Plotting Your Book’s Life in 2017

Written By: Jackie Weger - Dec• 13•16

BETA TESTING THE VALUE OF SMALL PROMOTIONS

marketing-strategy-planThere are two laments we hear day in and day out from indie authors: How do I get reviews and how do I promote my book? The first complaint can be easily addressed.  Put this gentle plea for a review right after THE END of your story.  More details HERE.

Thank you for taking the time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review. Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. Thank you, again. [author name].

Moving on…Every author knows the value of our premier promoter, Bookbub. But snagging a slot is never a sure thing and some books don’t qualify. Plus, the slot is a costly up front, out-of-pocket expense.  In my experience and the experience of other indies I speak to, a Free unit in a Bookbub promotion can produce between $5K and $7K in royalties over a three to six week period. So. I beta tested a small-scale book promotion to learn how effective or not.  Telling you up front: I plotted the promotion twenty days in advance and submitted my book to a select group of promoters. All of my books are exclusive to Amazon.

Count The Roses Final MEDIUM

Promoted FREE in a scaled down promotion. 15,613 Downloads. Now: 2.99 or Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited

I wanted to learn if a FREE book in a scaled down promotion would:  1) earn out.  2) generate continued sales/borrows/reviews and crossover sales for 21 to 30 days as does a Bookbub slot.  The answer is YES.

I tracked the promotion from November 02 to December 10, 2016.  FREE downloads during the five day FREE period Nov 02-06, 2016 allowed by Amazon Select: 15,613.  KENP pages posted in Reports to Dec 10: 427,314. Next,  I logged 608 hard sales to Dec 10, of which 344 were crossover sales.  The royalty value November 02 to December 10, 2016: $3102.92.  Cost of promotion: Under $200.  Approximately 30 new reviews.

Two things were instrumental in the promotion’s success. One, my newsletter. Two, staggering the newsletter delivery across five audiences and five days as well as staggering/stacking paid slots with commercial promoters across those five days. These efforts kept the book high in stats and #1 in Classic Romance for several days. I noticed where the unit was landing in stats, but more importantly–staggering those downloads snagged Amazon algorithms which kept the book visible. That is key.

Sites I promoted with: eReaderIQ. Book Bassett. ebookstage. Booktastik. People Reads. ENT. Digital Book Today. Freeebooksdaily. ContentMo. eBook Hounds. eBooksoda. Book Zio. Love Kissed Books. eBookBetty. Many Books. Reading Deals. ask.David. KindleBookReview. Readfree.ly.

I submitted to several others but did not hear back or receive confirmation. Not counting those.  Caution: Please note that I planned and plotted this beta test. It is the first. I will try to duplicate it again in 2017.  I also have a healthy Mad Mimi newsletter organic subscriber list of 9,543. Suggesting this: Whether you have 200 or 2000 subscribers, divide your subscriber audience in to two or more and stagger those mail outs. I compose a nice newsletter, if you need tips. You can see the newsletter Here. Notice I promote my colleague’s books. They  Tweet and share the newsletter for more visibility. Always Tweet the link to your newsletter because non-subscribers are readers, too, and often will download books.

Building a healthy subscriber list and nurturing those subscribers by providing a reader-centric newsletter can help us keep our books in the $$$.  eNovel recommends Amy Vansant‘s authorsXP.com to grow your mailing list. For a list of promoters,  Effroysini Moschoudi has compiled a huge list of more than 150. Go Here.

TRENDS: Downloads are shrinking across all commercial promoters. Three years ago, my first Bookbub garnered 97,278 downloads on a free romance unit. Today, Bookbub’s pricing list says 40,800 is the average number of downloads on a free  romance unit.

Note: The owner of freeebooksdaily is off line for a bit. Readfree.ly takes a while to load.  Change is always in the air in our indie universe. Promo prices go up.  It is up to each of us to do the best we can for our books. Sharing: I’ve had some comments from authors saying Choosy Bookworm and Booksbutterfly are sluggish answering emails.  I’ve asked the authors to keep me in the loop. That’s all I know at the moment.

snip-kissed-by-a-camel

Here I am getting kissed by a camel. Love happens!

‘Til next time. I’m Jackie Weger, Founder of eNovel Authors at Work @2016. Comments welcome. Share your story. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Thanks for the valuable tips, Jackie.

  2. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks for this, Jackie. There’s a lot of very useful info here and some of the promoters you mention are new to me so I’ll give them a try next time I do a promo.

  3. flaxroots says:

    Three cheers for Jackie Weger – always generous with sharing her knowledge. Have a great Christmas-New Year, Jackie and all the best for 2017.

  4. Excellent work there, Jackie.

    I’m currently planning a couple of promos over the holiday period. That might be a smart move or not – I’ll let you know – but I’m hoping people with leisure time and new kindles will be looking for new reads. I’ve paid for promos – with some of those listed above – and will monitor my stats. Might approach a couple of others from your list, too.

    (I don’t know where you get your energy from, but if it’s liquid – please send me a bottle!)

  5. Small scale promo is right up my alley!

  6. Donna Fasano says:

    You’re a genius! Thanks for all the information.

  7. jinxschwartz says:

    Wow, that was a lot of tracking. I can say that the big Bubber always pays off in sales of other books on day 1, and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. My latest freebie did have close to 54000 downloads, WAY up from the past year, but then, it was my latest release, Just Pardon My French, and never free before.

  8. Thanks for your sage advice! Always a winner.

  9. Tweet my newsletters? How come I never thought of that! Thank you Jackie. Practical and useful advice as always. Great to know Bookbub is not the Holy Grail.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Frossie: Bookbub IS the Holy Grail of promoters, but there are lesser saints out there. We just have to choose wisely.

  10. Brilliant! Once again, thank you for sharing your tips, Jackie 🙂

  11. P. C. Zick says:

    Thanks for such a detailed report, Jackie. Very timely for me as I’m plotting my writing life for 2017.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Thanks for commenting, Patricia. I think if we stick to basics we can have a successful 2017. I also think we must tread lightly when engaging promoters. New ones are coming on line and some of our fav standby’s are losing steam. Part of the reason is our markets have matured. We have to reach new audiences. I’m also learning of online publishers folding tents, changing hands or retrenching. Contracted authors are left holding empty bags. We indie authors are fortunate that we at least can control our book lives.

  12. EM Kaplan says:

    Fantastic info. I learn more each time you post. Thanks!

  13. Benny Neylon says:

    Great information, Jackie, and a thoroughly successful strategy. Congratulations on that, and thanks for sharing for the benefit of other authors (like me, currently working on a cunning marketing plan for a book released without one!)

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Hello, Benny: Nice to meet you. In the past I’ve released my books without a plan as such. I did so, because I did not have a footprint in the indie industry. Now, I know to release a unit at 99c…market and promote it for 30 days at 99c…then bump the price to 2.99. We’ve had so many changes the past three years. So. Building Amazon followers is a boon for a new release. Also, three years on, instead of 200 subscribers, I now have a healthy subscriber list…thus I can experiment and beta test.

      You will find what works for your book and what marketing tasks you are most comfortable doing. Frankly, as a starter, I use all of the marketing tasks Amazon provides the indie author.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Don’t be a stranger. Best, Jackie

  14. srmallery says:

    I have learned so much from you and eNovelers! Thank you for taking the time to share. 🙂

  15. Thanks, Jackie, your advice is always valuable!

  16. […] successful.  Not a Bookbub success, but the promo did everything I hoped. You can read the results HERE.  I’m attempting to mimic that success starting January 25-29. Fingers […]

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