The hot question among indie authors is: Where can I get the best promotion results for my ebooks?
This is the first in a series of blogs that will answer that very question. Right here you will hear the facts and figures from the authors themselves.
In eNovel Authors at Work we share our promo experiences so that we can make the best decisions we can for our books. For instance, we know the average downloads for a Kindle Countdown Deal is between 200 and 500 units. Submitting to not less than 25 paid and free sites, one author managed 1073 downloads and an ROI of about $700. Read about it here. Thus, all things being equal, if an author sees less than 200 units downloaded in a KCD, it behooves the author to 1) Submit the book to more promo sites, free and paid. 2) Review and revise the title’s book description and tag line. 3) Is the book in its best category? Placing a book in a wrong category can kill sales because you are not reaching the book’s best audience. 4) Publish Tweets that direct a reader to an Amazon review. 4) Pump up your Social media activity. 5) Do not use increments. Readers expect KCD priced at 99¢.
All right. Let get down to brass tacks. This is not an interview. You can find out more about Mary Smith here. You want to know results…
Here they are in Mary Smith’s own words…
Before I joined eNovel I would not and did not consider pricing my books on FREE. I was even resistant to reducing the price to 99¢. My thinking at the time–skewed I know now–was that if I reduced the price then put it back up no one would buy at the full price. Same with the idea of going FREE. I thought a few people would download it but once the price went back up sales would slump. As for PAYING to give my books away–that seemed ludicrous.
But watching the success of Julie Frayn and Amy Vansant and others in eNovel when they had a BookBub promotion I started wondering whether it might work for No More Mulberries. I submitted the book to Bookbub in Literary Fiction, priced FREE, and was shocked to be accepted on my very first submission. The total downloads on the first day was 18,000. No More Mulberries reached the giddy heights of #7 in the Top 100 FREE. The next day 6,500 units were downloaded, and the next: 1500 downloads. No More Mulberries is in the hands of 29,182 new readers. Just incredible. The Bookbub slot cost £150, I placed another £150 in paid slots. I am already seeing new reviews–nice ones! Actual sales since going back to priced, 40 units and counting, plus above 280 borrows. I am also seeing crossover sales and borrows on Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni. I’m a convert to Free promos!
Here is the breakdown:
May 20: Choosy Bookworm: Total downloads: 2,333
May 22: No Paid promos: Total downloads: 130
All of the promotion sites mentioned are Above the Fold on eNovel Authors at Work’s preferred list of promoters. Njkinny is a book blogger with one of the highest rated blogs on the Web. Her presentations are spectacular. We also know that every indie author may not have the $$$ for a Bookbub. Grabbing a Bookbub slot is not easy. Some of our books don’t make the cut. In this series, we will tell you about successful promotions sans a Bookbub. When the figures are in, we will share them. Mary Smith’s books are enrolled in Amazon KDP Select–which means she can promote a title only once in a FREE or KCD campaign every 90 days cycle.
Yep. We know many indie authors do not like Amazon exclusivity. However, it is work to set up a successful campaign. Once every 90 days is enough for many of us. It just is. We have other things going on in our lives. BINGO, for instance. Putting a book FREE allows readers to take chance on an author he or she has never before read. It is solely for exposure. But! Done right and with foresight, indie authors can also see a nice return on investment. We do. No More Mulberries has logged above 35 organic reviews since the promotion. More reviews are being posted every day. Mary has this gem right after THE END in her book:
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. Much appreciated. Thank you, [author name].
@2016 I’m Jackie Weger. Comments are welcome. html is accepted. If you have had success with a promoter, tell us. Go Here to read a blog about a promotion that was not as successful as Effrosyni Moschoudi hoped, but ended with a sensational twist. Moreover, Frossie has compiled a fabulous list of promo sites, free and paid, just for the asking. Savvy authors click live links in these blogs.
Adding this: Over the past months the indie market has been in flux. Amazon is bearing down on reviewers. It has clarified its TOS and made a few adjustments. You can read guidelines HERE. Yes, there are guidelines for blogger/book reviewers. But the basics are still in place. Reviewers may not be compensated IF the review is posted on the Amazon Book page. That means blogs hosts drawings for Gift Cards. That means no affiliate codes attached to books. The blogger reviewer may post the review on his/her blog and the author may capture that and post it in Editorial. Don’t take my word for it. If unsure: ASK AMAZON.
Book Funnel is getting a lot of attention recently as the way to go to distribute books to readers for reviews. If your book is in Amazon Select you may not use the service. Or, put it this way: Do so, and if Amazon bots discover an exclusive unit distributed free other than on Amazon, the author may find his/her KDP account in jeopardy. Book Funnel hints that Amazon is vague on this issue and that authors are getting mixed messages. NO, we are not. Amazon’s TOS is clear as a bell. Select books get 5 free days per 90 days cycle. That is it. If you can make Book Funnel work for you in that five day window, you’re fine. If not, you ain’t. You may also use Book Funnel to introduce your Select book to readers as long as you do not provide more than 10% of your book text. Use Amazon’s Look Inside Feature as a guideline. Not sure: ASK AMAZON.