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From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJackie Weger of eNovel Authors At Work (#eNovAaW) recently shared her experience promoting her book using free days. Even though Bookbub has repeatedly accepted her, she wanted to learn if indie authors could earn out in less costly promotions. Her first experience, which you can read about here, was positive. So, now was the time to repeat the experiment and see which promoters offer the best value for money. She has ran two promos so far:

The First Promo

Jackie ran a 5 day Free promo on her romance novel, No Perfect Fate, in January 2017. Total units moved: 7,316. She spent $431.00 advertising that and earned $689.30, plus 98,931 KENP pages read and 127 crossover sales of 2.99 priced books. When that is added, it was a nice return on investment–a bit over $1000.

No Perfect Fate by Jackie Weger | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJackie promoted with the following promoters:

  • eReaderIQ
  • DigitalBookToday
  • Kindle Romance Deal and Steals
  • Awesome Gang
  • Hot Zippy
  • My Book Cave
  • Book Scream. Genre Pulse ($19)
  • Awesome Gang ($10)
  • eBookStage
  • eBookHound
  • KindleBookReview
  • free99books
  • Just Kindlebooks
  • bookaddict.com ($10)
  • Book deal hunter
  • ContentMo (free)
  • ItsWriteNow (free)
  • FKBT
  • ask.David (free)
  • Readers Gazette.com (free)
  • freebooksy ($100)
  • Reading Deals Submission Tool-$29
  • Accent on Romance Newsletter-using her own subscriber list of 15K subscribers. Cost for her newsletter: $56 a month.

Following her experience, Jackie says she would drop off of this list Freebooksy and Reading Deals Submission Tool. Freebooksy did not move as many units as her newsletter, and she only heard from two promoters on the Reading Deals Submission Tool–plus it is very easy to submit to those promoters and learn if a unit is accepted or not.

The Second Promo

No Perfect Secret by Jackie Weger | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJackie ran a second 5 day FREE on another romance novel, No Perfect Secret, in February 2017. Total Units moved: 6,080 at a cost of $408. She earned $726.72, plus: 91,015 KENP pages read and 135 crossover sales of 2.99 priced books, which brings the return on investment to about $1200.

This time, she promoted with:

  • eReaderIQ
  • Booktastik
  • PeopleReads
  • eReaderNewsToday
  • Digital Books Today
  • eBookSoda
  • eBookBetty
  • Reading Deals
  • The Books Machine
  • Many Books
  • eReader Cafe (free)
  • Mega Books Deal
  • ReaderGazette (free)
  • Bookbub CPM ad ($200)

And, of course, her Accent on Romance newsletter. She also co-promoted newsletters with two other authors, and Accent on Romance also promoted a Rafflecopter with four other authors.

Who would she drop off this list? Amazingly enough, the 5 day CMP Bookbub Ad. Bookbub moved 1000 units at a cost of $200, but so did her newsletter, which cost $56.

Using Free Days

eNovel Authors at Work (eNovAaW) | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksIf you are wondering how a FREE unit earns sales, Jackie’s experience shows that readers visit your book pages, download the free and also ‘borrow’ or buy other books on an author’s list. Plus, if a reader enjoys a book, they may post a review.

She ends with a caveat, though: a new trend seems to be lower downloads in promotions across the board. She uses Bookbub’s pricing list as a guide, among other data. In the past, Bookbub suggested average downloads in romance to be in the neighborhood of 60K. Today, average downloads on a free romance unit are 41,300.

You can find out more on the eNovAaW blog and on The Book Tavern and Fiction Bar.

Update: Jackie’s Tip

In response to a comment asking what more we can do to promote our books, here’s what Jackie has to say:

Offering units for free only works if one gets a ‘tail’ on the promotion… Borrows/KENP pages read and crossover sales. As an indie digital marketer, my books are on Amazon’s virtual shelf. In the past mine and other romance authors got our reputations by word-of-mouth in used book stores, where our books were traded over and over again. We didn’t earn a dime in royalty for those used book sales, but they served us well. eBooks don’t get traded in used book stores… so our free books are kind of operating as word-of-mouth. A reader who enjoys a free unit will often buy or borrow (Kindle Unlimited) our other books. I often find a new reader will download my entire back list at full price. It shows up in “also bought”.

You absolutely can promote your book at full price. One must build a readership, have an effective newsletter to reach those willing to pay full price. The book has to resonate with readers to get momentum. Not to mention an interesting and interactive blog/webpage. Here is what you are up against: Digital readers got burned early on by less than quality books. They have learned not to take a chance on a new author at full price. They just won’t do it.

Even in our maturing market, new indies still produce less than stellar books. I’m not talking about the story line. Some are not edited/proofread. Formatting mishaps abound. I recently downloaded a book with a great cover, a stellar book description and there was NO Content. Major mishap. Which tells me the author did NOT use the Amazon preview tool right there online.

While writing my books, my relationship is between me and my characters. Once published, my relationship is between me and my readers…From that point on, all has to be reader-centric.

You may also enroll your book in Amazon Select and promote it Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited. All of my books are full price except when in promotion.

 

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