Announcing Book Deals!

A Book Promotion Site for Readers of Christian Fiction and Nonfiction

Book Deals LogoIn March of this year I wrote:

There is the need for a site where authors can feature all works that honor and respect God and Christ, offer online chats with readers, stream live video events, feature video trailers and promotions, and publicize events. Imagine if Goodreads married Bookbub and their offspring produced a site similar in appearance to Amazon but without the commerce aspect. That is my vision.

This vision actually came to me last year. I’ve noodled on it for almost twelve months. I kept looking for someone to launch such a site. I certainly didn’t want to take on such a huge task. And yet here I am, attempting the impossible.

This link is a sneak peek of what I’m working on: https://bookdeals.app/

There is still work to be done, but in the weeks ahead we plan to roll out Book Deals with a soft launch. Our goal is one million subscribers. When we reach that goal, then upon a book’s release we should be able to push it to “best seller” status within days.

When I was at LPC our FREE Kindle newsletter ranked at the top of our promotion tools. It was free marketing for our authors and if the title was new to subscribers, the email blast always generated sales. Often it pulled in sales for other books by that author.

With BookDeals.app (and yes there will eventually be an app) should Amazon ever kick Bibles and Christian books from their site, there would still be a way to communicate new releases of Christian titles and general market titles written by Christian authors to the masses.

Later we hope to expand the offerings to audiobooks, Christian music – movies – TV shows. Not sell, but point to places where music, shows, movies can be purchased or streamed.

If you would like to know how you can help grow this area of God’s kingdom, email me.

 

Cost of Amazon Ads Keeps Increasing

Why Last Year's Marketing Strategies No Longer Works for Your Book

Cost of Amazon Ads Keeps Increasing

I recently informed several author clients that I no longer recommend Amazon ads. For almost ten years Amazon ads have been the best advertising investment, but now the ROI is upside down. You might spend a couple hundred dollars per month to earn fifty in royalties. It seems my gut instinct was correct. A recent article in MarketPlace Pulse confirms that too many ads are chasing too few clicks, thus increasing bid prices.

According to Marketplace Pulse research, the average cost-per-click (CPC) was $0.85 in 2020. It reached the lowest point of $0.70 in early May when the pandemic caused supply chain disruptions, resulting in some brands running out of stock and pulling back on advertising. However, it recovered by mid-September and then hit three distinctive peaks: Prime Day in October, Black Friday and Cyber Monday in November, and holiday shopping in December. After that, CPC settled at around $0.90 for most of Q1 2021.

My experience suggests Amazon ad pricing will only rise. As a way to combat the limitations Christian authors face, in the months ahead look for a new BookBub like site / app for Christian Readers. The ministry of Christian Devotions continues to work  in new ways to make books found.


Books I support—authors I trust.

A Mother's Song: A Story of the Orphan Train Enjoy Today Own Tomorrow Journal Sober Cycle: Pedaling Through Recovery One Day at a Time Deep End of the Lake RUSH BROKEN VESSELS: God's GLORY through FLAWED Humanity Rhinestones on My Flip-Flops  Land of My Dreams Labor to Leadership The Flight to Excellence Faith House: A Journey of Faith In Addiction Recovery Little White Squirrel's Secret

Rise of Mute Spirits

Is Cancel Culture of a Demonic Nature

“While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke.” Matthew 9:32–33

The term cancel culture gets banded about daily, but perhaps the movement to silence opposing points of view is of a more demonic nature.

The Supreme Court has ruled that incitement, defamation, fraud, obscenity, child pornography, fighting words, and threats are banned speech. “The Brandenburg test was the Supreme Court’s last major statement on what government may do about inflammatory speech that seeks to incite others to lawless action. The Brandenburg test remains the standard used for evaluating attempts by the government to punish inflammatory speech, and it has not been seriously challenged since it was laid down in 1969.” – Wikipedia

Recently, however, private companies have begun to forbid speech of a certain nature (God, Jesus, certain Bible verses) that falls outside the Brandenburg test. One of the leading monitors and censors of this is Amazon. In a recent push the company began censoring ads and books that promote the transforming power of Jesus Christ. In fact  “transforming” “transformation” and “conversion” appear to be words flagged in Amazon’s algorithm. Below is a screenshot from Amazon’s ad team.

The Assault of Unclean Mute spirits

 

The offending language in this ad is the claim that God can help those struggling with addiction and find healing–which is one of the reasons Christ came.

Find healing and hope regardless of your addiction. Allow God to invade those dark thoughts that condemn you. Begin your faith journey today.

Amazon cites the ad because it targets “customers based on certain personal characteristics.”

By this standard we might expect that ads for expectant mothers to be banned. Dealing with cancer? Sorry, no ads for cancer books. Feeling a little large around the waste? No ads for dieting books.

Except on Amazon you will find ads for dieting books, and cancer books, and pregnancy books. Clearly “customers based on certain personal characteristics” is not the real culprit. If not, what is?

I suggest the offending phrase is “Allow God.” I say this because I have faced the Amazon ad censors before. When I ran Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Amazon randomly banned ads for Conversations With Jesus, a 365 day teen devotional. The approval or disapproval seemed to depend on who at Amazon read the ad that day. Amazon blocked other ads with the words “God” “Jesus” or which promoted the transforming power of Christ.

My point is not to bash Amazon. I have friends, believers in Christ, who work for Amazon. If not for Amazon, LPC would never have grown like it has. Amazon is a business. For authors and publishers, Amazon is like Rome. It makes the rules, enforces the rules, and banishes or destroys those who violate its rules.

But the day is coming, and I think soon, when Amazon will ban the Bible and all Christian content. Others claim Amazon earns too much money from Bible sales to ban it from their site. Except Amazon has already banned the Bible.

If you go to: amazon.cn and search for Bibles you will see a long list of Bibles from which to choose. This might lead you to think you can buy a Bible in China from Amazon. You cannot. Those inside China see a “no results” response to their search for the Bible. Amazon does not need the revenue from Bible and Christian book sales. Amazon needs happy customers and based on current cultural trends, most Amazon shoppers would gladly applaud Amazon for pulling Christian content from its U.S. site.

Christian authors need an alternative to Amazon, and I do not mean another store site. We need a site like Bookbub for Christian books, videos, audio, and all forms of Christian entertainment and educational material. Bookbub does not sell books; it provides information about a book and points visitors to online booksellers. This is my vision: that someone build a site like Bookbub for Christian authors.

Christian authors are represented on Bookbub but we are one small segment of their platform. Some have suggested Christian authors simply point to Christianbooks.com. Christianbooks.com carries a nice selection of titles, but their policy (according to my last correspondence with Spring Arbor distributors) is that Christianbooks.com only carries Christian content. If a Christian author writes a general market novel that does not offer a salvation message, the title is rejected. I applaud the work of Christianbooks.com, but its exclusivity would leave too many Christian authors without a way to make their books found.

Thus the need for a site where authors can feature all works that honor and respect God and Christ, offer online chats with readers, stream live video events, feature video trailers and promotions, and publicize events. Imagine if Goodreads married Bookbub and their offspring produced a site similar in appearance to Amazon but without the commerce aspect. That is my vision.

In March 70 AD God’s people thought the protection and peace they enjoyed would continue to last. The destruction that followed was one half of a prophetic warning from Christ. The rest of his warning remains for some date in the future. “There will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” Matthew 24:21

For those who have their ears to the ground, we hear the distant thud-thud-thud of Romans soldiers approaching. Let us prepare while there is still time.

 

Find healing and hope regardless of your addiction. Allow God to invade those dark thoughts that condemn you. Begin your faith journey today.By the way the book Amazon refused to advertise is: Faith House: A Journey of Faith In Addiction Recovery. Nice book, nice author, and a believer trusting God for provision and sales.