Warning: Math Ahead
In April, I had promotions on books in both genres, both different and both successful.
First, the ladies at Indie Jane and I had a group $.99 sale, pooling our marketing power for the benefit of the whole group. I had low expectations for this promotion because I have offered Charlotte Collins for sale at $.99 in the past and never sold enough to make up for the lower price. I credit the strength of my friends’ books–Attempting Elizabeth and Loving Miss Darcy (Brides of Pemberley)–for pulling Charlotte Collins up to its highest sales rank ever, making it into the top 1000 for the first time ever. It also had its strongest month in terms of sales.
This example shatters a longstanding myth. In the trad pub world, your book gets one month to prove itself in terms of sales, and then it’s done and removed from the shelves. But with indie pubbing, your book has all the time in the world, and you can slide down the bestsellers lists and climb them again years after the book is released.
Second, I promoted Absolute Liability at Amazon, BN, and Kobo using BookBub. I priced Absolute Liability at $.99 and lowered the other two books in the series to $1.99 even though they were not officially part of the promotion. I paid $460 for the promotion and earned it back through sales of AL in less than 24 hours, and sales of all three books continue to be strong even after raising the prices. Thanks to this promotion, Absolute Liability can now add BN Nook Best Seller to its existing title of Amazon Kindle Best Seller. The Nook edition hit number 10! And on Amazon, it topped out at 114 on the Kindle Best Sellers list, made the Movers and Shakers list, and went to number 1 in Mystery Series and 4 in Women Sleuths. Sales of the other two books also soared.
This promotion finally answers the question “How do I get my books seen at BN?” Here’s one answer: use BookBub. This provided enough visibility to raise my sales at BN across the board. It also provided some visibility at Kobo, but far less than at the other two venues. I will use BookBub again.
The conclusion? Advertising works, but you have to find the right venues. Some of these promotions may not cost a dime, but sometimes you have to be willing to risk some money. If you decide to try BookBub or other venues, let us know how they work for you. I’ll keep you posted on future promotions too.