Monday, January 7, 2019

Another Sales and Marketing Post

Time to do another post where I talk about my last marketing thing and how the sales shook out from it.

I did Kindle Countdown Deals for my SCIU books from December 24th through December 30th.  Dying Embers was 99c.  Fertile Ground and Early Grave were $1.99 ea.

For this, I paid for two ads.  One with Bargain Booksy for $55 and another with Book Adrenaline for $15.  Both ads went live on December 26th.  In addition to these ads, I posted liberally (but only once per day for each) on the FB groups I belong to that are relevant to these books.  The ads were for DE only, but I posted for the whole series on FB.

By the end of the KCDs, the books had paid for the advertising.  As of today, I'm still seeing residual sales and pages reads putting money in my pocket over and above the cost of advertising.  Not a huge amount, but every penny helps.

Part of the residual sales are people who, having finished DE, came back to buy FG and EG at full price ($3.99).  That's the importance of putting links to sequels immediately after THE END, I think.  Right there, before Amazon shunts the reader off to another page where they can review. I do mine like this:

Now, here's a caveat to the whole advertising/sales thing.  I'm not exactly sure which marketing thing brought in which sales.  All of them could've been from Bargain Booksy (which would be good for that venue) or from Book Adenaline (which would be woohoo).  More likely the sales were split between the two, but how they were split is beyond me.  I can point to certain FB posts as garnering a few sales - because when the sales started to die down from the advertising, I would post to a few groups and see an uptick shortly afterwards.

Also, I seemed to see more upticks when I posted to certain groups in the morning.  I'd post to the same groups the next night (keeping track of it so I never posted to the same group twice in 24 hrs) and get crickets.

I did not make a spreadsheet this time, but I have it all written out so I can refer to it later.

Yes, this is all intensive and tiring.  Making posts, tracking sales, hovering over the computer day in and day out for a week.  But it works, so I'll keep doing it.

As for the timeframe thing, I would definitely recommend doing your Kindle Countdown Deals for the full week from midnight on the first day to midnight on the last day.  With paid advertising launching about a couple days in.

Why a couple days?  Well, for one thing, you can make certain your books are actually discounted before the ad goes live.  Venues hate it when you say your book will be 99c, but it isn't when the ad goes live.  Hate it as in they'll ban you from advertising with them again.  (Been there, done that.  Took two years to get back in their good graces.)  If your book isn't discounted when you think it should be, it'll give you time to harangue Amazon to get it to the right price.

Second, ideally you'll get at least a couple sales ahead of the advertising that will help boost your book's ranking on Amazon.  Trust me, people are more likely to pick up your book from the ad if its ranking is in the 6 digit range instead of the 7 digit.  One or two sales should get you out of the millions rankings to the 200-300K rankings.

As always, I hope this post helps.  And your mileage may vary.  There are a lot of factors involved with book sales and this is a huge learning curve.  May you learn something from my journey.

Any questions?


  1. Your posts on ads makes me think I should reconsider my boycott, ha. Something to think about for 2019! Glad it worked so well for you at a tough time of the year for sales (at least, I've always thought December isn't the best for series books).

  2. I admire your gumption and awesome on the sales! I'm a broken record--need to do something but totally clueless about where to start. Also, $$. It's been a tough fall and winter isn't looking any more promising. Gotta spend to make. I know. But bills gotta be paid too. I may have to raid the change jar to come up with some moolah.

    *wanders off to get more coffee*

  3. Ditto what Silver said. Sigh.

    Wishing you many residual sales!