Master of Marketing? Not so much…

I may not be the master of marketing, but I’m learning. Learning on the job, flying by the seat of my pants, learning to swim before I drown. And actually getting reasonably organized and coming up with reasonable plans. I know, it’s shocking!

I’ve got some free promo days coming up this month with Amazon through the KDP Select program, and, unlike my last 7 free promo days (2 weekends with Solomon’s Throne, and one with Undaunted Love), I’m actually doing some promotion. *gasp* Yes, I didn’t know what I was doing last time around — but I still got a combined 4,000 free downloads, so imagine the possibilities if I actually have this little thing called a PLAN.

And I do! It’s in writing, even, not just bouncing around my head. So I thought I’d share it with you, and then we’ll see how it all unfolds. (Please note I only linked each source once – call it lazy, but all those hyperlinks make me a little nuts!)

UNDAUNTED LOVE

I have a free three day weekend coming up for Undaunted Love, December 14-16. Now, I have learned since booking it that weekends aren’t the best days for your free promo days, but I didn’t change it, for several reasons (my week in the Bahamas that starts on December 16 being one of them). My other promos have been on weekends and done okay, so I’m sticking with it this time.

So here’s what I’m doing to market the book:

December 13:  I will update the Christian groups on Goodreads that the book will be free and the promo is going on. This is free, I just have to remember to do it.

December 14:  I have a free listing with Christian Ebooks Today, a possible free listing (one day during the three) with Pixel of Ink, a paid ($5) guaranteed listing with Bargain eBook Hunter, and a paid ad on Daily Free Books ($13).

December 15: A maybe with Pixel of Ink, a paid guaranteed listing with Pixelscroll ($5), and the Daily Free Books ad ($13).

December 16: A maybe with Pixel of Ink, and the Daily Free Books ad ($13). I will probably do one more guaranteed listing, but most only allow 1 listing per book in a 30 day period, so I’m still looking on that one.

December 17-18: (pending confirmation) I am doing the Social Media Mania with the World Literary Cafe ($40/day). I’ll lower the book price, probably to 99 cents, through December 21.

January 4: Undaunted Love (and my key lime pie) will be featured on the Romance Recipes blog.

SOLOMON’S THRONE

Because this book is continuing to do well and sales are going up, plus the fact that there’s a sequel that happy readers of this book will like, I’m putting more money into this one. As I mentioned before, I re-upped it into KDP Select through February, which gives me 5 more free promo days. I’m going to play with these a bit this time, and see what works. I’ll be updating the Action/Adventure group on Goodreads, too.

Now through December 10: My Goodreads giveaway is still going on. I’ll be giving away 20 books after I get the list of winners on the 11th.

Now until the money runs out: I have a Goodreads per-click ad running. I think this is doing well – a lot of people are adding the book to their to-read lists, and my sales are up. After the first month I narrowed the filters so a lot less people are seeing the ad, but I assume that more people who are clicking it are actually interested. At 75 cents a click, that’s important. (I put in $300, but have used less than $200 in about 5-6 weeks. The ad will end when the money’s gone.)

December 26: Free promo day. This is a gamble. I’m counting on people like me, who, if I got a Kindle for Christmas, would spend the next day getting books for it. It could be a bust, too. We’ll see! I wasn’t able to get an ad with Daily Free Books, as they were sold out (a good sign for my strategy?), but I have the following: A guaranteed listing with Bargain eBook Hunter ($5); a guaranteed listing with Pixelscroll ($5), a possible listing with Pixel of Ink, and a listing with Free Kindle Fiction.

December 27-29: I am lowering the book price to $2.99 for three days post-promo, and (pending confirmation) will have an ad for two of the three days with the Kindle Book Review as “Today’s Hot Deal” ($45). UPDATE: Those dates aren’t available, so I’ll either do 1/1 and 1/2, or move it to after my free days in Feb.

December 31: Free promo day. Daily Free Books ad ($17). If the Kindle Book Review “Today’s Hot Deal” doesn’t work out, I’ll have to fill in the space from 1/1 through 1/3 or so with something else.

January 2-16: Banner ad on Daily Free Books ($7.50/week). I did this last month, and I think I had sales from it, so I’ll try it again. At $7.50/week, why not?!

January 1-31: I am doing the Jitterbug PR Blog tour ($120 with my Fostering Success discount). I’m doing the Jive package, which is at least 20 blog tour stops with author interviews, guest blogs, giveaways, etc., plus promotion on the Jitterbug blog and a page with this great banner.

Image

February 12-13: Two more free promo days. I have a listing on Bargain eBook Hunter for the 12th, and Pixelscroll for the 13th. I’ll be doing more ads, but I want to see how the things I’ve got going on pan out first.

THE HOARD OF THE DOGES

I have done zero advertising for this book to date, but sales are picking up almost daily. It’s now selling consistently about 2/3 of what Solomon’s Throne is, which can only be attributed to the “Coming Soon” and excerpt in the back of Solomon’s Throne, as well as maybe some “Also Boughts” on Amazon.

January 2-16: The first ad will run on Daily Free Kindle ($7.50) with Solomon’s Throne.

BOTTOM LINE:

I have learned you have to promote your free days, but even more, you have to promote during the 2-4 days after your free days, when you’re still up on the Amazon rankings. Reducing the price during those days is a good idea, especially for a book like Undaunted Love that hasn’t found its legs yet. That one I’ll take down to 99 cents for a few days; Solomon’s Throne is selling well at $4.99, so I’ll probably have that one on sale at $2.99.

So we’ll see! If I could spend one day a week planning marketing, and only work the social media the other days, that would be great. With a new release in late January, in a different genre (that’s a whole other post!), I’ll be taking what I’m learning with all this and hopefully get off to a faster start. I am so, so, so grateful to all the other indie authors out there who so graciously share their successes and failures with us, so we can all learn.

I hope this helps, at least a little, and I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes!

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4 Comments

Filed under Publishing, Self publishing, Writing

4 responses to “Master of Marketing? Not so much…

  1. Sounds like a well thought out plan, even if I got boggled by it and just skimmed most of it, lol. Good luck with your marketing attempts 🙂

    • Haha, yeah… I have had people ask me what specifically I was doing, so I wanted to put the links and prices in there. My own mind is boggled, trust me! But I think, with a little work this am to tweek some things based on availability info I receieved, I am actually done with most of the marketing for at least a month (other than social media). And that’s GREAT! 😀

  2. Dr Alex

    Many thanks for the detailed breakdown of your marketing efforts.

    Do you have any way of measuring what each of your individual ads is bringing? In particular, your PPC of 75 cents per click seems hard to justify for a book that costs under $5, you need an almost unheard-of conversion rate to make it work.

    • Goodreads ads don’t do much – people add you to their TBR list, but that’s about it. I don’t use Goodreads now. (That post was from Dec, 2012, when I only had one book and was just getting started). However, with a 70% royalty through Amazon, 75c isn’t terrible if it gets sales and moves you up the bestseller list, which generates sales on its own. Most advertising/marketing is for exposure, I’ve learned. There are a few things that more than pay for themselves, including BookBub (which has recently changed their submission guidelines, including extending the time between ads). The new Kindle Countdown Deal with KDPS also is bringing good numbers. I haven’t done a ton of marketing the last 4 months or so, as I was finishing a trilogy, preparing a boxed set, enjoying the holidays, and moving. (As you can see from the blog, I’ve been pretty out of the loop!) I’m hoping to get back to things this month, and will write more on marketing. I also have some later marketing posts, which you can find via keywords, that have more recent information on successes and failures. thanks for commenting!

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