Time to read: 6 minutes
Happy Monday, if you like that kind of thing. Today, incidentally, is the first day of May, as well, which means everyone should probably check to see how their ads are doing and compare ad spend with royalties earned. Because my Amazon ads were running away with clicks but my royalties didn’t seem to be keeping up, I paused some of them. Sometimes that’s not the best idea, but until royalties catch up, I can only spend so much. I’ve made $219.62 this month in sales, spent $108.00 on Amazon Ads (my fault I wasn’t keeping track of them) and $39.96 on my Facebook ad for Rescue Me. Of course, that’s not great (an ROI of $71.66), and I take all the blame for my Amazon ads. I had one going for Rescue Me that didn’t make any sense, because those clicks were .34 which is what I earn on a .99 book. My FB ad is .13/click so I make a tiny something. Mostly I’m using it as a gateway to my other books, and just from Rescue Me this month I made $72.22 so at least the FB ad is paying for itself.
Over the weekend I put Faking Forever on Bookfunnel to offer a few ARCs to my newsletter subscribers and later this month I’ll need to put it on Booksprout for reviews. That is going to go live around the 17th sometime, and I need to book another promo for Give & Take. I wanted to for Captivated but that duet isn’t selling and as I have lamented before, there’s no point in trying to throw money at that duet anymore. If people find it with my low click bid ads, that’s cool, but as my backlist grows, it may just get lost in the shuffle.
Today I wanted to talk a little bit about why I give away a full novel as my reader magnet for my newsletter subscribers. You hear a lot of opinions on it. No one wants to put in that amount of work into something for nothing, or they want to make money off selling it instead. Maybe they can write something shorter that still gets the job done (but how you would measure that is debatable–maybe if no one signs up would be a hint). I can understand the reluctance, and I tried writing short for my reader magnet too. But when I realized it would be easier to just give away something longer, the idea wasn’t so painful. Mostly, I heard advice a long time ago that made sense: you want to give your readers a taste of what you write. I will never write a novella, nor do I write short stories. My Biggest Mistake is the perfect example of what I’m writing under my pen name. It’s 78k words long, is about a billionaire who finds love (and family), and it’s steamy. There really is nothing better I could give away, and if the readers who picked it up don’t like that, they sure as hell aren’t going to like what’s in my backlist I’m selling.
Someone in one of my writing groups said she read that people think their email is worth ten to twenty dollars. I tried to find the source, but after snooping around online for a bit, I gave up. What’s important here is that people don’t give their email addresses to just anyone and for just anything. Authors who don’t like newsletters and haven’t started one because of their own personal biases will probably believe this more than anyone. They protect their email and will only give it away if they know it’s worth it. A $4.99 ebook more than likely isn’t worth it unless the cover and blurb really pull them in, but perhaps the books you’ve already written add to the value, the books you’ll write, and the special offers you’ll only give newsletter subscribers might be enough to tip them over the edge. Since I started my newsletter last year around this time, I’ve given my reader magnet away 952 times. I collect email addresses through Bookfunnel and Bookfunnel sends them directly to my MailerLite account. I don’t force people to give me their address, so I’m 300 email addresses short in my MailerLite account. I was hoping to add people who really wanted to be there by giving them the choice.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, you need to make sure you’re giving value to your subscribers, and not think you’re entitled to emails just because you have a newsletter. A little short story may not do it, though there are plenty of ways to entice readers, one way being writing bonus content for newsletter subscribers only. I’m too lazy to do this– and once a story’s done in my mind, it’s done. I had one reviewer for Rescue Me say she appreciated I didn’t dangle bonus content in front of her in the form of a newsletter sign up, and I don’t do that because I’m already giving away a book and don’t feel the need to give away anything more than that. It frees up a lot of headspace.
My novel took 3 months to write and I can use it for years to build my list. I think that’s a great return on investment. I can understand if it takes you longer to write a book, but you will have to decide what you want to offer instead. It may not be good enough to entice subscribers and it will take you a lot longer to build your list.
This is all I have for his week. I’m just trying like mad to get the last book of this trilogy written, and it’s been one of those books that are more fun to read than to write. I’m going to have to make a serious effort to finish up in the next couple of weeks. I’ve already went back and read this book from the beginning twice, so I don’t need to do it again. I know exactly what I need to get it done, I just need to stop letting things get in the way. I’ve enjoyed writing this trilogy very much, and like all the other books I’ve written, I’ll be sad when their stories are done and it’s time to move on. After these are good to go, I may be able to squeeze in a Christmas novel. I really want to write one and have some kind of holiday auction plot simmering in the back of my mind, but we’ll see. I need to finish the book I AM writing first and take it from there.
Have a great first week of May everyone! Make every day count!