Path to Indie Publication Series is a companion series to Marshall Ryan Maresca’s Path to Publication. I have been avidly reading Marshall’s posts since I discovered his blog. Read Path to Indie Publication: Part I. Part II. Part III. Part IV. Part V. Part VI. Part VII. Part VIII. Part IX. Part X. Part XI. Part XIII. Part XIV.
Part XIII: Promotions II – The Base of the Holy Grail?
What is BookBub? It is a service that will send readers vetted book recommendations for books on sale or free. If you read a lot of ebooks and you haven’t heard about BookBub, get on over and check it out. You can follow me here and get notified of new releases and sales.
BookBub Promotions have been referred to as the Holy Grail of Indie marketing. So, I was able to snag a Non-U.S. BookBub Promotion, more or less the base of the grail, I suppose. Still hoping to get the cup! So for $150 they sent out a promo to buy ALL IS SILENCE for only 0.99! Euros, pounds and dollars.
I wanted to wait to report on the data until the sale’s tail had dissipated. A couple days ago I had the first day in 35 days without a sale. After 11 days the sales didn’t rise above 6 a day, but the sales continue better than before.
Let’s talk about the before. In the 77 days before the sale I had $40.65 in U.S. sales on Amazon, plus an ASTOUNDING 0.29 GBP. On Kobo, I had U.S. sales of $6.58, one copy of each book! Internationally on Kobo, I had $110.69 in sales for the same period. On GooglePlay, I had NO sales and on Nook, I had $6.48. A small handful of other sales on Streetlib, Smashwords, Apple and others rounds out the results.
On December 8th, my Book Bub promo went out on an e-mail. There were glitches. Google Play was not active in India and U.K. because of my errors. In India it was the wrong country code; in the U.K. it was because I did not factor in VAT, which other companies include, but GooglePlay does not. Still. There were sales. Many sales. 316 sales on Amazon, 89 on Kobo, and 23 on Googleplay. Enough in the first 24 hours to pay for the $150 promotional cost. Ironically, I ran a BookBub advertisement for the following four days on Toils and Snares. It seems to have sold 16 copies. For a total income of about $10. I spent $200 plus a tip for the wonderful gentleman, David R. Bernstein, a fellow author [of the YA Dystopian INFLUENCE] who created the advert and helped me run it. We decided that the timing right before Christmas, up against everyone else on the planet running advertisements, might not have been the best choice!
In the 10 days after that rush, I rolled up $89.08 in Amazon sales, $108.79 in Kobo sales, and about $10 in other sales. Though to be fair to Kobo, They also were running a sale on both novels for four days during that run. I can’t differentiate which sales may have come from which impetus. So, at this point I have sold at least one book internationally for the last 17 days. [The run lasted 35 days! and I’ve only had two days with no sales.]
The take-aways? Do a BookBub advertisement if you can get it. The $200 in sales of Straight Into Darkness, Book II, certainly made it worthwhile. I continue to see sell through as people finish All Is Silence, Book I. What surprised me was how many sales of All Is Silence continue at full price, though I dropped that full price to $3.99 from $4.99.
I will be applying for a U.S. BookBub for the same book for early February and resubmitting if don’t get it until I do. [Already rejected this month. Will try again in February.]
In February, I plan to do a birthday build-up of advertisement. It will be All Is Silence’s 3rd birthday and my 50th. I’m hoping for a blow-out and a final push to get the snowball turned into an avalanche of sales and attention. Then when book III, No Man’s Land, comes out there are 10,000+ potential readers who have read at least Book I, if not also Book II. At that point I hope to get the Wholy Grail and run a promo that will push new readers to my completed trilogy. I’ll report back about that in about six months.
Things I realized I should have done better? My Back matter in All Is Silence did not have live links on all platforms. Who knows how many sales of Straight Into Darkness that cost me? That along with not showing up in India and Great Britain initially also cost me sales. But with over $500 in collateral royalties, I’d call it a big success.
Thanks for following along. Let me know if you have questions.
* Adapted and expanded from the Foreword to Outward Bound: Science Fiction & Poetry, a collection of some of my published and unpublished works. Top