For one week, my epic fantasy eBook Shadows in the Stone was reduced from $3.99 to $0.99. To help promote it, I added the book to Betty Book Freak’s mailing list. I didn’t put it on any other site because I wanted to gauge the results of the paid ad.
Readers of this blog will remember I’m working on my marketing skills, running experiments and testing promotional ideas. The two posts I previously wrote about on this subject are:
- Free eBook and the Year of Marketing – Help for Self-published Authors
- Marketing Results from Paid Promotion of Free eBook
Like all marketing campaigns, many things influence results—day of the week, day of the year, number of subscribers to mailing lists, full moons, a horrible book, a terrible blurb, Trump stealing the spotlight, ghastly book covers, vacations, hens laying…you get the picture—so what did or didn’t work one time might be completely opposite the next time.
And here’s hoping for better results next time.
I checked several times in the morning to see if Betty Book Freak’s newsletter arrived in my inbox. I’m an early riser, so I started looking around 6:00 am. Just before I went out the door to attend a committee meeting for the exhibition, I checked Betty’s website; my book had been posted there, but the newsletter had yet to be sent. When I returned hours later, it was waiting for me.
Betty Book Freaks email arrived in my inbox 12:29 pm (Atlantic Standard Time).
In the previous campaign, the newsletter arrived at 10:00 am. So there doesn’t seem to be a set time for its arrival. Since my sale would run a few days after the ad day, it wasn’t horribly important for the ad to arrive via newsletter subscription half way through the day. However, if my book was free for only one day, it would give readers only 12 hours to download it (depending on their time zone).
Keep this in mind if you run a free day with KDP Select. I recommend going free for two days, the first being when the ad is published, the second to pick up stragglers who didn’t get to the email immediately.
The number of books I sold on Saturday February 27th—the day the ad ran in Betty’s email—was 0. That’s right, zero.
One marketing technique I’m using to help spread the word about the upcoming release of “Scattered Stones” on May 6th is the 300-word character vignettes. They can be read on my author page, as well as packaged by the dozen on Smashwords. I just released Volume 2.
Was the paid ad effective? No. Would I do it again? Probably, but I’m going to experiment with a few other book promoters first. Is it discouraging? No. I have a brain dysfunction that allows me to handle rejection well; I’ve got a filing cabinet in my room with dozens of rejection letters in it. If I couldn’t take rejection, I’m in the wrong business.
The cost of the ad was $15.00 US. With our horrible Canadian dollar, that was $21.41 for me.
Running alongside this sale was the free eBook Twistmas – The Season for Love. I decided to use all five days offered by KDP Select to see if the momentum would make it climb in the rankings and in turn, create more downloads. It was also a good test to see what no advertisement would do.
Previously, I had offered the book for free for two days and had a paid Betty Book Freak ad. The results were 78 downloads the first day and 28 the second day.
The download results for my unadvertised sale were 5 (1st day), 4 (2nd day), 1 (3rd day), 9 (4th day) and 3 (5th day) for a total of 22 downloads.
Conclusion: The ad posted with Betty Book Freak increased the number of free downloads substantially.