CYP#4: Hefty Complete!

Three for three! Hefty’ story is complete. This is by far the fastest storyline I’ve written. I’m thinking that’s a good thing too.

Your (second) favorite zombie-slaying redneck is ready for you to take a walk through the wastelands in his shoes!

Up next? Tyberius.

PATHOGENESIS! Or, what’s in a name?

I’m considering a new title for the next book. I’ve mentioned in another post that it’s another zombie tale, and was tentatively titled, “INFECTED: Origins”

Now I’m thinking, “PATHOGENS.”

I like it as a title because it’s a disease vector, as in, how an infection starts. After all, this is a prequel. Also, it would be my first plural title, because it’s the first disparate story, with plural protagonists. And…you know…paths. Choices. Get it?

I may still keep the other as a subtitle. “PATHOGENS: INFECTED Origins” or something like that.

What do YOU think?


Add your opinion in the comments below. And don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe!

INFECTED Rises Again

Anywhere in the world, you can win an autographed copy of INFECTED. Check out the giveaway on Goodreads using the links below! Why now? Well, with SUPERPOWERED on its way, I’m trying to breathe new life into the series. So tell your friends!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Infected by James Schannep

Infected

by James Schannep

Giveaway ends April 10, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

And speaking of new life for INFECTED, even though it’s been almost 3 years, I can’t stop thinking about the characters and the story world. There’s just so much left to tell. In that vein, I’m thinking of an INFECTED prequel. A book where you play as other characters you meet in the book, and choose how to survive the inital outbreak from their perspective. This would be the first Click Your Poison book where you wouldn’t play as “you” but instead would enter the mindset of several different characters.

What do you think? Interested? And which character’s perspective would you most like to enter? Do me a favor and VOTE below (you may select multiple characters):


Don’t forget to comment, like, share, and subscribe!

 

Final Results (Freebie Promo)

Final post in the series Lessons Learned from the INFECTED giveaway.

Okay, I promised a final analysis and now–two weeks after the promotion–I’m ready to deliver. Here you’ll see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Time for some results, flaws and all.

Thanks, random sign holder!

The Good

If you recall the results from Day One, my pre-promo sales of INFECTED were low (if not stable) and my sales ranking was a sad state of affairs (jumping between 40k and 100k depending on how recent the day’s sale occurred). INFECTED had never cracked the 20k sales ranking in its history.

The giveaway crushed those numbers.

Best sales rank post-promo, 12 January.
Best sales rank in the paid store, post-promo, 12 January.
January Sales Data: Red indicates the Free promo days. Yellow is a holiday.
INFECTED January Sales Data: Red indicates the Free promo days. Yellow is a holiday.

My post-giveaway numbers are (knock on wood) staying higher than they were before the promotion. The weekend after the promotion saw 79 combined sales and borrows and nearly paid for the whole promo just using those two days. Note that these numbers do not include foreign sales or paperback units, both of which have increased.

Another huge win in the ‘Good’ category is increased discoverability. This may seem strange, but before the promo I had to tell people to search amazon for “Click Your Poison” to find the book, because there were too many things called “Infected” in the kindle store (164 as of publishing this article). Now, I’m the #1 search result, which is huge.

Top INFECTED searchLESSON LEARNED: This is tangential to a promo, but important enough to share. When I originally wrote the story for INFECTED in early 2008, there was nothing out there with that title. When I published the kindle version a little over a year ago, I didn’t bother to check if the title was taken. Granted, you can’t copyright a title, but you don’t want to exist in the shadow of another book either.

The Bad

I did not crack the Top 20 overall free kindle books. This was one of my goals, and I’d missed it. I wanted to be the #1 free book if truth be told, but that didn’t happen. Still, I feel like I did everything in my power to promote the book. In the end, horror just isn’t as popular as genres such as romance. Nothing I can do about that. I write books that I would like to read.

MURDERED sales numbers have not seen a significant post-promo boost. In fact, the sales are worse than they were before the promo.

MURDERED January Sales Data: Green indicates the Free promo days. Yellow is a holiday.
MURDERED January Sales Data: Green indicates the Free promo days. Yellow is a holiday.

You’ll see there was a boost on the last day of the promotion which carried only so far as the day after. Why the drop? I’m not doing anything to promote the book right now, and the buzz is centered directly around INFECTED, so my new release is starting to stagnate. Will it go up once people have more of a chance to read the first book and start looking for more in the series? Time will tell.

The Ugly

The book has gained 12 new reviews since the promo began. This is a good thing. What makes it ugly, is that 1/3 of them were negative. From what I’ve read and seen from other authors, this isn’t all that uncommon. I’ve also heard that negative reviews can help your book, because it makes it seem more genuine. Pre-promo, my 48 reviews were all 4 or 5 stars, giving some people the (false!) impression that I’d paid or begged for positive reviews. If I’m lucky, this’ll shut some of those people up.

What makes some of these reviews ugly isn’t that some people didn’t like the book (I can deal with that), it’s that they actively tried to hurt my success. The first negative review was entitled, Don’t pay for this.” Not much of an opinion so much as a command.

Another reviewer attacked the originality of the book, stating that I stole ideas from The Walking Dead because I set my survivor group up in a prison. Tangent alert! When I wrote the book, I set my survivor group in a prison a year before the cast did so on The Walking Dead. It’s a smart place to go in the event of the zombie apocalypse. But Parallel Development does happen.

Okay, enough of that. Time for…

The Final Word

LESSONS LEARNED:
DO use BookBub.
DO prepare beforehand.
DO share word of the promo with your fans, and if people spread the word, DO say thanks.
DO NOT sweat over the results. What will be, will be.
DO NOT let the bad reviews get to you.
DO learn from your mistakes.

INFECTED Promo Results (Day Two)

Continued from Lessons Learned from the INFECTED giveaway.

January 9th
PhotoFunia-16f3d2b_smallGood morning, again! Today Book Blast is set to go out and, with (fingers’ crossed) the continued buzz from yesterday’s promotion, this should make for an exciting day. I don’t know about you, but I could hardly sleep a wink. Whattdya say we see how much action happened overnight?

NOTE: CLICK ALL IMAGES TO ENLARGE

2686 Downloads as of 0600, January 9th.
2686 Downloads as of 0600, January 9th.
Woo-hoo! Made it into the coveted Top 100.
Woo-hoo! Made it into the coveted Top 100.

Two interesting points of order based on these stats. First, is that I’m still listed in Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure (an old category) as well as Science Fiction > Post-Apocalyptic (new category). Could this be because my update is still “processing”? I’m not sure. I’ll have to watch carefully as this develops. Second, even though my rank has surpassed the Top 100 free books in the kindle store, I only gave away 450 copies over the course of the entire night. Which leads to…

LESSON LEARNED: Be patient/don’t panic. Within the first two hours of the day, my rank got worse and shot up to #99. If this is a race to #1, that means I’m not doing well… or does it? Amazon’s best seller ranking is elastically flexible and doesn’t necessarily correspond to current downloads. Maybe someone else’s rank simply processed before mine? I could just need some time to catch up. Tough to say. Amazon keeps their ranking algorithm a closely-guarded secret, but it pays to go with the flow. Just keep doing what you know you should be doing, and let the ranking system do its thing.

Here’s a mid-day update, after Book Blast has gone out:

4113 Downloads as of 1400, January 9th.
4113 Downloads as of 1400, January 9th.
Back to "increasing!" Slow and steady wins the race today.
Back to “increasing!” Slow and steady wins the race today.

Interesting to note that the categories are still switching. Could this be a good thing? It’s putting me on several different categories throughout the day (the maximum allowed is two), so I can’t see how it would hurt… Hmm. But the main point is that it’s getting better. From all I’ve heard and read, Book Bub is the behemoth service that’ll push any promotion over the edge. So if I can just keep climbing the charts, no matter how slowly, I should be in for a treat tomorrow.

The snowball is your book promotion. The more people you get to help push it along, the bigger it’ll get until it eventually starts feeding itself.

The afternoon was spent doing more promoting and marketing, of course, which leads to another…

LESSON LEARNED: Set up everything beforehand. I started contacting book sites a month out, but I found a great list of resources I was planning to contact during the promotion. Big mistake. Just going through with everything I’d had planned, to include continued social media marketing, took up all my time. You should have everything ready to go before you promotion starts, so the most work you have to do during the event involves the copy/paste function.

It’s getting late. Let’s do one last look at the stats before bed:

5358 Downloads as of 2200, January 9th.
5358 Downloads as of 2200, January 9th.
Still increasing and -- BONUS -- now it's topping 3 categories!
Still increasing and — BONUS — now it’s topping 3 categories!

It’s getting significantly more difficult for INFECTED to climb the ranks, but at least it still is. And with tomorrow set to be my “anchor day” I’m hopeful. You might also notice 3 more sales of MURDERED in 24 hours. Not exactly the boost I was hoping for, but it’s still early (and I’m thankful for each sale I get). Time to try and sleep and prepare for the exciting conclusion tomorrow…

Continue to INFECTED Promo Results (Day Three) 

Get INFECTED for *FREE*

UPDATE: The promo is over, but you can still check out the results here.

That’s right, INFECTED is currently FREE on the Amazon Kindle. 3 Unique Storylines, over 50 Possible Endings, Just One Question: Will YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

This promo will last from 8-10 January ONLY, so tell your friends.

Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!
Spread the news and help the world Get INFECTED!

Why? With MURDERED out for a month now, I felt like it would be an appropriate time to give back. Limited-time free promotions can be a powerful marketing tool as well, so I’m hoping this will expand my audience and generate a buzz around Click Your Poison books. In accordance with my blogging New Year’s Resolution, you can expect some Lessons Learned from this promotion over the coming days and weeks.

Want more? If you’re a blogger with your own website, create a post during the free promotional period announcing the giveaway and I’ll mail you an INFECTED wineglass free of charge. These are limited edition, so it’s first-come, first-served and once the stock is depleted, that’s it.

Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.
Sip out of your free glass while reading your free ebook! Wine sold separately.

INFECTED currently has a rating of 4.8/5 Stars based on 44 reviews — None of which are below a 4-Star rating. Pick up your copy today and see if YOU have what it takes to survive. Good luck, and remember, always aim for the head.

Pub Crawl Z

In case you missed it, zombies descended upon San Luis Obispo, California in horde-like numbers.

I was taken aback by all the new people in INFECTED t-shirts, one of whom sold the shirt off his back to some tourists–I’m so proud….

What a great way to celebrate my one-year anniversary(ish) as a published author!

Now, without further ado, here are the shots from the event:

Don’t forget to check our Events page for future shenanigans.

2nd Annual INFECTED Pub Crawl 904316_10100164790726026_635256092_o 1239209_10100164789298886_1877184451_o 1243150_10100164790790896_2099756207_o 1243721_10100164790631216_74289336_o 1244006_10100164790501476_561874467_o 1377285_10151895935397591_120812561_n1267756_10100164789039406_1203664129_o 1267902_10100164789463556_1676355300_o 1278067_10100164782267976_349299411_o 1400362_10100164787367756_1996777797_o 1397178_10100164787118256_1538164193_o 1398233_10100164786843806_487081118_o 1401523_10100164790850776_1678435550_o1399091_646382412058962_1806471672_o 1399096_10100164781314886_1562052704_o 1399110_10100164789273936_604024126_o 1399271_10100164782317876_731361430_o 1399573_10100164789538406_1578605154_o   1402144_10100164781878756_1710172430_o 1402381_10100164781868776_77656407_o 1402388_10100164782347816_743307373_o IMAG0556 IMG_20131012_222932075_HDR IMG_20131012_223012847 IMG_20131012_232855811 IMG_20131012_233633743 IMG_20131013_243250362 IMG_20131013_243254344 IMG_20131013_243258131 IMG_20131013_244752550 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Get INFECTED in Central California

 Join us as we help San Luis Obispo get INFECTED!

Tell all your friends, we’re all dressing up like zombies and bar hopping downtown. This is not a sanctioned event by the city or any business (we’re going flashmob-style) so expect some shocked looks…

It’s Zombie time again! Last year we took the bars in SLO by storm to celebrate the release of INFECTED, and now the “second wave” of the Zombie Apocalypse is coming to San Luis Obispo!

You can’t keep a good thing dead.

After my last blog post I couldn’t help but think, friends are the best marketing tool you could ask for. It’s a funny thought, I know, but it’s true. Brian, the zombie pictured above, (and the groom in question) has been one of the biggest champions of my book and no convention can possibly give you more buzz than a friend who supports you.

Last year’s Walking Dead Pub Crawl was his idea, and while he won’t be home from his deployment for this year’s event, he’ll be there in spirit. And I look forward to standing next to him at the altar.

Please join us! I hope to make more great friends at this year’s event.

I promise to give 45% less creepy stares this year. Possibly with fingers crossed.
I promise to give 45% less creepy stares this year. (fingers crossed)