Saturday, August 19, 2017

Advertising: The Results

If you remember, I paid to advertise Beverly during a promotion back in May and promised to share the results. It turns out the results are not that exciting. In the previous freebie week, Beverly was downloaded 1,100 times. In the week I paid for advertising, she was downloaded 2,700 times. Over twice as many hits. Pretty good. But I was not impressed.

I thought the cheap options were okay. These sites advertised my book during the freebie period and contacted other sites to do the same. This is something I could have done myself if I had put the time into it. The expensive sites have a large amount of email subscribers whom they email at the start of the promotional period. This, I believe, is what doubled my numbers. 

BooksGoSocial interviewed me (via Your Book Promoter) and the link was heavily retweeted. Looking at the accounts that did the retweeting, I noticed they all had something like 50k followers, 100k followers, etc. They were following around that many too. And I thought: if everyone retweeting the interview is putting it into a stream following about 100k accounts then it's still only reaching a flooded market - which was the problem I had when I wasn't paying for advertising. No one commented on the interview and I notice, with a quick check, there are not many comments on other BooksGoSocial interviews.

On a side note, when I'm followed by someone who has about 100k followers and is following the same, I don't follow back anymore because I don't feel the authenticity. It's different for a celebrity account following about 100 people while thousands or millions follow it. But if a non-celeb can amount that many followers, I wonder how they spend their time - is it spent building connections? If not, the numbers must be somehow contrived.

Having said all that, the fact that every few months, 1,000 people or so read Beverly or Orla's Code is fantastic. And I appreciate being able to reach people through Free Kindle. It got me thinking about that audience. Who are the people checking out the Free Kindle bookstore? What kind of books do they read? I guess they're avid readers across a broad cultural spectrum, with varying tastes - was my first thought. But then I realised that I just had to look at the top 100 free books to answer the question. Ahem, it's all porn. Sorry, erotica. Ok, there's paranormal porn there too. This is what you see when Beverly or Orla's Code makes it into the top 100: Columns of semi-naked men and buxom women, and in the middle, Beverly or Orla looking very dressed. There's a little bit of sex in Orla's Code and Beverly. More in Beverly, if you want to know. 

I need to rethink how to reach my market. I'll report on progress...

Monday, May 1, 2017

FREE 27th MAY

I heard about this author who self-published through a self-publishing company, and once he got his book into a book store, visited the store with a plate of biscuits, offering one to those who picked up his book. Another self-published author featured a real hotel in her novel and then was able to enter her readers into a competition for a meal for two.

If only I was this clever at marketing. But my creativity does not seem to extend into this arena. So this bank holiday weekend, I'm promoting Beverly the old-fashioned way - with money.

Both Beverly and Orla's Code are exclusively e-published on Kindle which allows me to do a free promotion every three months. But I have found this isn't enough. Amazon is a noisy market and getting into the top 100 free books doesn't have a lasting effect on my overall sales ranking.

On looking about the internet, I have found some good advice on book promotion sites and where to invest. There are a lot of sites that will give your book a shout out during a promotion. I ended up enlisting Beverly here:
https://yourbookpromoter.com I paid $121
http://booksends.com I paid $165
http://www.ebookbooster.com I paid $35
http://awesomegang.com I paid $10
The more expensive sites offer services like tweeting, exposure to book review clubs, promotional emails to subscribers and a featured page. The cheaper ones just advertise your book during the freebie time. I'll be sure to provide pre-promotion sales numbers and post-promotion numbers. We'll see if the investment works. As the heading of this post says, Beverly will be free from the 27th May, for five days. Don't be afraid to distort the numbers - remember to download your copy!


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