Saturday, August 9, 2014

Kindle Countdown, Promotions Sites, results

My first Kindle Countdown deal was a major success by my standards, but I didn't research or plan it very well, so I thought I'd do a little more promotion and see if I could increase sales. If you're a new self-published author, this post is meant for educational purposes. I hope you can use some of these sites to promote your work.

First off a friend recommended this site: Ereader News Today. There is a bit of a waiting list for this site, so you do have to plan ahead. Also, they do  look at your book on Amazon and take into account your reviews, and you do either have to be bargain (99 cents) or free during the promotion.  I went for the 99 cents option. I'm hoping to run Dragon's Debt through them soon. They only allow a book to be promoted once every 90 days, an author can run multiple books. Their fee depends on how many books you sell during their promotion day (somehow they magically know and will send you an invoice a week after the promotion).

Anyway, I also filled out some forms for various "free to advertise"sites. There is a big list here.


My countdown promotion ran from August 1st to August 7th. I chose the tiered approached where it was at 99 cents for the first half then $1.99 for the remainder of the period. Ereader News advertised my book on the second day of the promotion.

Here you can see the chart from my "Units Ordered" report through that period.




For whatever reason, my promotion had a rough start. The discount didn't go live until about noon. I don't know if it did the same thing the first time and I didn't notice or if something else was up. For whatever reason, I only sold 4 units that day. Not an "awful" sales day but pretty average. I've had days where I've sold four units without any sort of promotion or discount. 

However, the next day my Ereader News promotion kicked in and DANG! I sold 141 units, 137 of the book I had on promotion and a few of my other books. 

The next two days did not hit quite that excitement level. I sold 29 units (across all books) on both days. The day after that my book went back up to $1.99 and I sold 18, then 19, and on the last day  of the promotion 24 books. 

So, for me, those are awesome numbers. My average day is one or two sells. My best ever non-promotion day was like five (until today. I don't have any promotions going today and I've sold six. I like to think they are people who bought Dragon's Curse coming back to purchase the sequels.). 

As I said, the Ereader News charges based on how many units you sold during their promotion. For $137 units, they charged me $11.87. Very reasonable considering.
I'm not sure how much  I got from the other sites I posted to.

So very positive experience over all.


Edit: apparently as of 8/5/14 Ereader News has changed some of their policies. They now charge a flat fee rather than a percentage. The fee depends on the genre, I'm guessing weighted by how many submissions they usually receive in that category. Romance is $25, for instance, and fantasy $15.
Also they no longer have a requirement for you to have 10 Amazon reviews. It now states
While we do not have a minimum number of reviews that are required, we do look at the reviews to get an idea of how well the book has been received by those that have read it.


linked here

7 comments:

  1. This is great, Heidi! Thanks for sharing with us. I absolutely love when people share their numbers. Out of curiosity, when you say to plan ahead with Ereader News Daily, how far do you mean? I have a book coming out in about three months, and I want to promo my current book in synch with that, but I don't have my exact release date just yet....

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    1. It depends a little bit on their "current schedule." I'd say at least a month to be safe. I went to see if I could schedule book two last night and they were asking for two weeks notice, roughly.
      Though I did notice that in the month or so since I scheduled this promotion, they've changed their policies a bit (going to edit this back into the post in a moment). They've taken away the required 10 reviews and are now simply "considering" reviews. They also seem to be going on a flat rate charge rather than the percentage. The charge is based by genre, and for fantasy it is $15, not much more than I ended up paying anyway.

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  2. That still sounds like a pretty decent deal. I have heard about Ereader News from other authors as well, but it is nice to see actual numbers. Another question: Have your KOLL/KU borrows also been affected by the advertising?

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    1. They have been high this week. The thing is, I didn't notice an uptick in the KOLL/KU until several days after the promotion. I'm not sure if that's because the units borrowed don't show until they reach that magic 10% read point or some other reason.

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    2. If you click on the image with my sales graph (and even though I'm assuming you're familiar, just for anyone else reading along, the KOLL/KU is the blue line on the graph) you can see that I had a steady number of loans throughout the promotion, usually about four, which is higher than usual. I honestly don't get a lot of units loaned. Then in the last few days there's been a major increase, up to about nine units a day.

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  3. Nice! Sorry, I didn't see the blue line before. I can tell you for sure that the KU borrows only show up once someone has read the 10%, because I exited Select more than a week ago, but today another borrow showed up. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Heidi. This has been very helpful. I have been hemming and hawing about what to do as far as advertising, and this is some good, solid data. Much appreciated!

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    1. That's encouraging because it means people are actually reading those books. Nice. I wonder where 10% is on my novels . . .great, now I have to do math.

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