One Week to Deadlocked

If you are following Harry’s story, you know that Deadlocked, book three in the Harry Russo Diaries, is set for release on June 6. I’ll be counting down this week with posts featuring some of Harry’s supporting cast.


To start off the countdown, here’s a sneak peek (caution, contains a spoiler from Tooth and Claw):

“Harry, my dear Harry! So marvelous to see you.”  Salvador clapped his hands together like a gleeful three year old.  “You look wonderful.  None the worse for wear I see.”  He rose to his feet with the grace of a panther from where he had been sitting on my couch.  He took a step towards me and I admit it, I flinched.  His smile faltered and was replaced by a calculating look.  “Ah, I see.  The cat is out of the proverbial bag, is it not?”  He looked at Isaac who gave him a Gallic shrug.  “Well, then,” Salvador continued, his smile returning, “aren’t you going to greet your father properly?”  He held out his arms like he expected me to run and throw myself at him.

“No thanks, I’ll pass.”  I stepped back, putting more distance between us.  I looked at Tomas, Salvador’s lieutenant and a fellow dhamphir, who had also risen from his seat.  His expression was shocked, his normally ruddy Mediterranean complexion pale.  I couldn’t help myself and I laughed.  “At least I wasn’t the last to know.”  Tomas scowled at me.  We have a love-hate relationship.  We love to hate one another.

Deadlocked is available for download on June 6, 2016. Pre-order your copy today!
Barnes & Noble

We Have Your Results and the Test is Positive!

(Pssst! Looking for the Jingle Book Blog Hop? Click here.)

So about a month ago, I told you about my experiment to improve my sales on Amazon. Basically, I moved my book, Dead and Kicking, from a category that had tens of thousands of other books listed to one that fit my book but had a significantly smaller number of books listed. The idea behind this is to improve a book’s ratings and by improving the ratings, increasing sales. The lower rank a book has, the easier it is for readers to find and therefore buy.

Here’s what I mean:

Before I made the change to Dead and Kicking‘s category, it was ranked (at that particular moment) #5740 out of 307,344 books in the Parnormal & Urban category on  A person would have to be really persistent to go through the Amazon top seller’s list twenty books at a time to get to 5740, so basically unless a reader knew to look for it, they weren’t going to find Dead and Kicking.

After the change, I noticed an improvement in my rank almost immediately. The next day in fact, Dead and Kicking was ranked #140.  Not too shabby.  And it only improved from there, breaking into the top 100 in just a couple of weeks.

Things were even better on the side of things.  The day after the change in category, Dead and Kicking sky-rocketed to #27!  That meant a reader only had to decide to click over to the next page once and my book would be visible in the top sellers list.  Three days later I hit lucky #13 on the list.  In other words it was on the top screen in the list so it would be immediately visible to a prospective buyer.

Lucky 13 Nov 24 Amazon.caSo did a better rank equate with increased sales?


I wish I could say it was a dramatic increase, but it wasn’t. It was a noticeable change, however, especially on where my book was ranking higher.

As you can see from the graph below, sales were pretty steady before the change (the left side of the green line).  I was making sales but the numbers stayed pretty consistent.  After the change (as indicated by the green line), I saw steady growth in sales and momentum is continuing to build.


whitespaceIncreased visibility = increased sales

change in sales after category switch

The other thing I noticed immediately after the change is that my rank didn’t fluctuate as dramatically as it did when it was in its original category. When Dead and Kicking was first released, the rank would jump all over the place from the thousands to the hundreds and back again over the course of an hour or two.  With the new category, the fluctation is much slower and the rank usually stays constant for several hours at at time, if not the entire day.  That isn’t to say it doesn’t fluctuate at all, but the up and down swing is much shallower.

On where my rank has been the best, there is a steady momentum towards the top five.  Hopefully it’s only a matter of time before it hits #1!  It was #4 all day yesterday 🙂

So, the moral of this story? Pick the categories for your book carefully. It does make a difference!




A Needle in a Haystack

As promised, I’d like to tell you a bit about the experiment I’m trying on Amazon to see if it increases my sales (as touted by the free video series by Nick Stephenson that I watched – more details and sign up here).

A search engine browser window with a magnifying glass

Amazon is basically a huge search engine. In fact, it is the second largest search engine on the internet next to Google. To increase your sales on Amazon, beside having lots of helpful (as determined by Amazon users that read the reviews and mark them as helpful) positive reviews, you need your book to filter to the top of search results so that people can actually find and buy your book. And that’s the hard part.

The trick is to figure out what category and keywords that result in a smaller search results base best fit your book. For example, I orignally placed Dead and Kicking in the category “Science Fiction & Fantasy -> Fanatasy -> Paranormal & Urban”, a category that yields almost 39,000 results. Talk about a needle in a haystack!

So after watching the webinar, I spent an hour or so exploring categories on Amazon to try and find a better fit, i.e. a category that still applies to my book but that has less competitors. I finally settled on “Mystery & Thrillers -> Suspense -> Paranormal” which only has about 3000 books listed. Much better! What makes it even better still, is this happens to be a category on Amazon that will then use your keywords to further filter the genre. So, by adding Vampires as a keyword, suddenly the results set is 730 titles. Use the keywords Werewovles & Shifters and it’s reduced even more to a much more manageable 509 titles. The chances of a reader finding my book just got a lot better.

Will this have a noticeable result on my sales?  I sure hope so.  It’s too early to tell right now, but I will definitely keep you posted.


You’ve Published Your Book – Now What?

Well, it’s been a little over a month and a half since Dead and Kicking was released. So, what have I been up to? Mainly stalking my book on a regular basis on all the online retailers and trying to learn the ins and outs of marketing.

So far, I can’t really say I’ve learned all that much…



Really the only thing I can say for certain.


It’s basically been trial and error and hit or miss. I’ve tried a couple of things in the way of promotion, but as of yet nothing has really paid off. Luckily, I’m starting small – $10 promotion type things. I have another one coming up in December with the Fussy Librarian, which I hope will result in sales. I guess we’ll see.

Being able to even try the Fussy Librarian promo hinged on getting reviews. Something that continues to be difficult. It’s hard when you know your book is out there but don’t get any sort of feedback. I’ve sold several hundred books by this point, but the reviews are coming in at a trickle. What does that mean? Does it mean anything? Beats me.

I’m truly thankful for the reviews I have so far. If you took the time to write a review and posted it somewhere, I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate it. If you could take the review and post it to a few other places (like Kobo, Barnes & Noble and iTunes where I really need some reviews), I’d appreciate it even more. Reviews are so important in getting you exposure and, of course, the more exposure you have the more books you will probably sell.

arrowIn my next post, I’ll tell you a bit about the experiment I’m conducting on Amazon to try and increase sales. Stay tuned.

Countdown to Dead and Kicking


Just five days to go until the release of Dead and Kicking, the first book in the Harry Russo Diaries.  Leading up to the big day, I thought it would be fun to check in daily with a few teasers and other glimpses into Harry’s world.  Who is Harry?  What is she like?  Who are her friends?  What is her world like?  Check back each day this week and find out!

lisaemme_deadandkicking_ebook_finalDon’t forget to get your copy of Dead and Kicking! Pre-order sales really make a big difference. Order yours today at the following retailers:

Barnes & Noble

You can also enter to win one of three signed copies on Goodreads.  Check out my Release Week Giveaway starting October 2nd!

GR Giveaway