And then this happened…Ranking on Amazon by Mae Clair

Sometimes things just fall in your lap when you least expect them. Last evening I was playing around online and decided to hop over to Amazon and see how my latest novel, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS was faring. This is a mystery/thriller/suspense novel that was released the end of April. It’s been doing pretty well for me, but not busting off the charts. And then I found this:

Screen shot of book ranking for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS by author Mae Clair on Amazon

Bestseller status? After I picked myself up off the floor I checked my ranking. It’s even better this morning:

Screen shot of book ranking for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS by author Mae Clair on Amazon

#132 overall
#1 Mystery/Thriller/Suspense 
#1 in Science Fiction/Fantasy 

Gobsmacked! Needless to say, I’m doing the happy dance today. My publisher reduced the price of A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS to .99c and right now it’s part of a back to school e-book blast, so I’m sure that is what has contributed to its rise. I’m going to enjoy the spot as long as I can. In addition, I woke up today to discover I am the Author of the Month at K.C.’s Books and Music, another goodie that has me soaring high.

Promo pic with bookcover and spooky background. A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS by Mae ClairOnly another author/writer can truly appreciate what these kind of accolades mean, and I appreciate being able to share them with all of you. If there are any readers of mystery/suspense/thrillers out there, I invite you to consider A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, a book combining historical fact, fiction and the urban legend of the Mothman. I spent two years researching this novel and took two trips to the town where it is set to lend authenticity to the story.

 

Rather than provide the blurb, I thought I’d share a review I received from New York Times bestselling author, Kevin O’Brien.

Mr. O’Brien is one of my favorite writers, and his work is routinely on the NYT bestseller list. I was honored and humbled to receive this review from him, which I think explains the story as well as my blurb would:

Promo pic with bookcover and spooky background. A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS by Mae Clair“A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is masterful, bone-chilling fiction that begins with a real-life tragedy on December 15, 1967: the Silver Bridge collapse in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.  46 people died.  Author Mae Clair has seamlessly woven fact, fiction and creepy urban folklore into one intense thriller.  The gripping story focuses on two witnesses to the disaster—fifteen years later.  Both Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn lost loved ones in the catastrophe and still carry the emotional scars.  After a long absence, Eve returns to Point Pleasant to bury her recently-deceased aunt, face some old ghosts, and reunite with her one-time “impossible-crush,” Caden.  But when Eve begins to investigate her aunt’s death, she’s plunged into danger and a nightmare world where scary urban legends are very real.  Full of suspense, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.”

~ Kevin O’Brien, New York Times bestselling author

If the story sounds like something you’d enjoy, now is a great time to grab your copy for just .99c. You can always read it later…urban legends make great reading during Halloween…just sayin’ 🙂

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS is available for purchase at:

Amazon
B & N
Kobo
Google Play
iTunes
Kensington Publishing 

Thanks for reading and considering my book!

Choosing the best title for your ebook

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I know this is excerpt week, but I’m putting the finished touches on the first draft of my newest novel (on sale during preorder for 99 cents!)…which means that none of that book is ready for prime time and my head refuses to think of anything else. So I hope you’ll get something out of this title-choosing post instead.

Of the three-legged stool of title, blurb, and cover, my current book’s title gave me the most trouble. And I’ve also realized, from watching my own reading habits, that a book’s title has a big responsibility even after the text is bought. If a reader has a stuffed black and white kindle (like I do) and a bad memory, then title is the one last shot a book has for pulling itself out of the sea of other books and making someone choose to read the first page. (Yes, we all want our books to be bought, but you don’t gain fans unless those bought books are actually read!)

So I decided to get serious. I’m working on an urban-fantasy novel about a were-jaguar and an ancient Mexican god, but my working title (Stray) just didn’t seem right. After doing extensive brainstorming, I narrowed down my title choices to The Olmec Curse, The Olmec Trap, Tezcatlipoca’s Paw, Jaguar at the Portal, Hunt for the Wind God’s Tomb, and The Jaguar Priestess. Then I headed over to http://www.google.com/insights/consumersurveys/ and set up a survey to find out which title potential readers would choose.

I think it’s important to narrow down your options to people who are likely to read within your genre, which you can do in one of two ways. The more expensive way is to set up a two-part survey, where you ask “Do you read urban fantasy?” as the first part, then explore your titles as the second part of the survey. These surveys cost approximately $1 per response.

The cheaper way is to simply add a none-of-the-above option to the end of your title list. I worded mine “None of the above: I don’t read urban fantasy.” This keeps costs down to 10 cents per response, which allowed me to poll 200 people for $20.

My survey was very eye-opening right from the beginning. I wasn’t surprised to find that 74% of people don’t read urban fantasy, but I was surprised to find that a larger percentage of the male respondents enjoy urban fantasy compared to the females.

I also found that urban-fantasy readers skew younger than I’d thought. I set up the survey to only ask people between the ages of 25 and 54 my questions, but the youngest demographic I included was also the most likely to read urban fantasy. That suggested that I should have polled 18 to 24 year olds as well, and that I should realize that my readers are probably younger than I am.

Okay, how about the actual results? I’d been leaning toward the title The Olmec Curse before running the survey because I felt the unfamiliar word would intrigue people who might enjoy the archaeological/mythological element. That may or may not be true…but The Olmec Curse also tied for last place. (This is why you shouldn’t let me choose your title without some extra data!)

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Hunt for the Wind God’s Tomb had the best results, but I didn’t choose this title either. Why? Because my current readers are over 50% women due to a light but significant love story in each of my novels and a tendency to focus on touchy-feely emotions more than on external action. And, among women, the top title on my survey was Jaguar at the Portal. (Men liked this title too, but only half as much as they liked Hunt for the Wind God’s Tomb.)

To sum up: if you’re willing to sink a little bit of cash into the project, I highly recommend Google’s customer survey option. It would be worth $20 just to know the likely age and gender of urban fantasy readers, but getting feedback on titles is also a major boon. Although, if I had it to do over again, I might commit a bit more money to the project to ensure that I got at least 100 responses from readers of my genre.

Now, back to writing that climactic scene that’s been sitting in the back of my mind for the last month and a half! I hope the readers enjoy the ride as much as I’ve enjoyed writing what is my favorite book to date.

I Love UPS!

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Just look what they brought me today! My proof of A Boy Named Rabbit, which, btw, looks GREAT! I’ve already ordered my first batch, and will have them in time for my two Meet the Author Eco-Tours on the 25th and 28th. Woohooo! Doing the happy dance, here. Don’t you just love it when your newly released books show up?