Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Paid Online Promo Results and Question of the Month

Hi everyone, as promised, here are the results for five paid promos I did during November, pricing Salem’s Daughters at $0.99 Two worked very well, one was okay and two flopped. 

What Worked BookSends November 4th $25.00 

I made my money back with a little left over, and the spike in the Amazon rating added much value to the promo. Salem’s Daughters soared to about 3,500 and almost hit number one in the Witches and Wizards sub-genre with a sustained top 10,000 ranking for a week. Note: You can only promote a particular book once every three months with BookSends, although you can use them once a month for other books. 

What Worked Book Goodies November 16th $5.00 

By far the best bang for my buck. I had the most downloads here and again saw my Amazon ranking hit 2,500 with a sustained top 10,000 ranking for a week! 

What Kind of Worked eReader Café December 1st Book of the Day $35.00 

This was the most expensive promo and I made half the cost back. Combining this with the first two, I broke even. The Amazon rating was boosted but not as much. 

What Bothered Me was I paid extra to be Book of the Day and all that got me was a black border around my cover image and Salem’s Daughters was listed last among the other books being promoted that day. 

What Didn’t Work Fiverr BKnights November 9th $21.25. 

I’ve never heard of them either. I saw reviews where writers used their $5.00 program for a free download promo and were very much satisfied with their results. So I tried it with my paid promo. They offered additional exposure for a few dollars here and there and with PayPal fees I was up to $21.25. I saw a small bump in downloads and that’s all. 

However if you let BKnights know you found Fiverr on KBoards, they will run all five gigs for you for only $5.00. I didn’t know it at the time. Now that I know, for $5.00 I’ll try them again. 

What Didn’t Work Awesome Gang Nov. 11th $10.00 

It was cheap so I tried it. They do have a free service, the $10.00 was an upgrade for additional exposure. I didn’t see much in sales.

I was rejected by Book Bub. No surprise there, but if they had accepted me I would have paid for the promo ($520.00). Also, eReader News (ENT) Book of the Day ($25.00 for my genre) and Read Free.ly (free) never responded to my submissions and follow up emails to use them. I’ve followed books promoted on these sites and have seen great results and will submit to them again soon. 

I didn’t use Book Gorilla as I followed Amazon rankings of the books they promoted and I did not see enough of a spike in rankings (sales) to justify the cost of $50.00.

Overall I lost money but nothing I can’t handle. About $25.00 I’m not afraid to try something. And I got hundreds of my books out to new readers.

Moving Forward I will again submit to the ones that work: Book Goodies, GoodSends, eReader Café, eReader News, Read Free.ly and miscellaneous freebies together on one day and price my books at $0.99. I’ll go all out for that one awesome Amazon ranking. I hope to get it all the way up into the hundreds. 

Then, I’ll follow up with the same promo later and price my books at $1.99. I might not see the same spike in Amazon ratings, but I’ll make $1.40 per sale rather than $0.33 pricing it at $0.99. 

Reviews Why didn’t I think of this earlier? I’ve just added this to the end of my four books: Thank you for reading Salem’s Daughters. I greatly appreciate it. 

If you liked the story, please consider posting a short review at Amazon or Goodreads. Reviews are the greatest compliment a writer can receive. And thanks again for reading Salem’s Daughters. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Last Salem’s Daughters Blog Tour Stop What better place to end an exhausting blog tour that at Carol Kilgore’s Tiki Hut on Monday. Stop by and say hello. Mai Tais are on me. 

Question of the Month Brought to you by Michael D’Agostino at A Life Examined. Which one social convention would you get rid of?  

Shaking Hands. I’m a guy and I know what guys do with their hands. Scratching every part of their body, sneezing and coughing into them, running fingers through their hair, handling money, not washing them after using the bathroom (I do but many don’t) touching door knobs that hundreds of other guy hands have gripped. 

Nope, I don’t shake hands. I give a fist pump and don’t care if I offend people by it. 

Question Have you ever paid for a promo like this or are you now considering one?

32 comments:

  1. Book Bub is really picky and really expensive now. No longer worth it I'd say.
    You know, I wouldn't mind dumping handshaking. Most guys are disgusting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've used Awesome Gang, but I did their free promo, which doesn't guarantee your book will get picked. My books were picked a few times and I saw a tick in sales, but nothing major. I heard of the Fivver person and heard lots of good things about their promo, but I had yet to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I didn't know that about BookBub, how they worked. I buy or get free a lot of the books from there; always wondered how books ended up on it. Seemed like you did really good with your research on how to promote your book and then to report your success or lack of it with the different sites.

    Social convention having to say something like "have a nice day" when finishing a phone call, business, etc.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting marketing experiment. At least the investment wasn't all that big so no real harm done. Thanks for this valuable info.

    I so agree with your aversion to shaking hands. After a gathering where many hands were shaken I rush off to the nearest place I can find to wash my hands. I was going to use this for my item of distaste as well but now I'm going to come up with a new one. Actually it's not so much because you used it, but I decided this morning at church since a few of the church folk sometimes read my blog and I thought this might sound a bit negative to them. I keep shaking hands, but I don't especially like it.

    Arlee Bird
    Wrote By Rote

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for going into the pros and cons of these guys. Only one I know is Read Freely. I haven't heard anything on my submission either. I get daily emails from them and have bought some books. I must try some of these, but not until the new year. I'm just taking it slow for now. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are great. I'll have to make a note of all this for future reference. Very helpful. Thanks, Stephen.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great to hear what worked and didn't work for you. I wasn't aware of these promotion sites so it was really helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for your observations, Stephen! I'm considering ads for 2016 and this is a huge help.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Stephen - thanks for all the ad info and your stats re sales etc.

    Re hand shaking - oh dear now you've put me off for life!!!

    Eating gum is my bete-noir .... and I could go on - but won't!!

    Cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilary, I can put up with a lot of bad awful habits from other people with a smile. But smacking and chomping on gum? No way.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for the run down on the book promos. I haven't even heard of most of them, but now I'll have to check them out. I picked shaking hands as my least favorite convention as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tamara, glad to hear there are others like me.

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing the results. I've done a few paid promos but never spend more than $10 at a time. I've taken some notes. You're right about shaking hands. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow! This was interesting, Stephen. I really am surprised that you had such great response, but delighted for you. I've never considered some of these much worth the money, but you've proven me wrong. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm working on a "Free Only" promo for the week of December 17th - 20th and will post results for January's IWSG post.

      Delete
  13. Howie Mandell is on to something!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know you're happy the launch is now behind you. They're fun but tiring. Thanks for the breakdown on the book promotion sites you used. I've never used one for a launch, but I have great success with a couple of the ones you mentioned when I put my books on sale for 99 cents. The ones I use are eReader Cafe and Ereader News Today. I'm going to check into the others you mention here. Except BookBub. Way out of my league at the moment.

    Everyone is invited to the Tiki Hut for free Happy Hour! Stephen's buying :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks very much for the important marketing tips! You were very clever to put them weeks apart so you knew if each one really worked or not. I tried free sites and got a little traction with Book Goodies, Book Lover's Heaven, EBooklister, and BookPraiser. The last disappeared for a while, but they're trying to come back with a new format, but I'm not impressed. Most of the ones I ran across (including these) will only plug your book if you have it on Amazon. Since Amazon refuses to make any e-transfers to most countries (including mine) I can't publish with them unless I go through an epublisher, and I hate giving up all control of my books. But I really appreciate knowing what worked for you and have book-marked this page. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lexa, thanks for the additional sites. I'll check them out. I'll stick with paid sites that work and only use freebie sites and see if they work.

      Delete
  16. I fist bump a lot just because I enjoy it more ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've hears some bad things about Book Gorilla.

    Book Bub has gotten way to big for its britches.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, could not agree more. But I subscribe to their newsletter and follow two or three every week. Sure, there are some famous established authors whose books are already up there in Amazon rankings. But there are also self pubbed writers who jump up into the Top 100 too. Rarely do I see a book tank using BookBub. It happens, but not very often.

      Delete
  18. I dunno, shaking hands isn't really a problem with me. If it's sweaty/sticky I just go wash em later. No worries from me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madilyn, I can add sweaty/sticky hands to the list. Ugh!

      Delete
  19. Wow--these are awesome. I have a great tip for those of you with physical versions of your book. Some of my fellow authors have been selling books at craft fairs...they've been selling quite a few books at the holiday ones. Maybe something to plan for next December...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm going to have to try some of the venues you suggested. The last time I bought a promo, it didn't get me any sales. :\

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks to Donna for letting me know about this post and thanks to you Stephen for posting this information. Promoting is my weakest talent.
    Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy, thanks for stopping by and saying hello! Hope this helps. I'll have a follow up post from free sites in January.

      Delete
  22. I didn't really know about any of these except BookBub, so thanks for posting your findings here; sounds like you had a decent result! I might have to look into a couple. Just thanks to the blog promos, I'm reading Salem's Daughters and it's great so far. Will definitely do my bit to help with a review. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, you da' man! Glad you're enjoying the ride. It picks up steam as the story moves along. Looking forward to your review as you are well aware reviews mean everything to a writer.

      Delete
  23. Really interesting information! I didn't know about any of these. I'm still figuring this stuff out - what the publisher does vs. what I should do. Thick waters to wade through. But congratulations on your latest release! And I'll look forward to your January follow-up. :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. This was a really helpful post. I have been very curious about how different promotional sites/ideas work and how effective they are. I really appreciate you spelling it all out for us! Glad you got your book in so many readers' hands. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete