Sex sells. Everyone knows this. But I had to giggle when I opened up a new mascara sample and read the package it came in. I guess BDSM sells mascara now.
I subscribe to both Birchbox.com and ipsy.com. For ten dollars a month, both sites send samples of new products. Birchbox.com seems to send the high-end stuff. I get to sample products I’d never buy in real life, because one, I don’t get out much and two, I’d never drop $50 on a new shampoo that uses oil to clean your hair. What? Putting oil on your hair to clean your hair?
I sampled said shampoo when it arrived in one of my monthly boxes, loved it, went to order it from their site (free shipping) and saw it was a $50 shampoo. Who the hell spends $50 on oil shampoo? Well, it seems that now, I do.
I also now buy $5 candy bars. Damn you Chuao Chocolatier and your amazing pop corn pop bar and your firecracker bar. I bought about 10 of their assorted mini bar gift sets and handed them out like candy at Christmas. (You rate the products that come every month, building up points. Between points, and free shipping, my Christmas handing out of OMG good chocolate was free!)
My mom is now addicted as well. For her birthday all she wanted was as many pop corn pop bars as we could find. Shipping them in the summer heat was going to cost more than my house, but we found a local provider. Between my sister and I, we bought them out. So good. I thought I’d fall for their Maple Bacon Bar, but no, the pop corn pop and the firecracker won my heart.
Sorry, I’m getting off target. Chocolate seems to do that to me. Through Birchbox.com I’ve sampled everything from nail polish to granola bars. Perfumes to face creams (the expensive ones I’d never try on my own.) Lotions, eyeshadows, eyeliners, all kinds of stuff. Some things I’ve been impressed with and gone on to buy. Most samples end up being used but never bought, and some I didn’t like. They went to my teen.
Ipsy.com seems to send the newest drug store products, which I’m actually a bit more apt to buy. Today’s samples included a dry shampoo (I love dry shampoos, woohoo!) a pore refining face cream, a lip gloss, an eye shadow, and the BDSM mascara that actually caused me to alter what I was going to write about today to write about all this instead.
It came in a little folder- here is a picture. Black packaging, of course. I first noticed the name: Urban Decay’s Perversion. Loved it. I thought, Oh, I could so use Perversion as a book title. Hell, I just used ‘Corrupted’ as a book title.
Then I opened it.
“GET SEXED UP IN ONE STROKE” Ha, nice!
It went on, “So intense, you might need a safe word.” I won’t write it all here, but it also says, in regards to a separate primer, “foreplay for your lashes,” and “our creamy formula…wets lashes…”
Now usually with mascaras, kiddo gets them immediately. She loves trying different mascaras, and I have my perennial favorite, but this one I feel I should hide in my drawer next to my vibrator. I will be trying this mascara.
Sex sells. Advertising works. Subscription-based models work, at least for me.
I’ve only very recently started advertising my books. Why? I’m too poor to pay the rates I know Bookbub or Freebooksy etc charges, not that Bookbub would take anything I write, but still. I tried eBooksoda, when it was brand new and free to advertise. Nothing. So I didn’t bother with it yet. I figured I needed more of a back list first anyway.
And then I heard about this thing called the ‘summer slump.’ I was just starting to build sales, a slump was the last thing I needed. So I did a few things in preparation.
I resolved to publish something new every Monday through the summer. Even if it was just a bundle. Something. Every week. I put it exclusively with Amazon, so I could have immediate free days. I figured that putting a new title up every week was enough work, I didn’t want to deal with every store every week. I also figured once the titles did their 90-day time exclusive to Amazon, then I’d put them up elsewhere- B&N, etc.
So, I published every Monday, it was usually live sometime on Tuesday. I used all five free days the very first weekend it came out, usually Friday to Tuesday, since my day to blog here is every other Tuesday. That way I could plug some of my free days.
So basically I have new material weekly, a new freebie every weekend, and I also tried a few free/cheap advertising sites. Summer slump? What summer slump?
My sales have grown all summer! And honestly, when Amazon Unlimited showed up out of the blue- I got a big boost. Since everything I did all summer was already enrolled when that program went live, I was in the small pool that was shoved into it from the beginning. I did sweat how much the program was going to pay, but hoped it evened out, since I had both 2.99 titles and .99 titles in there.
My 2.99 titles obviously lost money per download, but they got downloaded a lot! And my .99 titles did amazing.
And as you know from my $10 a month sample subscriptions to Birchbox and Ipsy, I like the basic idea. I am trying Unlimited, free for the first month. So far I like it. I’ve read/sampled a lot of work I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Long term it remains to be seen, as both an author in the program and as a reader in the program, but I’m willing to give it a try. If I was a big movie person I’d probably belong to NetFlix as well, but I don’t. Too busy reading and writing.
I am also in the middle of consolidating pen names. My other pen name didn’t have much to it, but was longer and less hard core. It was the one family and some friends knew about. This Jamie Klaire name was the one I hid, being more sex, less story, and also holding some taboo titles. But then I found myself wanting to do paranormal as well, and so did not want to deal with a third pen name.
So screw it. Jamie Klaire will be it, and it will hold everything. Hopefully people like to read a variety, like I do. My other name’s two novels are now renamed, re-covered, re-authored, and a series. Adapt, baby! Adapt.
Shuffling pen names, trying sexy advertising, serializing novels, hanging on for the interesting ride that is the new subscription model in Amazon, every day is an adventure!
It is a scary ride, but I’m buckling my seat belt and hanging on for the highs, lows, and loop-de-loops. What else can I do? I’m here to stay, and if staying means rolling with the whims of the big boys, so be it.
There was a survey in one of the writers boards about Unlimited. Every time I peeked in there to check the results it was dead on 50/50. Love it or hate it, whatever Amazon and the rest do, I am nothing but a small shrimp in their ocean. Here’s hoping that there are more ups than downs.
Oh, if you haven’t read my milder stuff, originally under my now defunct pen name- parts 1 and 2 are free through today, Tuesday August 19. Click the cover to be taken to Amazon.
Part 1 of the 8 part Corruption Series