My Publishing Journey: The Formula?

Today in these interesting times I talk about my signing event last, updates on success at marketing, work in progress and much more.

Sales & Marketing Success?

For those of you who have been following my blog I’ve been reviewing all aspects of my sales and marketing with an aim to create a sustainable income from my IN THE END series of Zompoc novels.

I started primarily with testing out different aspects of Facebook advertising, but then after reading and researching I have branched out in other areas. Here’s a recap plus a few changes I recently made.

Facebook Adverts

Image optimisation – I went through several different background images, with and without the cover showing and different calls to action on the ad itself. Here’s the images I tested and the eventual winners. I’m still not averse to trying other images to see if they work better.

The last two adverts are the ones I’m currently running and there’s no identifiable difference between their effectiveness.

Targeting – I then looked at the targeting, actually reducing the audience I was aiming at. I now only target those USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand who have primary interest in Zombies and read fiction.

I’ve taken a look at the blurb, which I am happy with, the price point of the first novel, (£1.99/$1.99). Today I have made some adjustments to my author bio on Amazon to make it shorter, promote my mailing list and free books and make it more relevant to my fiction in general.

I currently have 578 clicks in the last seven days with a cost per click of around 12p. That gives a cost of £68. I have amazon book sales and page reads of £64.50. That looks at first glance to be a loss but I have also sold 32 audiobooks of IN THE END with a value of £149.12! I’m not counting BEFORE THE END audio sales as they need to payback the production costs before I count them.

So the total sales resulting in the most part from the £68 advertising for the week is £213.62. Or to put it another way, its a profit of 200% of my outlay. Now that’s a result from most people’s viewpoint!

There are a few little blips in the above. I took part in a promotion within the Zompoc Facebook group where I gave out a tonne of free audio codes and it actually resulted in an additional sales of around 10 audiobooks on the same day. Other authors in the group reported the same phenomena, but I will never know to what extent that added to the figures.

The next question is can I need to think about is can I even further scale this to increase the income. Well I’m going to hold that thought for a few weeks to firstly see if I can maintain this current level of sales before I try and push out further.

This is my first glimmer of my fiction being able to support me in later life and it will only get better as I finish the series.

On the note about Facebook advertising, I scheduled a call with one of Facebook’s advertising team to see if they can find any way to improve my ads. I’ve heard they’re not much use but it’s free so worth a try. I’ll report back next week.

It’s also worth saying that I am currently getting zero read through from the zombie apocalypse novels to FATE’S AMBITION. Although this is not a major concern, I am trying to find out ways I can improve this but it may just be that there is no cross-over between the audiences. I think I will be running a kindle countdown deal on the book soon and see if that can ignite some sales and page reads!

Signing Event After Action Report

I arrived full of excitement for this new event in Reading, Berkshire, hopeful that the Coronavirus wasn’t going to keep people from the shops.

Here’s a look at the setup for the day.

I changed things around a little while through the day as my banner was blocking my view of people coming from the entrance at the other end of the shop.

So how did it go? The day was quiet. You could put it down to the pandemic we’re all going though, some people were a bit more weary, or it just could have been one of those days. I did however sell seven books, matching the sales from the last time I was at the store. I’ve been invited back so I may well take the books manager up on it again, but in a few months time when the light beer issue is hopefully gone away.

Work in Progress

Today I’m on my second day off from work with the sole purpose of writing the dirty draft of the last act of AFTER THE END. My success at marketing has given me massive motivation to get what is the current final boon in the series done.

At the beginning of yesterday I set myself a target of 10,000 words for the two days, out of a total predicted act length of 25,000. Yesterday I managed to work in stints of around an hour with a small treat at the end of each, such as a coffee or ten minutes on the internet, guilt free. The process worked, although it was hard work, and I managed to get 7,500 words done. I’m now hoping to match that again today. We’ll see.

Last week I announced I was shelving the novella for my Carrie Harris series in favour of a novella for IN THE END. This week I’m 13% through the dirty draft and the story is slowly coming together. As I write I’m trying to figure out how I can write about what happens in the world and in the fast-paced style, without giving away too much about the journey of discovery the characters go through in the first half of IN THE END.

Other News

There’s not too much else going on in my world at the moment. I’m hoping my next author event will be a market stall in Basingstoke but with all that is going on in world and the very local area (we have cases in our town), I’m going to hold off with my plans.

Keep safe everyone! Comments and questions welcomed as always!

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