Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #3

I’m half way into my book launch promotions for Northern Survival, and Fall is two days away.

Quick Fact: On September 17th (in some year not long ago, or perhaps it was this year or the next), the four-seater plane, in which Olive and John were travelling, crashed in Northern Ontario. They were only days away from the first day of autumn in a place that greeted winter earlier than here in Nova Scotia and many other places in North America.

Here’s the summary of where my book appeared in the past week. For this week’s promotion, I took advantage of Kindle Select’s free days at Amazon. I used only 2 of the 5 for September 17th and 18th. The other five days, the book was at regular price: $1.99.

The Miramichi Reader – $10 CAD a month

On September 14th, I sent my ad to The Miramichi Reader, and they placed it in their right-hand margin that evening. The website is operated by a local fella in my neighbouring province of New Brunswick. James posts reviews, releases and other news in the local (and sometime not local) book industry. He offered a reasonable price for ad space from now until December 31st. That price fit into my budget, so the ad I made will remain on this site until the end of the year. At that time, I’ll evaluate it and decide if I want to continue.

The link connected to the ad takes people to the Northern Survival book page on my McGyver site and because WordPress keeps track of where visitors come from, I’ll be able to see how many come from The Miramichi Reader.

Northern Survival book pageTo help promote this site, I share an occasional article from the website on Quarter Castle Publishing’s Twitter account. It’s an indirect way of leading readers to my book as well as promoting a local online publication.

PS: I constructed the ad [to the right] in PowerPoint.

Amazon Kindle Book Sale – Free

Because my book is enrolled in Kindle Select, I get free days and other perks. I used two of the five free days provided in a given three-month period on September 17th and 18th. I bought ad space to promote the book, with the hopes that after the book comes off the free period that paid sales will follow. This was the philosophy years ago, and I’m testing it here. The free downloads are also meant to generate reviews.

I booked ad space, both paid for and free, to promote the two-day free eBook. I let these ads pull the weight of the promotion. I did not mention it on any of my blogs because I wanted to gauge with some degree of accuracy what these ads could generate.

Following are the places I placed ads. The ads ran on the same day: September 17th. I have not used any of these services in the past.

Just Kindle Books – $18 + $5 USD ($31.19 CAD)

This is what I received in exchange from Just Kindle Books for payment.

  • A spot in JustKindleBooks newsletter & homepage for 1 day
  • A spot on eReaderNation’s homepage for 1 day
  • A post on our other social channels: Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flipboard & Others
  • Option to feature your book on BookSliced newsletter & homepage for 1 day

I opted-in on and the BookSliced Newsletter, so that’s the source of +$5.00 USD.

Just Kindle Book ad

Ebook Deals Today – $5 USD ($6.78 CAD)

For this excellent low price offered by Ebook Deals Today, my book was featured on their website and their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram).

Ebook Deals book ad

Lovely Books Promotions – Free

Lovely Books Promotions offered two options: paid guaranteed space and free take-your-chances space. I opted to take my chances given that my budget for the month to promote the book launch was being consumed quickly due to the horrible state of our Canadian Dollar.

Taking my chances meant if they were booked with paid ads this day, mine would be dumped in the garbage can. However, my book did appear. Here’s how it looked on their website.

Lovely Books ad

New Free Kindle Books – Free

I was not so fortunate with New Free Kindle Books. My decision to opt for taking my chances over the guaranteed paid listing turned into no ad on this day.

Pretty Hot – Free

Again, my luck was not good with Pretty Hot. I opted for the free ad option instead of the guaranteed paid spot, and there was no promotional ad for my book.

NOTE: To guarantee a spot, it costs $25 USD. When I signed up for their eNewsletter, their subscription confirmation email message provided a $10 coupon to post an ad. So, that reduces the price to $15 USD.

Content Mo – Free

Content Mo has both paid and free options. I chose free and took my chances. They paid off, and my promotional ad appeared on their website.

Content Mo Book Ad

Other Activity During the Week


During the week, three ratings and two reviews appeared in Amazon and Goodreads. The reviews can be read on Northern Survival’s Goodreads Page.

WordPress Sale

WordPress had a flash sale, offering an upgrade for half price. I took advantage of that to clean up the ads and noise on two of my websites: Diane McGyver and Quarter Castle Publishing. I had up graded this website two weeks ago. I feel these upgrades make the experience of visiting my websites less cluttered and more attractive to the visitor’s eyes.

ConclusionNorthern Survival

While I could have left out the sites that offered free space but no guarantee that did not end up posting my ad, I chose to include them because it shows that sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes luck is at a premium in USDs.

While I opted to not promote the two-day free eBook on my websites, I continued to talk about my book and make blog posts.

There’s always a chance these free eBook promotions during a book launch will reduce the over-all sales of a book. It’s always been the danger. But I’m in this for the long haul, so we’ll see how this plays out over the years to come.

For the next eleven days, Northern Survival will sit at its regular price of $1.99 (both CAD and USD because I can control that), then I’ll launch the final 5-day 99-cent sale of the book launch.


Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #1

Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #2

FLASH SALE by a Local Author

Free eBook until September 22nd: Floating in Saltwater by Barbara Carter.

Barbara CarterOnly at Amazon.

If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you read for free.

Get it now. Read it now – or later.

Reviews for Floating in Saltwater

  • Ms. Carter’s book establishes an intimacy with reader seldom possible in fiction. She crafts the memoir with attention to conflict, realistic dialogue, and character gestures. Characters leap from the pages to life.
  • I loved this book. It reminded me of so many little things I had forgotten about growing up in rural Canada. The author paints candid pictures of harsh realities in a way that makes you feel like an insider to her pain and confusion.

6 thoughts on “Marketing “Northern Survival” Sunday Update #3

  1. I found this interesting, Diane. What I am wondering is why you don’t raise the price to 2.99 to get the 70% royalty option — this way, if you’d done a Kindle Countdown to .99, you’d get 70% of .99. My own experience has shown me that I sell more books at 4.99 than 2.99 — I think there’s a perception that if it’s too cheap regularly, it isn’t good. You may be selling yourself short. Something to consider or practice with other books/titles (since now that you’ve run a promo, you’re locked into that 1.99 price for 30 days at least). On an unrelated topic, if you’d like a New Release Mondays spot, email me at judy at judypenzsheluk dot com and I’ll send you the form. Happy to host you there, a couple of spots left in November (Oct is booked solid).


    • Thank you for sharing this information, Judy. I didn’t know if I did a countdown to 99 cents, I’d still get 70%. I’ve never done a Kindle Countdown, so I’ll have to look into that and run one later this year.

      The nagging of my inner voice echoes what you’ve said: readers devalue books less than $2.99. But here’s why I falter with this book: It’s only around 63,000 words. It’s relatively short for books these days. Or at least that is what I’m led to believe. I feel (and probably wrongly) that I’d rather give a reader a great deal for $1.99 and not feel they were short-changed by paying $3.99 for a short novel. Then again, as you’ve stated, I may be selling myself short, and that doesn’t feel good either. There must be harmony for both reader and writer.

      So the question I must ask myself (and perhaps I will run a post about it) is: What is considered a short novel? Not a novella. I consider anything less than 40,000 words a novella. But is a book just over 60,000 words considered a reasonable length? My fantasy novels are 120,000 words or better, so 60,000 feels really short. But that’s my perception. I used as many words as I needed to tell the story. There is no padding to increase word count.

      I would love a New Release Mondays spot. I’ll be in touch. Not today. I’ll be busy outside locking down the garden for the impending storm (Hurricane Teddy) that is suppose to reach our shores late Tuesday.


      • Most of my books are in the 60k range, and my newest, coming out Nov., is 48k. I will likely price that one at 3.99 vs. 4.99US because it is short, and I may start it at 2.99 for a month — but never below the 70% threshold.


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