Although I just released a new book (The Prince’s Son), as it is the second in series (even though it stands alone, ‘Book Two’ is emblazoned on the cover), I decided against promoting it except to my existing contacts (Facebook, Twitter and email list) because why would anyone buy #2 if they haven’t yet read #1?
So I embarked on a promotion for #1 instead, and I’m always grateful to others who share their results, so thought I would reciprocate.
This book has been promoted on nearly all these sites multiple times already, so I decided to experiment with some new ones that are, to my mind, costly, to see if they would be worth using again. This meant I was investing money I wasn’t necessarily expecting to recoup, and as THE PRINCE’S MAN has been marketed so much before, I also wasn’t expecting huge figures – at least, not unless I could score a BookBub ad.
Which, of course, I didn’t. I will keep trying.
So without further rambling, here are my results.
Bear in mind, this was a price reduction sale, with the book at $0.99/£0.99 reduced from $3.99/£3.49. On Amazon, this of course has the negative effect of also dropping royalties to 35% instead of 70%, so each book sold brought an income of only about $0.34/£0.34
Still, that’s a bit more than you get for a FREE promotion!
http://bookpraiser.com/feature-my-book-platinum-class/ $25 – sold 10
http://eBookBetty.com FREE this time – sold 5
https://choosybookworm.com/ $20 – sold 3
https://authors.ereadernewstoday.com/author_books/new $30 – sold 52
http://booktweeters.com/ $12 – sold 3
http://www.booksbutterfly.com/ $50 – sold 23 (this one has a guaranteed number of sales, which was 25, but as the refund is in the form of a voucher off future advertising, I won’t be using it).
http://bookbarbarian.com/ad-submit/ $20 – sold 42
https://bookraid.com/ pay-per-click over a threshold of £1 – this generated 9 clicks which is below that threshold. – sold 1
http://www.bookpebble.com/ currently FREE – sold 1
FREE advertising sites
I also used the following, though I’m not entirely certain if the book was featured or not – most of them are non-guaranteed free ads, and they don’t notify you about inclusion.
So there you have it – my first money-losing advertising campaign, but as I didn’t expect to sell huge numbers, I’m looking on it as a good investment, helping me to decide which sites are useful for the future.
- ENT (Ereader News Today) came out tops, even though that’s less than half the sales I’ve had with them before (I last advertised this book with them during the summer, so still fairly recent).
- BookBarbarian (a genre site) also performed well again, though also below previous campaigns. On the other side of the coin, it was the best value for money as the ad was $10 cheaper than ENT.
- BookPraiser came in 3rd, though not covering the cost of the ad
- eBookBetty was worth it because this time the ad was FREE (they do special offers at times)
I think for future reference, I will restrict myself mostly to these few sites, plus all those offering free ads. Of course the advertising landscape is constantly changing, with new sites (BookRaid and BookPebble are both recent newbies), and pricing structures are always subject to change, but the above is quite a good list to get started with.
Do bear in mind that my books are Fantasy, and some of these sites are genre specific. Other sites work for genres other than mine, and are no good to me, but they might be to you.
The GOOD NEWS is that The Prince’s Man is continuing to sell a couple copies a day at full price, and the hoped-for sell through to Book 2 has been quite successful, plus I’ve gained some new reviews.
It’s always hard to quantify precisely what constitutes a ‘successful’ promotion, but despite the small numbers and the expense, I’m happy with the knock on effects. I’d like one day to get back to the heady heights I hit with my debut release (yes, that was The Prince’s Man), where it sold 1500 copies in the first 3 months, but (a) the indie world has become so much more competitive, and (b) I plan on getting the trilogy completed before really focussing on serious marketing.
What are your favourite ad sites? Or do you use other routes to get your books in front of readers?