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The Fibonacci Murders (Howard County Mysteries, #1)
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Shout It Out! Self- Promotions > Fibonacci Promo

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message 1: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments I've purchased a bargainbooksy promotion for The Fibonacci Murders, set for July 15 (next Sunday). This is my first foray into this kind of thing. We'll see if I come anywhere near earning back the investment.

The price for the book has been dropped to $3.99 USD on both Amazon and B&N. I think I already have it on sale at the publisher site, Serpent Cliff, but that's experiencing problems right now. Once tech support gets it fixed, I'll check on that. The sale runs through July 31. I hope to follow this up with promotions on True Death in August and Ice on the Bay in September.

If any of you more experienced folks have suggestions for additional activities around these promos, please let me know. I've rather new and inept at this . . .


message 2: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments I sold 3 copies at $2.99. The promo was $35. But at least
I sold some. And it’s a different genre. Good luck.


Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments Hi Dale, Alex is right. So is D.J. in the sense that even if you don't make your money back you are achieving visibility and a few sales.

I've just gone against my 'don't give my hard work away free' principle and put the first of my trilogy on Amazon for 3 days free, finishing on 2nd July. There were nearly 3,000 downloads and some buyers also bought #2 and #3 in the series. Also the Kindle Unlimited reads have increased from about 200 a day to 1,000 - so look out for that as well.

Having said all this, I haven't had any sales in the last 3 days but the KU reads are still higher than usual.

Think visibility and other phrases like slowly, slowly catchee monkey. It's a tough market both for Indies and the trads and I hope your promotion goes well.


message 4: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Thank you, folks. I wouldn't expect to make back the fee on the first day. I'm hoping that by running promos for three months, hitting all the books in the series, I'll get enough traction down the line to make it worthwhile. But it wouldn't surprise me if I don't.


Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments I see you ask for additional activities to help with the 'push'.

I can only suggest alerting folks on Goodreads on the first day of your promotion. I have seen some authors' suggestion of then reminding people the day before the promotion ends.

I don't do social media, but if you do, you could tweet and post - though most say this is a waste of good time. Others might disagree.

But you probably knew all of the above! Sorry not got any bright ideas.


message 6: by Carole (new)

Carole P. Roman | 4639 comments Mod
Brit usually spends the day tweeting and posting on social media. We sell between 40 and 60 e books on those days of the featured book.


Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments Anything that gives a book visibility has to be good and it sounds like Carole (far more experienced at these things than I am) is sensible enough not to turn down tweeting etc help.


message 8: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Three!


message 9: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "I see you ask for additional activities to help with the 'push'.

I can only suggest alerting folks on Goodreads on the first day of your promotion. I have seen some authors' suggestion of then rem..."


Thanks, Anna. I'll definitely do that, especially since the promo price runs through the end of the month.


message 10: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Carole wrote: "Brit usually spends the day tweeting and posting on social media. We sell between 40 and 60 e books on those days of the featured book."

Thanks, I'll do what I can. I don't usually have a whole day to do things like that, but I can spread it across several days, I'm sure.


message 11: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments My promo ran yesterday, and it looks like I've made back the money I spent on it. I got 21 sales on the day of the promo (20 for The Fibonacci Murders and one for True Death), and I have at least one more today, so I'm a few dollars ahead on the deal. I was planning on doing one promo a month, but maybe I'll speed up the schedule, since this one worked so well.

I posted about the promo on FB and sent out a long overdue newsletter that mentioned it. I don't know how much activity I got from each of these components, but I'm happy with the results!


message 12: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments Good news! And rare to make more money on a promo than you spent.


message 13: by D.J. (last edited Jul 16, 2018 06:13AM) (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Excellent news. My promos this year have only made a fraction of the money I have spent on them. The book is however only at 99c/99p at the moment.


message 14: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "Good news! And rare to make more money on a promo than you spent."

I didn't expect to, so it's a pleasant surprise!


message 15: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments D.J. wrote: "Excellent news. My promos this year have only made a fraction of the money I have spent on them. The book is however only at 99c/99p at the moment."

Yeah, price makes a difference. I normally sell my ebooks at $4.99 USD, so I put it on sale for $3.99 USD. At a 70% royalty, that gets me $2.79 USD/book, so I needed 20 sales to break even. At a lower price, I wouldn't have done it.


message 16: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments At a higher price I sold 3 copies. Really not sure where to go from there.


message 17: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments Dale said I put it on sale for $3.99 USD. At a 70% royalty, that gets me $2.79 USD/book, so I needed 20 sales to break even. At a lower price, I wouldn't have done it.

Gee, that's an interesting comment... I'm staring at this screen real hard while I absorb that.


message 18: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments D.J. wrote: "At a higher price I sold 3 copies. Really not sure where to go from there."

Pricing is a bit of a puzzle. In doing occasional research to find out what the "hot" price points are, I've found it's a bit of a moving target. The last time I looked, $0.00 - $0.99 garnered a lot of sales, as did $2.99 - $4.99, but the range from $1.00 - $1.99 was a dead zone.

I suspect the lower range works well for occasional promos, but possibly not so much for a regular price. There is a theory out there that customers who see a regular price that low will think the book isn't worth spending money on.

It probably depends somewhat on other marketing factors, such as the cover, the blurb, etc.


message 19: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments Dale wrote: "There is a theory out there that customers who see a regular price that low will think the book isn't worth spending money on. "

I've had that conversation with readers who aren't authors. Some of them see books at a low price as not worth trying. What's wrong with the book that it's free? Is it so bad even the author doesn't value their work? Free works if you then back it up with other books with a price tag. Then I've also had the conversation where readers point blank refuse to pay for ebooks and only download them when they are free.

I hope I get to the stage where I manage to sell books at a full price rather than only selling them when I've done a promo for 99c. I've got to shift a lot of books at 99c to make the cost of my cover back (let alone the cost of the promos I've spent money on.)


message 20: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "Dale said I put it on sale for $3.99 USD. At a 70% royalty, that gets me $2.79 USD/book, so I needed 20 sales to break even. At a lower price, I wouldn't have done it.

Gee, that's an interesting..."


I guess I should qualify that. I spent $55 on the promo (they charge more for mystery and other highly popular genres). $55/$2.79 = 19.7, which is the number of sales required to "break even" at that price point ($3.99, which gives me $2.79 income).

If I had sold the same number of books at a lower price, I wouldn't have broken even. For example, at $0.99 sale price my income would be $0.69, and the break even point would then be $55/$0.69 = 79.7 books. So by lowering the price to $0.99, I would have had to sell 60 more books than I did in order to break even. I think it highly unlikely I would have hit that target, although it's always possible.

I seem to recall having heard people say they managed about 20 sales on a Bargain Booksy promo, so I priced my book to make that my break-even point. It's possible I could have dropped the price a tad and garnered more sales, but every price drop raises the break-even point, so it can't be done indiscriminately or I'd make it too hard to hit the target.

I hope that's not befuddling anyone. Too many numbers make some people's eyes glaze over. I know because I'm married to one of those people. ;-)


message 21: by Anna (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1183 comments Oh, I'm following all right - what makes me stop and think is that I always thought that for a promo there wasn't much point in competing with the free and 0.99 books if mine were to be priced even at 1.99. So the fact that you've promoted at a price of 2.79 and broken even is an eye-opener for me. Thanks Dale.


message 22: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Cooper | 1028 comments I wonder how much of it is genre specific. We all write different things so it can be difficult to compare. For instance, the higher price for the Bargain Booksy promo Dale has just run is because I believe the mailing list is larger than my $35 science fiction one.

Oh I don't know. It's a complete mystery to me.


message 23: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments Anna Faversham wrote: "Oh, I'm following all right - what makes me stop and think is that I always thought that for a promo there wasn't much point in competing with the free and 0.99 books if mine were to be priced even..."

Oh, good. I don't want to confuse anyone. ;-) However, I set the price at $3.99. The $2.79 was what I make, because the Kindle "royalty" (which isn't actually a royalty, but that's another matter) is 70% of the sale price, or $2.79.


message 24: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments D.J. wrote: "I wonder how much of it is genre specific. We all write different things so it can be difficult to compare. For instance, the higher price for the Bargain Booksy promo Dale has just run is because ..."

That's true. The mystery category is the largest by list size. The romance categories are slightly smaller but command a higher price ($70 for most of them).


message 25: by Dale (new)

Dale Lehman (dalelehman) | 1764 comments I did a BargainBooksy promo for True Death last Sunday, but this time only got 6 sales. That pays for a bit less than half of the promo. Not sure what the difference was between this and the first highly successful one. I didn't do any additional postings because of lack of time, which may have had a little to do with it. It might also have been the competition I was up against with the other highlighted books, or maybe the description wasn't quite as catchy (apparent serial killing based on the Fibonacci murders vs. a detective faced with the unsolved killing of his own wife). Or maybe I just got lucky with the first one. In any case, I'll be doing one for Ice on the Bay next month, sort of coinciding with my birthday.


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