There are still spots available – Looking for Advance Readers

front-cover-photoLooking for Advance Readers

Hello,
My new book, Frank Immersed, that I co-wrote with emerging author, Kent Arceneaux, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. You, however, as a follower of my blog, can get the book early, absolutely free, by signing up to be an advance reader.

All you have to do is read the book and leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads and whatever other outlet you choose on the release date, December 23rd, 2016. These early reviews are so helpful in attracting attention to the book on Amazon.

If you want to become an advance reader, just send me an email HERE with the subject Advance Reader. I’ll send you a copy of the book around December 9th and you’ll have until the 23rd to read it and post your review on the release day.

I’ll send you reminders to post your review as the time gets closer.

I’m going to accept a limited number of advance readers so it’s going to be on a first come, first served basis.

Here is a synopsis of the book:

Frank and Jonesy are back. This time the case will require all of their talents. Young female passengers are disappearing from luxury cruise ships. After young twin daughters disappear during a family cruise, Frank and Jonesy must go undercover to find out what’s happening.

The stakes are high and the odds are against them. Will this case prove to be more than they can handle? Luckily, the twins’ father, Jim Mason, has special training and associates from his past that will be called upon as the search for the girls escalates.

Follow Frank and Jonesy on this ocean-going adventure as they search for the twins and dredge up powerful bad guys from one of their past cases in this latest adventure, Frank Immersed.

Here is the trailer:

 

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Just For My Blog Followers

Things are coming along well with the new book, Frankly, My Dear. I’ve received  positive comments from the beta readers now and it has started going out to advance readers in anticipation of the April 29th release.

Here is a special offer for my followers:

I’d like to have more advance readers. My goal is to release on the 29th with 50 reviews on Amazon. I know that, in order to do this, I need to put more advance copies out. If you’d like to be an advance reader, please send me an email at don@donmassenzio.com and I’ll send you a PDF copy. Once I reach an acceptable number, I’m going to cut off this offer, so if you want one, please email me soon.

As an advance reader, I am sending a copy of the book at no charge. In return, I only ask three things:

  • Do not distribute the book to anyone else
  • When the book goes live on April 29th, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews can be a single sentence or even a few words. It’s the volume and the rating that helps authors get visibility on Amazon.
  • If you like the book, spread the word. Tell your friends, family, book club, etc.

Remember: The book doesn’t release until April 29th, so you won’t be able to leave a review until then. I will send you reminders the week and the day before to remind you to post a review. It is so important to hit the release date with as many reviews as possible.

Thanks again for your help. Feel free to email your comments on the book to me as well. I always love to hear what readers think as I release a new book.

Of course, you can pre-order a copy by clicking on the cover below:

poster

Here is a synopsis:

Frank Rozzani, a transplant to Jacksonville, Florida from Syracuse, New York, has left his tragic past as a police officer behind for life as a private detective. Frank and his partner Clifford “Jonesy” Jones work with the local police to solve crimes that are virtually unsolvable.

In Frankly My Dear, the fourth in the Frank Rozzani Detective Series of novels, Frank and Jonesy are at it again and this time the case is one of the most bizarre that they have faced. Their latest client, arrested for domestic abuse, swears that he is the victim of one of the most vengeful women on the face of the earth.

Frank and Jonesy must determine if their client is telling the truth. As they investigate the case, they again pay a personal price for their involvement. Is their client trying to get away with his crime or is his ex-girlfriend continually coming up with new ways to damage him and his reputation?

Follow them as they navigate the twists and turns in this exciting new installment in the series, Frankly My Dear.

Here is the trailer:

Advance Reader Copies – Are They Worth it?

In January I released my 6th book. As I look back over the activities that I’ve used to promote my books it is like going from the Stone Age to the Industrial Revolution. I’m not quite to the point where I can just write. Actually, I’m pretty far from that. As I’ve built up a modest reader base, however, I’ve been able to employ some more advanced promotional techniques.

Issuing advance read copies is one of those techniques that I employed with my last two books. For the book, Frank IncensedI only issued a few. It was partly to get reaction from readers and secondarily to get reviews on launch day. I tried to give the readers enough time so that they could read the book and review it on Amazon, Goodreads, and any other outlet on the day the book was released.

I definitely saw some bump in sales and ranking due to this. For my latest book, Blood Orange, I was much more aggressive in seeking out advance readers. I issued 30 copies to the members of my street team (more on that in a subsequent post) and approximately another 80 copies to people that I sought out through my mailing list. That’s about a 15% hit rate. That resulted in about 15 reviews on Amazon the day that the book was released. Could this have been better? Of course. I was hoping for about 25-30 reviews. This book, however, had extenuating circumstances, but more on that later.

First, what is an advance reader and how does this group differ from beta readers?

Advance readers get the book when it is finished and ready to be published. It is the final edited copy. No changes will be made based on their feedback unless some big, ugly, hairy error is found.

Using advance readers is a coordinated effort. It takes a bit of organization, but you can use technology to help you. Free technology. The first thing I did was compile a list of those that volunteered to be advance readers. The best took I have found to do this is MailChimp. You can import a spreadsheet with your contact list. You can also, for a minimal monthly cost, add automation to the mix. This allowed me to send a reminder to my advance readers a week before the book was released, the day before, and the day after reminding them to review the book. All of this happened while I was happily Internet and eMail free on a cruise ship. The whole MailChimp process is a series of blog posts on its own. Look for that in the future.

There downsides to using advance readers. Of course. That’s why I’ve compiled another handy dandy pros and cons list so you can decide for yourself.

Pros

  • Releasing your book with reviews in place on day one helps your ranking on Amazon
  • You build further rapport with your readers and they enjoy being part of the process
  • Your book appears mature upon release. A lack of reviews makes readers nervous about spending money on your work
  • You get honest feedback from your readers that help you improve quality

Cons

  • Like with beta readers, you are forfeit sales to those that are advanced readers (or do you). I’ve had a number of advance readers purchase the book anyway
  • As with beta readers, you are putting your work at risk. This is true, but it’s at risk even after it’s released as an eBook on Amazon. Most readers tend to be honest.
  • You risk receiving bad reviews. Ouch. If that happens, It probably would have happened anyway, but by giving your book away, you probably increase the odds. You can combat this, of course, by picking your potential audience carefully. The worst review I ever received was my one and only two star review on Amazon. It was one simple word, boring. I was devastated, but when I dug a bit further, I found that the only other reviews this reader had done was for gardening books. And they were just as enlightening. My point is, if you write erotic romance, don’t send your advance reader copies to people who like Christian oriented books.

Advance readers can be useful. Even though the results were not what I hoped for on Blood OrangeI will be using this technique for my next book. The reason it wasn’t as successful for Blood Orangewas the timing. The book was set to release on November 13, 2015. I timed it to be ready for huge Black Friday promotions and planned a marketing blitz throughout the holiday season. If you remember what happened that night, Paris was attacked by ruthless terrorists. Part of the attack was near a sporting venue. My book centers on just that kind of attack. I immediately pulled back on promoting the book and didn’t bother my advance readers, or anyone else for that matter. I didn’t start actively promoting it until after the first of the year. It was a tough decision, but I still feel good about it and I still think the advance reader process is a good one.

Please, those of you who have different experiences with this or questions for me, please reach out through the comments.