Category Archives: Marketing

The Temporal “Sales Report” Now at #15 in Action & Adventure

I’m excited that The Temporal is still going strong. It is now #483 in the Free list (which again, is horrible compared to that one experience with Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter which quickly zoomed under 100 in the entire Amazon store!) and #15 in Action & Adventure.



A few days ago, I took The Temporal off Smashwords (which was still pending review for the Premium distribution), and (which was not selling at all) to test KDP with it. KDP Select allows authors to make their books free for up to five days every three months. The only bad thing is for three months I have to agree to not sell the ebook anywhere else.

That’s fine. If I can get a few reviews on Amazon, it will be worth it. So far 468 people have downloaded it. That is over about 28 hours. Again, not nearly as impressive as when Tanaka went free–I counted two seconds, refreshed, and saw another “sale”!  While I’m not getting that kind of response, one good side effect is, I’ve sold four, I think, Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughters since yesterday. I think the freebie is leading people to checkout my other work. I just wish I had more “other work”!

I had planned to make it free for just one day (yesterday), but it seemed to be gaining momentum last night so I decided to use the second free day for today. And overnight, it went from #30ish to #15 in Action & Adventure.

If you haven’t “bought” the FREE Temporal yet, please grab it today while it is still free.

CJ Martin’s Podcast and How Authors can make a Podcast

Well, I had messed up the XML for the iTunes podcast. I’m doing everything by hand so the XML gets tricky in Notepad. It should be correct now.

I have eleven episodes now with two complete stories (George and the Elraton Gang and Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter). The one I’m currently going through is my 62,000 word novel, The Temporal.

Just for those wanting to know how to put up a podcast, here are the simple steps and a sample XML file that I use.

1) Create an audio file or video.

2) Make an XML file (see below)

2.b) Make a 300×300 image that will show up on iTunes (like the one I have to the left here)

3) Upload said XML, image, and Audio or Video files to a folder on your website’s server

4) Submit the XML file’s location to iTunes here:

5) I also recommend signing up with Google’s free Feedburner service — this allows you to track subscribers and see how many people are actually listening. iTunes doesn’t give you any data and seeing the number of people notified when a new podcast is uploaded is always encouraging.

Here is a watereddown version of my XML file: Feel free to base your XML file off of mine. Just change the info, of course!

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<rss xmlns:itunes=”” version=”2.0″>

  <title>CJ Martin Books</title>
  <description>Mr. Martin is an author of thrillers</description>
  <copyright>Kotoba Books 2012</copyright>
  <lastBuildDate>Sun, 12 May 2011 12:09:54 GMT</lastBuildDate>
<itunes:summary>Any story or novel written by CJ Martin that has been recorded will eventually find itself here in this podcast!</itunes:summary>
<itunes:category text=”Literature”/>
<itunes:category text=”Arts”/>
<itunes:keywords>thrillers,CJ Martin,ebooks,audio books,supernatural thrillers, japan, Japanese</itunes:keywords>
 <itunes:name>CJ Martin</itunes:name>
   <title>Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter</title>
   <description>Part I – In search of his daughter</description>
   <pubDate>Wed, 12 May 2011 12:09:54 GMT</pubDate>
   <enclosure url=”” length=”740″ type=”audio/mpeg”/>
   <itunes:keywords>thriller, tanaka, Japanese, Japan</itunes:keywords>

This is how it would look with only one MP3. To add your second, Just copy from <item> to </item> and paste it just under the first one.

The only thing tricky is what “length” means. I thought it was the file size in bytes so I was inputting crazy numbers like 985434422. But “length” means the number of seconds, the duration…

It takes a little work to start, but creating and adding to a podcast is a great and free way to advertise your stories and gain readership–or listenership.

While we are on the subject, please subscribe to my podcast on Feedburner or directly on iTunes. Thanks!

Update on Tanaka Short Story and Upcoming Novel

The novel is in the final editing, smoothing out stage. We are still hoping for a January 15th-ish release.

The Short Story became free on Amazon about a month ago. It immediately shot up to #117 in all Free ebooks. Then, it dropped and dropped.

Around #2,000 I decided to try to make it not free (.99). My idea is, I can make it free again once the novel is out. The short story will have a link for readers to click on their Kindles to check out the novel after reading the short story. And if it works like before, I may get a boost in downloads and that may help with sales of the novel (probably priced at $2.99).

KDP Select is an option and would make it easier to make it free (for five days). But I suspect most people who “borrow” books will get the expensive ebooks ($9.99 and above) and buy the cheap ones. We’ll see…

Sales Report: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter Kindle eBook

As I mentioned in my first post, I plan to be as open as I can about how my efforts help or hurt sales.  Here is the report for the first 24 hours “selling” Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter as a freebie.

Joe Lemont (a proper introduction is forthcoming) and I have been working hard on the Tanaka novel.   I had wanted the short story to be free as a way to gain readership and hopefully a few sales of the novel.  I learned the best way to make an ebook free on Amazon was to set the price to $0 on Smashwords and then report to Amazon that iBookstore or or whatever has it for a cheaper price ($0).  I also heard it could take weeks or even months for this change to take place.  Not wanting to miss our target launch date of December 15th (we’ll probably have to extend this unfortunately…), I started the process a few weeks ago.

Yesterday morning, I checked sales and saw my normal (non-fiction) titles selling one here, two there.  But there at the bottom, I saw: Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter – 180. 

Ecstatic, I jumped to the Amazon product page and saw the beautiful $0 where .99 had been the day before.  Then I jumped back to the KDP sales page and refreshed.  Two new “sales”! 

Here are the details:

The short story currently ranks in:

#149 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) [it peaked at #134]
#3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Short Stories  [this is the best rank]
#23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers [this is the best rank]

Over the past 24 hours, there have been 1,022 downloads.  It appears right now you need about 1000 downloads a day to reach around #150 ranking for all free ebooks. 

My next moves: Finish the novel; upload the novel; update the short story to include a direct link to the novel (I’ll post how to do that soon); market both ebooks

Now, I have a question:

Do you have any idea why my ebook went from #2,369 (when I first spotted it) to #134 overall?  Surely, not every ebook made free does this?  Or is that the norm for the first day and I should expect it to drop to the netherworld tomorrow?

And secondly, would you be interested in reading some (or all) of the novel and give us your input?  If so, please contact me.

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter Kindle eBook now FREE at

Grab it absolutely free and let me know what you think!

It is currently #85 in Fiction > Short Stories (7,500 words) and #2,369 Free in the entire Kindle Store.

Update: two hours later (9 AM EST), it is #55 and #1,578.
Update: an hour and a half later (10:30), there are 348 downloads and it is #10 and #473 in the entire Kindle Store (plus #56 in Mystery and Thrillers)
Update: At 2 PM it is #4 in Fiction > Short Stories and #147 overall

From #2,369 to #147 on the first day ain’t bad!

Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter for Free

I started this great adventure with a 7,000 word short story about a man named Tanaka who saves his daughter from some nasty yakuza types.  I asked a friend who is good with words and style to edit it.  After much discussion, we decided to go into “business” together and create a novel about Tanaka.  We are almost done with it. (maybe 1-2 months of pure editing left–should really only be about a week of editing, but this is our first big attempt and what isn’t there to fear?)

One early plan was to make Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter free as a way to give readers a taste of our style (and hope they will then buy the novel).  I told Joe, my writing partner, that it would be an incredible sacrifice to make the short story free–it was, after all, created by a mixture of my blood and my sweat and my tears. This is especially heartwrenching considering the .99 short story sold a whopping five copies during the month of October!  All that money… gone.

Smashwords now has Tanaka and the Yakuza’s Daughter free.  I will begin the process of making it free on Amazon too. (Amazon will match the price, if it is $0 at or Apple’s iBookstore.)

Please feel free to grab the short story absolutely free–and if you are one of the five who bought the story this month, sorry.