Friday, April 4, 2014

Adventures in Marketing: My Latest Effort

There are times I wish that someone had told me that writing my book was the easy part - the hard stuff came with the marketing.  Obviously, some people are more adept at coming up with ways to sell their novels than others.  You can put me in the "others" category.   I can't say that I enjoy marketing. I'm one of those people who wish I could devote all my time to writing and leave the marketing to some sort of magical marketing minions.  But since that's not going to happen - I decided to try something a little different.

I published my novel (Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not) at the end of September, 2013.  Since that time, I have promoted my book with three virtual book tours and I have been pleased with the exposure.  In March, I decided to try something a little different. Instead of a virtual book tour - I choose to use a three prong approach.  

First, I did a little research.  There are a lot of sites that promote books.  I looked for sites that I felt were a good fit for my novel and then went to Alexa to check their ranking.  I considered the number of visitors to each site as well as the cost of their promotion packages. 

I chose:

1. eBook Soda  

I set the date to begin my attack:  Thursday,  March 27, 2014

I lowered the price of my book to 99 cents (Thursday - Sunday)

I asked my family and friends to help me get the word out by sharing links on facebook, etc.

The morning of the 27th arrived.  I went to my Author Central page and checked my ranking; it was humbling to say the least.  My novel was ranked 250,914 among all ebooks and 26,785 among teen ebooks.  

StoryFinds listed my book on their daily specials.  (This cost me $20.00)

At Young Adult Promo Central, I was the featured author. I shared a post, book trailer, book blurb, etc.  (I purchased their Gold Promotion - $25.00.  The normal price of this promo was $50 but they are running a sale.)

eBook Soda featured my book on the email list.  (This was free.)

I shared the links to StoryFinds and YA Promo Central as well as eBook Soda on twitter, Facebook and Google+ communities.  

By Friday morning, my novel had moved up in ranking.  Among all ebooks, mine was now ranked at 30,293 and among teen ebooks - it was ranked 1,551.  At lunch time, my book had peaked at just over 1,300 in teen ebooks.  

On Monday morning, I checked my Author Central page again.  My novel was ranked at 22,893 in all ebooks and 2,323 in teen ebooks.

Now, I will be honest - I don't know which site generated the most sales but I do know that people visiting YA Promo Central were actively engaged due to the stats I saw on my blog.  I also think  some sales came from people who saw the "shares" of my family and friends. 

Total Cost of the Promotion:  $45.00  

I wish I could say that this was the marketing effort that sent me to Amazon's top 100.  But even though it didn't, I was pleased with the results.

Beginning:    all ebooks  250,914   teens:  26,785
Ending:        all ebooks   22,893    teens:   2,323

I would think this approach would work with a variety of sites and genres.  It is important to find sites that are a good fit for your novel.  But you can't stop there - you have to enlist the help of others to spread the word.  I hope this is helpful.  Thanks for stopping by and Happy Marketing!