MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY – ROCKET FUEL

SALES AND MARKETING

For those of you who regularly follow my blog you’ll know that I planned a paid third-party promotion due to go out last Sunday. The promotion went out across two book email services as planned and I outline the results below.

Operation Dawn Wolf – For this book I used the promotion to drive people to the free book available on Amazon, Kobo and Google Play. The cost was £79 for promotions across Freebooksy and The Fussy Librarian. On the day of the promotion I had the following downloads – Amazon (2,976). Kobo (85). Google Play (58).

Those figures alone were amazing, but in addition over the following days I had around another 400 downloads, mostly from Amazon and they’re still coming in, albeit at a much slower rate. If you consider that I may get 2 downloads a day if I’m not advertising and no other sales related to the series. On the back of these downloads I sold an audio version of ODW and four copies of LESSON LEARNED, and one paid copy of ODW from a country where the book is not free to download.

An added benefit was that ODW sat at number one spot on the free kindle store for Espionage thrillers in both the US and UK marketplaces for two days and were between 38 and 78 in the overall Kindle stores in those two territories. It’s likely that the 400 plus additional downloads came from being in those chart positions. So far I have gained a handful of additional reviews and ratings from the campaign. Only time will tell if any decent number of these turn into follow on sales.

IN THE END – This promotion, costing a total of £32 was via the same sites but for low-price paid books. I believe I achieved an additional 13 sales of ITE and 2-3 sales of BTE. The effect was only for the one day and I thinks it’s plain to see that this campaign didn’t work as well as the free book download. I will classify this as a failure.

Both of the books are on a recurring monthly promotion with Fussy Librarian, so I will be able to gauge how effective this service was compared to the Freebooksy site.

All this helps add to the knowledge bank of what works and what doesn’t. I’m now collating a whole list of these types of site and I may try a few of the others in the coming months.

AFTER THE END RELEASE

The paperback is now on sale so I could order my author copies. These have now been despatched and as soon as I receive them in a week or so I’ll have signed copies on sale in my own store. I have a few to give away to readers and of course send to the British Library and they will be available if the Christmas in person events go ahead. Pre-orders have slowed a little so it looks unlikely I’ll make my target of 100 prior to launch.

CHANGES AFOOT WITH AMAZON

After the last few days I’ve spotted a few changes with the Amazon suite of author tools. The first is that KDP are introducing what seem to be positive changes to the way they handle series. Authors can now identify their books as in a series, not in a series or linked in some other way, such as a novella. They don’t say when this will start to affect the shopper’s experience but hopefully it wont be too far in the future. This is something I have been hoping for since I decided to produce companion novellas.

The other change relates to Amazon Central. This is the site where authors, both traditional and independent, set up how their author pages appear, including which books are associated with the author, plus allows viewing of reviews and sales ranks. Some of the above screenshots are taken from the new AC pages. So far it appears to be mostly cosmetic changes, but they seem much more modern and it’s easier to see the useful information. So well done Amazon!

Work in Progress

I’m over three quarters of the way through the current edit of FROM THE DEAD and I’m still tying together the new plot details and generally shaping the writing. I should have this completed by next Friday and then I’m going to put it to the side for a week or two and work on either the novella for Carrie Harris or my new PA project.

On the audiobook front, it won’t be long before production starts on LESSON LEARNED and I’m also pleased to report I have spoken with both the narrators for the previous IN THE END books. They’re both happy to collaborate on AFTER THE END. I’ve set a rough target of the end of February to get this produced.

ACX Disquiet

All ACX customers, such as myself, received a letter yesterday in hope of addressing two major concerns of the contributing community. These are that it is taking a very long time to get new audiobooks approved, going from 1 month to 3 or more and the second is to address the fears of authors that ACX / Audible’s returns policy is causing major income issues and threatens the economics of authors creating future audiobooks. In some cases Audible are actively promoting returning books once you have finished listening to them so they can listen to something else!

Theses are issues I have myself encountered and it’s great to hear that they are making changes to their QA teams in order to stick to a 30 day turnaround time for new works and that they are reviewing the returns policy. In addition they have decided to give a 5% addition royalty on all sales in December.

That’s about it for me. I’ll be back next week with my latest news as I get closer to my next release. Comments and questions welcomed as always.

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