A few people have asked how I made my promotion a success.
Firstly, I want to define success.
- My sales increased during and after the promotion, and I gained some traction on the new book.
- A Standard Journey became a No.1 bestseller, in its category. If you want to know more about that, read this: Categorising your books on Amazon on the website of the Alliance of Independent Authors.
- I sold quite a few more of my other books during the promotion.
Magic answer/Over Night Success!
There is no magic answer. I continue to enjoy a good average of sales each day that I am happy with (more would always be nice, of course).
What works for me may not work for you. My three books are non-fiction. One ‘text’ book and two memoirs.
I spent twelve years as a freelance journalist for international sailing magazines before I published my first book, that’s not an over-night success! That first book was about my sailing adventures, and I received many (great) reviews in top selling sailing magazines in the Australia, America, and Europe.
The biggest question seems to be, ‘Who did you promote through?’ But that isn’t the entire answer, not by a long shot.
But let’s get that out of the way first.
I used the following paid services:
- BooksGoSocial for tweeting during the promotion (and advice from Laurence)
- Rukia Publishing, for the month including the promotion (tweets/FB/good advice)
- EReader News Today, for one day
Each element contributed to the sales, but I do have to say that the day I was with ENT there was a significant spike on the sales chart.
When I promoted Of Foreign Build at 99 cents / pence in March I went berserk. I paid for a lot of advertising and ran myself ragged. It worked, but it wasn’t enjoyable.
This time I paid for far less, did far less, and achieved the same results.
It’s not just about the promotion.
- Every single chance I have of putting a profile up on a site (free), listing my books on a site (free), an interview, an article, a mention – anything. I do it.
- I never stop marketing, I try to do one thing a day, above and beyond tweeting and FB.
- I help others where I can and receive reciprocal help in sharing, RTing etc.
- I’ve joined relevant groups on FB, for example, We Love Memoirs and BooksGoSocial Authors group
- I write two blogs a week, on two different platforms Jackie Parry Author and Noel and Jackie’s Journeys
- The slightest mention of my books or my profile anywhere could mean another sale, that sale could lead to more – I never miss an opportunity.
A couple of days ago I received a fantastic review in a Caribbean sailing magazine, I knew nothing about it, but it made my day, “…this is the best cruising book I’ve read. The author is a real firecracker….. I believe she has captured the essence of cruising…. I predict this author will be the next big thing.”
What else….? The trouble is…
We all know that you have to write a good book, have a great cover and back cover blurb. But even that is not enough. I know of many books that are a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying read, which are not gaining the sales they deserve.
I feel like it is all coming to a head. Now, it is so easy to publish a book some people are just chucking them out – I’ve read a few of those too.
I am not saying I know it all or that I have the best books… my years of freelance writing has certainly helped me, but I have a horrid feeling people are fed up with the deluge of ‘quickie’ books. I think the reader is going to choose, more and more, the ‘known’ author – and that’s my goal.
I do contemplate offering a free book, but I am still not convinced. If we don’t value our work how can others? That said, perhaps when I have launched my ninth or tenth book, my first may become free…. we shall see.
One author told me recently, ‘I can’t even give it away!’ And that’s from a highly respected, professional author with many delectable books available – that made me sit up straight!
For me, I’ve just increased the price of my first ebook Cruiser’s AA (Accumulated Acumen) from $3.99 to $4.99 (it’s a large text book) and I may decrease the price of my most recent, A Standard Journey – 5 horses, 2 people, and 1 tent from 3.99 to $2.99 (Amazon’s recommendation).
What I know
What I know is that I don’t know enough. The more I learn the more I realise how little I know. Every day I read articles on writing and marketing. I don’t have time to do that, but I make time for what is important. I have to keep learning to have a chance.
I often work fifteen hours a day writing and marketing (as well as being a full-time traveller, and maintain a boat, and run other businesses) – which is still a lot, but much less than I was doing before. My main goal is to produce more quality books.
I hope that has helped. Through trial and error I have whittled down my marketing strategy to what I consider good enough – for now.
Have you found a marketing strategy that works for you?