Paid Advertising for eBooks
I’ve been looking forward to writing this post! Albeit, I was hoping for better results.
eBook Marketing Services
One month ago, I had a bit of extra money, and I used that money to reserve a promo spot with BargainBooksy. Why them? I regularly listen to many podcasts that offer tips on writing and publishing. From those recommendations, I discovered these paid marketing sites: FreeBooksy, BargainBooksy (FreeBooksy’s sister site), and BookBub. Any author can use them. These sites offer book marketing for self-published authors as well as traditionally published authors.
For BargainBooksy, all I had to do was reserve my spot and submit the requested material (summary, [discounted] price), money etc). The process was simple. The allure of using them meant even though I didn't have a huge fan base, they did. And they would place my book in their daily newsletter that targets a specific genre of readers. The day my promo ran, my book was 8th in line of 12 other books in their newsletter. That’s A LOT of discounted books to compete against. Here’s what my promo looked like:
Book Marketing Tactics
There are many different third party sites that offer promo ads for authors, but these were the three that were talked about most on the podcasts. They had a good reputation and I assumed I’d break-even, if not make a bit of money as well. I was eager to try BargainBooksy.
Now, here I am. My promo spot aired yesterday.
Book Marketing Research
Two days prior to my promo running, I decided to do a bit more research on Google and came across an old blog post, written by Kate M. Colby. She stated less than exciting results. When I read that, I got nervous. I wasn’t sure if I should pull my promo (if I could) and save money, but after thinking about it, I knew that I needed to move forward with the ad. I needed to find out for myself and was willing to take a gamble. What’s life without a little risk? Plus, her blog post was over a year old, and maybe her results weren’t the norm.
Danger of Comparing
My hope is to provide you with current information regarding my own experience. If you don’t know who I am, I’m an author with three books (two of them published in 2017, one published in 2013). When comparing results, know that I’m not a “new” author, and I’m not an “established” one either. My newest books (2017) went through many revisions (critique partner feedback), had an amazing editor, and great covers. Scythe of Darkness is the book that I promoted. It released June 13th and had a relatively good launch. But since launch day, my results slowed considerably. Currently, I get more KENP reads than sales (the book used to be available on multiple platforms, but that's a blog post reserved for another time).
Paid Advertising Tips
My promo ad with BargainBooksy cost $70, and it targeted paranormal romance readers (141,000 people). They have many other options that cost half as much, and in hindsight, I should’ve paid for the $40 option, targeting fantasy/paranormal readers (126,000 people). Other options that I had considered for my book would target fewer readers, so I didn’t glance twice at those. At the time when I had reserved my spot, I was still in the frame-of-mind: I’ll make my money back, therefore spending more could mean making more.
Book Marketing Research, My Results
Yesterday, I sold 21 books ($1.99 each, 70% Kindle Countdown royalty rate retained) A far cry from selling 70+ books. A far cry from breaking-even. I made $30. I believe the majority of sales was from BB, but I also posted the discount on my Facebook page (boosted for $4), as well as on Twitter and Instagram.
$70 - $30 = $40 in the hole. Chart (results are only for Scythe of Darkness) below:
Will I use them again? Possibly. Maybe I need to play around with the reduced book price and choose a different BB option (the $40). But for now, I'll be working on new Amazon Sponsor Ads. Those don't take a lot of money, only hours researching keywords. I’ll also research other marketing sites, such as Fussy Librarian.
One of my next blog posts will cover my KDP results (relatively good) and non-KDP results. If you want this information, sign-up for my newsletter by clicking the black button.
WRITING TIP: These articles describe the reality of royalties (traditional AND indie). I found the information interesting! I’m on the fence, wondering if I should query an agent with my newest manuscript, or keep indie publishing. There are disadvantages and advantages to both, but it's always tempting to try for the traditional route. These articles provide good insight on the subject, and what a "debut" author can expect:
Great Tool for Writers