Kindle Countdown Deal – Results

Last week, I had my first Kindle Countdown Deal for my novel Love, Lies & Clones. If you remember back to my comments in my 30 day and 60 day self-publishing update, I raised the price of my novel to $2.99 solely so I could participate in this promotion. It’s also one of the reasons to be exclusive to Amazon.

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(If you don’t know what a Kindle Countdown Deal is, it’s a short time period–up to a week–where you can put your book on “sale” to attract more readers. When the book is on “sale” you still collect the higher royalty rate (70%) rather than the 35% they’d typically mark you down to.)

Previously, I posted that I decided to run pain promotions to advertise my countdown deal. Here was my line up and spending. I added my daily sales to each line.

2/16 – Book Barbarian ($20) & My Book Cave-All Week Exposure ($20) 21 eBook sales
2/17 – eReader News Today ENT ($30) & Sweet Free Books ($7) & My Newsletter  35 eBook sales
2/18 – Book Sends / eReader IQ ($35) 21 eBook sales
2/19 – Guest blog for Mystery Thriller Week (Free), HeadTalker Campaign (Free), & a few Ask David Tweets ($2 – Maybe) 7 eBook sales
2/20 – eReader Cafe ($25) & a few more Ask David Tweets ($1 maybe) 13 eBook sales
2/21 – Free Kindle Books & Tips FKBT ($30) 14 eBook sales
2/22 – Bargain Booksy $50 24 eBook sales

My goals weren’t to make back my investment. Actually, I was only hoping to make back half of it. So, how’d I do?

  • I sold 137 electronic books and 1 paperback.
  • I had 2706 page reads during the promo and 661 reads in the 5 days since the promo.
  • Total spend was $219. Royalty earnings of the book sales and page reads was about $109. (Yup. I made back roughly half of my spend.)

But making money wasn’t my goal at all. From reading a ton of blog posts from other authors, I knew I wouldn’t make money with a countdown deal. My two main motivations were:

  1. Have people find my book! There are 5 MILLION ebooks in the kindle store. How the heck do people even find mine? By selling your book, you build up your ranking, your also bought lists, Kindle Unlimited borrows/page reads, you get put on the Kindle Countdown Page, and other things.  –OR–
  2. Prove to myself that being exclusive to Amazon is not worth it. That, even with paying good money for promotions and doing the Amazon special deals, people still don’t find your book.

I had other motivations too:

  1. Determine if I’m better off listing this as a mystery/thriller or a sci-fi. Now, when I peek at my also boughts and the number of books sold with each promotion, it appears sticking with sci-fi is the winner.
  2. Build up “also boughts” to make it discoverable when people browse other books. I went from 1 page of also boughts to 13.
  3. Determine if it’s worth giving it away Free. (Or not promoting the countdown deal at all.)
  4. Decide to “go wide” or stay exclusive to Amazon. I still want to try a few more things before I make this decision. (Things I have up ahead: Kindle Unlimited Cross Promo, Publishing a new book & possibly experimenting with free days.)
  5.  Experiment for future book launches. I wanted to try these promo sites before launching Blood & Holy Water. I want to try to do that launch right.
  6. Experiment with these paid promo sites. Do the higher priced ones get you more sales? (Bargain Booksy was not worth the $50, in my opinion.)

To my surprise, what I wasn’t expecting was to actually have people read the book and respond. I mean, come on, Joy, that’s your main motivation for writing. I had two nice things happen to me.

  1. I received one review from the countdown so far — a 5 star! (I love 5 star reviews.)
  2. I received an email from somebody else, praising my story saying he’ll be watching for more books from me.

Maybe these two will become loyal “true” fans.

Also, I did hit #59 in one Amazon category. (Probably better than that, but I went to bed.) I was in the top 100 in the other two categories.

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So, my overall thoughts on the Countdown Deal? I’m still not really sure.

  • On one hand, I’m happy because I sold 138 books plus had people actually read it through the Kindle Unlimited program. That’s my goal right? To have people read my book? BUT, something sits wrong with me having to lose money to do so. I debate pricing my book at free to get it in people’s hands, but still struggle if people actually read the free books they download. I mean, I have a pile of free books on my Kindle I haven’t touched. Now, if I pay for them, I’m more likely to read them. Then I debate going permanently at 99 cents. I was hoping to earn back my initial investment before I went this route, but I don’t know. Have I mentioned that I just want people to read my book?
  • On the other hand, it’s a fiscally losing problem. I understand BookBub is really the way to go with adverting that brings a positive return on your investment (and it comes with a hefty price tag of somewhere around $500 depending on the genre.) The problem: Bookbub is quite restrictive and only select a fraction of the people that apply. I’ll try for it, as soon as I have 20 reviews and have Blood & Holy Water published. The other downside, is I had to raise the price of my book to $2.99 for 30 days before the promo (and 14 days after). I wonder how many sales I lost because of it? I mean, I made more money at $2.99, but making money is not my primary goal. (And less book sales = lower rank on Amazon.) Also, there were other free cross-promotion opportunities I would have liked to take part in, but couldn’t because my book was priced at $2.99 with no flexibility.

Lessons learned: If I do this again, things I want to remember.

  1. If the #1 spot in the book’s category is possible, STACKING PROMOS on a single day or over a few days is a better option. (You can check an approximate number of books sold per day for the #1 position by plugging it into this free tool HERE. It tells you how many books per day of that book sell…you have to be able to sell more than that number.)
  2. If the #1 spot is not possible, you want to spread the sales out. With the Amazon algorithms, consistent sales (and reviews) keep your built up rank longer–which makes you more visible.
  3. Some sites are better than others for promoting. I picked my promotion sites based on other’s recommendations. My gut’s telling me that Book Barbarian, ENT, My Newsletter, (maybe eReadercafe & FKBT) are my best choices for next time. (Of note, back when I first released, I used much cheaper promo sites and had very little results. I was intentionally using more expensive ones for this promo.)
  4. Newsletter is great. People click photos, so make it pretty. Keep building your newsletter list.
  5. In the mornings, before the paid promo launched, I had very few sales. I really believe that just having a countdown deal, with no advertising, will not get you far.

I come back to the same conclusion. How do you sell more books? Write more books! Everyone says it’ll take off with book 3 or 4…probably in a single series.

Again, thanks for sharing this journey with me. Until next time.

–Joy

Feel free to share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments.

 

I Need Your Vote! (& How to Advertise Kindle Scout)

First off, I’m asking for a favor. If you have an Amazon login, would you head over to Kindle Scout and nominate my novel, Blood & Holy Water? Voting ends March 5th. (Thank you in advance.)

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Kindle Scout is Amazon’s publishing platform. It was designed to keep a steady stream of good books flowing into their Kindle Unlimited program. Authors need to have a polished book, including the novel itself, the cover, editing, etc, before they submit into the program.

Once in the program, it gives Amazon a 45 day exclusivity window to consider publishing your book. To keep the author busy during this time, they are urged to solicit as many nominations as they can. As a reward for nominations, your book gets to be displayed on the Hot & Trending list. Amazon never really says if the nominations matter, speculation is that they may matter if your book is borderline, or if you get a TON of nominations, they may look at your story harder.

Okay. Now to the fun part of this blog post!

As I promised a month ago, I wanted to talk a little on how to promote your novel on Kindle Scout.

Why promote? Besides a little push it may give Amazon to select your novel,  I look at the Kindle Scout program as pre-publishing marketing. It’s just another way to build an audience for when you publish, whichever way you do that. How else could you get 1000’s of eyes on your book? The best part? On your release day (with or without a Kindle Press publishing contract) everyone that nominated your book gets an email saying they can now go and purchase it. Did this work out for me for Love, Lies & Clones? A little. I did get a handful of purchases from the Kindle Scout email, but I think I had my pricing wrong.

In my first campaign for Love, Lies & Clones I was clueless on what this whole program was and what to do in it. I pushed my book as much as possible on my platforms on Day #1, then ran out of people to bombard with my message, VOTE FOR ME! VOTE FOR ME!

Here’s what my stats looked like. The blue bars are hours on the Hot & Trending list (Remember, Hot & Trending = more visibility and exposure for your novel. Once you fall off, it’s hard to get back on.) The orange line graph is the number of page views my novel received. Notice the dreaded middle! Ouch.

llc-ks-stats

Let’s talk strategy. Your goal is to obtain as many votes as you can. Both for raising the flag to Amazon to seriously consider your novel, but to also gather an audience for when you release (even if you’re not selected.) To make this program work for you, you want to stay on the Hot & Trending list as much as possible. If your cover isn’t good, or your story doesn’t interest people, you may be out of luck, despite everything you try. THE KEY TO STAYING ON THE HOT AND TRENDING LIST IS A STEADY STREAM OF NOMINATIONS.

When does your campaign need the most help? The middle! Take a look at the huge sag! During the middle, so it’s important to be strategic with these techniques to help raise up the page views during this time–hopefully translating into votes and hours on the Hot & Trending list. Keep in mind, this is easier said than done. Here’s my current campaign for Blood & Holy Water. I’m still trying to figure it out, but the center of my campaign looks better than it did with Love, Lies & Clones. At least there’s some hours on Hot & Trending. (Note, on day 3 of my campaign, Amazon sent out a huge marketing push for the Kindle Scout program, which created that spike in everyone’s data. That had nothing to do with anything I had done.)

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Moving on. We know promoting your Kindle Scout campaign is important. How do you do it? Here’s some ideas I used or considered. (Remember, I haven’t “won” with Kindle Scout yet, so these ideas are only ideas.)

FREE MARKETING

What worked well for me with a big impact is below. (Keep in mind, I feel I could have had better results if my audience was bigger.)

Reach out to your family and friends: I used Facebook (& this blog, of course.) My author page & my personal page. My secret was that I waited to reach out to this group when my page views started to tank and I began falling off the Hot & Trending list. These friends & family are your secret weapon. Use them strategically when you need them. (Plus, you don’t want to spam them either.) I reached out to them on 9th & 11th day of my current campaign. (See graph above.)

Reach out to your mailing list: Yeah, here we are again, talking about the importance of a mailing list. (Build your list early! I can’t say that enough. Stop everything, create a giveaway, then get back to writing that novel.) I sent out an email to my group (I split my group in two and sent the same email to half of them one week and the other half the next to spread my page views/nominations out.) This got me enough nominations to push me on the Hot and Trending list for hours over two days after each email. My first newsletter went out on the 14th day of my campaign. See how the bump in page views and hot & trending hours for the next few days on the above graph. My second one went out yesterday, I’m still waiting for results. This segmenting your mailing list is a great way to keep a consistent flow of traffic to your campaign. Perhaps, break your list into 4 or 5 segments. A little push in the beginning to get you on the list, then one each week and another push 4 days from the end?

kboards: I LOVE kboards for more reasons than just my Kindle Scout campaign. It’s a great group of authors who have published on kindle. There’s a nice thread of people connected with Kindle Scout HERE, and they’ll get you a ton of nominations at the end of the campaign. (Take a look at Love, Lies & Clones campaign ending.)

These things had a marginal impact on my campaign:

Headtalker: I’m on the fence about HeadTalker. I had a campaign, I built up a social reach of over a million people and that got me a bump on the 19th and 20th day of my Blood & Holy Water Campaign (See graph above.) Here’s a link to HeadTalker.

Twitter? Um…I don’t know about this. It works better for obtaining nominations than it does for selling a novel. What worked with my last campaign, that I didn’t do with this one, was creating an automatic Direct Message that said, “I could use your help right now. Would you vote for me?” Then following 50 people a day, hopefully, they follow back and vote for you. Why I chose not to do it this time? I didn’t want to be annoying and I wanted to be more genuine.

Copromote: I used this platform to build up “credits” before my launch, then asked other people to share my message. I had nearly 100K credits/reach built up, but this went fast–and I’m not sure of the success. I tend to share posts on twitter to build my credits and then only have my message shared on the other platforms to make my credits last longer. Maybe this brought in a few page views/votes. Here’s a link to Copromote.

Goodreads: I probably just don’t know how to use this platform in its entirety, but there’s a board I posted nomination requests on. I did have a few fellow Kindle Scout authors throw a nomination my way. I also used this to distribute Advanced Reader Copies (and sent them to Kindle Scout first, to check it out before they said they were interested.) Again, a few people went this way.

PAID MARKETING

I struggled with paid marketing. If you’re taking this as a launch platform, and wanting to get as many people as possible to nominate your book for exposure for your publishing day, then paid marketing may be worthwhile. I didn’t explore this much, but know of two ways to go about doing this.

Facebook Ads: I dabbled in this. I spent $2.60 to run my ad for 1&1/2 days. I picked to boost a post to people who liked my page and their friends. The reason I chose to do this is because Facebook only displays your page posts to a few people who liked your page. I have over 200 people there, and only then had seen my request. My boost was scheduled for 7 days at a budget of $2 per day, but I stopped it early, after 2 days because it started to show to the same people over and over. (Remember, I don’t want to be annoying.) This got me the page view boost on days 19 and 20 on the above graph though. You can boost posts to custom audiences, creating a list of people who read on Kindle and follow authors of similar stories. I had tried this with Love, Lies & Clones and felt it got quite expensive quickly…with minimal results for the price. BUT, I’m not an expert at Facebook Ads. In fact, I really don’t know much at all. Expanding and dabbling with this would be a great way to keep that steady trickle of nominations.

Author Shout: I hadn’t heard of this program during my first campaign and only discovered it halfway into my second campaign. Of the other authors I interact with, they say this has been helpful with a steady trickle of nominations. (Some authors citing about 20 page views from this program.) They have a Kindle Scout campaign that costs $10. If I would have known, I may have given this a try. Next time. Here’s a link to them.

And I’ll leave this post at that. Please ask questions if you have any and share your own wisdom in the comments.

–Joy

 

If you’d like to read more, Lincoln Cole, a Kindle Scout winner, has a fantastic reference book. It’s called “Kindle Scout Guide: How to Run a Hot & Trending Campaign and Improve Your Odds of Getting Picked” This is THE book to get to walk you through your campaign, from preparation, to marketing, to what happens next.

Also, you can check out one of my blog posts about the program HERE (Preparing for Kindle Scout) or HERE (My Nomination Request for my previous novel). Or, head over to the Kindle Scout website HERE.

 

1000 True Fans – Make Your Blog Work for You!

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In my quest to find 1000 “true” fans, February’s focus is on growing your fan base through social media. The suggestion is to have two platforms and focus on them. For me it’s Facebook and Twitter. (Many people have luck with Pinterest, Instagram, Linked-In, etc. I don’t have much experience with these…but will explore them as the year goes on.)

My favorite form of social media though? Yup, my blog.

Review of Past Week (Mission 7: Using your free giveaway): Success!!! Wow!

Last week was unbelievable in terms of mailing list growth. I participated in two events. The first was a giveaway of speculative fiction stories using http://www.mybookcave.com. I’m using the 60 day free trial. Here’s the free giveaway I’m in that still runs until the end of the month. I also coordinated my own giveaway, seeking 20 participants through http://www.kBoards.com and a Facebook group I belong to. How did it go?

Drum Roll…Ready?

Current Mailing List Subscriptions: 338 fans / 1000 true fans (Up 263 from last week!!! INCREASE OF 400%!) (Okay, I know these aren’t all “true” fans, and I know that my measure of mailing list subscribers is now a faulty way to measure this, but it’s what I have right now.)

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This Weeks Mission: Putting your blog to work!

It’s been over a year now that I’ve been blogging about my journey and I’m still learning. As I said above, blogging is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE form of social media. It’s the best of both worlds: you get to interact with plenty of awesome, like-minded individuals PLUS you get to learn something. (I love learning!) Here’s a hodgepodge of information I’ve picked up on blogging.

What are you blogging about? In Week 4 we discussed platform. Are you sticking with it? Is it what readers want to hear about? When I first started blogging, I thought this was a great spot to post my writing. Quickly, I found out I had more engagement blogging about my writing journey than I did with posting my stories. How did I know? I looked at my top performing posts. Which ones had more likes? More comments? Those were the type of posts I wanted to continue creating. Does this mean you should give up your dream of having a zillion people read your six-word-stories or your serial novel? ABSOLUTELY NOT! That just means you need to go out and find your audience. I had more interaction with my writing journey posts because I had been interacting with those type of people.

How do you find your audience? I’m exploring this more and more as time passes. I had never thought of promoting my blog on my other social networks. Twitter, Facebook, and KBoards have been great for this. Did you know there are twitter hashtags for nearly every day of the week to connect bloggers together?

  • #SundayBlogShare
  • #MondayBlogs
  • #TeaserTuesday or #TuesdayShare
  • #WriterWednesday or #WWWBlogs
  • #ThrowbackThursday
  • #FridayReads or #FridayShares or #StoryFriday
  • #ArchiveSaturday

I find, the best way is not to wait for people to find you. It’s to go out and find those followers yourself. Who would like to read your blog? Who’s your audience? If your platform is sharing your serial novel, connecting with other authors who write serial novels may be one idea…but you want READERS. Find people tagging their posts as “AM Reading” or “Book Reviews” or a similar. Here’s a nice link of hashtags. I tend to tag my blogs with similar tags. Then, once you find someone, see what they have to say. Do you agree? Like it? Make a comment. Interaction is the key. Hopefully, people get back to you and conversation happens. Maybe you’ll turn into mutual fans.

What’s your user’s experience? How “pretty” is your blog? I’m big on visuals. What does your blog look like? Will people actually read it? These days, you need pictures. Plus people have short attention spans and you need to keep your paragraphs short. Highlight keywords–as many people only skim what you wrote. Time is short, with all the information on the internet, why would they spend time on your blog? (Again, I’m not an expert, but I’m learning.) I’ve read that a blog post should be about 500-1000 words. (This one’s about 1000 words…which I’m thinking is too long.)

Other random ideas for putting your blog to work:

Cross-Promotions: Group together with similar people and use each other’s reach to grow your own. I hosted a book giveaway last weekend on a page in my blog. I had 20 authors participate and everyone received 100-300 new sign-ups for their newsletter. The best thing? Besides time, it was free. (And I met a whole new group of great people to network with.) Other things I’ve seen: Author interviews, blog tours, book reviews, and others. Whatever fits into your platform.

Reblog and Share: I admit, I’m not good at this. I love it when someone reblogs my stuff, but I don’t tend to reblog much. I’ll grow into this…someday. Consistent posting is helpful for building your audience. Reblogging and sharing is a great way to post something routinely AND build relationships with other bloggers.

And then, my biggest tip: Always engage your audience. Interact. HAVE FUN!

My goals this week: Get back to basics. My favorite thing about using WordPress is reading through other people’s blog posts. You can do this with other platforms as well. This week, I’m committing to cleaning up my reader and setting up the right keywords–hopefully, I meet some new friends.

Want to read more?

Next Week: Keeping Fans – Newsletter Content

If you want to get caught up on 2017’s journey to find 1000 fans, check out the 1000 “True” Fan Landing Page.

Any secrets you have to building your blog audience? Please share in the comments.

Cover Reveals or Cover Input?

I’m partaking in a HUGE event right now for writers and lovers of stories of suspense called Mystery Thriller Week. (Check out the giant calendar of events HERE.) Somewhere during the preparation for this event, I was asked by author Bryce Gibson if I would host a cover reveal on my blog.

Cover reveal? What’s the purpose of that?

Frantically, I went to my favorite reference (google, of course) and did a little preliminary research before I explained to Bryce that my blog is more about the writing journey…then thought that a post on what cover reveals are would be an interesting topic.

So here we are. As followers of my blog know, I’ve never done a “cover reveal” with my own novels. I always ask for input on my covers. Here were some of the graphics I’ve created in the past when I was seeking input from various social media channels:

which-cover-do-you-like-better_-1 which-catches-your-eye-first_-1

I know this way of feedback isn’t perfect, but it’s better than me picking which one I like best. (BTW-I have terrible taste.)

So…on to the point of this blog post.

What is a cover reveal? A cover reveal is a planned day, before the release of your novel, for you to give the world the first glimpse of your story.

What are the benefits of a cover reveal? As I’m learning, much of the marketing of a novel is done BEFORE release day. A cover reveal is another outlet to start pre-publishing advertising. To begin to get readers excited for your book. If you’ve read anything about marketing and advertising, a potential customer needs to see something many times before they decide to make a purchase. (Some say 7 times, other say the magic number is 20. Wow.) A cover reveal is another way to get branding and image in front of the reader.

So…on to the cover reveal I have for you today.

Drumroll…

the-reading-buddy-cover

I don’t know about you, but this definitely makes me want to read the blurb. The Reading Buddy will be up for pre-order on Amazon in April. You can watch for it on Bryce’s Amazon Author Page or by following him on any of these social media channels.

 

 

 

About author-photothe Author: Bryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of the The South. He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full time as a farmer, and lives in South Carolina with his wife and their dog.

Bryce is the author of the Young Adult thriller, Perennials, and the Southern mystery, Unclaimed Acre. His next book, The Reading Buddy will be available in 2017.

 

 

And finally, to answer my question in the title of this blog post: Cover Reveal or Cover Input?

Well, I think it depends on your platform. For me, I’m sharing each step of my journey, which includes me wanting to share the actual design and selection of my cover. (And the multiple failed attempts in between.) If I didn’t blog…and had a professional design team, I’d probably go with the cover reveal.

What are your thoughts?

Crime Division: Medications as a Murder Weapon (in Fiction Writing, Of Course) Joynell Schultz, PharmD, RPh

Here’s an article I wrote for Mystery Thriller Week called, “Medications as a Murder Weapon (In Fiction Writing, of Course)” Check it out if you’re interested.

Mystery Thriller Week

Hmmm… You have someone to kill. You need a creative way, and the old-fashioned gun, knife, rope, or pillow suffixation simply won’t do. Using a medication sounds intriguing. In the alphabet soup of drugs, which one makes the perfect instrument of death?

View original post 1,191 more words

Check Out These FREE eBook (and How To Design Your Own Promo)

In my blog post earlier this week, I mentioned that I was coordinating a newsletter growing promotion. Well, here it is… It’s all over. But you can do your own.

***Make sure to scroll all the way to the end of this blog post, I have another fantasy / science fiction FREE eBook promotion down at the bottom. ***

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I coordinated this one myself, and it was a little more work than I thought it would be. Hopefully, it’s a success and all these authors find readers for their books. If you wouldn’t mind, it’d be fabulous if you’d take a look at the page I made and perhaps find something that interests you.)

Now, you ask. How did I coordinate this? It started with a few of us author’s complaining about our pathetic mailing lists. A few, more experienced authors saying you needed to get involved in one of these cross-promotion things. Well, how do you get involved in one of these? YOU NEED A BIG MAILING LIST! It’s an endless loop, so we thought we’d create our own. Our goal was to find 20 authors to participate. Here’s the steps:

  1. Ask everywhere you have connections if they have a giveaway and if they’d like to participate. I used Facebook groups I belonged to along with a post on kBoards. After a few days, I pulled together the twenty authors I needed. (You’d think 20 slots would have filled much faster, but it turns out many authors don’t have freebies put together. The other authors, already having huge lists and are involved in much larger scale promotions.)
  2. Using my blog, I created a landing page to host the author’s giveaways along with the links to their book and a sentence or two description. It took a little bit of time gathering all the info I needed and having the participating authors change a little. Pull outs due to contracting and scrambling for new additions. It worked out though.
  3. I created a Facebook group for all the authors to get together for instruction and to snag the graphics I made using Canva.
  4. I created a HeadTalker campaign for the authors to support, that would give at least one post directing their fans to the site.
  5. The only requirement for the authors is to share this giveaway any way they can. No minimum newsletter subscribers, twitter followers, etc.
  6. Now, the promotion is out of my hands. I need to trust the author to spread the word, and I can’t wait to see how many page views this promotion gets.

Okay…on to the SECOND promotion that I’m in. This one is fantasy and science fiction only (my favs!) HERE’s the link

happy girl reading book by the window in winter

I hope you find something to read this weekend. 🙂

–Joy

Lessons Learned; 60 Days of Self-Publishing

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Sixty days have passed since self-publishing my novel, Love, Lies & Clones. I posted about my lessons learned in the first 30 days HERE. I wanted to focus on the second 30 days with this post. They have been PAINFUL!

Remember my writing goal? All I want is for people to READ what I’ve wrote (and enjoy it.) Writing is completely a hobby so I’m not trying to make any money doing it, but I did want to share the economics during this journey. (I still say writing is not an expensive hobby. Try being a triathlon addict. One race can set you back a few thousand dollars…plus the equipment? Ouch.)

Here’s just a quick overview of the first 30 days (December 16 until January 15) as a reminder:

  • Expenses: $389
  • Net Income for first 30 days: $95
  • Profit/Loss: $-294

For the first 30 days, I had my book priced at 99 cents with a goal of gaining readers (since I’m a new author.) Here’s my sales:

  • 63 eBooks (Profit of $21)
  • 18 paperbacks (remember, it’s for sale in my parent’s zoo.)

I decided that I wanted to try a kindle countdown deal and to do so, I needed to raise the price to $2.99 for 30 days. I knew that raising the price would decrease the number of sales. (In fact, I thought I wouldn’t get any!)

So, how did the next 30 days go?

I had already tested some advertising while my book was priced at 99 cents with minimal success, so I decided I wouldn’t do any paid advertising, except Amazon Marketing Service (AMS) Ads while it was priced at $2.99. I wanted to save my advertising dollars for a Kindle Countdown Deal. I’ll post about that next week.

So… With nothing more than my routine blogging, a facebook and twitter post or two, and the AMS Ads, here’s my sales:

  • 13 eBooks (Profit of $26.52)
  • 5 paperbacks (Profit of $13.95) My parent’s zoo is closed for the season.

Note how, despite selling 50 less books, I made more money. (Unfortunately, my main goal is to have people read the book, not make money. This is the part that has been painful. I’ll go a two or three or more days in a row without a single sale.)

Just this past weekend, a local book club decided to make Love, Lies & Clones their March book read. (Thank you) That accounted for 4 sales so far. (2 paperbacks and 2 ebooks)

My Expenses This Month: $4.63 on AMS Ads. (Plus, all the paid promos for my countdown deal, but those expense will be deferred until my next post.) So, my balance sheet:

  • Expenses: $394
  • Net Income for first 30 days: $135
  • Profit/Loss: $-259

Lesson’s Learned This Month:

Mailing List: A mailing list is SO important. Not only does it help you reach out to your readers, it also qualifies you for some promotional opportunities that work (Newsletter swaps). BUT to participate, many of them require huge mailing lists. What I should have done is started building this list a year ago. Offered a freebie through instafreebies or My Book Cave way back then. I have yet to send a newsletter out and I may still change my mind on this.

Amazon Rank: You’re undiscovered unless you rank in the top 100 of your category. Preferably top 20. On my release, I should have thrown more money into advertising, even if I know it wouldn’t come back immediately. I’m spending about $200 on my Kindle Countdown. We’ll see if that is a good figure, or if it should be less…or more.

Author Interviews: These take time and at this stage in the game, I’ve seen very little (if any) success. I am doing a guest blog post this week and we’ll see if that has a little more impact.

Kindle Unlimited Page Reads: I thought the higher price would bring in Kindle Unlimited Page Reads — It didn’t.

Amazon Book Page: I continue to fine tune my page on Amazon. I’ve tweaked my blurb (using bold and adding in review comments), checked my reviews (I have 15 of them, averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars), and tried to figure out what is not making people click the purchase button. The only thing I can think to do to attract more readers is change the cover…but will that even help if they don’t find you in the first place?

Today starts my Kindle Countdown Deal, where Love, Lies & Clones is only 99 Cents. I have the following promotional sites booked. I’m not expecting to earn my investment back, but I hope half of it. I’ll talk about my reasoning when I post the outcome. Stay tuned for a recap of what worked, and what didn’t.

  • 2/16 – Book Barbarian ($20) & My Book Cave-All Week Exposure ($20)
    2/17 – eReader News Today ENT ($30) & Sweet Free Books ($7) & My Newsletter will go out.
    2/18 – Book Sends / eReader IQ ($35)
    2/19 – Guest blog for Mystery Thriller Week (I wrote an article about using medications as murder weapons) (Free), HeadTalker Campaign (Free), & a few Ask David Tweets ($2 – Maybe)
    2/20 – eReader Cafe ($25) & a few more Ask David Tweets ($1 maybe)
    2/21 – Free Kindle Books & Tips FKBT ($30)
    2/22 – Bargain Booksy $50

 

Again, thanks for sharing this journey with me. Until next time.

–Joy

Feel free to share your thoughts and wisdom in the comments.