Probably the worst thing an author has to do after finishing a book is marketing. You thought I was going to say editing, didn’t you? Actually editing and marketing are kind of a draw. They are both expensive, time consuming, and they both want to make you poke your eyes out.
But you have do both, and as I am tenacious, I tried another Freebooksy, but this time my book was wide.
You can read about how my last Freebooksy did for Don’t Run Away while it was in KU. That one was nice since I managed to get quite a few KU page reads out of it. Because my books aren’t in KU anymore, I had to depend on read through to the other books in the trilogy to make money, and in preparation for that, I bumped the other two books down to .99 to encourage people to buy them.
I did the Freebooksy ad on June 14, and I’m typing this ten days later.
This is the ad and how it looked in the newsletter:
Your ad will only do as well as your cover and copy, and Freebooksy gives you limited space for your description. It’s hard to nail it, but I’ve been reading copywriting books to try to get better at it. This probably still didn’t hit the mark, but it sounds better than previous attempts.
On the day of the promo, I only reached number 5 in the free bookstore on Amazon under Sports Romance, and with the other ad, I reached number one. That’s probably due to the fact that borrows weren’t counted into the ranking this time.
This is as high as it got, and that’s fine. Free doesn’t mean a whole lot. It’s the paid store we’re shooting for, but we’ll take what we can get for now.
So here are the numbers from the day the promo went out to today June 24th, when I’m writing this:
Free books (Don’t Run Away): 2,276
That’s not terrible. Hopefully some of those will turn into reviews because I think lack of reviews are really hurting my books and sales right now. I have no social proof these books are good. I may need to seek out some romance bloggers who will give a couple of my newer books a fair review.
Chasing You: 34
Running Scared: 27
On Amazon I sold 61 books. At 70% royalty that’s only $42 give or take. My Freebooksy cost $100.00. So I didn’t make my money back on Amazon, at least, not yet. I could still see some sales that will at least help me break even.
But I do have my books other places. How well did I do there?
Free books (Don’t Run Away): 125
Chasing You: 1
Running Scared: 1
This is for Don’t Run Away. I’m assuming they count June 13th with my June 14th results because other parts of the world are ahead of us. This is all the way up to the 24th, but you can see there was a sharp drop to no sales after the 18th. Kobo readers forgot about my book quickly, and I guess I managed to give away a few more after the promo day because readers went to check to see if the book was still free and it was, so they downloaded it.
Pretty much 0 read through to the others, but that might change if and when people get around to actually reading Don’t Run Away. It’s a well-known fact that people download free books and sometimes never get around to reading them.
It is kind of cool though that I’m starting to sell books around the world:
Cultivating a world-wide readership is the goal when you go wide. Maybe this is the start of something good.
Apple Books and Nook
Now, we can’t forget about the other two big players, Nook and Apple Books.
How did I do there?
I don’t have a hang of looking at the Draft2Digital graphs yet, so this is sales for all platforms so far:
Free book (Don’t Run Away): 1,029
Chasing You: 30
Running Scared: 13
That is all sales channels. I can break it down:
On Apple Books I’ve made $22.17 and Nook I’ve made $1.77. You can probably do a little deducing and figure out that most of my sales and giveaways were on Apple Books, which may not be surprising considering the state that Barnes and Noble is in right now.
Anyway, if we add up all sales I’ve made across all the platforms you get this: $66.83. Is that terrible? I guess not. It didn’t pay for my promo, but when you buy ads or promos you have to look at the bigger picture. You have to think about cost versus investment in your business. Plus, I may make it back. As readers hopefully read through book one, I would hope they would want to read the others, and go on to my standalones, too.
I have made one mistake though, and that is not putting the links of the other books into the back matter of my books. When they finish reading book one, they have to hunt for book two, and book three, when they finish. I don’t like begging, and I keep my front and back matter clean of calls to action. This probably hurts me because if someone wants to read the next one right away, why am I keeping them from having the link?
Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because I’m lazy. It doesn’t make sense to have all the buy links in the back of the book. If you’re reading on a Kobo device, you’re going to want the Kobo link, not the links to Nook and Apple Books. I’ve heard that Amazon won’t even let you publish books with other links in the back, that they’ll make you remove any links that don’t go to an Amazon buy page. That is a lot of work every time. I don’t know how to rectify that though without actually taking the time to make up a different file for every platform. I like having clean back matter, but I’m pretty sure it’s hurting my sales, too.
Am I happy with the Freebooksy results? I think I am, for now. Marketing is an ongoing thing, and until you can grow a readership who naturally look for your next book, you have to constantly remind readers your books are out there.
When I have this new series done, I’ll have another free book to play around with, and that will be fun.
The most annoying thing with being wide is having to have the prices match on all platforms. So when I do a .99 cent sale, I have to change the price of that book everywhere and wait for the price change to click in before I can advertise. That’s especially important when you’re doing a paid promo. Your readers are going to expect it to be the price you promised them. Right now I haven’t tried to put a different book on sale and try to grab sales that way.
I miss being only on Amazon for that reason. It was super easy to utilize your free days they give you and to plan your promos accordingly.
On the other hand, you want readers who will buy your books at full price. So, teaching them your books will be free or cheap forever isn’t going to be the way to make money. Because of this I’ll bump up my other two books in the trilogy back to a higher price at the end of the month. They may not be worth the 4.99 my standalones are, since they are older and probably not as well-written as my newest books. But I don’t think I want to keep them at .99 forever. That’s only 1.98 for three books, and I’m worth more than that.
As I always say, that’s something you have to think about for your books and your business.
Have you done any promos lately? Let me know how they’ve turned out!
My books are wide! Check them out at your favorite retailer!
Don’t Run Away: books2read.com/dont-run-away
Chasing You: books2read.com/Chasing-You
Running Scared: books2read.com/running-scared
Wherever He Goes: books2read.com/whereverhegoes1
All of Nothing: books2read.com/allofnothing1
The Years Between Us: books2read.com/the-years-between-us