More About Newsletters
Good morning all of you awesome authors. Are you wondering what the heck Newsletter vs Newsletter means? You know me. I’m gonna tell you. It’s something specific I discovered by accident. My blog topic was gonna be about my most recent promotion, because we in eNovel often report results. But this happened: I tried out Book Report. Loved it. Subscribed. This is an analytic app that rides on your task bar and once inside Amazon KDP it tells you how many books were bought and borrowed [KENP] and the $$$ value. Book Report tells me the number of sales/borrows on a each title every day, or I can also set it to tell me an aggregate. More on that in minute.
My most recent promo was a beta test to see where a FREE unit in a campaign might land in paid sans a Bookbub, because those Bookbub slots are getting harder to come by. I promoted the FREE unit in my newsletter along with 12 paid promo slots. I also had six comp or free N/C promo slots. Downloads ran to 15,664 units. It ranked #18 in TOP 100 Free. And when returned to paid
it landed for a nano second 39 in TOP 100 Paid and then slipped to 1,894 in Paid. Wow. Eleven days later it is holding it’s own: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,776 Paid in Kindle Store. I did not expect such a nice tail on the promo. That is $100 a day in sales and borrows. Way beyond my expectations. Total cost of promotion: $164.
Also in my newsletter I promoted another unit I put a Holiday cover on, selling it for 99c. It was not a featured book. I’ve bought less than a half dozen promo slots for the unit scattered between now and mid December. But now I can check exact downloads via Book Report and also unique clicks in my newsletter. Surprise! One of my fav promoter newsletters produced 19 downloads of a 99c boxed set. My newsletter produced 77 downloads.
What’s wrong with this picture?
The promoter has above 100K subscribers. My newsletter has 13K, and I ran my promo in the run-up to the election. Grand distraction. Two other authors have since told me they’re seeing miserable results with the same promoter. I chatted up a dozen other authors and visited some forums and it appears that commercial promoter-generated newsletters across the board are not producing a return on investment (ROI). One author saw only Two (2) downloads of a 99c book for a $40 slot. That’s an owie a Band-aid won’t fix.
I am not going to name the promoters because this is a miasma they created themselves. I cannot point to one without pointing to them all. Here is what is happening. Indie authors are engaging in subscriber signup promotions and siphoning active subscribers from promoters. I predicted this would happen when savvy authors started upping our game. We had to do something because promo slots are either booked or too costly. Read about it here. In July 2016 I had about 3K subscribers. I’ve been growing my subscriber list. It is scrubbed and cleansed. 100% acceptance rate and in my last mail out to 13K–not a single subscriber checked spam.
I produced one new release this year in late May and could not get a decent promo slot. So, I promoted it my newsletter. Amazon sent out a dedicated notice to those who follow me on Amazon and the book moved to the #1 slot in HOT New Releases for five days. It’s been in the $$$ since.
Another thing savvy indies are doing is reaching out and co-promoting one another’s books. I’m doing it. And my early November newsletter moved an aggregate of 1000 units for my colleagues. Doesn’t cost five cents. Yes, our newsletter carrier costs. I use Mad Mimi and I am happy to pay the fee because my newsletter pays for itself.
Let’s talk about Tweeting: One site wants $29 to tweet a book for 30 days. Well Gosh, I can buy 30 Tweets from ask.David for $10 and schedule one a day, plus tweet to fans in French, German, Hindi, Spanish or Dutch. I can also get together with ten authors and we each produce two tweets, schedule in Hootsuite to our followers and reach not less than 400,000. I can trade Tweets with one other author and reach 80,000 romance fans. Fool, me if I pop for $29.
Adding this: We need our promoters, large and small. I’m not dissing ’em. I love every one you find on this site. But somewhere along the way, our promoters are gonna have to evaluate their product to engage their subscribers and at the same time, give authors a return on investment.
I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work. @2016. Thanks for visiting. Comments welcome. Add to the discussion. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate. Romance authors: If you would like to consider co-promoting email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, no erotica. Accent on Romance is work-place safe and family friendly.