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Agony Aunt > Expanding Indie Book Bargains - All Brains on Deck

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message 1: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Does anybody know how I can convert £500 into 10,000 newsletter subscribers?

Subscribers need to be people likely to buy discounted Kindle books, preferably from the .co.uk store.

I'm trying to expand Indie Book Bargains so that we can enjoy Bookbub/ENT scale success without the price tag. 10,000 new subscribers won't achieve that, but it certainly won't hurt.

Any bright ideas?


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments No answers but I think you've got to play to your strengths.
You're pretty good at 'guerrilla marketing'
Ideally you'd set up a situation where readers (not authors) hunted Indie Book Bargains down because they wanted to subscribe.
Also when they get the email you want them to open and read the email.
You want two things, more subscribers, and a higher proportion of subscribers who buy books.

Now I know that for me, I always scroll down for the drabble, and also the latest installment from your hotshot book.

Now my guess is that ideally you want something you can add that is free, takes no time to organise and means that people want to read it. When you've got this prod us, the authors (and other subscribers) to publicise this wonderful thing on facebook and all the other media we grossly self-promote on, so even more people see it.

You have drabbles. How about 'old jokes with a new twist'
thinking aloud here


message 3: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Thanks Jim. Very interesting comments.

So you think the best route is to add something 'must have' to the newsletter rather than play to its existing strengths?

What about some sort of daily book-related puzzle where you need a piece from every day to get the prize (or entered into a prize draw)?


message 4: by Darren (new)

Darren Humphries (darrenhf) | 6980 comments Maybe emails come with occasional freebies, like short stories, excerpts and the like that subscribers don't have to download, but can read straight from the email. That might make them open it at least.

Maybe.

Just a thought.


message 5: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Prize draw sounds a good tempter, Rosen. A Kindle voucher per month maybe.

Other than that, I think the format works well and recommend your site to everyone who asks: readers as well as authors.


message 6: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Emails already contain drabbles. I'm wondering if 100 words is the magic number - enough content to be worth looking out for, but not too long to read?

I'm interested to get more opinions on this though: who would like to read excerpts and longer stories?

In my opinion, the problem is not the content, it's getting it in front of fresh eyes.

I would be interested to try buying advertising space in places but I don't know where. I've tried Facebook and Twitter but they are expensive and not worth it for a site where I make 2p per subscriber per month. Maybe Goodreads?


message 7: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Goodreads ads are based on a suggested bid of 50p for click. Even if every clicker subscribed, it would take 25 months to make my stake back.

I expect places like Bookbub rely on author fees not Amazon commissions, but I really don't want to start charging.


message 8: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments I don't always read the drabbles, depends how busy I am. I'm surprised how many readers I come across, even on GR, that aren't aware of listing sites, even the big ones like bookbub. How did they grow so big?


message 9: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments David wrote: "I'm surprised how many readers I come across, even on GR, that aren't aware of listing sites, even the big ones like bookbub. How did they g..."

This is the issue I think, just as it is for us authors - visibility. Where are UK readers going now to find out about books? Or are they just sticking to Amazon's top 100 lists?

I'm not sure that adding free content is the answer, because if nobody knows about it, it won't matter how much there is in it. What you need is to get a simple message in front of a lot of kindle reading eyeballs. "Sign Up to Indie Book bargains to find your next quality bargain book" kind of thing.

As with any advertising, seeing the message over and over has far more impact than just seeing it once. So I'd suggest you're looking for lots of cheap places to advertise rather than a few expensive ones.

But the big problem with advertising in general is that it's expensive to do, and rarely if ever makes its cost back (I have a wealth of local business contacts who swear blind that adverts - particularly print ads - just cost them a fortune and don't generate sales, or at least not enough sales)


message 10: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments I imagine they ploughed money into ads knowing they could get it back from authors.


message 11: by Tim (last edited Oct 31, 2014 04:18PM) (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Rosen wrote: "I imagine they ploughed money into ads knowing they could get it back from authors."

Revenue from authors only works if you have a critical mass of reader-subscribers. If the authors can't make back from sales what you charge them, they won't come back, and worse, they'll tell other authors not to bother.


message 12: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Unfortunately I think there are a lot of bargain book sites that take more from authors than they give back, even if they don't ever get return customers. They pray on authors' ambition and hope.


message 13: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments True enough, Tim. The only paid ad I've had that paid off was ENT, Booksends was marginal, digital book today, zilch sales. Consequently, the only paid one I'll use again is ENT.

I believe readers like to have sites where the content has some sort of filter for quality, but how do you go about filtering it and what measure do you use. Bookbub's answer seems to be "are you already selling loads?"


message 14: by B J (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments Rosen, as the basic purpose of the site is to generate revenue for you via Amazon sales, Amazon has a vested interest in it succeeding. Why not approach Amazon, give it the hard sell and make a case for Amazon to include the occasional plug for the site within the many advertising emails it issues?


message 15: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Wester A UK site that works would be great, but I get the impression many readers go to Facebook pages now for freebies.

Perhaps, set up a page and go fro there?


message 16: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments That's a great idea Barry. I doubt Amazon will agree though. They tightened up affiliate rules in order to clamp down on free book newsletters. Admittedly, Indie Book Bargains also features paid books, but the proportion of free downloads is higher than Amazon prefer.

The goal is not really for me to make money. The commissions are too low of there to be any hope of that. I just need to cover costs.

There already is a Facebook page. It has thousands of followers but Facebook only shows our offers to a small percentage of subscribers.


message 17: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) | 853 comments Do you have a button for us to put on our blogs/websites/FB pages? I know you have buttons for the fact that we are associated with it in one way or another, but I'd be very happy to advertise the site anywhere I can.


message 18: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Not a button as such but I've just knocked up this ad:
https://www.facebook.com/Indie.Book.B...


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments Already shared on facebook and twitter :-)


message 20: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Thank you Jim.

I think I will write an enthusiastic article about how many followers we'd have if each author who's ever had a book featured gets ten people to sign up.


message 21: by Rosen (last edited Nov 01, 2014 02:30PM) (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments I'm planning to send out this heartfelt plea in tomorrow's newsletter. Any feedback?

A letter from Indie Book Bargains founder, Rosen Trevithick

Calling All Authors

This week I did some research into running a book promotion of my own. Many of the sites that might list my offer asked for over £100. Bookbub asked for £1,000.

There’s no denying that some of the bigger marketing companies get results, but often promoters make dramatically more money than authors. In some cases, authors do not make back their investment.

The middle men are making more money from books than authors, and that’s what we set out to avoid when we decided to self-publish.

It occurred to me that Indie Book Bargains offers a comparable service to the leading names, but lacks the following to give our authors the boost you deserve.

However, I did some sums and over 2,000 authors use our service. If each of you attracts ten followers, then by Christmas, we could have a total following of over 26,000. It won’t be millions, like the top US sites, but enough to make a real splash in the UK.

What’s the best way for you to attract ten followers? We suggest telling friends about Indie Book Bargains in your own words. The best way to follow us is this newsletter, which readers can sign up to at www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can go to www.facebook.com/Indie.Book.Bargains and use the ‘invite friends to like…’ feature.

In return, we promise to continue providing a free eBook promotion service for as long as is viable.

Rosen


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Great letter in today's email, Rosen.

Let's hope all 2000 authors are willing to put the effort into clicking a few links as they want their buyers to do.


message 23: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Hi Roz,

I've shared the link and invited some friends to like the page, two have answered already and I'm pretty sure the others will too. ;-)


message 24: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Hi Roz,

I've shared the link and invited some friends to like the page, two have answered already and I'm pretty sure the others will too. ;-)


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Seems Deedee has shared the link and invited friends to like the page...

Two have answered already!

Hehehehe


message 26: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Seems Deedee has shared the link and invited friends to like the page...

Two have answered already!

Hehehehe"


What??? I thought she'd like to know!!! :-P


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Twice!

OIY! I get teased when I double post.

Fair game, I reckon.


message 28: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Twice!

OIY! I get teased when I double post.

Fair game, I reckon."


O.O

Oopsies!

I didn't notice that!!!

Goodreads MADE me post again: they said they hadn't saved it!!! (Which I thought was very rude! How dare they censor my drivel!?!?!?)


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments That's my job!


message 30: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments You mean they're trying to nick your delete button?!?!?

Shocking!!!


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments I delete at my discretion.

Shame I'm such a moody cow.

Moo


Rosemary (grooving with the Picts) (nosemanny) | 9086 comments I just wandered in here looking for some pirate zombies


message 33: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "I delete at my discretion.

Shame I'm such a moody cow.

Moo"


Lol, don't let them share your deleting power, Peppermint P!


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Rosemary (The Nosemanny) wrote: "I just wandered in here looking for some pirate zombies"

http://www.hairballmedia.com/zombie_p...


message 35: by D.D. Chant (new)

D.D. Chant (DDChant) | 7680 comments Gingerlily - Elephant Philosopher wrote: "Rosemary (The Nosemanny) wrote: "I just wandered in here looking for some pirate zombies"

http://www.hairballmedia.com/zombie_p..."


Your linky thing capabilities are bordering on genius, GL.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments And.....

This would be the link to share on facebook, Twitter and all other social media.

Gömrük İdarəsi Ziya Məmmədovun 500-ə yaxın London taksisinə həbs qoyub. Hazırda sözügedən taksilər Dövlət Gömrük Komitəsinin Lökbatanda fəaliyyət göstərən Avtonəqliyyat Gömrük İdarəsinin həyətində saxlanılır. Bu barədə AzadXəbər-ə məlumatlı mənbə xəbər verib. Verilən məlumatda qeyd edilir ki, hazırda Avtonəqliyyat Gömrük İdarəsinin həyətində sonu 501 dövlət nişanı ilə qurtaran və sıralama olaraq 911 nömrəli avtomobilə qədər bütün taksilərə həbs qoyulub. Səbəb isə sözügedən taksilərin 4 ildən çoxdur ki, texniki baxışdan keçmədən gizli formada fəaliyyət göstərməsi olub. Lakin sonradan gömrük işçilərinin məsələyə müdaxiləsi nəticəsində 500-ə yaxın taksiyə həbs qoyulub.
Deməli son vaxtlar paytaxt Bakı ərazisində London taksilərinin çox az-az gözə dəyməsinin səbəbi də məhz bu imiş. Taksi sürücülərinin verdiyi məlumata görə, bir neçə ay bundan öncə arendaların 23 manatdan 40 manata qaldırılmasının səbəbi, sözügedən taksilərin həbsə salınmasıdır. Görünür cənab Ziya Məmmədov həbsdə olan taksilərinin pulunu hazırda fəaliyyət göstərən taksilərin hesabına çıxarmaq istəyir.
Xatırladaq ki, son vaxtlar Ziya Məmmədovla Kəmaləddin Heydərov arasında müəyyən çəkişmələrin və problemlərin yaşandığına dair informasiyalar dolaşır. Görünür London taksiləri ilə bağlı baş verənlər də sözügedən soyuq müharibənin tərkib hissəsidir.

No, not that one! That's porn I spend way too much time looking at.

This one!

Gömrük İdarəsi Ziya Məmmədovun 500-ə yaxın London taksisinə həbs qoyub. Hazırda sözügedən taksilər Dövlət Gömrük Komitəsinin Lökbatanda fəaliyyət göstərən Avtonəqliyyat Gömrük İdarəsinin həyətində saxlanılır. Bu barədə AzadXəbər-ə məlumatlı mənbə xəbər verib. Verilən məlumatda qeyd edilir ki, hazırda Avtonəqliyyat Gömrük İdarəsinin həyətində sonu 501 dövlət nişanı ilə qurtaran və sıralama olaraq 911 nömrəli avtomobilə qədər bütün taksilərə həbs qoyulub. Səbəb isə sözügedən taksilərin 4 ildən çoxdur ki, texniki baxışdan keçmədən gizli formada fəaliyyət göstərməsi olub. Lakin sonradan gömrük işçilərinin məsələyə müdaxiləsi nəticəsində 500-ə yaxın taksiyə həbs qoyulub.
Deməli son vaxtlar paytaxt Bakı ərazisində London taksilərinin çox az-az gözə dəyməsinin səbəbi də məhz bu imiş. Taksi sürücülərinin verdiyi məlumata görə, bir neçə ay bundan öncə arendaların 23 manatdan 40 manata qaldırılmasının səbəbi, sözügedən taksilərin həbsə salınmasıdır. Görünür cənab Ziya Məmmədov həbsdə olan taksilərinin pulunu hazırda fəaliyyət göstərən taksilərin hesabına çıxarmaq istəyir.
Xatırladaq ki, son vaxtlar Ziya Məmmədovla Kəmaləddin Heydərov arasında müəyyən çəkişmələrin və problemlərin yaşandığına dair informasiyalar dolaşır. Görünür London taksiləri ilə bağlı baş verənlər də sözügedən soyuq müharibənin tərkib hissəsidir.


Damn.


Gingerlily - The Full Wild | 36808 comments Its really not that difficult. All you need is time.


message 38: by Vanessa (new)

Vanessa Wester Great letter... :)


message 39: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments What happened to this thread?

Thank you to those who've shared.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Eep, sorry Rosen. I really was trying to post the IBB last night. No idea what was up with my iPad.

Anyway, here it is.

http://www.indie-book-bargains.co.uk/

Do share it around on social media, groupites!


message 41: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments We have had a few new signups as a result of the recent campaign - not 20,000 but a few dozen.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Good news!


message 43: by Anna (last edited Nov 04, 2014 09:24AM) (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1707 comments I'm away from home and I have been out of wifi reach but today I have wifi. Still away from home, so must keep this short.

I've skimmed through the ideas on the thread and some look usable if Rosen thinks she can run with them.

I've already rabbited all over Goodreads about IBB and I know some have been to the site - so if we all rabbit everywhere we go there may be a few more visits to the site.

More targeted - let's all take a look at our Friends on Goodreads and see which ones are British readers and then perhaps contact them with the idea of them receiving some sort of special welcome - no ideas for this except what some have said in this thread - then maybe 10% of our reader Friends will make use of it.

Perhaps something like 'you are the 100th new joiner this month and you have received...' or 'you are the 100th buyer of books this month and you get your money back'. Just thinking out loud here and so Rosen please forgive me and I hope it just sets off a chain of thought for you or others.

We could approach our author Friends saying 'Want to increase your sales in the UK?' or something! Gotta go. Will be back


message 44: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1707 comments Is there some way of contacting dozens of Book Groups? Google search?

Writers' Groups? I was once asked to address a U3A (University of the Third Age) writing group. I talked about outlets for their writing (who me?!) and one I mentioned was IBB's drabbles. They'd never heard of drabbles but set about writing some over the next few weeks and, sure enough, at least one appeared on IBB.
Can we approach writers' groups with the enticement of getting a drabble in print? (If up to standard).

Encouragement for Rosen - you can use the next sentence in any marketing you do if you like. I nearly always open my IBB newsletter and always scroll down to the drabble and recently the 'How Not To...' bit, both create smiles or even big grins.

I have the ebook and will one day read it all in one go.

You can buy lists of people who... not sure if readers would be on any such lists. I don't know how to go about it either.

Adverts in libraries? I believe they are free? David S, you might be able to tell us?

Rosen could give us the wording and we could pin them up in our local library if granted permission?

Adverts in other places we visit?

Getting desperate aren't I! We need Kindle style readers.

eBookSoda is another British site, I think. Any scope for collaboration?

Cheering you on, Rosen.


message 45: by David (new)

David Staniforth (davidstaniforth) | 7939 comments Libraries: different councils have their own rules, but ours only allow postings thatare for registered charities. Apparently, it's to do with being accountable for promoting.

I often mention it to customers, however.


message 46: by Rosen (new)

Rosen Trevithick (rosentrevithick) | 2273 comments Thanks for all the ideas Anna.

Writers groups is a great idea, although only if existing members approach their own groups. I wouldn't be happy sending out unsolicited messages because I know from my experience of running groups that that can be annoying. Still, I imagine a fair few of our 2,000 will be in local writers groups. Great plan.

I'm not sure exactly what you mean by a drabble in print? Like getting one in a magazine or something?

100th joiner might work. Although again, it's how to get the fact that we're running a competition in front of enough people for it to be worthwhile.

If Exeter library is anything to go by, I'm not optimistic. They said I couldn't leave business cards for my book because it had nothing to do with the library. They said I couldn't put up a poster because they only put up posters for events. Then when I brought a poster for an event, they said it was only their events. It was hard to get Falmouth Library to even accept free brand new books, but we got there in the end.

What are other people's experiences of libraries?

eBooksoda looks very professional.

Perhaps I should look for UK-based eBook sites that are no longer being maintained and offer to buy them. Then migrate their mailing lists and redirect their traffic.


message 47: by Kath (new)

Kath Middleton | 25063 comments That last idea looks a goer!


message 48: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1707 comments I've sent you a pm, Rosen, on the buy out idea.

Sorry - the 'in print' just means 'on screen' or on IBB!


message 49: by David (new)

David Hadley | 4873 comments In future when I get a book through IBB, I'm going to use the Tweet option on the bottom of the Amazon buy page to mention I got it through IBB (My tweets get copied to Farcebook too).

Maybe if you ask others who use IBB to do the same (either Twitter or FB or both) it could spread the word a bit further.


message 50: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 1791 comments As an author, I suppose the trouble is that if I knew how to increase a mailing list by tens of thousands of people, I'd already be doing it myself...

I'll put the word out on my various channels and try and get a few sign-ups that way.

If I have some free ad space in the panto programme, I'll try and sneak your URL in as well, though I doubt it would do much good.


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