In my post nearly a month ago, I asked, “Is there such thing as a perfect book launch?” You can get caught up by reading it HERE.
My newest novel, Blood & Holy Water, launched April, 4th. I had done a ton of research on successful launch techniques and devised the best launch I was capable of.
I promised to circle back and let you know how it went.
The good news: It was the best launch I’ve ever had! (Okay, okay. It’s only my second one.) I hit #17 on one amazon best seller’s list and #3053 in the overall Kindle store.
After everything I did, here’s what my sales graph looks like for this novel for the past 3 weeks. It was priced at 99 cents for most the time. The first chart (in red) is number of units sold and the bottom chart (in blue) is Kindle page reads. (Each page read equates to about half a cent of revenue.)
On April 22nd, I raised the price to $2.99 and you can see the drop off in sales. We’ll see how this goes.
My key points I’m taking with me to my next launch:
- Kindle Scout: I had been on the fence about the Kindle Scout program. Overall, it netted me at least eight newsletter subscribers and twenty-nine book sales. Granted, some of these were family and friends that had voted for me, but there were still at least 29 sales from this program. Even better would have been if my novel was accepted. I still will do Kindle Scout next time…Maybe I should be embarrassed my book wasn’t picked, but I’m not. They only pick 3% of submitted books anyway.
- My Newsletter: This was a ROCK STAR!!! I sold another twenty-eight novels PLUS I found advanced readers to post reviews. Overall, I went live with about fifteen really good reviews on this book.
- Pre-publish a Paperback: MUST-DO to collect advanced reviews.
- Well-planned launch week. I sold 227 books the first week…though, this does not break even, it is SO NICE to see my book in so many people’s hands. My launch promotion was still spread a little thin. Next time, I’ll pile everything on 3-5 days to build up my ranking using a combo of free and paid advertising.
- Also, surprisingly I found Facebook ads helped for the book priced at 99 cents (though, I took a loss with each sale, I was trying to build up my ranking.) Now that my books $2.99, the ads don’t work as well.
The so-so things:
- My Newsletter: yeah, it also had some downsides. I felt it was a little self-promoty without building a relationship with all my subscribers first. I blogged about my panic HERE.
- Amazon giveaways to grow a following on Amazon: Maybe a handful of sales. This is probably’s not worth it.
- Goodreads giveaway to build up the “to read” list. I dunno. It only costed $8 and had nearly 700 people add it to their “to read” list. I’m uncertain if this turns into anything.
- Newsletter swaps/cross promos. So-so results at the expense of tiring out your own readers promoting other’s books.
The bad stuff: Do I really need bad stuff?
I still didn’t break even with money…but again, it’s still cheaper than many other hobbies…cheaper than a latte every morning.
Pre-publishing Costs: $335 ($105 of this was spent towards trying to find a cover I liked. I used fiverr, bought photos, etc because I just couldn’t find something I was happy with. This is part of the reason I’m leaning towards finding my own graphic designer for future novels…2018 goals.)
Publishing Promotion Costs/Advertising for Launch Week: $167 (I accidentally book an extra promo site for $40, as I thought I had been denied and forgot about it.) Next time: only $100!
Sales Since Launch: $208 (286 ebooks, 5 paperbacks, 21,155 page reads) PLUS extra promo for Love, Lies & Clones $24 (28 books, 2404 page reads) Total: $222
So…not counting pre-publishing costs, I made $55. When you add in pre-publishing costs, I’m in the hole…$280, which is about the same as Love, Lies & Clones three weeks after release, BUT it’s in the hands of a ton more readers! Win. Win. Win. (Since my goal is simply for people to read my stuff.)
I probably overspent on the launch…just like I did with my Kindle Countdown deal for Love, Lies & Clones. Oh well…it’s an experiment. Now, when The Secret Lives of the Superheroes’ Wives is ready to publish this fall, I’ll be one step closer to the “perfect” launch.
Thanks for sharing in my journey.