Marketing is difficult enough as it is!
It REALLY doesn’t need to be compounded by wasting time preparing a promo that is aborted at the 11th hour.
In a previous post, I extolled the virtues (and fun to be had) of taking part in a multi-author promotion. Now I’ve seen the other side of the picture, so I thought I’d better share the negative experience also.
A friend I’ve made on a facebook author group recently invited other authors to join with her in a promotion she’d just found on Shelfari (so many places to be on the internet!) So far, so good. I joined said group and expressed my interest in being a part of this promo. I was welcomed into the fold, and, along with at least one other member, was assured we would hear about a date for the proposed promo, just as soon as the number of authors wanting to participate reached a critical mass – or in this case, perhaps that should be a critical mess?
The idea was: between 10 and 20 authors would lower their book price (one book each) to 99c, and on the specified day we would all buy a copy of each of the books, thus propelling all our works high up the Amazon rankings. A good idea, and cheap enough to be worth it, even if you had no intention of reading all those books. The added benefit would be that you might get a review or two on the side.
So you may imagine my surprise when a date was set, just 3 days hence.
Now, the previous promos I have been involved in have been arranged at least a month in advance – plenty of time to arrange sufficient advertising to maximise sales. Indeed, quite a few sites require at least one week’s notice, and some considerably more.
After squeaking a little about it, I buckled down, intending to make the most of this, to me, rather hasty and unprofessional approach.
Not the worst of it
Sadly, worse was yet to come.
Now I probably should have realised in advance that this was going to be an issue – but it was only the day before when my brain suddenly went DING.
I am in the UK. I can only buy from Amazon UK, not Amazon US. So I duly, without thinking the implications fully through, put up a request for all authors to ensure that their prices were dropped on the UK site as well as the US.
Next thing I know, I have received a group-wide email announcing that because I am unable to purchase from the US site, there will be no reciprocity possible, and so I am being summarily removed from the promo.
He’s right, but…
Yes, he was correct. Sometimes I forget that the sites are separate, and sales on one do not affect rankings on the other.
However, I was more than a bit miffed when the email concluded with a snippy little ‘I wish you’d told us this earlier’.
If I’d thought about it, I would have done!
Wheels in motion
Ah well, I’ve been meaning to try out the much-vaunted Kindle Countdown deal for a while, and it was too late to cancel that, not to mention letting all the other promo stuff I’d spent so much (frantic) time putting in place go to waste.
So, for this week only, DESPRITE MEASURES is on sale at 99c/99p (until Friday), and three of the lovely ladies from our fb group bought it anyway (I returned the favour, as arranged, even though it hasn’t counted towards their US rankings), and yesterday DM got as high (or low, if you prefer) in the Amazon rankings as 17,122 on the UK site, and 33,203 on the US site, so something is working regardless 🙂
Message to take home
So the moral of this story would be – if you are partaking, or even arranging a multi-author promo, CHECK that all the details are in the open. If it had been specified that this was a deal for US authors only, this whole mess would never have ended up like this.
Yes, I should have thought of it before – but then I think the organiser should have done so too. My profile clearly says I live in the UK, and he followed me when I joined the group.
The other promos I’ve been involved with have been truly International, with authors from as far afield as Australia and South Africa, as well as US and UK, so I just made an assumption.
Won’t do that again 😦
How about you? Have you got into any messes on the internet because you didn’t think things fully through before landing yourself in a mess?