Post Promo Post (Update #2)

by Bruce Blake

As promised, here is the round-up of my promo efforts for the month of April. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can catch up with the original post here, and update #1 here.

The quick recap: from April 25-30, I ran two of my books–On Unfaithful Wings and Blood of the King–for 99 cents with some support through various paid advertising. This was the schedule:

Sat., April 27 – Blood of the King was featured in the Kboards blog and newsletter and Bargain Booksy’s newsletter – $50

Sun., April 28 – Blood of the King featured in Storyfinds, Free Kindle Books and Tips, BookBlast – $50

Sun., April 28 – On Unfaithful Wings featured in BookBub newsletter – $180

I marked all my other books down to $2.99 and cross-promoed all the sales in each book’s product description.

The result – in the 6 days of the sale, I sold 364 book across five titles, 306 of those were the two 99 cent books, the balance at $2.99. Give or take, that makes an income of about $230 during the sale.

From a ranking standpoint, On Unfaithful Wings reached as high as #1372 in the Kindle store and at least #2 in the dark fantasy category. Blood of the King broke into the top 3000 overall, but all books’ sales have dropped to their normal levels since, and the rankings are sliding.

So, the three big questions are:

1. Was it worth it?

Strictly speaking from a monetary point of view, it is easy to see that I spent $280 on the promo and only made back $230, a loss of $50.  That doesn’t make good business sense, but there is also the unknown involved  with publishing. Will these book sales get me reviews? Will they create new fans that will buy other books? Truthfully, there is no way to know for sure.

2. Would you do it again?

Even though I lost a little bit of money and there wasn’t as much spillover sales as I was hoping for, I think I would go through the process again. Why? For the same reason I have no qualms about doing free promos–the more people who have my books on their devices, the better. My hope is that, because these people paid (even though it was only 99 cents), there is more value to them and they are more likely to actually make time to read the book. When I do it again, I will do things a little differently.

3. What  would you do differently?

When I ran a free promo ad through BookBub in Jan., I also dropped the price of All Who Wander Are Lost to 99 cents and advertised it in the product description of On Unfaithful Wings. On that occasion, I sold 225 copies of All Who Wander, earning back the money spent on the ad. Next time I do a similar promotion, whether it’s free or 99 cent, I will mark the others down to 99 cents as well, in the hope of capturing more spillover sales.

And now, I ask a favour of all the blog readers.

My one concern about this promo has been around the number of sales the ad in BookBub produced for On Unfaithful Wings. I have been following them for a while, watching what happens with different books’ rankings when they advertise, and it is very unusual for them not to break the top 1000. On the day my ad ran,  the other three books offered at a sale price all broke the top 250 overall on Kindle, so I have been pondering why On Unfaithful Wings did not perform better. It is well reviewed, with 4.3 stars on 76 reviews, so that leads me to believe either the cover or the description, or both, are lacking. Both are below, so please feel free to comment on either or both, I would be very happy to hear your input.

New Cover - Unfaithful

On Unfaithful Wings (An Icarus Fell Novel)

To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.

But death had other plans.

Icarus doesn’t believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God’s right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn’t believe there’s a Heaven, so why should they want his help?

But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can’t ignore–harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he’d had.

It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.

To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.


Bruce Blake is an author and one-time rock drummer trying to make his way in the world with his faithful dog at his side. In Canada, where he lives, that might be a hit TV show.


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