Archive for the ‘Creative Promotion’ Category



Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word about the FREE DAYS for Ghost Hand FEB 14-16 on Amazon Kindle. The results FAR exceeded even my wildest expectations.

I was hoping for 5,000 downloads. 10,000 was a pipe dream I’d heard thrown around by those who are considered “made” in the self-publishing industry already.

So, when the final tally was 11,554 downloads, I was kind of blown away. I also cracked every international market Amazon has including: India, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, Canada and Brazil.

Of course, not everyone who downloads a free book will read it. And not everyone who reads it will like it. But the fact that my book is now in that many reader’s hands is pretty awesome. Sales have steadily increased since the free days ended and Ghost Hand is now ranked #34 in Amazon’s Paid Fantasy Series list.

The Ghost Hand ebook has now returned to the still-economical price of $2.99, and I believe it is worth every penny.  And the paperback will be on sale for $10.99 until the end of February. Please keep spreading the word to friends and family if you’ve read the book and liked it. And don’t forget, you can give e-books as gifts to anyone with an e-reader. It’s as easy as sending an e-mail.

Now, after all this energy spent giving book one a good send-off into the world, I will return to the joyful grind of writing book two, Ghost Hold.

Playing and Promoting with Listopia

Listopia, how I love thee. Let me count the ways.


I have a confession to make. I LOVE lists. I love to make lists. I love to check things off lists. And I love to read lists. I also happen to love books, so when I discovered Listopia on Goodreads, I was pretty much in Ripley heaven.

If you’re not familiar with Listopia it is a feature of Goodreads that lists books by just about every category you could imagine. Listopia also allows you to start your own book lists, vote for books on pre-existing lists, and generally just have a great listy time of it.

There are fairly normal reading lists like Best Biographies, Best Young Adult Book, and Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once.  But I like to hunt down and peruse the more obscure lists like Misleading Book Titles, Werewolf Mashups, or The Most Polarizing Books of All Time. Honestly, I could waste days just reading all the lists and marveling over how many ways one can categorize their reading.


Now, reading Listopia lists from the perspective of a reader is lots of fun, but reading them from the perspective of a writer is also very informative. It can really help you think about how readers view your book. What lists and categories are they putting it in? If they aren’t adding it to lists, why not? And if they did, what lists would you want it to appear in? And which lists do you NOT want your book on (ie Worst Books Ever Written)?


One of the wonderful things about Listopia is that you can add your own books to a list, either books you’ve read that fit that list or, if you are a writer, the books you’ve published.  I’ve had such a fun time looking for lists that Ghost Hand would fit under and adding it to them.  Here’s a list of categories to look under to list your own books.

  1. By genre and subgenre.

  2. By release year or month.

  3. By topics covered or touched on in your book.

  4. By type of author (ie Indie, unknown, well-known)

  5. By type of main character (ie Alpha Male, Kick-Ass heroine)

  6. By color or content of the cover (ie books with a hand on the cover)

  7. Point of view used (ie first person)

  8. Position in a series (ie second book in a series)

  9. Length of the book (novel, novella, or page/word count)

  10. By author (ie books by Ripley Patton)

And there are so many categories the options are basically endless.


I’ve said it before. I’m an Indie author and as such I have to promote myself. No one is going to do it for me (except some of you amazing friend and fans, of course).  And maybe, at first glance, you don’t see how Listopia can be a promotional tool, but I promise you, it can be.


First, the more places your book is visible the better, and people do peruse the Listipia lists just like I do looking for books similar to the ones they love or even something completely new. I’ve heard it said that a person has to see an unfamiliar book 3-7 times before they are likely to buy it. So, be sure to add your book to some appropriate lists where it will be seen. Don’t worry if you feel like you’re being redundant, because that is sort of the point. The more lists a reader sees your book on the better.

Promotional Pairing

If you’re a new author like me, not many people know your name or your book. They don’t know what it is about or if they’ll like your writing style. But, if they see your book in a list alongside books they’ve already read and loved, they have some context for trusting your book. They will think, “Oh, it’s like such-and-such by that famous author. I’d probably like that.” This is valuable promotional pairing and something new authors hope but rarely get. But on Listopia, all you have to do is add your book.

Gaining the Notice of Book Clubs

You might not be aware, but Goodreads is a treasure trove of book clubs. I happen to belong to several Young Adult Book Clubs, an Apocalyptic Fiction book club, several Indie Book clubs, and so on.  These clubs are great for meeting people who love to read what you read, to discover new books and new authors, and to participate in reading challenges.  The reading challenges and books of the month (BOM) are usually voted on by the club members, but many times these have a theme. For example, in February it is popular to have a love theme or choose a book with a red cover or something like that. And where does one go to find a bunch of books with red covers or love themes? Listopia, of course. Having your book on Listpia in various lists increased your chances of gaining the notice of the book clubs.

Call to Action

Now, if you liked this post, go forth and make lists on Listopia. You can also show your appreciation by Sharing this, liking my Facbook Author Page, adding me to your Goodreads friends, or adding and voting for Ghost Hand on a few of your favorite lists.

Stay tuned for my next post in the Listopia series. “Current Trends and Your Book Cover”


15 Ways to Promote a Writer in 5 Minutes or Less

Traditionally published authors have marketing teams and big publisher money behind their book campaigns. Self-published authors like me have the internet, social media, and word of mouth. So, I thought I would make a list of 15 simple ways readers can help promote their favorite authors, each in five minutes or less. I’ve inserted my new YA paranormal thriller, Ghost Hand, in the list below, but the same list can be applied to other authors and books you wish to support as well.

1. Tweet about Ghost Hand, or follow my twitter @rippatton and retweet my tweets.

2. Like my NEW Facebook Author Page.

3. Like Ghost Hand on its Amazon page.

4. Recommend Ghost Hand to friends on Goodreads.

5. Become my friend and fan on Goodreads.

6. Rate Ghost Hand on Goodreads.

7. Add Ghost Hand to a shelf or Listopia list on Goodreads.

8. Vote for Ghost Hand as best book of November 2012 on Goodreads.

9. Take a picture of yourself with your copy of Ghost Hand and send it to me or post it somewhere. Be sure to send me a link:)

10. Tell a friend about Ghost Hand and lend or gift them a copy.

11. Request Ghost Hand at your local library with their “Suggest a Purchase” form.

12. Talk to the clerks in any bookstores you visit and ask if they carry the book. If not give them a short book report and recommend they order a few copies.

14. Share my website with someone.

15. Suggest Ghost Hand to your favorite local or online book group.

Little Free Libraries: A Creative Way to Promote Your Books

So, was taking my daily Portland walk with hubby today and came across a Little Free Library.

These are the cutest little things you’ve ever seen. The picture doesn’t do it justice because I’ve cut off the cute gabled roof, but it is a little house/bookshelf on a post along the sidewalk full of books that you can borrow for FREE.  There is a sign on the front over the glass front door that says this:


take a book, leave a book

This little free library is a gift from friends who wanted to Pay it Forward. They hope you will do the same. To participate see: 

Of course, as soon as I got home I looked up the website and found that Little Free Libraries are cropping up ALL OVER the country and ALL OVER the world.

You can order premade or do-it-yourself kits for your own little free library from the website. They aren’t cheap mind you, but they are adorable and waterproof and a cool way to have your own freakin’ library (I have ALWAYS wanted my own freakin’ library).  And they even have a special limited design that looks like an old red English phone booth.

What I noticed on the website is that people really get into decorating and personalizing their little libraries. If they love gardening, they paint it all gardeny and stock it with their favorite gardening books. There are libraries for kids. Libraries of all Dr. Seuss. Libraries of mysteries. And memoirs. And fantasy. You can buy and install a little library as an individual or as a group or org project. You can buy and install ONE, or a truckload.

Another great feature on the website is a Google map that shows you all the locations of the Little Libraries. I looked up the one I had found and it included the address location, the Stewards (those who made and maintain it) and even the Steward’s e-mail address. How cool is that?

Anyway, this got me to thinking about how we writers could use Little Free Libraries to promote reading and our own works. If you belong to a writers group, you could sponsor a Little Free Library in your area and stock it with books by your members. If you are a fantasy writer, how fun would it be to have a Little Free Library outside your house, all decorated with dragons and such, featuring your books and books by your favorite authors. If you write YA, have a YA Little Free Library.

I definitely want to buy and install one for my apartment complex.  And who knows? I may even hit  up some of you writerly types for your books to stock it.

Be sure to look up and check out the local Little Library in your area.  Oh, and spread the word. And go build a Little Library of your own.



Ripley Patton lives in a 22-foot camper in the woods of Southern Illinois with a cat named Lemmy. Her two young adult children, a daughter and a son, are her favorite people. When Ripley's not out exploring nature and getting her hands dirty, she's usually reading or writing a book.

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