Authors-Readers Connect discussion


Comments Showing 1-50 of 4,919 (4919 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 98 99

message 1: by Groovy (last edited Jun 15, 2018 01:01PM) (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
Hi, Everyone

Welcome to our new home where we can continue our discussion on promotions that work; and how well your books are doing. Hopefully, this will remain a peaceful place where we can all support one another. And, if any of you can think of a better name for this thread, please let me know. Feel free to look around the forum and participate in the other threads if you like.

Also, if any of you could list which sites are working for you, and which ones are really scams, I would really appreciate you relisting them as we go along. Here's my first questions:

How is everyone's promotions going? What have you done to get exposure and sales?

Thanks--let's get started!

message 2: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Just joined!

message 3: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Willis (stephenjwillis) | 22 comments Hi Groovy, oh well done for this! Shame about the other thread. I have just joined now as well.

The only paid promotion I have currently going is amazon ads for one of my books. Surprisingly it has continued to make consistent sales since I made the ad, compared to a long drought before that.

message 4: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
Congratulations, Stephen. That's good news. And welcome!

message 5: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
And hi, Effie:)

message 6: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Reid | 21 comments Hi, Groovy. Thanks for starting this. I tend to spend more time on Goodreads than Facebook, so good to know we're back in business. Have a Kindle Countdown booked for 9 to 15 July. I'll let you all know how that goes.

message 7: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments Hi, I'm so glad you're back in business! I've been running a free book launch on my new book. Nine "sales" so far since I started and that's only doing Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. (I did boost a FB post but it was to my blog that had a link on the end). I was so sad at the prospect of losing contact with my Goodreads family, and at the fact that we won't be able to help each other anymore, so I'm glad this is back. I wouldn't be as successful an author as I am today without this thread.

message 8: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
You're welcome, D.J. I'm so glad you're here. Thanks for joining. I'm excited to be back in business, too. I can't wait to hear your results.

Hi, Shannon! Nine sales! Congratulations; and thanks for helping us get back in business. I hope this thread will be as successful as the last. I really missed our GR's family, too. For a moment there, I thought it was over. But we're pulling together, and we can make this work, right?:) Here's hoping you get more sales---and reviews!!

message 9: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Hi everyone! It's so good that we can be back here. I love how supportive we all are and share our experiences.
Stephen, I'm still trying to come up with the perfect formula for amazon ads. They do seem to work better than my goodreads ads though.
I've had a busy week. I did an event on Tuesday with authors, cooks and sommeliers. I made some great networking contacts, sold some books and a few people were interested in having me at their book club gathering. I did author takeovers on blog and promotion page for the last two days and I will do another tomorrow. And tonight I made a book club appearance to discuss the second book in my saga. This group is currently reading the third.
My countdown begins on the 20th and I'm running a ton of ads. I'll let everyone know how each ad works out.

Good for you, Shannon!

message 10: by Theresa (new)

Theresa (theresa99) | 310 comments Hello everyone! I'm glad we have a new place to go now. At the moment I have no promotions going on. My last one was with BargainBooksy and JustKindleBooks a couple months ago. The promotion went ok, but nothing to write home about. Right now, my extra funds is going to my new editor and my cover artist.

message 11: by V.M. (new)

V.M. Sang (aspholessaria) | 20 comments Hi. I'm new here. I'm afraid I'm not very good with Goodreads. I must persevere and try to get better with it. I'm sure it's a good place to be, once you get au fait with it.
Book promotions that work is just what we all need, I'm sure.

message 12: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Welcome Vivienne,
we are here to help and support each other in a friendly, positive way. Out other thread had a wealth of information. Stick with us. As our promotions go forward we will share our results.

message 13: by Lexie (new)

Lexie Conyngham | 429 comments Hi, all, glad to be back! and under my more usual name, too. Good luck with promotions, everyone! I'm still planning for my October launch ...

message 14: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
Welcome, Theresa, Vivienne, and Lexie. So glad to have you here. As Effie said, we are all here to help and support, and rebuild all that wealth of information we lost on the other thread. I'm going to try to rewrite the lists of promotional sites that work, and those that are scams, unless someone beats me to it:)

Wow, Effie, that's a lot. Good for you! I bet you can quit your day job with all this exposure and sales. All the best at the book club appearance.

message 15: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Haha! No. Nowhere near quitting my day job. I make in a month of royalties what I make in a week at work. That's not going to cut it. Especially since I put all the royalty money back into promotion and publishing costs.

I just keep at it, building my brand and hopefully gaining new readers along the way.

I will say that I've done a few author takeovers. They weren't very successful. There wasn't much engagement. The ones I did this week I thought would be better because the promotional company has given me proven results. But no, nothing. I gained a couple of social media followers but probably only because they wanted to enter the giveaway.

When my countdown begins in a couple of days, I'll go through each promo site. For the newcomers here I'll tell you what to stay away from. Books Butterfly is a huge scam. Not only from my experience but I've heard it from many others too. Awesome Gang & Book Goodies are somehow connected. I think one is run by the husband and the other by the wife.You can submit to any of their ad sites individually or you can submit to all in one shot. The results are a big, fat zero. I think their subscribers consist of the other authors trying to advertise and fake subscribers.

message 16: by Shannon (last edited Jun 17, 2018 06:56AM) (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments Well, it's 9:50 in the morning here (NY time) we're on the last day of my free Giveaway for my new book. I gave away fourteen books just by advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I did a Goodreads Giveaway which hit at midnight. Gave away one hundred books. I'll report back on the return. I think this will be the last one I'll do, they're expensive and although I have gotten ratings/reviews, not enough to justify the expense. I also did a Freebooksy feature. Now, it's only been live on the east coast for about half an hour and I've already had thirty-six downloads.

Someone posted on Mark Dawson's thread that there is a hidden benefit to offering your book for free when you first release it. It assists Amazon in determining your target audience so they can develop the algorithm regarding who to offer your book to on their site. I'm going to be keeping an eye for the next month to see if that pans out.

message 17: by Shannon (last edited Jun 17, 2018 05:50PM) (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments So, the downloads have slowed down a bit so right now, I'm at 1,370 downloads. I am ranked #76 in the free Kindle store and I'm #2 in my category and my book was an Amazon top pick today. I've been obsessively checking the rating hoping I'd make it to #1, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'll take second place. This was an absolutely amazing day for me. I like to think my father up in heaven helped my book launch be an overwhelming success.

message 18: by Groovy (last edited Jun 18, 2018 12:16PM) (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
Effie, I hope your countdown meets your expectations. And in agreement with Effie, these books sites are scams, also. They have a lot of sounds-to-good-to-be-true offers, but actually, your information sits in an ebook black hole. The only real viewers are, no doubt, other authors trying to promote their books, too.

So far, here are some sites, in no particular order, that other authors have received very good results from (you get sales):

These are just a few! We haven't even listed the book tour sites that work, and the ones that don't.

Congratulations, Shannon! I'm glad you're happy with your results. I can hear you smiling again:)

message 19: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Congratulations Shannon. That's a great turn out for you. I've never done a free book promotion. I'm not sure I ever will. I'm still debating. I'll be interested to see how many reviews you get from it. Great news on the ranking. Does anyone know how free book rankings compare to paid rankings? How are they viewed importance wise? Are they equal?
I think my problem with the free book is that you are still spending money on promotion but not earning it back, unless you get a lot of KNEP from the exposure. Also, I feel strongly about authors being paid for all the hard work that goes into it, even if it's the ridiculous price of .99c. And then there is the issue that many people will download but never read it. Some people will download anything free in there genre, put it on the back burner, and read their paid books first.
Shannon, I'm not expressing this to diminish your great day. These issues have been on debate in threads and articles for some time. I'm genuinely interested to find out your results. I would be open to changing my mind if this proves to be beneficial.
What do you all think from your experiences? I know many of you have done the free promotion.

message 20: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments I'm in agreement with what you posted on the sites, Groovy. I will give more detailed info once my countdown begins.

message 21: by Lexie (new)

Lexie Conyngham | 429 comments My free book plug finishes today - over 700 downloads and up to 3 in one of my rankings on Amazon. I don't notice any difference between these rankings and paid ones - it's just the same ones. I note what you say, Effie, about free books (this is one on KUL so maybe that's different) but I've definitely had extra sales on the others in the series, and I only used Fussy Librarian which is very reasonable for my genre - about $15, I think. I'll have made that back! If I get reviews, too, of course, that will be lovely!

message 22: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments I’ve already gotten one review which is nice. And also, as I stated before someone on another site I belong to stated he’d done his research and the free book thing helps Amazon determine who your target audience is. We’ll see what happens. I’ve never had anything close to this many downloads and since I never make back the money I spend promoting I’m wondering if I should just offer it free and pay for Freebooksky. I’ll be spending less money out of pocket for like 1300 more downloads. But I have to wait and see how this pans out.

message 23: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Thanks, Shannon

I was kicking around the idea of giving away the first book in my series for free, the second for .99c and the new release at the regular price during my upcoming promotion. I just couldn't do it. Both of the two first books will be .99c. I wasn't giving away the new release for n.99c just yet. I had too many people waiting for it who would pay whatever price I set. I'll let you know how this works out. I set up so many ads. I spent a lot of money. I'm hoping to get my money back and get new readers and exposure.
I will definitely consider going the first book for free for a couple of days on my next promotion if your results and Lexie's are positive. It might be worth a try.

message 24: by Lexie (new)

Lexie Conyngham | 429 comments Remember I'm on a much smaller scale than you, I think!

message 25: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments That doesn’t matter, Lexie. We still learn from each other’s experiences. I continue to learn each day and look for new ways to reach new readers.

message 26: by Lexie (new)

Lexie Conyngham | 429 comments True, we all do!

message 27: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 205 comments Hello everyone :) sorry in advance for the loooooong post!

Free promos are not necessarily for everyone. If I only had 1 published book, I might be hesitant to try, although I do know an author who had only one published book (non-fic) who sold a lot of books after a one-day free promotion. You might break even with 1 book or you might not. If your book is not in KU, you might have a harder time breaking even. Imo it's worth a shot if there are multiple books in a series, especially in KU.

For me, the free promotions have always brought in positive ROI. It takes strategy to make it happen. I will explain my take and experience the best I can. I would not run a free promotion for longer than one day. I get much more exposure, sales, and ROI from spreading the 5 free days out over the Kindle Select period. If you leave the book free for 2+ consecutive days, you will likely miss out on full price sales from increased Amazon visibility and readers who are late in opening the newsletter from the sites we advertise with. I read that up to 50% of subscribers don't open a newsletter until the day after it's sent. So even though a book isn't free anymore, if readers open the newsletter the day after it's free and think it looks interesting enough, they buy the book at full price. About 1/3 of the ROI that I see after a free promotion comes from full price sales of the book that was just free.

Ranks in the free store are different from ranks in the paid store. My book's rank usually ends up under the 8K rank in the paid store the day after a free promotion if it made it to around #100ish in the free store the previous day.

Another 1/3 of the ROI comes from KENP. It doesn't necessarily seem logical, but even on the day of a free promotion, many KU subscribers will read the book on KU instead of downloading it for free. This helps authors with breaking even, ranking, and visibility, which bring more full price sales.

The last 1/3 of the ROI is in the sales of the sequels, including those spread out over the next several weeks.

In order to see ROI from a free promo, you have to have a book that people want to read, write convincing ad copy, target the right audience, and get A LOT of downloads. So, if your book gets 200 downloads, you prob won't see anything significant happen*. If you get over 1K, you start seeing some sales and reviews trickle in. Over 2K is better, and of course even more is best. I once used Robin Reads + Freebooksy for a one-day free promotion which brought in over 5K downloads. The next day, my book had 144 full price sales. That's about $300 in royalties, not including KU. So the math shows that I would have to sell 428 books on a Kindle Countdown to see the same amount in royalties gained that day from full price sales.

My most recent free promotion was 2 weeks ago. The free book was downloaded 1655 times and the sequels sold 48 units at full price that day. The next day, the book (that was free the day before) sold 30 units at full price. Just those numbers were enough to break even on the ad costs. I realize some authors believe that no one would pay full price for a book that has been advertised for free in the recent past, but that has not been my experience at all. This particular book has been downloaded tons of times for free and still sold thousands of copies at full price in the last 2 years.

As for the effectiveness of having Book 1 of a series on free promotion, then whether to have the sequels on Kindle Countdown for .99 or full price...I have tried it both ways numerous times. Honestly it's about a wash royalty-wise. So it becomes a question of, would I rather gain more readers or more full price sales? In my experience, many readers who like Book 1 will buy Book 2 at full price. But Book 2 at 99 cents means you can use paid advertising to find more readers.

*this is why I don't have a lot of faith in the GR Kindle giveaways. Only 100 free copies downloaded on the day the giveaway ends won't do anything for your book's rank or visibility. Some of the giveaways don't even have enough entrants to receive the 100 copies. So I don't personally see this as a method that would have positive ROI.

message 28: by Michele (new)

Michele Khoury | 59 comments Hi, I've been following the discussion in the other thread was so disheartened to see the vitriolic communication. I'm delighted a new discussion has been established--thank you, Groovy! I love the supportive manner, kindness, and courtesy extended to others in this group.

Congratulations to Shannon and Effie! Huge successes--inspirational and motivational.

Thanks to your recommendations/experience, I followed your advice and did the following promotions: In April I ran a promotion with ERNT, (sold 113 copies-Yay!) In May I tried Bargain Booksy, Book Gorilla, and The Fussy Librarian. I won't receive my sales numbers from the publisher until July. (I'm published with Page Publishing without an agent. Not knowing the results is enormously frustrating--but my rankings on Amazon went from 488,000 to 6,046.) In June I did another Bargain Booksy, Book Gorilla, and BookAdrenaline (for thrillers). While I don’t have specific results, based on Amazon’s rankings, I believe I've sold more books with these promotions than with other expensive endeavors. I also engaged LoveBooksBlog Tour for early September.

I’ve applied to BookBub three times and have been rejected. I haven’t figured out how to position my novel; I’m considering paying for an ad.

I DO NOT recommend Author Marketing Experts. I naively spent a small fortune for a six-week engagement and sold 51 books.

Again, thank you for sharing your experiences. I've learned from everyone, and I hope I can contribute in the future.

message 29: by Theresa (new)

Theresa (theresa99) | 310 comments I have done free advertising a couple of times. Once after I released my first book, the second time shortly after releasing the 2nd in the series. The first time I got over a 1,000 downloads and advertised through Digital Books Today. The second time I only advertised on Facebook and Goodreads and I got around 600. I never saw a review or increased KENP either time and decided it wasn't worth going that route again.

message 30: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Reid | 21 comments Groovy, wasn't Choosy Bookworm one of the disappointing sites? Maybe I'm mis-remembering.

My best result from my last promo was from Book Sends + Ereader IQ, so that might be worth a try for some authors.

Best to look at how many subscribers each site has for your genre versus what they're charging.

message 31: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
You're welcome, Michelle. Thank-you for your support and kind words, too. And you've already contribute a lot with your experience you just shared. Congratulations on those sales.

Effie and I are on the same road when it comes to free book giveaways. Although I had fun with the Amazon giveaways, I didn't see any reviews, or spike in sales.

But Marie-Silk's experience gives cause to think that maybe I should try this one more time--MAYBE! Look how well she did with her giveaways. And to answer her question, I would LOVE to have more readers, then the sales will follow. First, I have to finish my current project, and have my covers redone--it's keeping me very busy.

Here's something we should always remember as SPA's:

Reviews are like good men--they're hard to come by. And when you get good reviews, like those good men, you hold on to them and treasure them:)

message 32: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 205 comments I'm not using Choosy Bookworm anymore because I had multiple issues with them not featuring my book on the scheduled date when I paid for a guaranteed spot. Then when I asked for a refund, they didn't refund, but instead added my book to their newsletter for a different day without contacting me for approval.

message 33: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
D.J. wrote: "Groovy, wasn't Choosy Bookworm one of the disappointing sites? Maybe I'm mis-remembering.

My best result from my last promo was from Book Sends + Ereader IQ, so that might be worth a try for some ..."

You are right, D.J. I will correct that now. Thanks!

message 34: by Groovy (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod

Stay away from Choosy Bookworm!. As you can read from the other posts, not a reputable site to deal with.

message 35: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments I red-flagged choosy bookworm a long time ago!

Marie Silk, thank you for that detailed information and explanation. You've given me a lot to consider. You definitely have more experience with this than me. I've never attempted the free promo and wouldn't even consider it. But to be successful means having an open mind and taking advice. I've done well, but I want to do better - reach more readers and rank even higher.
So my 99c promo for the first two being in 2 days and I've kept the new release at regular price. In the next 90 day period which will actually begin in July, I think I will try a free promo.

Evanthia's Gift was released in 2015, Waiting For Aegina in 2017, and Chasing Petalouthes this month. How do you think I should position the promotion?
From what I think I'm understanding, a 1 day free on the first book and hopefully regular priced sales will follow?
Should I space the promotions and wait a week or two before I offer the second book at 99c and then space the third and offer that too for 99c? If not, how would you approach it. My aim is not only for sales, but at this point I'd like to het on the best sellers list. The highest ranking I've ever had was 2,500 in all books. 24 in sagas, 54 in women's fiction.

message 36: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments I'm still gathering evidence as to whether or not giving away a book for free is worth it, as you know.

BUT, I can't help thinking, for the price of a Freebooksy promo my book got into the hands of nearly two thousand people. (I'm now up to around 1900 or thereabouts). Versus spending around a hundred for fifty sales at .99,

I think in we define success in terms of how much money we made or whether we got reviews, we'll come up lacking. BUT...two thousand people have my book. Two thousand people could read and like my book and get to know me as an author and tell others. Versus fifty. I'm thinking I have more or a chance of success with two thousand than I do fifty. We'll have to see though. If any of us are in this to get rich, this may be a long rough road.

message 37: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments My question is, how many of those 2,000 will actually read it. I've spoke to readers who say they will download any free book in their preferred genres, but they may never get to them. They call the free books their backup books in case they run out of books they have paid for. I've heard this from many readers.

So this brings up the issue of value. And that's my concern. Will my books be looked at as a product of value or something to be discarded because they didn't pay for it? Even if a reader pays a mere .99c for the book, they still spent money for it and the perception is different. They feel they got a bargain. They caught a great sale.
Now not every reader feels this way, but I suspect enough do that eventually the books will go into the virtual trash bin.

That being said, there might not be anything to lose and the possibility of so many more people reading it than if you didn't give it away for free might make it worth it.
What really drives me crazy is that we live in a society where we spend ridiculous amounts of money on nonsense but hem and haw about the price of a book that will give you days of enjoyment.

message 38: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Heuston | 68 comments I agree, Effie. It literally costs $5.00 for a piece of pizza but if your book is priced higher than .99 no one wants to buy it.

message 39: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Yup. I know people that drink 3 Starbucks lattes at day. 15$! But they want the book for free!

message 40: by Groovy (last edited Jun 18, 2018 08:27PM) (new)

Groovy Lee | 1219 comments Mod
I've also heard from readers that they download hundreds and hundreds of free books. When the new lists comes out, they delete the old ones. So, the odds are high that your book wasn't read, or that they even remember they've downloaded it.

It always amazes me how they will spend $200 on a SmartPhone, but expects an author to give their hard work away. You waste 2.99 just getting up in the morning. And that small amount is not a lot to invest in an author whose work you may come to love.

message 41: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments $200? The iPhone X is $1000 and selling like hotcakes!

message 42: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 209 comments Didn't realize I was even a part of this group but yay!

message 43: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 205 comments Effie wrote: "Evanthia's Gift was released in 2015, Waiting For Aegina in 2017, and Chasing Petalouthes this month. How do you think I should position the promotion?
From what I think I'm understanding, a 1 day free on the first book and hopefully regular priced sales will follow?
Should I space the promotions and wait a week or two before I offer the second book at 99c and then space the third and offer that too for 99c? If not, how would you approach it. My aim is not only for sales, but at this point I'd like to het on the best sellers list. The highest ranking I've ever had was 2,500 in all books. 24 in sagas, 54 in women's fiction. "

If it were me, I'm not sure I would use a countdown on the 3rd book at all this year, since it's a brand new release. The later books in my series have never been free or on sale yet they consistently sell well at full price (2.99). Sometimes I will run Book 2 on a countdown while Book 1 is free, but most of the time I don't use the countdown option at all for the sequels. I focus my promotion efforts into the 5 free promo days for Book 1 and that seems to work out nicely.

Regarding a #1 spot and Best Seller label, I think it's more achievable for your book if you change one of your categories before your sale. Maybe try Fiction>Romance>Historical>20th Century. That's what I'm publishing my newest book in so I know the category exists lol. Our books can be neighbors :). But seriously, I think your chance of hitting #1 is pretty good with your promotion strategy once your category is narrowed down a bit.

message 44: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Thanks Marie Silk. How do I get the 20th century in there? The other categories already are? Do I simply ad 20th century into my keywords?

message 45: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 205 comments You can change categories through KDP on the Book Details page. It's the part under the keywords section. KDP lets you pick 2 categories. So if you already picked 2 categories, you can click "remove" on one of them, then choose the more narrow category, then publish the changes.

message 46: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 209 comments You know you can add up to 10 categories? There's a way to do it but my only issue is actually finding ten that I could use for my books because sometimes it's hard enough finding three!

message 47: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments How? I can only find a way to have two. And honestly I don’t want to give up the two I have and replace it. If I could add that would be great because my book call fall into more than the two. Right now the categories I have them under is women’s fiction and contemporary romance but it can also go under family saga. There are historical themes within the book as well as second chance Romance and teen romance because it’s a multigenerational saga. If you know how to get it into more categories, do tell ! I’m all ears.

message 48: by Marie Silk (new)

Marie Silk | 205 comments I heard that you can email Amazon and request to be put into more categories, which they may or may not do. Having extremely broad categories makes your book less discoverable so it's better to narrow them down. Amazon adds categories to books at their discretion, so my books are in a few that I didn't pick, like historical mystery or "short reads" for my novella.

message 49: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 209 comments Marie is right, you have to call and ask them or you can email them. What you do is type in your ASIN in the search bar and your book will come up. On the left side you'll see categories, these are the categories you can add to. You can also use the down arrow to see the categories your in. You can choose up to ten.

But also as Marie said choosing your main three is hard enough. So if you can put your book in ten categories then you definitely should but if you barely found your main three then it's best to leave it or choose two more for hidden categories.

message 50: by Effie (new)

Effie Kammenou (effiekammenou) | 643 comments Thanks to both of you!

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 98 99
back to top