Friday, September 21, 2018

Selling More Books

The other day, David Gaughran had a most excellent blog post 'How to Advertise and Sell More Books' by guest poster Nicholas Erik.

Now, there's a lot of math in there, but most of it is useful - even if you're not mathematically inclined and your brain glazes over.  If your brain is glazing over, scan past that and read the non-math.  The part on Back Matter is particularly useful.  As in 'lightbulb over the head moment' useful.

And it all makes total sense.  Which makes me feel like a derp.  But derp is fixable. I'll be spending some quality time this weekend fixing all my back matter.  I only wish I'd thought of this when my series books were shiny and new.  Not sure how much good it'll do after the fact, but it can't hurt.

It's gotta help when I do advertising.

Go back to the math parts when your brain is less glazy.  Seriously.  Knowing how effective your advertising efforts are can help when you're thinking about what kinds of marketing to do next.  Which is where I'm at.

Now, I don't do the whole 'cost per download' thing.  I look at the bigger picture - the ad cost me $X and I got $Y in sales.  Y minus X = ROI (return on investment).  If the ROI is positive, then it was a good ad.  If it was negative, then it wasn't.  The higher the ROI, the more effective the ad.

For instance, the ENT ad I placed for DE back in July netted me $92.19.  I spent $45 on that ad.  Making the profit on that ad $47.19*.  That makes an ENT ad way more effective than say, a Bargain Booksy ad which cost me $55 and only netted me $11.83.  Making the loss $43.17.

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that's a bad investment.

Anyway, there's still a lot more I can do.  And I'm working on it.  Having some big outgo coming up, though, is putting a crimp in my budget, so we'll see how much I can do over the rest of this year.  I haven't done squat for marketing this month and I'm seeing squat for sales.  Just as actions have consequences, so do inactions.

I hope this helps.  I really hope reading that article helps.  :fingers crossed:

*Imagine how much better that could've been if I'd had the right back matter.  Ugh.  I'd like to kick myself.


  1. You're right, my brain glazed over BIG TIME. I bookmarked the post, though, with the intent of trying again. (We'll see if I get that brave. Reading it was a form of torture.)

    Your ROI formula makes sense to me. And it reminds me I've been meaning to run an ENT ad. (We'll see if I get my act together.) ;-) Seeing that my free copy of IC was downloaded only 23 times, I'm not real optimistic that it's worth a paid ad.

    I did do one thing right: All of my back matter has up-to-date, live links.

    1. LOL, mine, too. I tried reading it on too little coffee. Then I gave up and scanned down to the easier parts.

      Good luck with your ENT ad! Bummer about the low downloads on the freebie. How much did you get the word out about it? I know I posted about it several times. I hope that helped a little.

      Yay for up to date back matter! I'll talk more about that on Monday, maybe.

  2. Waaaaay too much math on a monsoon rain day when I'm trying to function on about 3 hours sleep. I do zip right to the back matter without a page break so that's right. How do you link the next book if it isn't written yet? And who has time to go back to previous books to add in those links? Yeah, yeah. I should do that. Some day. When I have time. And I'm not falling asleep at the keyboard. I also need to do ads but I have no clue how to even start--design, place, cost-effectiveness, whatever. I need a nap. :)

    1. Sorry about that, Silver. Yeah, it was a short sleep night for us, too. Bleh. I try to keep all my links in a Word file, so I can just add a new book, then copy and paste that back matter to all the other books. But yeah, it's a huge timesuck.

      The ads I do don't require designing. I just fill out the form at the venue and voila. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I'm with you on the nap, even though it's not that far from bedtime for me. Bleh.