Promoting a book – or not (part 4)

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about book promotions on this blog. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been promoting my books. I have and I’ve occasionally even done a really good job. It’s just that I’ve also been busy with my newsletter, my new books, a couple of stories, and life in general, so no time for blogging.

But now, back to business. So far, I can say that some things worked for me and some – not so much. For example, Books Butterfly did not work for me at all. It worked a bit for the free book option, but not at all for the 0.99 $ book. In other words, waste of money, and a lesson learned. I also tried BookBub paid advertisement. It is a pay-per-click model, but one has to be persistent and tweak the ads constantly to see what works and what not. I did not have much time for that yet, but I’ll give it a go again soon. It does not waste any money if no one clicks on the ads, which is the case with my ads, but the ultimate goal is to have people click on the ads and buy the book. I’m light years away from it so I really need to work on my spaceship.

However, I did have a very successful free book promotion of “The Neighbor”, which reached #44 in free book downloads and #13 in the contemporary romance category on Amazon at the beginning of December. The promotion ran for 3 days with more than 3000 downloads. It was a combination of a booked feature on (which was really cheap), then another mention by bknights over Fiverr (even cheaper), and the most important thing – I got a slot in the newsletter of Freebooksy. This one was not so cheap but also not very expensive (120 $ for my category) and it was certainly worth the money. The newsletter ran on the second day of promotion and it alone brought me over 2500 downloads. Compare this to 200 downloads that Books Butterfly managed the first time I had a free book promotion for “The Neighbor” and the power of Freebooksy becomes clear.

Finally, I also have a Goodreads giveaway behind me, which is an option where one pays to have 100 e-books given away for free to the people of the Goodreads community that show interest in the book and register for the giveaway. I did it with an idea to see how people like what I wrote, to garner some publicity, and get some reviews. A lot of people wanted to read the book (over 1000), and I did get some reviews. Some of them were really great and made my day. Some were not so great – but they pointed out the faults in the book, which I must agree are there and which I will attempt to either correct or avoid in my future books. Finally, there was a one 1* review where the person said they hated the book and deleted it from their Kindle. I didn’t mind that one very much because people like different books and have a right to an opinion, but I wished the author of the review could have provided me with more information about what was so wrong with my book to provoke such a reaction. Today, interestingly, I noticed that that one review was retracted. I don’t know why, but it improved the overall rating of my book, so, thanks for the retraction.

All in all, of those 100 books I gave away for free, I only got 5 written reviews and 25 star reviews in total, which is very little. I guess for my future books the best way would be to organize some advanced reader’s copies in exchange for an honest review. Since I am already a member of StoryOrigin, which provides such services, it will probably go through that app. Now I just need to write.

With that in mind, I’m off to be creative.