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message 1: by Luke (new)

Luke Gracias | 41 comments Hi
I am a first time writer and have released my debut novel The Devil's Prayer in mid Feb this year as an e book.
I have a marketing related question. What do you consider in terms of ballpark numbers for the following:
minimum audience which has read your book( minimum sales)
reviewed your book, (minimum reviews on amazon)
minimum blog reviews
from which point your book starts to sell by word of mouth.

I realise it is highly dependent on the reviews being reasonably positive and how popular the blogs are. I am a long long way from reaching any of these but its nice to have some targets. Appreciate any advice.
Thanks


message 2: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Hi Luke,

Your book starts selling by word of mouth almost immediately after it is read, but I think your term "Critical Mass" referring to the idea of a Nuclear Reaction.

That is below critical mass all chain reactions fizzle out. At critical mass a sustained reaction is achieved that may slowly "take off" and eventually, if unchecked, explode.

I think that there is merits to this theory. It is what publishers are trying to achieve with a big splash of advertising on launch.

It has happened for some self published authors.

However, It is extremely uncommon for self published authors, as advertising is expensive and the market is crowded.

I confess that I held this view of self publishing myself, I still do, to an extent, but I have been more realistic.

I originally believed that a really good book will "be found" inevitably. Eventually. Cream rises to the top, right? However, that truth is that there are a lot of really good books!

So that means that a really good book joins the cream and struggles to rise further.

The advice, that seems to be accepted wisdom, is keep producing good books. One book sells the other. Each book increases your footprint on Amazon and gives you a greater chance of being found. Doubling your books more than doubles your chance of going nuclear!


message 3: by Anthony Deeney (last edited Jul 21, 2016 05:06PM) (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book could net the author 20 000 and more downloads, pushing the book to No1 on the free book list. Freebook downloads are however mostly unread! This said, I have heard authors saying that their books just kept selling for a long time afterwords (near,but sub critical).

A phenomenal book that hits bookbub would probably "explode!"

However, it is very hard to get a book bub advert and they are expensive.


message 4: by Gippy (new)

Gippy Adams | 99 comments Anthony wrote: "Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book could net the author 20 000 and ..."

Anthony, don't you have to be in the first 100 (bestseller list) to even get an advert on Bookbub?


message 5: by Gippy (new)

Gippy Adams | 99 comments Luke wrote: "Hi
I am a first time writer and have released my debut novel The Devil's Prayer in mid Feb this year as an e book.
I have a marketing related question. What do you consider in term..."


Hi Luke,

I hear everything you are saying, as I also published in February of 2016. The advice on here is great--word-of-mouth sells more books in the beginning, and don't give away 30 or 40 books like I did because the promises of reviews mostly never happen. I did finally get reviews from people who read my book and now have ten good ones on there, but still not good sales on Amazon. I do, however, have good sales offline. BUT, here's a hint--a week ago, I finally created a Facebook page, which I thought was a waste of time. So far, tons of people are coming through my page and even commenting on my blogs. Some have mentioned purchasing my book. So, I would definitely set up a FB page. It's relatively simple. Good luck!


message 6: by Riley, Viking Extraordinaire (new)

Riley Amos Westbrook (sonshinegreene) | 1510 comments Mod
Gippy wrote: "Anthony wrote: "Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book could net the au..."

I had not heard that, but it's gotta be a rumor. If you're in the top 100 on the bestseller list of Amazon, you don't need Bookbub at all. Though I have heard it said, by the time you're accepted by them, you don't need them.


message 7: by Gippy (new)

Gippy Adams | 99 comments Riley wrote: "Gippy wrote: "Anthony wrote: "Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book co..."

Thank you, Riley, for clearing this up. I will look into it now.


message 8: by Thomas (last edited Jul 21, 2016 02:14PM) (new)

Thomas Everson (authorthomaseverson) | 424 comments Anthony wrote: "Doubling your books more than doubles your chance of going nuclear!"

This. Completely. Out of every piece of advice I've ever heard for authors, and subsequently given out to others, is to just keep writing. Get in it for the long haul and just keep pushing out both quality and quantity.

We like to think of the people who have sold millions of books and aim right for that, and every one of us should aim for that. But what we need to really focus on though is the steps from wherever we are now to that million book goal.

I don't know that there's any estimated number of reviews/reads/blogs and so on that will help reach that "Critical Mass" simply because every day is new and different, with different sets of potential opportunities. So what you should do is just set step goals for yourself. Do you have 5 reviews? Shoot for 10. Then 20. Then 40.


message 9: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
There is no secret ingredient.

Sorry.

Just keep doing stuff and see what happens.
Personally, I am waiting to be mentioned by someone famous on a Late Night Television show I have never heard of as a passing joke and having no idea what happened until months later.


message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Harrop | 7 comments Gippy wrote: "Luke wrote: "Hi
I am a first time writer and have released my debut novel The Devil's Prayer in mid Feb this year as an e book.
I have a marketing related question. What do you con..."


Gippy, I'm curious: did you make a FB page for your particular book, or for yourself as an author with all your stuff? I've just been wondering if either would be worthwhile, sounds like they might just be.

Also, as regards the overall question, I would say that there is a point, at least on Amazon that I've found (for myself and in talking to others) where your momentum begins to really build on itself and if you can get a few positive reviews posted closely enough together then you may find your book taking off a bit, thanks to the internet I think and the way it has of boosting things that are popular. That happened with my first book and gave me a huge confidence boost; of course, I couldn't make it happen with my second and I did even more to try and make it happen, so...

There may be no good advice here.


message 11: by Luke (new)

Luke Gracias | 41 comments Anthony wrote: "Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book could net the author 20 000 and ..."
Thank you for your detailed response and you are right that my theory of critical mass is that eventually enough people are reading your book so that the ones that spread word that recommend your book, result in sales in excess of your marketing spend.
I googled Bookbub and it came up with something about free books? Is there a simple explanation as to how it works? Thanks in advance.


message 12: by Luke (last edited Jul 21, 2016 09:53PM) (new)

Luke Gracias | 41 comments Gippy wrote: "Luke wrote: "Hi
I am a first time writer and have released my debut novel The Devil's Prayer in mid Feb this year as an e book.
I have a marketing related question. What do you con..."

Thanks Gippy
I have a Facebook page and will add one of my experiences here. I made a video teaser for my book which is called The Devil's Prayer and I tried Facebook boost post. I asked people to share it including friends. The title attracted a few religious types who were very negative but it was getting shared and commented on. Some positive and the negative comments mainly condemning me to the fires of Hell.
I got the video up to 5000 views per day and thought I was getting somewhere. So I pumped more and more money into boosting the post. At the end of the month or so, considerably poorer, I was delighted that the video had attracted 78,000 views. I then got my monthly book sales and there were 42 sales all up. I managed to track 38 of those sales to people I knew from my friends.
Facebook is good but I have my doubts about the value of boost post.
I have also got an authors blog too. I think nothing beats reviewers and blog posts and it would be a really handy resource if you could find a list of good bloggers by genre.


message 13: by Ken (last edited Jul 22, 2016 05:23AM) (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Luke wrote: "Facebook is good but I have my doubts about the value of boost post. ..."

I don't know anyone who has made money back on boosting posts. A few authors have done well with Facebook advertising (which is different), but they were already big sellers to begin with.

Like others have said, there's no magic bullet. The key seems to be writing what people what to read, and putting out a steady stream of books. With every new book, you'll boost the sales of your other books.

My favorite quote (source unknown) that summarizes self-publishing so well: "It took 10 years to become an overnight success."


message 14: by Luke (new)

Luke Gracias | 41 comments Ken wrote: ".My favorite quote (source unknown) that summarizes self-publishing so well: "It took 10 years to become an overnight success.."
Yes Ken, your wry sense of humour remains unchanged. When involved with the film industry I came across another gem "The best way to make a small fortune in the film industry is to start with a large one".


message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam Baddeley | 153 comments Luke wrote: "Anthony wrote: "Just to add to the above. The self publishers "holy grail" seems to be achieving a bookbub advert. This is the largest advertiser and a single advert of a free book could net the au..."

Bookbub allows people to subscribe, select what they are interested in and get emails telling them about free or discount deals in the genres they picked. That's free to them as 'customers'.

Authors however have to pay a lot of money to get their books into those emails and there is a complete scale shown on the Bookbub website of how much it costs, according to genre, country etc. And there is a high entry requirement such as having so many Amazon reviews at 4 and 5 stars or whatever, to even get accepted.


message 16: by Anthony Deeney (new)

Anthony Deeney | 437 comments Gippy wrote: "Anthony, don't you have to be in the first 100 (bestseller list) to even get an advert on Bookbub? ..."

No, but it is difficult to achieve. You need good reviews a decent cover and blurb, a lot of luck a few hundred dollars... a book award helps...

A few authors in SIA have achieved it, they all seem to say it is well worth the money. I don't known if BookBub can claim to have launched any book into the stratosphere. they regularly launch their sponsored ebook to no. 1 on free book day. That they might really make a great book go nuclear is speculation on my part.


message 17: by C.B., Beach Body Moderator (new)

C.B. Archer | 1090 comments Mod
The only listing requirements for Bookbub:

- Free or discounted by at least 50%
- The best deal available
- Error free.
- A limited-time offer.
- A full-length book.
- Widely available.
- Will not feature the same book more than once every 6 months.

There is absolutely no required amount of stars, reviews, or anything else. They do take those into consideration there is no doubt, but don't be scared to try if you don't have a bunch of reviews.

There is a higher chance to get picked if you are submitting to a category that has less applicants. So, if you are submitting a Cozy Mystery, then reviews are going to be important for getting actually picked out of all the entries, but smaller categories you have more wiggle room! In the category I am watching I have seen a book with 4 reviews get accepted.

Don't be scared to try! I was too scared to try, until just now. Take that submission anxiety!


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