Among the hardest decisions for indie writers and publishers is figuring out where and what to invest in on a limited budget to promote one’s book. This post takes a quick look at the value added by an e-book promotional campaign. (An earlier post examined our experience with Amazon ad campaigns.)
In November, borrowing advice from Andrew Diamond (author of Warren Lane) in an excellent blog post, we ran several e-book promotions for Psycho-Tropics. By e-book promotions, I’m referring to the many available services that, for a fee, will send out an email blast and post your book on their webpage (and maybe Facebook) advertising a discounted price for a limited period.
We weren’t as organized as Andrew, and started too late to take advantage of some promotional services, which were already filled up for the dates we wanted, but we sold 100 copies of Psycho-Tropics in four days, which is a lot more books than we usually sell in four days. So, it worked.
“Marrying humor with suspense is not easy, but it comes across masterfully [in Psycho-Tropics] … A truly enjoyable read.” — Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Get It Now
The accompanying photo lists the services we used and the cost of each. An additional service we used that’s not on the list is JustKindleBooks, which charged a fee of $50.
Andrew’s blog post lists and links to these and other services. Once you get rolling, it takes about 10 to 20 minutes to sign up for each. To speed things up, we followed Andrew’s advice of collecting any and all submission info we might need (e.g., ASIN numbers, book length, synopsis) in one document to make it easy to cut and paste, and also used PayPal to avoid having to share or enter credit card info again and again.
Like most promotional investments for an indie book, this one is not a money-making strategy, but it is a reasonably priced method for getting your book out to a much larger group of readers without having to actually give it away. Will these 100 people read Psycho-Tropics and post reviews? That would be nice, of course, but from Andrew’s experience and ours so far, discount sales don’t seem to generate that result. Speculating, it may be that a lot of people are willing to drop 99 cents on a book without feeling compelled to get the return on their investment by reading it, and, of course, only a small percentage of readers post reviews in any event. (This KDP forum thread has some interesting information on how many and what kind of readers post reviews.)
Still, we rate e-book promotions two thumbs up in terms of “bang for the book bucks” because of their effectiveness in generating sales as weighed against their relatively modest cost. Consult Andrew’s much more detailed post to maximize your investment.