Thursday, July 2, 2015

Analysis on Recent Promotional Effort ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #ThursdayTidbits

Welcome to Thursday’s Tidbits where I or other authors will share tidbits of information we’ve learned along the way. These tidbits might be just a posting of some great review places or more intense like today’s offering.

If you follow this blog at all, you know I recently had a book launch for Night of the Blue Moon. This is the last book in a series with each book being by a separate author. It is also a re-released book and enjoyed it’s time in the spotlight quite a few years ago. After a re-edit, some sprucing up, it was reintroduced to the world.

Because the book was self-published this time, I wanted to put its best foot forward and decided to put it on pre-sale. It went on pre-sale April 29 and regular sale on May 15. I had planned that the launch would be at a bargain price of $0.99 and that in June or early July, the price will go up to $2.99 as will all the other books in the series.

The majority of the advertising was placed around the date of May 15th when the book went on regular sale. I tried to do two weeks of concentrated effort in order to keep the buzz up about the book. I also took some spots that had a longer ad time. I have separated my efforts into three lists: one for single day promotions, one for long promos and where I was rejected along with why if they told me. The lists includes the money it cost me, how many day or days the promo went and their individual websites so you can check them out if you want.

Single Day Promotions

1. Thunderclap ~ FREE ~ single day ~ 
2. Awesome Gang ~ $10 ~ single day ~ 
3. Booktasik ~ $5 ~ single day ~
4. eBooksoda ~ $10 ~ single day ~
5. Cheap Naughty Reads ~ $8~ single day ~ 
6. BBevel (Fiverr) ~ $20 ~ single day ~  
7. BKnights (Fiverr) ~ $21 ~ single day ~ 
8. eBook Deal of the Day ~ $10 ~ single day ~       
9. Just Kindle Books ~ $18 ~ single day ~ $18 ~     
10. Bargain Booksey ~ $40 ~ single day ~
11. The Books Machine ~ $20 ~ single day ~

Multi-day Promotions
1. eBookasaurus ~ $10 ~ four days ~
2. BTS eMag ~ $35 ~ 2 months of promo ~
3. I Heart Reading ~ $10 ~ 30 days ~   
4. Romance Promo Central ~ $20 ~ 30 days ~   
5. eBook Hounds ~ $5 ~ 2 days ~  
6. Sweet Free Books ~ $5 ~ 2 days ~ 

I also was rejected by a few places and here’s that list.

1.  Read Cheaply ~ Was rejected as they don't take new releases. ~
2. Robin Reads ~ Rejected with no real reason given. However, upon closer inspection of what they want, I have a thought it might be lack of reviews (though no listed requirements) or that it was too short (again, no real listed requirements). May try them with another book. ~ 

Each and every place was chosen based upon the following factors: cost, ease of getting a date near my target and whether or not they accepted new releases. Some were author recommendations as well. Not all of my choices meshed well with the type of book I had but there were definitely some that fared better than others.

The interesting thing is that I had bumps on several occasions. My initial bump happened on my first two days of pre-orders, which surprised me but the other books had been out for a while by that time, so I had that going. However, there was no advertising except word of mouth.

I had bumps on May 19th and 20th, which was a few days after my initial advertising spurt. And my definition of a bump is any day where I have more than one sale. Here’s a list of places that I advertised on bump days.

May 15th ~ Awesome Gang, eBookasaurus
May 19th ~ Cheap Naughty Reads, BBevel, BKnights, eBook Deal of the Day, eBookHounds
May 20th ~ eBooksoda
May 25th ~ Sweet Free Books
May 29th ~ no advertising
June 3rd ~ Bargain Booksey

My total book sales were 71 books during the advertising period and my highest overall rank was 12,044 and rankings of around 200 in its category for a very short time. And while those may seem dismal, I was quite happy for a few reasons. First, this was a re-release of a book that did quite well its first time around. It is still selling fairly consistently and that means the promo worked to get its name out there. Second, part of my task was to get my name back on the radar because it’s been over a year since I put out a book anywhere as I’ve been working on a NYC geared novel and life. But I know, I know…you want to know what advertisers did the best…and while I’ll give you numbers plus my opinion, they will be different for you should you try the exact same things.

In my honest opinion, all the places had good customer service but some were slower than others. My suggestion is to not wait around like I did but move on to the next one. There were a few that I waited for because of the cost and while they didn’t hurt, they didn’t really help either.

There were a few however that stood out. BBevel (#6) was very good. We had lots of contact and she asked lots of questions. Her posts were very good and spot on, so she’s on my list for my next promo. BKnights (#7) is awesome. They actually offered me all my money back because they felt that I didn’t make the sales they thought I should. I was pleased but didn’t take them up on their offer because that particular day I saw a bump in sales and I did have lots Facebooks likes as well as newsletter signups. There is no doubt I will be using them again.

The one that proved to be the best advertising bang-for-my-buck has to be Bargain Booksey (#10) hands down. On their day, I sold more books than any other time during the two full weeks of daily promotion. I sold 30 books on that day alone and was doing the happy dance. It was also on this day that achieved the highest rankings of my advertising period.  I will definitely be using these guys again.

So that’s it in a nutshell and although I really didn’t say what didn’t work there are obviously some that I’ll have to think about next time I do promotions. My total budget for advertising was $250 and with all these venues I spent $247 for 60 days of promotion. That works out to about $4 per day and I can live with that. Sure, some were more concentrated but I am still seeing my name out there with some of the venues I advertised with and that makes me happy. Night of the Blue Moon lives on!

To me, the whole point of the exercise was to get my name out there even more since this was a re-release. Everyone needs to figure out what they are after when they plan something like this. I had lots of time to think about how I was putting everything together and why. Again, for me it was getting my name on people’s radar since I hadn’t had a book out in a while. I accomplished that goal and now when I release again, I can go back to these venues and ask for another spot.

Yes, I would love to get into BookBub like every independent author. It’s hard to secure a space with them and it is quite expensive. If I do this again, I’ll do another report like this and I might just try them to see if I can even get in. Then I’ll gag at the fee if I have to pay it…LOL!

Still, overall, I think this was a pretty good outing for me and I learned a lot. I would definitely be interested in your opinion and your input from your own experiences.

Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again at Thursday’s Tidbits.



  1. Thanks for sharing this great list. It is just what I needed. I'm so glad I followed the link from the MFRW loop over here!

  2. Thanks so much for mentioning this on the MFRW loop, Lynn. Really useful info. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Helena, and glad it could help.

  3. Great into! Thank you, Lynn. :)

  4. This is useful information. I'm curious about your ROI. Did you end up making a profit after all your expenditures?

    1. I was hoping it might be, Wendy. My ROI wasn't immediate. The days that I promoted, I didn't make back my investment. Since then, I have. So, since I'm always looking at the long tale of publishing, I'd say overall the answer is a yes.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hey, thanks for referring some people to CheapNaughtyReads! Just as a note, you have it listed as $8 a day on here, but CNR is free.

    And thanks for the analysis, handy to see the list and price breakdown!

    1. Hmmm...interesting...I was so careful on those things. Thanks for pointing it out, Elizabeth. I'll make sure I get the information correctly in my Marketing Tidbits book coming out soon.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Thanks for the list! Interesting observations on some items. I've used BargainBooksy in the past and didn't have any bump at all. I've used a few others on your list and done well. Guess it depends on the book and the timing.
    FWIW - I have used Robin Reads - they are $10 for a single day - and had a significant bump. I will def use them again!

    1. You're very welcome, Elaine.

      Bargain Booksy was the best one for me. Great bump that day but then again, they told me I was in a great genre.

      I was rejected by Robin Reads as I don't have enough reviews on my books to get into them. Most of mine have zero reviews, which isn't good. Hope that it will get better here soon in that area.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Great list. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    1. Glad that it could be helpful. Thanks for stopping by, Jody!

  8. Hi Lynn, thank you for the info. I like Bargain Booksey too. I also like BKnights but I never got any feedback from them on how my book did or analysis. BookSCREAM did that and they only cost $5 and they will advertise up to six books at once for that price. I love them.
    Also, for $40 Kindle Books & Tips with Michael Gallagher has a New Release feature that I always do well with.
    Glad to hear you're back in business and releasing books!

    1. Glad it was helpful, Stephanie.

      I love BKnights and will use them again. They were wonderful. Thanks for showing me BookSCREAM. I'm definitely going to sign up with them. Their pricing is awesome and they're list is growing.

      I just found the $40 Kindle Books & Tips guy. He's definitely on my list for next time. I won't have a another book out until October and I'll be doing this all again. LOL!

      And yes, it was a long dry spell but I'm slowly getting back into it. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Thanks for this info, Lynn. Very helpful!

    1. Glad I could help, Aubrey. Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Thank you for sharing your experience. This is good info!

  11. This was great information, Lynn. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great info, Lynn. You mentioned about BookBub. I ran with them this past July. I put my time travel up for $1.99 and the ad cost almost $600. For the 30-45 from the ad run date, my ROI was around $1800 after the $600 fee. I'm not sure if I'm writing in the wrong genre, that the market is simply just so saturated (in a way I feel like I'm one the Zombies in WW-Z trying to scale the wall in Jerusalem :D ) or what. I truly expected the book to catapult upward, but it didn't do much at all from what I can tell when looking at bumps on other books. Just a personal observation on BookBub. I'll do it again if I can afford too, but I'm wondering about it's reach, just as I do eNews REader Today