BETA TESTING THE VALUE OF SMALL PROMOTIONS
There 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.
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.
‘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.