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Friday, February 24, 2012

Two Launches and Two Best Sellers - How Do They Compare?

Phew! As I wipe my brow after my second successful book launch, I can't help but compare the two experiences. First of all, let me say that it is doubtful I would have managed either without the support of the John 3:16 Marketing Network.

For those who missed it, the 'Best Sellers Book Launch' of my third novel PLAY IT AGAIN took place online this past Tuesday - Feb. 21. Once again, I managed to nudge my way into the 'best seller's' circle at - the Canadian branch of amazon. does not allow for category changes, so the book was locked into the broad 'Romance-Contemporary' category but still managed to make it into the top 100. (In fact it's holding its own in the top 100 after the third day.) The stats at weren't quite as astounding, but it did manage to move up the ranks to 29,000 in books - not bad considering there are millions of books on amazon.

It was almost one year ago to the day that I held my first book launch with the John 3:16 MN. This first foray into the world of online book launches was for my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER. It too managed to make it into the top 100 on 

So how did these two compare, you may ask? The outcomes were very similar - something I am obviously grateful for and quite excited about. As far as the actual preparation, however, there were a number of differences. To start with, I found about 50 people to help with the launch of 'Man-eater'. For launch number two of  PLAY IT AGAIN, I had a solid 75 participants with several others emailing me after the fact to say that they had joined in the promotional efforts when they saw it on the John3:16MN listserv. There were also those who retweeted or shared links, so the actual number of those helping was probably closer to 90.

Beyond the numbers, the biggest difference for me was the fact that I was much more relaxed for launch number two. I knew what to expect and the day progressed quite smoothly. I also found that the preparation was much easier to do. I knew how to keep myself organized ( a MAJOR component, believe me!), how to approach and support potential participants, and how to create my landing and gift pages. All of these factors are key components to a successful book launch. You need to make it as painless as possible for those who are willing to help. Don't expect them to do the leg work or to even remember the date! It's up to you, the author, to look after the details and provide timely reminders without bombarding anyone.

The long and the short of it is, if you put in the time and the effort, this form of marketing and book promotion really works. Thanks again to all of my online friends who helped make PLAY IT AGAIN  a best seller. I especially want to thank Lorilyn Roberts for her vision and tirelessness, as well as all the members of the John3:16MN community. We really have something special here, and I'm sure this is just the beginning of good things to come.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Launch of "Play it Again," Free egifts TODAY ONLY (Feb 21, 2012)

Play It AgainPress Release for Play It Agan
Tracy Krauss, Author
John 316 Marketing Network

An unlikely duo meet in Play It Again, a story of love, life and faith. Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the much anticipated prequel to Tracy's debut novel And the Beat Goes On. Find out where Mark Graham's journey began in this, the story of his parents. 

Tracy Krauss, author of 'edgy inspirational fiction,' is launching her book PLAY IT AGAIN on Feb. 21. You can help her achieve 'best seller' status by purchasing the book at TODAY - and receive all kinds of cool free gifts while you're at it! 

Here's how:
1. Go to the Landing Page on Tracy's Website at this link
2. Buy the book at amazon.
3. Go back to the Landing Page and fill in the form with your name, email and purchase number.

It's that easy! You'll be directed to your free gifts and all you have to do is choose which ones you want. 


What others are saying about PLAY IT AGAIN

"This is one of the best contemporary novels I've read all year. . . Not only was it well-written, but it was edgy in that the story dared to be honest. . . I can see this touching a lot of people who have thought about God but have been afraid to move forward."
-  Michelle Sutton, author of more than a dozen inspirational novels

"This book is hot property, and grabs your interest from page one."
-   Yvonne Pat Wright, author of From Spice to Eternity

Tracy Krauss 
Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher and prolific author, artist, playwright, and director.  She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Saskatchewan and teaches Art, Drama and English - all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. Her first two books were both nominated for the 'Indie Excellence Book Awards' for religious fiction in 2011.

Here's just a sampling of the FREE e-gifts from generous supporters:
-          An e-copy of Lisa Lickel's award winning novel Meander Scar
-          Sample chapters from The Promise of Deer Run by Elaine Cooper, Warring Spirits by April Gardner, and The Right Person by Stacy Padula
-          Beautiful downloadable art cards by author and artist Brenda Hendricks
-          A free subscription to 'PixApple'
-          You copy of Frazzled No More by Shelley Hitz
-          A cool 'Daily Scheduler' developed by author Janalyn Voigt
-          And much more!

All if you buy your copy of PLAY IT AGAIN at on Feb. 21!  All links will be operational on the 'Landing Page' at 

John 316 BannerDISCLAIMER: This 'Best Seller book launch' has been coordinated with the help of the 'John 3:16 Marketing Network' and many other generous supporters. The free gifts are deliverable electronically over the internet or by email by individual authors and supporters. They are not in any way associated with, nor deliverable by,  

Monday, February 13, 2012

What is The Biggest Mistake Authors Make When Featuring Their Books on Amazon?

The biggest mistake authors make when launching their books on Amazon is their failure to properly subcategorize their books. If you want to reach best-seller in subcategories; i.e. best-selling Christian romance book, then the author must tell Amazon how to categorize his or her book. Here is some helpful information from my book How to Launch a Christian Best-Seller.

How to Categorize Printed Books on Amazon

For the purpose of the next discussion, I am going to address specifically how to get printed books categorized on Amazon and raise the possibility of reaching best-seller status.

There are different ways a book can be categorized. Categories are different from tags. Tags are what people reading a book do to label how they think a book should be listed. But that is not the same thing as what an author needs to do to get his book categorized to reach best-seller status.

I am going to go into specific detail here because many people have missed best-seller status simply because their books were not categorized narrowly enough in the subcategories.

Most authors are familiar with the Amazon Bestseller Rank. Unfortunately, most authors will never hit the top one hundred best-seller status on Amazon. But that doesn’t mean one can’t make the best-seller list in the subcategories or sub-subcategories on Amazon. It is possible for a debut author to reach best-seller status in one or more subcategories on Amazon. The problem is that most authors know nothing about how to do this.

What does being on the Amazon Bestseller List mean? Most people would say it means a book reached the top one hundred in sales at a given time. To do a book launch in the John 3:16 Network, the author should track sales for a 24-hour period. Sometimes there is a slight lag, but not so much that the highest ranking won’t appear during or shortly after that 24-hour period.

I encourage authors in the Network to take a “screen shot” several times during the day to try to record their lowest ranking toward number one in one or more subcategories. To take a screen shot, if you are using Windows, hit control/print screen together, go to a blank Word document, and hit Control-V. Your screen shot will appear and you can save it as a Word document.

How do you get your book categorized on Amazon in subcategories? This is crucial for a debut author to have a chance to claim “best-seller” status.

Amazon has several platforms in place to help authors. One of these is their Author Central Program. If you do not have an account, the site will prompt you to set up one. The link is  Here is a screen shot of the page.

You will see the tab about halfway down the page called “Give Us Feedback.” If you click on this, it will take you to another page. You will see “Contact Us” and underneath that, it will say, “Select an issue.” You want to click on “my books.” Underneath that, it will say, “select details.” Choose “update information about my book.” Beneath that another window will open, and you want to “browse categories.” Under that another window will open, and you should choose, “I want to update my book’s browse categories.” There is a “Did You Know” tab and you can read more about categories, the inside-the-book program, and other important related topics.

Beneath that, you will see the number 2, and the question, “How would you like to contact us?” You can either email or phone Amazon. I would email them first. You will explain to them that you would like to update the categories of your book.

How do you know what categories to use? On printed editions of your book, you are allowed two categories. Don’t assume Amazon will do it the way you want. It’s best to be pro-active on such an important point and give them what you want exactly the way you want it.

To know what categories in which to list your book, you need to be familiar with how Amazon categorizes books. Go to and look on the left-hand side for the search browser. Click on books.

Here is a screen shot at what you will be taken to (some versions of this e-book may not display it):

You will notice on the left-hand side the category “department,” and underneath it “books.” Listed underneath books are all the main categories on Amazon beginning with “arts and photography” and ending with “travel.”

You will notice that under “arts and photography” are listed 387,013 books. That means in order to reach best-seller status in this category, you will have to beat out 387,000-plus books.

Let me go down to the category “parenting & families,” which has 88,692 books. If you click on that, you will see it breaks down into subcategories of adoption, aging parents, family activities, family health, family relationships, fertility, parenting, pregnancy & childbirth, reference, and special needs. Children of Dreams reached number eight in the subcategory of adoption, out of 1,641 books. That means my book has been a bestseller on Amazon in adoption books.

In the email that I sent to Amazon, I listed one of my categories as parenting & families/adoption. Since I could list two for my printed copy, I listed the second category as “parenting & families/family relationships/motherhood. The category for motherhood has 4,550 books. I also reached best-seller status in this at number eleven.

Obviously, the more books there are in a category or subcategory, the harder it’s going to be to get into the top one hundred, so the narrower the subcategory, the more successful you will be.

That brings me to the second part of this discussion on categories, which is important. You must categorize your printed edition and your Kindle edition separately. With Kindle, you also get two categories. It is much easier to reach best-seller status on Kindle than with a printed book. Why? There are fewer Kindle books that you are competing against than printed books. Not every book has been published in Kindle.

According to the latest information from Amazon, here is how to get your categories set up for a Kindle e-book.

Second, sign into your account.

Third, click the "actions" button for the book you would like to update

Fourth, scroll down to number three, target your book to customers

Fifth, click on add categories. That will open up to a new screen, add or change categories

Sixth, click on the plus button in front of these main categories to open up subcategories and sub-subcategories. Make your selections.

Seven, click on save.

The screen will return to the default page, where you started. Please notice that this is also where you make other changes to your e-book, including editing your book details.

To learn more about how to have a successful book launch, you may purchase How to Launch a Christian Best Seller.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Free Kindle eBooks from the John 316 Marketing Network

Free Kindle book by a John 316 Marketing Network author for your new Kindle reader  
John 316 Banner
To join the John 316 Marketing Network as a reader, click on the link. There will be future free offerings just like this one for subscribers.

Get your free Kindle ebook  February 9 through February 12.
Brother Half Angel  
Martin Roth 

A military operation gone tragically wrong. An elite commando loses his forearm. The angel tattooed onto his arm is sliced in half. And the man acquires a new nickname.
Brother Half Angel is the leader of a secret new church military order, dedicated to helping Christians under attack around the world. 

In this book, the first in the Military Orders series, he is dispatched urgently to China, where an underground seminary is under siege from fanatical sword-wielding members of a local cult who still pay homage to the bloodthirsty extremists who tried to expel all foreigners from China in the nineteenth century.

But at the same time the seminary has its own internal divisions. The director, Uncle Ling, a hero of the underground Chinese church, holds secrets that he cannot reveal.
And now the tensions are threatening the marriage of idealistic young American missionary Daniel Westloke and his wife Jenny.
Relentless suspense is the hallmark of this gripping thriller. But it is also a book that raises serious questions - how far can Christians go to defend themselves? When should they turn the other cheek? What happens when a Christian kills in self-defense? And should those who live by the sword really expect to die by the sword?

To get your copy go to AMAZON


By Martin Roth


Brother Half Angel
Treat yourself, you deserve it, and don't miss out on this one-time offer!

Our Price: $00.00 Thursday to Sunday at Amazon
To get your copy CLICK HERE

Martin Roth ( is a veteran journalist and foreign correspondent whose reports from Asia have appeared in leading publications around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. He is the author of many books. The first three thrillers in his Military Orders series are Brother Half Angel, The Maria Kannon and Military Orders
He is also the author of the Johnny Ravine private eye series, with Prophets and Loss, Hot Rock Dreaming (a finalist in the 2011 Australian Christian Book of the Year awards) and Burning at the Boss