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Marketing > Returning to Smashwords/approach to marketing

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message 1: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus White | 31 comments Hey, everyone.

Hope this is in the right section. Due to careful consideration, and not because I panicked in any way, I removed my books from Smashwords over the EU VAT insanity. As it seems ok to keep publishing via Smashwords, I'm going to put them back up, but thought it'd make more sense to do so as a pre-release promotional idea for my next self-published book [ie in the weeks beforehand, put back up Bane of Souls/Journey to Altmortis, with the latter cut-price for a time-limited period].

Previously, I offered a week 1 discount voucher to try and encourage sales, but generally avoid discounts otherwise.

Do others periodically cut the price, and, if so, does it work in terms of generating sales?

Have authors here tried cross-promotional activity? For example, a hard sci-fi week where various authors cut their prices and promote one another's work to try and get more sales? Or hooking up with other writers (as it were) and including first chapters in the back of one another's books?

Seasonal collective marketing (romance around Valentine's Day would be an obvious example) might work too.

message 2: by Ross (new)

Ross Harrison (rossharrison) | 350 comments Cross-promotional price cuts might work, but I've tried all sorts of different prices and nothing changed the sales numbers. Even making my short stories free had no effect.

message 3: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments I used to do the "read an e-book week" until last year. This year I've done only a 1-week-discount of past titles when I published the new title in the series (and I'll probably do it again as soon as the next comes out. I gave away book 1 for free (1 taker) and the rest 50% off).
A couple of years ago I participated in a Kindle SFF sale, someone put up a page on his blog and all participating authors signed up and on that specific day (or weekend? Can't remember) all the books had to be at 99cents (because it was Amazon and they don't allow free). I didn't sell anything, though, but some authors did.
I think it would actually be a good idea to do something like that on Smashwords, if someone is willing to gather participants for - say - a SFF Week in June or July (when people load their ereaders for the summer, hopefully)... Much like Wyrd Worlds or Strange Portals were collective anthologies, but in this case we only need someone who takes care of the sign up and checks that all involved authors do what they're supposed to do on the week in question, removing them from the event page if they don't...
Should be discussed! :)

message 4: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1400 comments Sometimes discounted prices for a limited time will result in a nice boost to sales, but sometimes it won't make a difference. You won't really know for sure until you try.

A group discount event could be a fun idea though; it would be a bit of publicity, anyway... Even if there weren't any extra sales generated because of it. I'd suggest late June - the last weekend in June, for example - if it was to be done for Summer though, because Smashwords already have their big Summer/Winter sale happening throughout July.

message 5: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus White | 31 comments Cheers for the replies.

Still need to stick my stuff back up on Smashwords [not sure my WIP will be ready for June].

Cross-promotional stuff does seem like it has potential. I'd be interested in something like that although, as I said, it'll be a little while before I've got anything up.

message 6: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments Which leaves us plenty of time to prepare it, if we're really willing to do it! How about a September sale instead? ;)

message 7: by Victoria (last edited Apr 25, 2015 04:59PM) (new)

Victoria Zigler (toriz) | 1400 comments The other thing we'd need to decide... For those of us with loads of books published... Is whether we'd have a rule with a maximum number of books to include, if we'd be making everything cheap for that weekend, or whether we'd be free to decide for ourselves how many books were discounted (and therefore the rule would be that you must do at least one book to be a part of it, even if you've published more).

That's if we're doing it, of course.

message 8: by Rita (new)

Rita Chapman | 259 comments I don't think discounting works very well - my book Dangerous Associations is Book of the Month on the Reading Addicts group this month and I've offered discounts on all three of my books. So far, no-one has availed themselves of this offer!

You have to keep trying though, so count me in!

message 9: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus White | 31 comments Unfortunately, I'm not sure exactly when my WIP will be ready, so it'd probably be a mistake to wait for me. Please don't feel the need to delay it for my sake (there's a chance it'll be pushed back to late/mid-2016, for reasons I won't bore you with).

Rita, it does seem a bit hit and miss, but with a more collective effort hopefully more people would hear about it and the chances of a hit go up. Besides, if it does miss, that's an absence of an improvement rather than something actually bad happening, so I'd argue it's still worth a shot.

Ahem, apologies for the tardy response. I'm a tiny bit absent-minded.

message 10: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (fiona64) | 260 comments Barbara wrote: "a SFF Week in June or July"

That's the time frame during which Smashwords traditionally does their Summer/Winter Sale (because of the solstice). It might be worthwhile to coordinate a specific promotion and approach during that period.

message 11: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Tarn (barbaragtarn) | 1185 comments It's Science Fiction Month on DriveThruFiction in case anyone is interested...
My older books have a discount only there until the end of the month (it doesn't apply to titles published within the past month, unfortunately - it's a site-wide sale)...

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