Promoting a book – or not (Part 3)

My book promotion journey threatens to become a book on its own. I might put all posts together and publish them as instructions on what to do (and what not to do). On second thought, I think there is plenty of similar books out there, but on third thought, they might be lacking my singular and very personal touch.

So, let’s see what’s new on the book promotion horizon of Verena Key world.

8.) To be scientifically accurate, I’ve booked Books Butterfly again, this time a platinum option (or something like that), which cost me more than the initial 80 $ top 200 push, but my book was also not free, although it was almost free (0.99 $). As before, they promised way more than they could deliver. The promotion was supposed to run for 2 weeks over their social platforms and they guaranteed 100 + downloads. I had 8 downloads altogether (counting KU reads), and at least 3 of those were the consequence of the tweets I booked over the eBooks Habit (just couldn’t resist). This time I decided to report that to the people from Books Butterfly, and they agreed to run the promotion for the remaining 92 books in November. They are very nice to talk to but something tells me that in November I won’t have much more downloads. Admittedly, “Forest Magic” is not the best book I’ve written, but it is also not the worst book in the universe, and certainly is better than many books out there that get hundreds of reviews. And maybe I am being partial, but I think I’m also realistic at least a little bit.

9.) Bargain Booksy ran my 0.99 $ “Forest Magic” again, and this time I had 30 book downloads after only one day of promotion with them. Not to mention that my last promotion of “The Neighbor” with them had brought me several sorely needed star ratings on Amazon. So, obviously, Books Butterfly could learn from them, and try to build their audience according to their preferences. Also, Bargain Booksy is very transparent and I actually see where my ad is posted and how it looks like – which cannot be said for Books Butterfly.

10.) Paid ad on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog site

Something new I tried was to pay 50 $ for a month worth of advertising on SBTB site. I came across this blog while aimlessly surfing the Internet and became a big fan. I like the informativeness of the site but also the humor. Some of the book reviews I read there made me laugh until I cried and I suggest them to anyone who needs a mood boost. At some point, I also realized they posted ads for a very accessible price (when you compare it to Amazon or Facebook paid ads). Besides learning how to make an animated GIF in Photoshop (I had no idea that was even a thing), I had around 25 clicks so far on the ad. I also advertised the Goodreads Giveaway (I’ll come to that) using that ad, so whereas I can’t tell how much overall effect it had on my sales, or on the number of entries for the Giveaway, I like to think it did have some effect, considering that I did not really advertise the giveaway through other channels.

11.) Goodreads Giveaway

There is a pop-up widget right on my homepage telling you all you need to know about it. For the uninitiated, Goodreads is a great platform where people talk about books and other book-related stuff, post reviews, blog, exchange ideas, or simply support each other. I became a member some time ago and like to go there occasionally and exchange opinions with other authors or readers. Goodreads use to organize these giveaways for free. However, recently Goodreads has become a part of the Amazon universe, and as we know, in that universe nothing is for free. Except what they allow you, and a giveaway is not one of those things. Opinions are divided as to the usefulness of the whole process, but for 119 $ you are now allowed to give away 100 free copies of your book. So, essentially, you are buying your books from Amazon and the people on Goodreads distribute them to the interested readers. Theoretically, one could also gift copies of the book to random people, but the trick is exactly that – I do not know 100 random people who might be interested in my book. Goodreads does. So I pay them to share that knowledge with me (indirectly). Considering, however, that this really increases the visibility of the book on Goodreads, and has gained me some followers, I think it is not such a bad deal. I was convinced that I would have trouble collecting even 50 entries, but so far, almost 600 people had entered the giveaway and I am impressed by the number. For all of those who do not get a book, I would be quite happy to organize another promotion on Amazon and inform them when they can download the book at a reduced price, but I don’t have the means to contact all of them. I’ll try and post a notification on my Goodreads author page at some point – maybe they’ll see it.

12.) Reviews, reviews, and reviews!

Yeah, they are important. After a lot of effort and waiting, I finally got my first written review on the book “Neighbor”. Thank you so much, whoever you are, for taking the time to write how you liked my book. And even the comment that they found the end too short – I think that, too. I still think I had to make it that way because there was not much more to say after that last chapter and I had to finish the story somewhere, but when a reader complains that 400 + pages book is too short, it only shows that they really liked reading it and wanted more! I am inclined to write a whole extra chapter just for that one person, and if I find time I will 🙂 Having such a nice review attached to my book led to an increase in sales, I believe (because I’m sure it was not the amazon ads that helped). So, readers, please, review our poor books. Honest reviews are the best advertising there is. Having said that, yeah, I have been offered to pay for reviews, but I am not a fan of such things, so I won’t. Even if they try to make it sound like I am not really paying for reviews, but for presenting my book to potential reviewers, blah, blah… It’s paying for reviews, essentially. So,… no.

I’ve had many other interesting experiences in the past few weeks – signed up for a workshop on writing, will attend a romance writer’s week organized by ProWritingAid, am supporting the development of a new serialized fiction platform called Resurgence Novels, and have written two interviews about myself and my books. But more about that later. I’m obviously having a blast and will report back soon!

1 thought on “Promoting a book – or not (Part 3)”

  1. After reading this, every though of writing a book left me for good. Seams to me that you have to have your agent to deal with promotion, or else, if you decided to promote your own book, you will not have any time to write at all!

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