THE Group for Authors! discussion

4263 views
Publishing and Promoting > Best bang for buck book promos

Comments Showing 2,351-2,400 of 4,924 (4924 new)    post a comment »

message 2351: by Bill (last edited Feb 23, 2016 01:51AM) (new)

Bill Parker (BillParker_scifi) | 2 comments I tried that route myself and was very disappointed. The first quarter I made all of $0.12 for a number of my stories. I got wise and tried another place. I moved 314 stories in 27 days. Don't drink the kool-aide. They need indies to feed the insatiable appetite of 'free' readers. They can only sell their devices if they have a lot of free content. The free content comes at our expense.


message 2352: by Faith (new)

Faith Bill wrote: "I tried that route myself and was very disappointed. The first quarter I made all of $0.12 for a number of my stories. I got wise and tried another place. I moved 314 stories in 27 days. Don't drin..."

I think you have it backwards about the devices. Amazon sells the kindles cheaply because it leads people to buy (as in pay for) more books. People may load up their kindles with free books in the beginning because it's a novelty, but I don't believe that is what pushes sales of kindles.


message 2353: by Jack (last edited Feb 23, 2016 05:08AM) (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
There's a lot of free stuff out there. Unfortunately, most of it is worth what you paid for it.
I discount my books, sure. Email advertisers require that; they're pushing bargains, not necessarily quality. But as others have pointed out, quality is in the eye of the reader. There are those who love a particular book, others won't bother reading it. I ignore most bestsellers, not because the books are 'low quality', but because most simply don't appeal to me. They don't explore something within the human experience that interests me.
As for those free books on my iPad? Most will never be read. I simply don't have that much time, and I cannot afford to waste what I have.


message 2354: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Bill wrote: "I got wise and tried another place. I moved 314 stories in 27 days."

What place is that, Bill? I'd love to know. :)


message 2355: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Jack wrote: "I ignore most bestsellers, not because the books are 'low quality', but because most simply don't appeal to me. They don't explore something within the human experience that interests me."

Love that. Intriguing thought.


message 2356: by Suzette (last edited Feb 23, 2016 07:50PM) (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments What is up with Fussy Librarian? Is it just my books, or is it not as effective?

My first promo with FL was 6/24/15, $8, I sold 30 books at 99 cents. I didn't have many reviews at the time and was delighted with that. I just had a promo with FL today (different book, 1st time with FL), I sold 11 books ($19). I sold 34 books (same book) with Reading Deals for $15 this month. My 1st promo with Reading Deals June '15 was not as good, they must be building their subscriber list.

Honestly, I don't mind selling 10 books if the cost of the promo is FREE to $15. I'm still building my fan base and I consider it an investment in my future until I have more books out there. Much as I invested in a college education without an immediate return.


message 2357: by L.S. (new)

L.S. O'Dea | 108 comments Suzette wrote: "What is up with Fussy Librarian? Is it just my books, or is it not as effective?

My first promo with FL was 6/24/15, $8, I sold 30 books at 99 cents. I didn't have many reviews at the time and wa..."


I've had a similar experience with Fussy. The first time I sold 125 books at 99 cents. I ran an ad again recently and only sold 2 units. It was the same book, so maybe they aren't growing their fan base and the only people interested in my book bought it the first time. I'm going to try them again with another book, but if it is only another 2 sales, then Fussy will be on my "do not run an ad with them again" list.


message 2358: by Anne (new)

Anne Hagan (anne_hagan) | 286 comments Has anyone else here experienced Amazon refusing to price match?

I'm posting this here rather than as a new question in hopes to fly under the big river radar and because it is relevant. I have a 7 book series. I took the first book out of Kindle Select earlier this month when the term expired. It's now free on Kobo and Smashwords and soon to be free on Barnes & Noble and several other sites. I've submitted it to Amazon and others have as well for price match.

After no movement for a week, I emailed Amazon. Here's the two sentence response I got: "From time to time, we may match prices elsewhere online, including free promotions. However, we retain discretion over our retail prices and cannot offer a price match in this case."

Now what? This book being free on all outlets is part of my overall, 'Best Bang for Buck' promo strategy. Any ideas?


message 2359: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
It may be that Amazon doesn't like being manipulated.
They can price match or not, at their discretion. They could conceivably remove your book from their servers; after all, storage costs, and Amazon earns no return from it. They're not a public service company, they're in it for the profit.
Amazon's plan is to offer books for a price, and once each quarter allow the author to promote them free. You also have the option of reducing the price to $0.99.
There have been any number of ways people have tried to game the system. They've bought reviews, divided longer books into single chapters and offered them for borrowing on Amazon...but sooner or later, Amazon makes changes.
You might want to think about that if you intend to remain on Amazon.


message 2360: by Anne (new)

Anne Hagan (anne_hagan) | 286 comments Jack wrote: "...Amazon earns no return from it. They're not a public service company, they're in it for the profit.."

I do understand what you're saying Jack but the other side of that is this and Amazon knows this: Lots of books are perma-free on Amazon. Many authors make the first book in a series permanently free. That's been proven to drive sales of all other books. There's considerable research from Amazon itself and from some of the biggest names in the digital publishing and promoting industry about that; Bookbub and Smashwords to name two others.

If I had only one book there, I suppose this would be easier to understand but I have 8 there and a boxed set. All of them sell digital copies and the big river makes money off of them. The series is gaining traction and becoming more and more popular so their revenue from my books will continue.

Oh well, I'll just keep plugging away and hoping that they eventually give in.


message 2361: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Amazon has become a lot more touchy about price-matching to free lately. I've even heard of a few authors whose accounts have been suspended for trying to force a price match.

Technically, it's a violation of their TOS, because you agree to have the best price on Amazon when you sign up.


message 2362: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
Easy solution: set the price of that first book at 99¢. Leave the price at zero on the other outlets. IMO, the other outlets now serve up mostly bestsellers, so people looking for Indie books rarely go looking at Apple.
How much do Apple's books cost, after all? Some freebies, some expensive offerings from the Big Five publishers, a relative few Indie books compared to Amazon.
Again, you're pulling Amazon's chain when you take that route. I wouldn't do it; I'd set the price at 99¢ across all markets. You COULD, in theory, sell your books yourself; set up a blog, a website, and collect all the income from the sales. Would you lose money doing this? Absolutely.
As for me, I'll price my books where I think I get maximum income, $3.99. I'll discount, but not offer them free; they're already free if you have a KU subscription. But I get paid, and there's a slight pressure on readers to actually read a KU download, rather than leave it on their Kindle of iPad forever. That's a common price point, BTW, at least among Indie publishers.
Sales continue to go well. It appears I'm gaining a bit of a reputation among readers. Maybe, at the end of the year, I might price one series at $4.99 to see what happens. But I doubt I'll go above that; too many other books are available for less.
But we're all Indies here, so we get to decide what's best for our own books.
And take the lumps if we're wrong.


message 2363: by Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) (last edited Feb 24, 2016 08:09AM) (new)

Debbie's Spurts (D.A.) Over on booklikes, Gregor Xane shared this article on getting an "Amazon bestseller" and other "bestseller" status : http://observer.com/2016/02/behind-th...

Hmm..."In 2014, a new book was added to Amazon every five minutes." -- and I thought my TBR was out of control.


message 2364: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
Interesting.
I wonder how much money he made?
My largest seller got all the way to #1214. Never achieved bestseller status. Two months later, it's between 2000 and 3500, going up and down as the day progresses.
But it made quite a bit of money, and still does. Maybe, if I'd chosen an obscure category and got my friends to buy a copy, I'd have been 'successful'.
You might consider this in line with my earlier comments about 'gaming the system'. I didn't try; I figured the book would find the audience it deserved, and I'd get what I earned.
I'm SUCH an abysmal failure. I'll probably weep huge tears all the way to the bank.


message 2365: by A.W. (new)

A.W. Exley (awexley) | 601 comments Anne wrote: "Has anyone else here experienced Amazon refusing to price match?

...It's now free on Kobo and Smashwords and soon to be free on Barnes & Noble and several other sites. ."


Amazon won't price match if it is only free on Smashwords. They simply aren't viewed as competition, same as Kobo. They will price match if it is free on iBooks and B&N. I set my first in series to free on iBooks and B&N, emailed the links to Amazon and it was discounted to free within 24 hours.

It also depends on your overall sales. They are quicker to discount a book that is selling well, as you can point out customers are not receiving the cheapest price. If the book isn't moving, then don't expect Amazon to rush to price match.


message 2366: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Adams | 42 comments Has anyone used Choosy Bookworm's read and review service? I'm interested in the response and if there were any knock-on sales for your other books. Thanks.


message 2367: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Heidtman (kylaurel) | 434 comments Well, I've found one site I won't use for ads again. I ran an ad on eBookSoda a month or so ago, but only ran it in the UK. I think I had two sales from that one, but thought maybe it would be better in the US. So yesterday I ran another ad for a book on countdown through them for both the US and the UK--and had three sales. Talk about a waste of $15!

I can't even be sure their ad got me the three sales, because I tweeted and posted on numerous Facebook groups and Google+ communities as well, and doing that usually gets me one or two sales. Never again!


message 2368: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 347 comments Laurel wrote: "Well, I've found one site I won't use for ads again. I ran an ad on eBookSoda a month or so ago, but only ran it in the UK. I think I had two sales from that one, but thought maybe it would be bett..."

I had dismal results from eBookSoda a year ago...looks like they haven't improved.


message 2369: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
As for Choosy Bookworm, I had dismal results from the site; I also didn't like the cost of those reviews. I decided not to continue with Choosy, period.
Like so many, the service is not worth the cost.


message 2370: by Gillian (new)

Gillian Adams | 42 comments Jack wrote: "As for Choosy Bookworm, I had dismal results from the site; I also didn't like the cost of those reviews. I decided not to continue with Choosy, period.
Like so many, the service is not worth the c..."

Thanks Jack, I was wondering if it was worth it, now I'll cross it off my list.


message 2371: by J. (new)

J. (jdrew) | 242 comments Mod
Hi all,
I tried ebooksoda twice with very poor results. I doubt I'll try them again. Choosy Bookworm, same story.
And just to follow up on my moving a book to Amazon only (I delisted it everywhere else) and KU, much as Jack suggested, it made little or no difference in sales and so far hasn't brought in any KU downloads. So it appears that in and of itself has little effect on the Amazon algorithm. Most of you might have already known that. I had to try it.


message 2372: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
Try advertising. That makes a ton of difference. Just putting another book on Amazon without promoting it means your baby is one among millions. People have to find it before they can try it.
I've got a promo coming up this Saturday, another later on in March. I usually make my investment back. One of the promos is through ReadCheaply, which is free. I also mention my books on a couple of Facebook Groups, notably the Writers Group and Fiction Writing.
Promote, or perish.


message 2373: by Kevin (last edited Feb 29, 2016 05:21PM) (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments Has anyone tried Bookslut? I believe I'll give them (her, ha ha) a try. It is a bit pricey, but I'm hoping it will be worth it. I was also considering Skunkradio.com.

I wanted to mention that I've run three giveaways on GR for my latest novel, and I've gotten more members registering for each one. With the third one just ended, I can see the number of clicks I'm getting with the GR ad is going up as is sales on Amazon.

So, maybe not all of the people who win the book simply turn around and sell it on Amazon? I am pleased to see the third giveaway producing results. k


message 2374: by L.S. (new)

L.S. O'Dea | 108 comments Kevin wrote: "Has anyone tried Bookslut? I believe I'll give them (her, ha ha) a try. It is a bit pricey, but I'm hoping it will be worth it. I was also considering Skunkradio.com.

I wanted to mention that I've..."


Let us know how the Bookslut ad goes. Skunkradio too. I'm always open to trying new ads, but bookslut does seem a bit pricey. I didn't see where they offer any stats on clicks. The demographics are nice to know, but when the price is that high, I like to see stats.


message 2375: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments L.S. wrote: "Kevin wrote: "Has anyone tried Bookslut? I believe I'll give them (her, ha ha) a try. It is a bit pricey, but I'm hoping it will be worth it. I was also considering Skunkradio.com.

I wanted to men..."


I agree about the price being high. It made me hesitate to sign up, but it also made me wonder if, like bookbub, the price is higher because of greater exposure, but couldn't find any info to back up that possibility.


message 2376: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments I checked with alexa and bookslut got 74k visits in January. Is that a substantial number?


message 2377: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments J. wrote: " it made little or no difference in sales and so far hasn't brought in any KU downloads. So it appears that in and of itself has little effect on the Amazon algorithm. "

It took about 2 months before readers started noticing my books on KU; now it is 25% of my income. When you run a promo, your book is listed as a “Kindle Unlimited” book. I have seen a lot of increase in KUs after promos; it seems that some subscribers use subscription services just to identity KU books they would like.

Another thing Kindle Unlimited taught me about my books is that when people start them, they finish them. This is really encouraging to me.

Incidentally, Samhain is closing its doors, and at least one author attributed that to KU. I was so surprised to read that, since KU is such a help to self-published authors. It has made some careers, particularly when one has several books out. But some of these authors published through small-press found their footing and their platforms with small-press; naturally they would be upset to see their beloved company close. Still, some went on to become NYTimes bestselling authors, they are doing great and will continue to be able to sell their books because of the platforms they have created. I see KU as an opportunity for ALL authors (rather than the evil monopoly some paint it as).


message 2378: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Jack wrote: "As for me, I'll price my books where I think I get maximum income, $3.99. I'll discount, but not offer them free; they're already free if you have a KU subscription."

It seems like “free” was the way to go before Kindle Unlimited. I don’t understand the point now. Now if someone reads my book for “free”, I get paid, and I have all the benefit of the freebie.


message 2379: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments L.S. wrote: "I've had a similar experience with Fussy. The first time I sold 125 books at 99 cents. I ran an ad again recently and only sold 2 units. It was the same book"

omg, 125 with Fussy Librarian is AWESOME. I’m hoping it’s just that 2nd promos don’t do well with them? Which category did you run it in? That must be a good genre for FL; other authors would want to know about that. I’ve never sold anything close to that with FL.

Just ran a BOOK GORILLA promo. Sold 63 books @ 99 cents. Sold 5 audio books at full price (I have sold as many as 8 with BG. This is one of the better promos for ACX). Sold 3 print books. AND – received a $50 bonus because one of the audio buyers signed up for Audible. Woo hoo!! Really happy. OK, that’s a rare occurrence, usually I just about break even but pleased as punch for new readers/reviews. On top of that, the promo was FREE because BG had originally not run it on the scheduled day. I said they really didn’t need to refund my money, and they did anyway. Ethical business practices.


message 2380: by Suzette (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:27PM) (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Gillian wrote: "Has anyone used Choosy Bookworm's read and review service? I'm interested in the response and if there were any knock-on sales for your other books. Thanks."

I did very well with the review service, Gillian, it was exactly the shot in the arm I needed. I only received 14 reviews from CB (I could have pressed it with Jay for the guaranteed reviews, but the results worked for me), but that was enough to sign up for promos. From there I received more sales and more reviews. Now I have 76 reviews on Sword Princess and 200-400 sales/month. From nothing. And no reviews. So the Read & Review program was a great service for me and well worth it. (I haven’t done well with the CB promos.)

In addition, the majority of these reviewers were professional and appropriate, even if they didn’t like the book, not as snarky as some. i.e., giving the reasons why they didn’t like the book rather than personal attacks on the author, calling the author the spawn of Satan, etc.


message 2381: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Kevin wrote: "I agree about the price being high. It made me hesitate to sign up, but it also made me wonder if, like bookbub, the price is higher because of greater exposure, but couldn't find any info to back up that possibility"

It looks like it is just advertising on their website rather than a subscription service:
"Bookslut advertisers have access to thousands of potential customers. Bookslut receives between 6,500 and 8,000 unique visitors per day (195,000 to 240,000 per month). Each of these visitors views approximately 8 web pages while they are browsing the website."
http://www.bookslut.com/advertise/int...


message 2382: by L.S. (new)

L.S. O'Dea | 108 comments Suzette wrote: "Gillian wrote: "Has anyone used Choosy Bookworm's read and review service? I'm interested in the response and if there were any knock-on sales for your other books. Thanks."

I did very well with t..."


200 - 400 sales per month - congrats. I don't even come close to that. I've signed up with Choosy for review service. It starts March 3rd or so. I'll post results.

I ran a review service with Reading Deals. They are cheaper than choosy. Unfortunately, no one requested my book. Reading Deals ran it for a month and then refunded my money. My book is YA, SciFi Fantasy. I don't recall the genre that I chose, but I'm hoping that Reading Deals just doesn't have a lot of fans in my genre.


message 2383: by L.S. (new)

L.S. O'Dea | 108 comments Suzette wrote: "L.S. wrote: "I've had a similar experience with Fussy. The first time I sold 125 books at 99 cents. I ran an ad again recently and only sold 2 units. It was the same book"

omg, 125 with Fussy Libr..."


The time that I sold 125 with Fussy was back last April. I don't recall the exact genre that I chose (I'm not really good about keeping track of that), but my book is YA scifi fantasy so it was some combination of those. I also ran a Kboards ad that day, but I ran another one later on Kboards and didn't get one sale so I'm attributing the 125 to Fussy.


message 2384: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments Great information--and free! Thanks, Suzette. I will look into reviews through CB. It sounds as though it may be what I need.


message 2385: by Kevin (last edited Feb 29, 2016 09:39PM) (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments Same result with kboards. They seem to be 'the place' for the big writers to hang, instead of where readers go to buy.


message 2386: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments L.S. wrote: "200 - 400 sales per month - congrats."

Thank you, L.S. In all honesty, this is my 6th & 7th book and I have had virtually no sales until now. I have been writing for a LONG time. (My spirit totem is the gnat: I never give up) I am the opposite of the overnight success.

I also run 3-4 promos/month. I guess that is cheating, but, heh, I am done with letting my books languish in obscurity. Been there, done that, I want to try something different this time.

And my goals are (1) to put out 2 books/year (well edited with a great cover) (2) to catch up with Jack :)


message 2387: by Suzette (last edited Feb 29, 2016 10:36PM) (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Kevin wrote: "Great information--and free! Thanks, Suzette. I will look into reviews through CB. It sounds as though it may be what I need."

If you go with CB, Jay (the owner) will send you the emails of readers requesting your book up to the advertised number of readers (in the 30 range). But if you don't get the advertised number of REVIEWS, contact him and he will send you more emails until you do (he says on his cover page). These are honest reviews, not paid reviews (meaning some people may not like your book), so it complies with Amazon TOS.


message 2388: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Heidtman (kylaurel) | 434 comments Suzette wrote: "My spirit totem is the gnat: I never give up"

I love that! I think I'll adopt the gnat as my spirit totem, too!


message 2389: by Jack (new)

Jack Knapp | 753 comments Mod
Be careful; you wouldn't want your bug to look like a mosquito, considering what's happening with the zika virus... :D


message 2390: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments So many great writers here. And I have to read them all!


message 2391: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Laurel wrote: "I love that! I think I'll adopt the gnat as my spirit totem, too!"
Jack wrote: "Be careful; you wouldn't want your bug to look like a mosquito, considering what's happening with the zika virus... :D"

ha ha Laurel and Jack! :) I didn't choose it, Laurel, it chose me. I am PERSISTENT. It's funny, I am a sensitive soul, not very strong, and I break too easily, so it's a good thing I have something to drive me on: obsessive obstinacy, if you will. Tell your story, people! Don't give up!!!


message 2392: by Suzette (new)

Suzette Hollingsworth | 251 comments Kevin wrote: "So many great writers here. And I have to read them all!"

We'll all be great together, Kevin. The future is BRIGHT! It's just a matter of discoverability and visibility. (And, for me, a really great editor :)

Heh, I read your sample, I know what I'm talking about, great author's voice!! I keep downloading samples from the authors on this loop expecting to find one that doesn't grab me or is so-so - and NO SUCH THING! You're right, I'm very surprised at the quality of writing on this loop. And I'm a picky reader. Go with Choosy Bookworm, you just need readers to discover your books.


message 2393: by Liangzhi (new)

Liangzhi Gao | 16 comments Hi, Kevin! I am very glad to see your message. I am a new one in Goodreads. I hope I could have your help for using Googreads.
Liangzhi Gao


message 2394: by Liangzhi (new)

Liangzhi Gao | 16 comments Hi, Laurel ! I am very glad to see your message. I am a new one in Goodreads. I hope I could have your help for using Googreads.
Liangzhi Gao


message 2395: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments it's a good thing I have something to drive me on: obsessive obstinacy, if you will. Tell your story, people! Don't give up!!! ..."

Absolutely! NO ONE can tell YOUR story. We could all be assigned the same theme, plot, and premise, and we would each come up with a unique story. Be true to yourself, and to your story. Fads come and go, but integrity doesn't.


message 2396: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Hill (kevinrhill) | 48 comments Sally wrote: "it's a good thing I have something to drive me on: obsessive obstinacy, if you will. Tell your story, people! Don't give up!!! ..."

Absolutely! NO ONE can tell YOUR story. We could all be assigned..."


"Above all else, to thine own self be true." W.S.


message 2397: by Liangzhi (new)

Liangzhi Gao | 16 comments Hi,Sally: Please inform me :What can you or I do for promoting my own book on philosophy


message 2398: by Sally (new)

Sally (brasscastle) | 261 comments Hi, Liangzhi,
I'm no expert on promoting books, whether they are about philosophy or anything else. I haven't been very pro-active about marketing or promoting, partly because I don't know much about it and partly because I haven't had much time to do so, with a full-time job and frequent part-time work, besides commuting and household obligations.

But I have attended some book fairs, joined a writers forum that hosts events where writers can network and sell books to the public, that sort of thing. I have yet to build a website for myself, something I've been very slack about; it needs to be done, the sooner the better.

Some of the other threads in this Goodreads authors group have quite a few suggestions that look useful, and I'd look at those, to see what's worked for others, and what hasn't worked.

Good luck!


message 2399: by Liangzhi (new)

Liangzhi Gao | 16 comments Hi, Sally:
Thank you very much for your reply.
I understand you are not very interest in philosophy.
If you have friends who are interested in philosophy, please introduce them to me , or give their email address to me.
I am living and working in China. Up to now I have no friend in US or other countries that I could communicate with him.
Liangzhi


message 2400: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 44 comments I just wanted to drop in and say thanks.
This is a great thread and has helped me find a few book promoters for my upcoming Countdown Deal.
It's really good to get some guidance on which sites actually help.
It's a bit of a minefield out there.

Thanks.

:-)


back to top