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All Things Writing & Publishing > Promoting Your Book: What Is the Nature of True Reality?

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message 1: by Alex (last edited Jul 24, 2016 10:22AM) (new)

Alex (asato) There's a lot of promoting venues and opportunities out there. I'm sure that there's a whole slew of marketing books that already have the same knowledge that I'm going to attempt to analyze now.
Does anyone know of one?
In lieu of that book, I thought I'd expound my ideas on promoting a little bit here.

(Furthermore, my last post, "The Reality of the Ebook Publishing Landscape," pretty much rounds out my research on the true nature of the reality of publishing, so now it's time to move onto the next phase of my research on how to become a business-successful full-time ebook author.)

The two major categories for promotions are:

* Interest-specific - a promotion that is specific to your book's genre; for example, a sci-fi ezine or your email list.
* Reach - a promotion that is focused on reaching the largest possible number of people (that is, size matters)

Other attributes within these two categories that can be used to further differentiate promotions are:

* fee: free vs. paid
* discounted (> $0) books
* free books
* viral - online "word-of-mouth" (for example, social media)
* customer reviews
* paid (aka "editorial") reviews
* expert (aka "celebrity") endorsement

We could also further characterize promotions by their desired result:

* Direct - generate an immediate sale (for example, an ad is a direct sale (
http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/abo...))
*Indirect - increase visibility (for example, discoverability through a rise in amazon ranking) or increase exposure (for example, through an author interview; reviews) or improve branding credibility (for example, through customer/paid reviews)

Here are some general observations:

* Intuitively, an interest-specific promotion would be more effective in generating direct sales than a reach promotion.

* Although the tendency is to lump free and discounted book promotions together, they are actually fundamentally different: one is an indirect sale (no revenue is generated--although if you're using one of your 2-per-quarter amazon free promotions, you still generate royalties off of the full price, correct? ) and the other is a direct sale.

* In terms of whether or not to pay a fee for a promotion, it's important to understand the result that the promotion is going to provide. In general, I'd be more likely to spend money on a promotion to generate direct sales rather than indirect sales. I think that this is where many authors make a mistake: paying for a promotion w/one of the email lists and pricing their book for free instead of discounted for that promotion period. Can anyone correct me?

thoughts?


message 2: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) @Mr Alex: I've yet to look into advertising sites (paid or free) but...

I do have thoughts re "I think that this is where many authors make a mistake: paying for a promotion w/one of the email lists and pricing their book for free instead of discounted for that promotion period."

The thing is that even at 99cents you're only making between 35 and 70cents per copy sold, so it might not be possible to recoup your costs for even 2 or 3 paid ads. I think many authors will offer the first of a series free in the hopes that it will generate interest in subsequent books. But then these probably won't happen until after the first has been read...sooo...might be difficult to "gauge"?

Again, I'm not personally one for free BUT I've seen it done with some success for sure!!

As always, thank you so much for your awesome research, Awesome Alex!

Hugs,
Ann


message 3: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15759 comments Alex G wrote: "There's a lot of promoting venues and opportunities out there. I'm sure that there's a whole slew of marketing books that already have the same knowledge that I'm going to attempt to analyze now.Do..."

Your analysis makes sense and some specific sub-themes, like reviews, we've discussed in separate threads.
Some general/random thoughts:
- There are those who argue that it's not worthwhile to promote, until: first, you see how your book does without it, allowing for some boost that Amazon supposedly gives new titles; second, until you have few titles published, because then the same promotion benefits all of them
- Before (heavy) promotion, it's important to understand whether you have a good product (some feedback - not from f&f, but betas, readers) and more important - marketable product (whether you have solid responses from doing promos)
- With paid promotion some report blowing some serious dough without seeing any sizable results, so maybe - experimenting with some free promo sites and then moving to paid for amplification or in small dozes to see what works, if anything
- The factual side - Amazon doesn't give you two free promos per quarter, but rather 5 free days, which you can use however you like - make 5 single day promos, 1 - 5-day promo, anything goes, but only if you are exclusively with kindle
- Free or discounted - I, like Annie and many others, don't fancy this free idea, but I see no much harm in trying both. So what if say - 100 or 1000 people downloaded a book for free? Take into account that most of them won't even read it nor would they pay if it wasn't free of charge. No big deal either way, but if it has any lasting effect - like spillover or purchase of further books in the row, it's also fine. Hard to judge whether anything is a mistake, since some things work for some authors and the same things may not work for others or even other titles of the same author...


message 4: by Alex (last edited Jul 24, 2016 08:19PM) (new)

Alex (asato) Nik wrote: "Amazon doesn't give you two free promos per quarter, but rather 5 free days, which you can use however you like - make 5 single day promos, 1 - 5-day promo, anything goes, but only if you are exclusively with kindle."

thx!

Nik wrote: "if it has any lasting effect - like spillover or purchase of further books in the row, it's also fine"

looking at Hood's performance, before the promo, it was selling at 20-22/day (haven't seen the stats after the promo, but overall the author reported ~24.4/day for the 6 months he's been selling; the promo was in April and the book was released in Jan; so roughly at the halfway point. so, then we just do the following to get an estimate of the average # daily book sale rate after the promo:
(21 + x) / 2 = 24.4 and solve for x = 27.8
which means a 32.4% increase, which is really great!

corrections?

EDIT: then again, if the daily average were rising before the promo, then the after-promo daily average could be just continuing that trend.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Annie wrote: "The thing is that even at 99cents you're only making between 35 and 70cents per copy sold, so it might not be possible to recoup your costs for even 2 or 3 paid ads."

true. the ROI would be more difficult to reach. so, pragmatically speaking, you'd classify it as an "indirect sales" technique?


message 6: by Annie (new)

Annie Arcane (anniearcane) @Mr Alex: Yep, I guess that's exactly what I'd classify it as ^_^

Personally, a paid promotion MUST have an "indirect" effect or else I'd not even bother. This is just me, of course. Like, if you told me that I'd spend $100 and was guaranteed to:

1. Break even? Meh.
2. Make $50? Still meh. Okay, okay, I'd totally do this cuz it's a no-brainer hahaha!!
3. Up my rankings by a noticeable amount? Increase visibility? Now we're talking!! *blushes*

Again, just me. Of course, I once had someone tell me, "Ann, the problem is that you're always looking at the sky and don't even notice the house burning down." I couldn't argue with that. Sooo yeah...

Hugs,
Ann


message 7: by Alex (last edited Jul 25, 2016 10:39AM) (new)

Alex (asato) Annie wrote: "@Mr Alex: Yep, I guess that's exactly what I'd classify it as ^_^

Personally, a paid promotion MUST have an "indirect" effect or else I'd not even bother. This is just me, of course. Like, if you ..."


so how does http://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-a...
"We have about 500,000 Facebook followers and nearly 200,000 email subscribers that receive our updates every day."
subscribers can also declare their genre preferences, so i'd assume that your book would be sent to those who declared the genre that your book is in. for sci-fi the price is $30 at $0.99. i assume that's for one day? or is it for a week? can't quite find the info.

I would classify this kind of ad as:

* direct
* interest-specific (aka "targeted")
* fee

compare to http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/abo...

the one w/the most visibility is the top-right corner:

* 300W x 250H: $275/month = $9.17/day
* break-even point = 138 books@$2.99ea (70% royalty rate) = 4.58 books/day

"On average, Lightspeed’s readers purchase 1.25 hardcovers, 2.5 paperbacks, and 2 ebooks per month."

also the traffic for 2015:

* pageviews: 849,740
* sessions (visits): 493,310 (1,351/day)
* users (unique visitors): 310,430

I would also classify this kind of ad as:

* direct
* interest-specific (aka "targeted")
* fee

i also saw another book email list (the name escapes me at the moment) that charged by # of impressions. analytics.twitter.com also provides # of impressions (as well as other data) about each of your tweets. an impression is when someone views your ad.
thoughts?


message 8: by Tim (last edited Jul 25, 2016 01:47PM) (new)

Tim Rees | 732 comments This is all interesting stuff. Thanks, guys... Alex you're an absolute gem! X


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