By Bruce Blake
I’m a little behind on getting this post up, but better late than never, as they say. Happily, I’m late because I’m just about to publish the second part of a six part erotica serial I’m co-authoring with my wife (feel free to make inappropriate comments below), I just got the full trilogy collection of Khirro’s Journey published, and I only have three and a half chapters left in the first draft of Icarus #3.
Back on April 10, I did a post detailing my plans for promo for the month of April. The first segment of this plan was centered around a KDP Select free giveaway of the second Icarus Fell novel, All Who Wander Are Lost, so let’s take a look at that.
I ran the free giveaway for three days, April 17-19. I’ve had some good success with free promos in the past, having come close to giving away 10,000 copies of On Unfaithful Wings on each of three occasions. The last of these was in January when I paid for an ad in BookBub and had over 9000 downloaded. I considered this a success because I also did a sale on the second book and had enough spillover sales to more than pay for the ad.
This time, I chose to submit to all the usual places to try to get the free promo listed…a proposition that is becoming more and more difficult now that Amazon has changed their rules for affiliates. I paid for two guaranteed listings–one on Kindle Book Review ($5) and one on Bargain eBook Hunter ($10) and the listing was run on a number of others, but not on Pixel of Ink or eReader News Today–the two big non-paid listings. My success in the past has normally been linked to showing up with them.
The result? A little over 2000 downloads during the course of the three-day giveaway/
What didn’t work: I can’t say for sure that the money I spent on the guaranteed listings contributed to any downloads. It seems that the big three–Pixel of Ink, eReader News Today, and BookBub–are the keys to having a high number of downloads. Not sure I would spend it again…but it was only $15.
What did work:I put the first Icarus book on sale for $2.99 during the three days of the free promo and had it written into the description for the free book. This produced some extra sales (about 26) that wouldn’t have happened without it and paid for the guaranteed listings plus some. Another things that I was very happy with was listing the promo on Susanne Weigand’s www.xtme.de. Because of that, I had more free downloads in Germany than ever before–more than three times the number downloaded through amazon.uk.
From April 25-29, I have two of my books on sale for 99 cents–On Unfaithful Wings (Icarus #1) and Blood of the King (Khirro’s Journey Book 1). For this, I have invested considerably more money. On Unfaithful Wings will be listed in BookBub on Apr. 28. For $180, the book will be included in an email newsletter that has over 170,000 subscribers; I also submitted it to be listed in Pixel of Ink at no cost, but that is completely up in the air. Of course, the second Icarus book will also be on sale for $2.99 and referenced in Unfaithful’s description, as will the 99 cent price for BOTK.
Blood will be a spotlight book on KindleBoards’ blog (which includes their Facebook page, Twitter mentions, their newsletter and a listing in the Bargain Booksy email newsletter) on April 27, all for $50. On April 28, I have a listing in StoryFinds ($25), Book Blast ($10) and Free Kindle Books and Tips ($25). That makes a total of $100 spent to promote Blood of the King’s 99 cent sale (and I submitted it to POI, too). As with Unfaithful, I have modified the book description to reflect the sale prices of $2.99 on the second and third parts of the trilogy, and the 99 cent price on Icarus #1.
Total spent: $280. This means I either have to sell 800 of the 99 cent books to make back my investment, or I must have enough sell-through to the other books…or both.
My fingers are crossed…I’ll see you back here sometime next week with the results.
Bruce Blake is a self-published author of five novels who just wishes all he had to do was write instead of having to figure out all this promo stuff.