Sunday, June 24, 2012
The $750 Budget Vacation (no camping required)
Author: Lyza Ramona Rodriguez
Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel
How long it's been on sale: 6 Months
Current price: $2.99
Blogged, emailed friends and told people I know, participated in budget travel and general budget sites and forums and left responses with a "sig", emailed dozens of blog and site owners about guest blogging and offering their readers a free book - zero responses. And lastly I used a shorter eBook and joined KDP select to see if it helped sales across the board.
Total sold so far: 18
Link to book on Amazon: The $750 Budget Vacation (no camping required) (BSM)
Do you find yourself at work daydreaming of spending a week lying on the beach while your kids are building sand castles? Wishing you can whisk them away for a week to a great theme park? Or how about taking in the bright lights of a big City?
Broke Single Mom: The $750 Budget Vacation, is a how-to travel book for Single Mothers (or Fathers) on a super tight budget. In this book I explain how I travel frequently as a single mother of three with an annual salary of around $19,000 while never going into credit card debt. You will find detailed sample itineraries on several fun filled destinations. Ways to make extra money and tips and tricks to help you save before and even during your trip.
You will get details on how I have been able to vacation in Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, Orlando and Virginia with my children, each trip costing me $750 or less. All without every setting foot on a camp ground, we have stayed in many 3 and 4 star hotels and you can too.
So if you think you can't have a nice vacation saving only $5 a week, I'll show you how because I've done it.
First 300 Words:
Thank you so so so much for purchasing my book! I am hoping for two things here, first that you enjoy it and secondly that it helps you and your family in planning your next vacation on a shoestring budget.
You shouldn’t have to go into debt to have a great vacation.
While most tips in this book are based on you saving money each month for 12 months you can still use my guide even if you only have 3 or 4 months (or less) to plan and pay for your vacation. How? Just pay close attention to Chapter 13 on ways to earn extra money, especially the first few on the list and you should be fine.
So, let’s get started shall we?
Deals I’ve found and how I got started
Right off the bat lets discuss how some might say that a lot of my suggestions are common sense, yet if I have learned anything these past few years from helping family and friends and their family and friends, is that it really isn’t. And that is especially true for the non-frequent traveler as well as for those that are usually so pressed for time that researching and cross referencing low price hotels, attractions and transportation seems daunting.
For example, my mother’s best friend has a daughter that wanted to take her 2 girls to Disney and she had $2,000 as her budget which had to include their Disney tickets. She called me because she couldn’t find anything under $1,800 for air and hotel. I had errands scheduled for lunch that day so instead of doing a search for her I just advised her to search our towns surrounding airports. Later that night she called to thank me and said that she was able to get it down to $1,300 by flying out of New York City and she was about to book it while we were on the phone.
Comments: I think the cover looks pretty good. I can't read the author's name or the Broke Single Mom very well, but I don't think it's a huge issue. The places pictured on the cover look good. The type looks professional. I think the cover isn't the issue.
The title might be a problem. It's worded a bit awkwardly. And when I see $750 vacation, it makes me think of hotels that I'd really rather not spend the night in, and restaurants I'd rather not eat at. Plus it boxes you in. I might buy a book that promises to give me hints on saving money when I'm on vacation, but I don't want to only spend $750. If I saw this book sitting next to one titled: How to Vacation for Less, I'd buy the second one. I'm all for saving money. I just don't want to get bed bugs sleeping at a questionable hotel. The dollar limit makes me squirm. I'd give this book a new title.
I'm also not a single mom. I'm wondering if putting the single mom part in the title is limiting your audience too. I think you're going for a brand, which is fine, but it's something to think about. Are people subconsciously passing this up because they aren't single? I'm not sure. Maybe get some more opinions on it.
Your marketing is targeting the travel and budget blogs, which is nice, but I'm thinking this isn't going to be effective unless these people are Kindle/Nook owners. Unfortunately, the percentage of ereader owners is still small. (Yes, I know you can read ebooks on your computer, but how many people really know this and do this?) Select is a good program, but isn't very effective on shorter works and cross-over sales don't usually happen unless you're putting the first book of a series up for free. I just blogged about Select, and how to make it work for you. You can read it here. Maybe try it again with this book, but make sure you have at least three good reviews first.
Your description starts off slow, but ends well. I would think about cutting the first paragraph all together. If I'm reading it, I'm obviously wanting to go on a vacation. You don't have to sell a potential customer on vacationing, you have to sell them on this book. Your second paragraph interested me, and the third paragraph was very good because you gave actual destinations. If I were planning a trip to Orlando, I would buy this book because you say in the description you've been there and found ways to vacation for less.
Your beginning makes me nervous. You are selling me a book on how to have a vacation without spending a lot of money, and yet you say in the beginning of the book that most of the tips are about saving money all year long for your vacation. I don't want tips on saving through the year. I have my vacation coming up next month. I've already budgeted and planned for it. Giving me tips on saving through the year isn't going to help me. I want to know how to save money on nice hotels, where to eat for less, and how to get cheaper tickets to things. This is the information I feel like the cover and description are promising me. If you start by telling me most of the tips are going to be how to save money through the year, I'm not going to buy the book. I'm going somewhere else.
I did like the story about saving money on airplane tickets by flying out of another airport. Sometimes it's not too far to drive, and you can get cheaper tickets. I'd like the book to have more tips like this. If it does, I would definitely take out the beginning warning about tips on saving money through the year. If a large part of the book is saving money through the year, I would change the title and how it's marketed. (I'm sure there would be plenty of people who want to know this!)
My suggestion would be to figure out the main focus of the book, and make sure the title, description, and beginning of the book are all in line with each other.
What do you guys think?