Best Laid Plans… #BookBub #Internet

For my first post of 2022 I want to start by thanking all those who helped to make the launch of THE PRINCE’S HEIR my most successful book launch to date.

I planned well ahead for a 0.99c sale on book #1, THE PRINCE’S MAN, and booked a week’s worth of promotions – 10 paid sites including – YES! Another All Regions BookBub Featured Deal!

So why the headline?

I really thought I had it all in hand – just goes to show how easy it is to make mistakes. I use Draft2Digital to publish my books to all platforms but Amazon (which I do directly). D2D have a marvellous little tool which enables you to schedule price drop promotions in advance.

What I had forgotten, was that I have Prince’s Man set up on D2D as a separate book for publishing to Apple, because of a prohibition on links to competitors inside the book, and I have sales links to other sites in the back matter for subsequent books. So, when I scheduled the price drop, I did it on the main book file, which goes to Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and a host of smaller outlets, but failed to do so for the Apple file.

First thing I knew about it was an email on Christmas Eve from BookBub, informing me that the price was not reduced on Apple, and consequently no Apple links would be included in the promo scheduled for Christmas Day – far too late to get the price changed.

Last year’s BB featured deal netted me around 250 sales on Apple. As the biggest benefit of selling for 99c is in the read through to subsequent books, that was a huge disappointment.

Swallowing that, I’m happy enough with the result of the sale (figures to come next week), but I know I’ve missed out on a lot of sales as a consequence.

AND THEN…

One of my greatest enjoyments of running a sale on this scale, is watching the book rise through the sales ranks on Amazon, each time reaching at least one #1 best selling slot in multiple countries.

But doing so relies on having an Internet connection!

Yes, you’ve guessed it.

At some time in the early hours of Christmas morning, our phone line, and hence Internet, failed. Of course, this also meant no Netflix or Amazon Prime TV, so we did a lot of reading over Christmas!

2 weeks later, and it’s STILL not working.

It’s not even anybody’s fault, just ancient wiring in our ancient house, that happened to reach the end of its lifespan at this incredibly inconvenient moment. Of course, with all the holidays, we’ve been unable to get anyone in to do the necessary re-wiring.

Although I was able to keep up to a certain degree on my phone, (and by driving next door to borrow their connection once a day), this time I didn’t do the intensive (okay, obsessive) following I have done in the past, so I’m not absolutely certain if I hit a #1 spot, although I suspect I did – I was at #345 in the overall US store for a while, and #3 and #4 in a couple of categories. Because I live in the UK, I’ve found in the past I hit that coveted #1 spot in the middle of the night as the US sales figures mount up. This time, I will admit, I didn’t get up every hour to check as I have done in the past!

And there you have it. I really believed I was prepared for this promo, but I guess complacency crept in. I have learned plenty, and I still made good figures (both sales numbers and dollars/pounds), so I’m not complaining, but next time I will be more on the ball.  

22 comments

  1. What you’ve gone through demonstrates what I loath about our business, and why I don’t bother anymore, apart from flooding book sites on Amazon advertising my latest from time to time, along with a tweet on Twitter. First, last, and always we’re writers – not advertisers!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit, when I first began writing, I never imagined I would have to learn all the marketing stuff too. In those days (I’ve been writing a long time), that was the publisher’s domain. I’d much rather be just a writer, but I admit I do enjoy the buzz of watching sales spikes, and reaching lots of new readers, so I put myself through it a couple of times a year. I don’t fancy doing the amount of marketing lots of the top sellers do, but then I’m looking at this as a long-term extra income, and not as my main living.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is amazing. I can only speculate how much time that took, but it really sounds worth it. Didn’t know Apple doesn’t allow links in their books to outside sources. I have a similar problem with my education books published to Amazon Ignite. They are so picky about links, I gave up and removed them. They wouldn’t tell me which links offended, just that they refused to publish the book.

    Congrats on your wonderful launch! What a model for publishing a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did a little bit at a time, so it wasn’t overwhelming.
      The Apple thing is annoying, and Kobo is now going the same way, but I’ve found a way round it by using a Books2Read link instead of individual links. I feel another post coming on…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’d love to read about that!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Coming up soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I always appreciate your sharing about your marketing findings Deb. I applaud you for all the marketing and promos you did that no doubt pay off. And sheesh, those links unaccepted by Apple. So many intricate little things to remember when publishing. No wonder most of us writers can’t stand the publishing process lol 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit, it would be easier if they didn’t keep changing things – there’s enough to remember without having to deal with new stuff!
      On the other hand, I admit to getting a bit complacent – and I know I’m not the only one. A big-selling indie author I know recently screwed up his latest launch by being convinced he’d uploaded the latest file to his pre-order, when he’d only put in a place-holder.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg!!! Well, you said it. We are creatives. We are writers. This publishing and marketing business isn’t our real specialty LOL 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If only there was an easier way to get our books in front of the right audience.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Ahh, the million dollar question! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    You’ve managed the challenges well, Debby, better than I would have. Congratulations on the sales and all the best for the New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gwen, and here’s to a happy and productive New Year to all of us!

      Like

  5. I’m so sorry you had some difficulties this time around, Debby, but you handled it better than I would.

    I really do like your posts on your experiences with advertising, but don’t know if I’ve got the patience to get it all set up. However, you’ve had some really good results, and I’ve been keeping links to your posts so if I ever work up the nerve, I’ll have some guidelines on what to do … and what NOT to do. 😉

    Now had I lost my internet/computer … all bets are off on what that would do to me. They’d probably have to knock me out or tie me down or something to keep me from running around screaming like a crazy person. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I’d be beyond just upset. It would NOT be a pretty sight, I can tell you. Again, my hat’s off to you for finding a workaround to help you get through until the wiring work can be done. Good luck with all of that!!

    Thanks so much for sharing the good with the bad, and I’m STILL wishing you a wonderful 2022, at least once you’re past some of these headaches. Hoping you have some smooth sailing SOON!!
    🤗💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, thanks Marcia. Advertising is the only way I find that works to get significant sales, and it really doesn’t take all that much time to set up – it’s more tedious, filling in the forms, than anything else.
      Re the internet, I must admit by a week in, we were starting to climb the walls. The provider has sent us a 4G mini hub which uses signal from the same masts as our phones, but it isn’t man enough to cope with everything. Witness tonight, when I delivered a Zoom training session for dressage judges, and after the signal dropped out for the third time, I got in my car and drove over to the neighbour’s to continue!
      Here’s hoping for a better year as it progresses – for all of us!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are a real trooper, Debby, and I sincerely hope this all gets resolved for you sooner rather than later. Sending you loads of encouragement, support, and love! 💖🤗💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Marcia ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry to hear about the glitches, Deborah. That pricing adjustment was the part that gave me the most anxiety. Good for you though for the wide distribution once again! I’m going to submit a book after my mini-vacation coming up at the end of the month. And I loved the final book! So intense toward the end. It will be in my end-of-month reviews. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, but wide distribution is one of the things that makes if more likely BookBub will offer a featured deal. Besides, I sell more that way than staying exclusive – I’ve tried both.
      I’m so thrilled you loved the final book! I really look forward to reading your review 😀
      I’m working hard on my non-fiction book at the moment, but my mind is buzzing with ideas for the next story set in the Five Kingdoms world 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. 🙂 That’s exciting!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. […] which means my figures are a little down on what I might have achieved if I hadn’t made the glaring error with Apple, and my Internet issues also mean my figures are less accurate than I would wish, but they’re […]

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  9. […] release – book #4 of my Five Kingdoms series, THE PRINCE’S HEIR – results from my BookBub featured deal for book #1, THE PRINCE’S MAN, and my building project, I haven’t posted a book review in a couple of […]

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