Friday, September 27, 2013

Marketing to Teenagers

Today is the last day you can have MONKEYSTORM for free, if you have a Kindle. I've been giving it away all week, so you probably have it already if you want it, but in case you don't have it, and you have a Kindle, and you think you might like to read MONKEYSTORM (which is a lot of fun), click HERE.

You will notice that I changed the cover again. No more scary monkeys. Ever since a writer I ran into at a conference mistook it for a horror novel I've been trying to hit on a way to make the cover reflect the tone of the book, which is quite funny (if dark). So, starting from scratch, I made a plain cover in my favorite color of yellow. Then I found a charming, zany font to use for the title, and after that I bought a picture of a briefcase full of money (important plot point) from one of those sites that sell the royalty-free images. Pleased with the result, I decided to take Amazon up on their free promo plan while running ads on Facebook and wildly tweeting about it on Twitter.

Now, MONKEYSTORM was intended more or less to be a Young Adult novel, although I couldn't get the Lambertville Free Public Library's children's librarian to carry it on her shelves for some reason. For my part I would have read it with keen enjoyment when I was thirteen. It's less violent than THE HUNGER GAMES and not sexy enough to frighten the horses. So when Facebook wanted to know who I wanted to see the ads, I selected females between thirteen and thirty who like to read books or watch movies. I wanted to run the ads for the whole five days of the free promo, but the ads are no longer ten dollars a day. They are thirty dollars a day. So three days was my limit.

The first thing I did after designing the new cover and arranging with Amazon for the giveaway was to announce it on the DorothyL Facebook page, since those folks like to read mysteries and a few of them are still fans of mine. They downloaded maybe twenty copies. Then I sat back to watch what the kids would do.

It was gratifying. A lot of them "liked" my ad. One of them appended a little horror story in the comments. (I had no idea you could comment on a Facebook ad.) It started out, "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS OR YOU WILL DIE," and went on to tell the story of a little girl who murdered her parents and died horribly in a mental institution, and how she would come around tonight and cut you in small pieces if you didn't forward this story to ten people, but if you did, tomorrow would be the best day of your life. I hate chain letters. I looked around for some way to delete it, but Facebook didn't seem to offer any. Then I thought, wait. Leave it. This is a good horror story. Kids love horror stories. So I commented on the comment, praising the story but saying that I never forward chain letters, and in spite of that I've already lived to a ripe old age, which proves you don't have to, and that tomorrow is always the best day of my life.

I haven't yet been reduced to threatening readers with death if they refuse to read my work, though I've considered saying, "YOU HAVE TO READ THIS OR I'LL KILL THIS PUPPY."

The upshot of the Facebook ad story is that the statistics they gave me showed that most of the downloads resulting from the ads went to the teenagers rather than the 20 to 30 group. I may finally be connecting with my audience. I suppose this means I'll have to write a sequel.

© 2013 Kate Gallison


  1. Nice reviews on Amazon. Best of luck in selling this book, Kate! tjs

  2. I thank God on a daily basis that I am no longer a teenager, but I have to say I loved "Monkeystorm." The Girl Scout overnight stay in the library is a scream and I loved the "Harrass-o-matic" (am I remembering that name correctly?) so much I might have to take it up as an actual business. Alas, I don't think you can give free Kindle books as gifts to your friends but I'm going to tell them all about it.

  3. Harass-o-matic! Yes. Our fortunes are made. All we need is an offshore boiler room and a clever lawyer.

  4. I'm surprised and disconcerted by the number of people I thought were reasonable who forward me chain emails & Facebook posts promising good fortune while simultaneously threatening me with bad if I fail to forward. Who threatens their friends??? I forward you good thoughts and best wishes!