It’s taken me a while to get around to this, but I promised to share the results of the KDP Countdown Promo I did for DESPRITE MEASURES, a few weeks ago. Aside from a lack of time, I thought I would also wait just a bit to see if it had a follow on effect after the sale ended.
The numbers aren’t stellar, but this is proving a tricky book to market, I think because it isn’t quite ‘normal’, if you will, within its genre.
First off, there is the cover. I love my cover, I have no intention of changing it, as it encapsulates the central character of the sprite, and it gets great reactions when I ask for opinions of it. BUT, it features a woman with a naked torso – okay, so it’s a back view, but some advertising sites have a strict ‘no naked female torsos’ policy. Boo.
It features a bisexual character – not everybody’s cup of tea. It appears (from surveys) that women are more likely to be interested by male/male relationships than female/female, and although Cassie doesn’t give a damn either way, this book clearly has a F/F story alongside a heterosexual one.
Although this story is about relationships to some degree, it isn’t a paranormal romance, and I think it’s perhaps falling a bit in between the genres of urban fantasy (which it is) and PR, and as a result maybe not appealing to diehard fans of one or the other.
Anyway, to the promo…
For simplicity, when I use a countdown promo, I drop the price to 99c/99p for the whole 7 days – so I just set one price increase, after seven days, when it goes back to full price at $2.99.
I use a mix of paid and free ad sites, some of the latter I don’t even know if it was picked up as they don’t tell you, and although I tried to check, I might have missed some:
I set a small budget of £50 (around $77)
Although being in KDP means I still get the 70% royalty, even when I drop the price to 99c/99p, that still means selling quite a lot of books to earn back my budget.
Fussy Librarian $12 / £7.97 (2 genres – UF & GL)
Ebook Soda $10 / £6.62
People Reads $14.99 / £9.67 for the week
EbUK $9.30 / £6 for 2 days 10 & 11
BettyBookFreak $8 / £5.29
BookGoodies $5.31 / £3.31
ENT (ereader news today) $25 / £16.12 (for 11th)
$84.60 / £54.96
So I exceeded my budget by a little, but I applied for all these sites in one sitting, not certain if I would get in to all of them, particularly ENT.
First, the ones that definitely featured the ad:
The ad was scheduled on ReadCheaply.com but they cancelled it, because the price reduction was no in place the night before the ad – frankly not possible with a Countdown promo, but I will know another time to schedule the ad for a later day in the promo period, not for the first day.
Those I submitted to but was unable to verify:
Bargain Ebook Hunter & PixelScroll (via HotZippy)
BargainBooksy (editorial only)
I submitted to The Midlist but was turned down – apparently my book is not suitable material for their readers; yours might be.
SO, the RESULTS
During the promo period, I sold 129 copies at 99c/99p
During the week after the promo I sold another 10 at full price $2.99/£2.99
In the following week I sold another 4 copies at full price.
As I said, I realise this is small change (and far less than I sell when I promote THE PRINCE’S MAN, which is my best seller), but I was still pleased with the boost to the book’s visibility and subsequent sales that are continuing to trickle in.
What I haven’t yet figured out is what I will also earn from KDP borrows, which are in the multiple thousands of pages read, in both the US and UK.
I can say without doubt that the most effective ad by far was from ENT. I can’t tell you in precise figures, but sales (and ranking) jumped as soon as that ad went live.
In all, during the promo I made:
$96.68 / £62.35
In the following week:
$19.93 / £12.85
As the book had really not sold any copies to speak of in the preceding month, I’m putting all these down to the promo, so my income from the promo (not including borrows) was:
$116.61 / 75.20
Which is a profit of:
$32.01 / $20.24
Certainly not stellar, but that is just the obvious results. I still have to figure out how much the borrows will bring, and the rise in visibility has kick started sales and borrows of a mediocre-seller on an ongoing basis, so I’m happy with the result of an evening’s work.
Deb thanks for sharing this great info. Sheesh, so much work to try and sell a book, lol. Good work. I’m marking these down for my next promo!
I find it faster each time I do it, as I now have an extensive list of promo sites, paid, unpaid, for free only, for discount only, how many reviews they require, etc.
Just as soon as I can get around to organising it sensibly, I will update the file on my Writer’s Resources page.
Time… what’s that?
PS I’m using my new Surface Pro now on Windows 10. I’m noticing when I hit like it won’t show my avatar. Just one more glitch 😦
Argh! Upgrades! 😦
I was just about to jump into the strategies of selling as above (plus some other successful promoters – thanks for sharing) when I discovered that from my selling price I lose 30% to Amazon, 20% VAT (I’m in Europe) and 30% witholding tax by IRS (US). This leaves me 20% = 60 cents. So if I sell 4 books I can buy a cup of coffee in London. I’m feeling slightly de-moralized after a year of intensive writing to produce a 100k novel. I am currently weeping but staying positive 🙂
Hi Garth, thanks for dropping in.
I am also in the UK, and although there’s nothing to be done about losing 30% to Amazon (better than only getting 10% from a traditional publisher, believe me!), if you price your book slightly higher in Europe you can mitigate the VAT issue, and you should get an EIN which will exempt you from IRS withholding – see this post by my friend Deb about this; she provides several links for further info: http://dgkayewriter.com/free-ein-simplifies-business-self-publishing-bookworks/
I got one before I started selling any books, as the UK has an exemption arrangement with the US, provided you register your EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the US IRS.
Provided you price your book on Amazon to get 70% royalty, you should earn in the region of $2 per copy – that’s probably around half a coffee!
Stay positive and keep writing – most authors don’t make enough to live on until they have at least 10 books out there; I’m still working on my 4th, so a long way to go yet.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Dear Deborah, you’ve explained things very clearly and I am so grateful. I’ll check your link and get straight on this tax issue. Hope we both get to drink far more cups of coffee than we could possibly imagine. Good luck and best wishes.
LikeLiked by 1 person