Promo Efforts–What Really Works?

Full Cover-mJust a quick post today. I’m under deadline on the follow-up book to Clean Burn (buy it here), the second in the Janelle Watkins Private Investigation series from Exhibit A. I really need to be working on Janelle’s latest case (tentatively titled Hangtown Fry) instead of the innumerable other tasks I like to use for procrastination purposes.

But I am a bit preoccupied by the fact that I’ve got an ad running today. This time my new box set, Unsuitably Yours (buy it here), is in BookGorilla’s daily email today, under the category “bestseller.” Just for giggles, I threw in a Facebook “promote post” as well to see if that would improve things even more.

bn KAREN SANDLER Unsuitably YoursThe Facebook ad was probably a waste of money. Because if you define “effective promotion” as an effort which increases sales, then the Facebook boosts and page promotes are decidedly ineffective. They do work as promised. “Page promotes” boost my likes at about the rate Facebook suggests they will at each price level. And boosted posts always “reach” at least the number (usually more) that Facebook says it will for the number of dollars I spend.

However, best as I can tell, sales do not increase one whit with Facebook promotions. Those who “like” my page or are “reached” by my boosted post do not actually click through to buy my books.

Perhaps these efforts are more effective with other products, or with more well-known authors. But for moi, it’s a waste of my shekels.

Awakening Final cover-s

Awakening (buy it here)

Also ineffective is any scheme where my book is featured on a website somewhere. That presupposes a reader is going to go to that website in the first place, always a dicey proposition. Even if they go to that site via an email they’ve subscribed to, if the link in the email goes to a poorly-designed site where the reader has to click yet another link before getting to the buy page, they are unlikely to click and then later buy.

The cream of the crop for book promotion is BookBub. For those who have never heard of BookBub, it is a daily email that shares with their subscribers bargains on books in the subscribers’ interest areas. It’s fairly exclusive from the author’s perspective–BookBub picks and chooses which books they advertise, and the end result is an email with maybe 4-10 books (dependent on how many categories the subscriber has selected).  There are “buy links” for each book that takes the reader directly to the Kindle/Nook/Apple page. One more click and you own the book. I’ve bought plenty of books through BookBub. I and the other two authors whose books comprise the box set Unsuitably Perfect (buy it here), ran a BookBub ad a few months ago that made that book a huge bestseller. So BookBub works.

BookGorilla has a similar model as BookBub (a daily email), although it advertises Kindle books only and is much less exclusive. They feature between 12 and 25 books. Good for authors who have been turned down by BookBub, and BookGorilla’s more affordable price makes it a much better deal. But we’ll have to see just how effective a promotion it is–i.e., does it lead to increased sales?

I’ll update this post later with my results.

Addendum: My BookGorilla ad ran 10-10-13. My sales did increase that day and overnight, but the increased royalties during the ad period totaled a little less than half of what I paid for the ad. I saw almost no carryover in sales of my other books, and sales of the advertised book seem to have stalled. If I see a significant change over the next couple days, I’ll add another addendum.

About karensandler

Lover of chocolate. A couple felines short of full-fledged Cat Lady. Author of the YA Tankborn Trilogy (TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION), from Tu Books. Founding team member of We Need Diverse Books. Opinions expressed here are my own.
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5 Responses to Promo Efforts–What Really Works?

  1. I realized a while back that Fb promos do little but increase likes. Haven’t tried Bookbub but I’ve looked at their onsite numbers and they seem to be leader in terms of returns on advertising dollar spent.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Karen. Other than a few FB promos, which you’re right do nothing to increase sales, I haven’t dipped my toe into the paid promo waters. Sadly, my one connected book (3 spinoffs that could benefit from spillover) is borderline erotica–not really hard core, but not quite r-rated, either. My bad. Next series will definitely be easier to promote.

    Good luck!


  3. Pingback: Beware the Facebook Ads | karensandler

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