Alright, so today I’m conducting my first test drive for paid book promotion with my latest release – Raven’s Flock. The work will be deeply discounted at 99 cents and in the front matter, I’m including the boxed set of Trilogy I, also for 99 cents.
And finally, for those who want a freebie – The Skyehawk Chronicles are also pasted into the front matter, which the reader can gain access to in exchange for a mailing address.
Hey, five books for $1.98 isn’t a bad deal for anyone, and it’s what I’m using to entice potential buyers into purchasing my work. Now, I will be emailing my own mailing list of this offer as well – 5 books for $1.98 will be plastered onto the headline since roughly 15% of my mailing list has zero idea that I have four books out, given the 125 signups in April.
Paid Book Promotion.
Here’s what I’m expecting.
1 – Monstrous Rise in the Rankings
My overall goal is to catapult Raven’s Flock into the top 50,000 books on Amazon, which is where most of the money is made among indie authors. Now, there are millions of books on Amazon – something like 5 million at the most conservative estimate – so this is why paid promotion is so valuable especially with a smaller mailing list.
If you’re truly serious about earning money from your books, you need to get them into the top 50,000. We do this in several ways – either through cross-promotion, joint-promotion, giveaways, and of course, using paid services.
For this reason, you always want to use services with the largest mailing lists for top results. Don’t just use a promo service because it’s cheap – though some cheap ones do exist out there like Book Doggy, who I’ve seen fantastic results with promoting Northern Knights for just $18.
I recommend you go with services like Bargain Booksy, which is rather cost-effective compared to their cousin, Free Boosky – about half the price. Just Kindle Books is a great one to use, with their top promotion being just $43 – however, I often go with the middle promotion as the top promo only gives you an extra 2-3 days on their web page and social media posts.
I always go for the mailing list size as email is still proven to this day to bring in the highest number of sales as opposed to social media and web traffic. So, don’t bother with paying for social media posts on your book.
Book Raid is another one I saw good results with when I promoted Northern Knights, and they’re a PPC promo site, meaning you only pay for clicks – it’s like 8 cents a click, up to $30, so up to 375 clicks, which should equal between 30-45 sales from Book Raid.
Book Rebel is another one I decided to go with since I saw great results from Northern Knights as well and they’re reasonably priced at $33.
Basically, I’m stacking these promos back to back to back to back, from April 20th to April 23rd. I’m expecting between 30-45 99-cent downloads from each or 120-180 downloads. Remember, 99-cent books, especially from relatively unknown authors, aren’t going to sell a huge number, but even this will catapult my work into the upper tier of Amazon’s rankings.
2 – Backlist Downloads
One reason why I deeply discounted the First Trilogy set to 99 cents as well is I’d love to see it rise in the rankings before I slowly return its price, along with Raven’s Flock, to their resting $2.99-$3.99. I’m hoping to receive between 30-40 total downloads of the backlist box set, which is what will give my new and current readers four books for $1.98.
And of course, if they wish – as I’ll be providing my mailing list solid updates on Book V and The Renegades – they can join my mailing list with the exchange of an email address for another free work (priced at $5.99) on Amazon for a grand total of five books for $1.98, or 39.6 cents per book.
Cheap deal, but definitely one that’ll skyrocket the works in the rankings at least for a small amount of time. Couple this with the fact I’ve been reaching out to reviewers and it’s a solid 1-2 combo – more sales plus more reviews.
I’ll likely use the same strategy for my cross-promotions with authors of other deeply discounted books plus joint-promos if we’re promoting one another’s paid works. Set each work in the series to 99 cents, promote with a sense of urgency to grab the work at its special price, then bam! Watch the sales trickle in.
Like with the paid promos for paid works – you aren’t going to see a miracle unless your work has 20+ reviews, but it will raise the books in the rankings and entice other readers to buy the work.
Now, you might be wondering why anyone would buy the fourth work in a series?
This is where the book description and the cover is so important. You need to absolutely nail it AND spin it as if it can be read as a standalone. The reader will see from my sales copy – which you can view here – that Raven is a new character to the series, having never appeared in the first three books.
I’ve always likened Raven’s Flock to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Technically Episode IV in Star Wars, the majority of fans to this day choose to read it first.
In the Chronicles of Narnia, many also read ‘The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe’ first, despite the book listed second in the series.
That said, the fourth in series is definitely a hot buy.
3 – A Few Reviews
Now, most customers won’t leave reviews, mainly because reviewing works has become an industry of its own in reading circles, with book bloggers reading and reviewing works on Amazon and other major sites while blogging about the work and setting up affiliate links for readers to purchase.
That said, the best way to acquire reviews is the hope a few books bloggers are making paid investment in a work, which they will do if they’re buying with an Amazon gift card or if authors leave money for them in a donation pool – which a lot of reviewers do.
So, don’t think it’s far-fetched to expect some reviews. Often for free works, it’s about 1 in 350-400 downloads – but in the realm of paid works, that number can be brought down to around 1 in 100 – people value paid works more than they do free works.
I know I always read work that I paid for before I do freebies – if I even touch them unless an author requests that I do.
So, I will be expecting between 1 and 2 reviews from these readers, and I have about 4 more reviews for Raven’s Flock on the way which should give me between 10-12 in the coming months total from this first batch of readers and reviewers who come across the work.
A dozen reviews may not seem like a lot, but in the long run, it will entice Amazon to promote it over other works – even newer ones that haven’t received the same type of attention. Plus, the more reviews you accrue on a regular basis, the longer your work will stick around the top 50,000 and again, it’s where about 90% of the income is made.
Overall, this stacked promotion will cost me:
$45 from Bargain Booksy
$20 from Book Doggy
$30 or less from Book Raid
$33 from Book Rebel
$128 maximum – a relatively cheap price for book promotion.
So, with between 120-180 downloads, we’re looking at roughly $1 a download. Add the projected 30-45 downloads for my backlist as well, and we’re looking at a grand total of 150-225 downloads total.
Take in the 35% royalties (if a book is priced under $2.99, royalties are half of Amazon’s usual 70%), I’m looking to earn $52.50 cents to $63, which equates to roughly 45-50 cents a download. Not bad for a paid promotion.
I will be writing a follow up post to show you the actual results of my first paid promotion and where I plan to go from here.