eBookSoda Promotion. Worth Your Money?

Image taken from website

Marketing your book feels harder than actually writing the silly thing, and we’re all looking for inexpensive but effective ways to promote our books. I tried eBookSoda last week, hoping to promote His Frozen Heart because of the holiday season. Amazon is turning my ads down now because of their “suggestive pose” and I’m not going to swap out covers just to appease the Zon. I have to keep reader expectations in mind, and them showing a little skin clues readers in this is going to be a steamy read. Amazon tightening up their creative guidelines has more than just me in a pinch, and we’re all searching for ways to replace the ad platform.

Anyway, so while listening to a podcast, the interviewee, Sara Rosett, reminded me of the promotional site and I recalled they weren’t that expensive. For $29.00 you can buy a spot in their reader newsletter and get your book in front of new readers. Similar to eReader News Today, or Free- and BargainBooksy, this is a one-time fee for a one-time promotion.

Maybe in the case of promotions the saying, “You get what you pay for,” is accurate. eBookSoda didn’t do much for me.

Besides lack of sales, the biggest problem I had is they didn’t proofread my ad. This is totally my fault and take responsibility. I should have been more careful with my ad when I created it, but they didn’t proofread it, either, and this is the ad that showed up in the newsletter:

I know the title of the book is my fault–I’ve done this in the past, especially when typing quickly creating ads in the Amazon Ads platform. But I was saddened to see that they didn’t fix it when creating the newsletter. This is a good lesson to proof your own work, but if you expect eBookSoda to also proofread for you, don’t count on it.

As far as sales go, I only sold three books on the day it came out, and nothing afterward. Usually I get a good bump in KU reads when I do a promo, but I didn’t get that either.

You can see from the photos that on the day of the promo, I made $1.28, and the next day $1.41. I didn’t get a bump in KU reads, and those royalties are from a book set at $.99. Overall, for the month of November, I’ve made $12.33 for the first in my series, which definitely is not something to brag about. I don’t have any Amazon ads going right now, mainly because the ones I’ve submitted have been rejected by the AMS team. I was hoping turning to paid promos instead of ads would bolster sales, but it did not.

One of the few pros to the promo site is that there were only two other books with mine in the newsletter sent out that day. When you purchase a FreeBooksy or BargainBooksy through Written Word Media, your book is grouped with several, and it’s up to your book cover and ad copy to really hook a reader into clicking because there is much more to choose from.

I don’t know if eBookSoda’s claims are true–that they can reach 26,000 readers–but I didn’t go for the extras you can pay for with your promo: Twitter and Facebook. They ask if your cover is explicit to not choose the Facebook promo option, and I didn’t because I assumed they wouldn’t like my cover and didn’t want to give eBookSoda a hard time. Possibly if I had been able to choose the Twitter and Facebook ad-ons ($9.00/each) I could have had a more successful promo, or I could have spent another $18.00 on nothing.

At any rate, I won’t be trying eBookSoda again, and I will save my dollars for other promo sites even if they may be a little more expensive.

As for my Amazon ads, I’m up $30.00 total for the month, but I have paused a few of my ads because they are spending more than they are making. Mostly I’ve been writing my next book, and for now I’m going to give up on pushing these books for the holiday season. Since I’m veering off in a new direction, I’m not sure how much time and money I want to invest in my 3rd person past novels anyway. I’m getting really bummed out Amazon is giving me a hard time with my covers, and I’m thinking about going wide with them and just kind of letting them go. I’m not giving up on them, exactly, but I may have found everyone in KU I’m going to find and perhaps wide now would be a better fit. I do remember I had some kind of weird anxiety with my books on other platforms, and I’m not sure what brought that on but it’s worth remembering. There’s something comforting about having all my books just in one place, but having all your eggs in one basket can also be anxiety-inducing for others.

There’s no one answer, unfortunately, and I don’t have a clear path for what I want to do in 2021.

When I try another promo site, I will let you know! Until then, have a wonderful conclusion to 2020, and I will talk to you again soon!

Until next time!

5 thoughts on “eBookSoda Promotion. Worth Your Money?

  1. Vania, I find your posts really interesting. And this one particularly so. You are right the marketing aspect is damn hard. I have been looking at the same issue from my own angle and while I wish I had an answer, I dont. Recently I have been checking out some of my favourite authors from years ago. I was surprised they had written so many books I had never heard of. Which Showed me (rightly or wrongly) that even big authors struggle for their publishers to get the word out and that is with whole departments and Budgets (let’s not for get budgets) for marketing and their contacts with book store chains and mainstream media outlets. Good luck with you ongoing endeavours. Thanks for the work you do writing these well considered and honest articles. And if in the meanwhile I come up with a get rich scheme, I’ll let you know. All my best Paul


  2. Thank you. In the years I’ve been publishing, I have realized there is no shortcut. No magic bullet. And in these four years, I have realized that I should’ve started a newsletter. If you haven’t done so, I would do that. It’s been one of my 2020 goals, which so far I haven’t tackled yet. But in the giant scheme of marketing, authors swear by nurturing a list. I wish I had started years ago. It would be interesting to see how big my list would be right now, or what kind of a community I would have around my books. Shrug. All we can do is learn and keep moving forward. Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vania, Thanks for the wise reply.I will make a newsletter one of my goals too.
      I heard it said from other friends who are writers too that you must build up your readers from the ground up, which is a long hard road. Like you I blogged and provided articles for other blogs, I have a website and tried all the usual stuff, yet though one’s product probably has a mass market appeal, readers remain elusive. People put a lot of emphasis on the writing community (probably because it is a lonly path we tread, but other writers don’t translate to tons of readers.
      As the author of a YA fantasy trilogy my particular bugbear is the Harry Potter phenomenon which continues to fascinate and elude me. I suspect the official version of how it kicked off is some what akin to the story of Lana Turner being discovered sipping a soda fountain in a sweater – a lily well and truly gilded. Lovely talking to you. All my best Paul

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep! Seems like the stars have to align just so to make any kind of progress in this business. I’m not sure what the numbers are now, but Alex Newton of K-lytics said a few months ago that while people are reading more because they’re stuck home during lockdown and quarantine, that also means that writers are writing more. Over the summer he did a webinar and shared the stat that there are 88,000 new titles released every month. That’s not a typo, either. Trying to find any kind of traction with numbers that high is just crazy to me. And I agree, trying to break out of the writer bubble and finding readers is hard, too. I enjoy blogging to indies, and I won’t stop, but I’m fully aware that I don’t sell books off my website. That’s okay. I enjoy the non-fiction side of writing almost as much as I love the actual part of writing and publishing. Thanks for reading–I enjoy having discussions like this. Stay safe and healthy!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It is nice to have these conversations nad learn. That is one hell of a statistic! I do think there is an element of luck involved in getting noticed, and that even the lucky writers generally have a brief time in the sun. I also think that some successful writers have one way or another been able to munipulate their luck, through prior marketing knowledge and splashing a fair bit of cash in the right direction- not so much to grease the wheels but simply to get them rolling. Unfortunately that is not an option open to a lot of us. I do enjoy your articles very much

    Liked by 1 person

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