBigWriter to help me with book design and marketing.

Congratulations! I didn't read your book, but I do like the cover. Octagon Lab did three mystery covers for me and I was pleased with his work.

I think I may have seen that on your author page and liking your covers, checked them out. I also saw them on another list so the two recommendations helped me feel comfortable with them.

If people are looking to have a cover designed, this is the company I used. I was happy with the work they did.


I spent hours cruising different cover design sites looking for a company that had a thriller portfolio. In this case, I didn't think a company that designed mostly romance books would necessarily be the best fit.

I'm pretty happy with the design although I would have liked a central image or symbol to really bring it all together. But I think the cover communicates the general theme of the book, so I'm happy with that.

Beautiful book! It absolutely does what it's supposed to--grabs your attention without too-small lettering or distracting images.Showing the word 'vengeance' in a fiery gold conveys anger. The flames and the almost-invisible code whet our appetite for the story. Super job!  JP

Thank you, JP. I went through a bunch of covers to get to this one. Maybe I'll post the others if people are interested in the progression.

Great blub....Very intriguing....Congrats to you...Denise

Thanks, Denise!

Cobber, please cross-post your observations about what works/doesn't work to the Marketing Your Writing group. It's a big group (60 members), but with too few posts. Unfortunately, anything posted solely to Premium will be quickly lost.

Yes, absolutely. I've started some Facebook advertising and will start by posting my experiences there.

Nice looking cover - an attention grabber! I wasn't here while you were posting the book but I'm delighted you brought your project to fruition. Best of luck with it!

Thanks, Sideman!

Hi all,

After fifteen years noodling with this project, I'm getting ready to publish State of Vengeance. Many members of this site have helped make this book a reality, so thank you. I could not have done it without the members of TheNextBigWriter. I'd especially like to thank Jube and Randall Krzak, the two reviewers who made it all the way through the book. I owe both a tremendous number of reviews and will reciprocate.

I'm aiming for a book launch on September 21.

Below is the cover and the blurb I have crafted.

State of Vengeance


"Do not leave today on your trip."

Four hours before her vacation flight to Spain, young mother Rachel Katz receives an anonymous text warning her not to go. Thinking it a prank, she and her husband, struggling hedge fund manager Zeke Katz, decide to ignore the message.

From the offices of an emerging hedge fund to the halls of Washington D.C., to the streets of Karachi and New York, Rachel and Zeke’s fateful decision will alter the course of human history and change their lives forever.

From thriller writer Jake J. Harrison comes a classic revenge story wrapped in global terrorism, financial machinations, quantum computing, political conspiracies, and end of the world prophecies.

"An exciting clash of power, faith, and deals. You won't want to put it down!" - Randall Krzak, author, The Kurdish Connection


I'm also almost done with the: State of Vengeance website

I've begun testing different marketing messages on Facebook and will print out 30 hardcopies. I have a list of people to send them to. If anyone on TNBW would like to be a reviewer, I'd be happy to send a free copy. I'm going to do a Goodreads giveaway and also run a contest on several different sites.

Any other suggestions?

I plan to share what works and what doesn't with this wonderful community. Thank you again.

I've been reading numerous articles on eBook pricing and was wondering if some veterans had advice  on what a good price point is for a first time author publishing a fiction book. The book is 450 pages, so rather substantial. I workshopped it here and had it edited so it's pretty well written. I was thinking $4.99. Not expensive but also not so cheap that people think it's a real self-publishing hack. Thanks for any advice.


(4 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I'd publish it and see how it does. If it receives a really positive response that might motivate you to finish the book faster. My philosophy is not to wait. Any of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Go for it!


(12 replies, posted in TheNextBigWriter Premium)

I think you handled this tricky situation well.

Now, onto the real question. Do sales = good book. I'd have to say yes. Good is totally subjective. In the end, I believe the best proxy for whether something is good is whether a large number of people are willing to part with their hard earned money to be entertained by it. The Hunger Games was referenced above. Is it good? Well, for millions of kids who read  it, and for whom it was written, it was pretty damn good. It struck a chord. Writing is not just  the act of putting pretty words on a page, of painting a picture, or bringing characters to life. All of this can be done exquisitely and the book still may not have readership. The best books resonate deeply with their readers.

To me, it's like Rock and Roll. Compared to classical music R&R is almost laughably simplistic. Yet, the feelings it can evoke are just as powerful, if not more so, than Classical. So, which one is better? You can't really compare. But what you can say is R&R is more relevant for this time. Actually, rap seems to be supplanting R&R.

This is just my two cents.