Can you make $$$ on Smaller promotions?

Written By: Jackie Weger - Mar• 01•17

Blogging results of small promotions. Are they worth the effort? You decide.

marketing-strategy-planLast December I blogged about beta testing promotions sans a Bookbub slot. I wanted to learn if indie authors could earn out in promotions less costly than Bookbub. The answer on the first beta test was YES. Read it HERE. The thing about beta testing a success is attempting to duplicate it. A second thing I’m testing out are various combinations of a slate or promoters. I’ve completed two more beta-tests. Telling you upfront–these two were not as successful, but still earned a return.  I learned quite a bit.  Keep in mind I write romance novels. My units are in Select. Different genres might have better or less results. So with no more ado, here are results:

I ran 5 day Free on No Perfect Fate, January 2017. Total units moved: 7,316. Spend: $431.00. Earned $689.30. Plus: 98,931 KENP pages read and 127 crossover sales of 2.99 priced books. When that is added, a nice return on investment–a bit over $1000.

I promoted  with these folks: eReaderIQ. DigitalBookToday. Kindle Romance Deal and Steals. Awesome Gang ($10). Hot Zippy. My Book Cave.

“Such a great book! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry – you’ll FEEL!” avp ~vickie. Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited. “I urge you to get this book and set aside some quality time to savor the prose. Oh, yes…have some Kleenex ready, ‘cause you’ll need it.” avp~western reader.

Book Scream. Genre Pulse ($19). eBookStage. eBookHound. KindleBookReview. free99books. Just Kindlebooks. ($10).  Book deal hunter. ContentMo (free). ItsWriteNow (free). FKBT.  ask.David (free). Readers (free). freebooksy ($100). Reading Deals Submission Tool-$29. Accent on Romance Newsletter-my subscriber list-15K. Cost for my newsletter: $56 a month.

Who would I drop off of this list? Freebooksy and Reading Deals Submission Tool. Freebooksy did not move as many units as my newsletter. I only heard from two promoters on the Reading Deals Submission Tool–plus it is very easy to submit to those promoters and learn if a unit is accepted or not.  Moving on…

I ran a 5 day FREE on No Perfect Secret, February 2017.  Total Units moved: 6,080. Spend: $408. Earned $726.72. Plus: 91,015 KENP pages read and 135 crossover sales of 2.99 priced books.  I think the return on investment will run about $1200. There maybe a little tail  on this promo because it ended on the last day of February.

March 22, 2017 UPDATE:  The only absolute way to discern a tail on a promo is no further promotions for the following 21 days.  So. I haven’t promoted so much as a Tweet on my units these past 21 days. Haven’t spent 5 cents. Here’s the tail report March 1 to 21: 135 units sold at price. 90,374 KENP. Royalties: $730.10. Bottom line: Small promotions can earn out. You won’t see the grand sums one would earn with a Bookbub slot, but done right, and steady on small promotions can put $$$ in your pocket and keep your books visible.

I promoted with: eReaderIQ. Booktastik. PeopleReads. eReaderNewsToday. Digital Books Today. eBookSoda. eBookBetty. Reading Deals. The Books Machine. Many Books. eReader Cafe (free). Mega Books Deal. ReaderGazette (free). Bookbub CPM ad ($200). Accent on Romance newsletter.  I also co-promoted newsletters with two other authors. Accent on Romance also promoted a Rafflecopter with four other authors. I added in the Bookbub ad because since offered, we’ve had mixed messages about the success of  the CPM ads.

Bookbub meme No Perfect Secret

Meme for Bookbub Ad. Perhaps it could use a better slug line. Now: Read FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

Who would I drop off this list? The 5 day CMP Bookbub Ad. Bookbub moved 1000 units. So did my newsletter which cost $56. There may be a better way to engage a Bookbub CPM ad.  Bookbub charged $50 for  the first 345 downloads. Bid charge per 1000 impressions: $6.51. On a positive note…No Perfect Secret gathered 1000 new readers. There is this, too:  Major publishing houses are also buying those CPM ads–so indie authors are are competing with best selling branded authors in ebooks and print editions. When Bookbub first opened for business, indie authors had a lock on those promo slots. The print publishers sneered at digital books. Now, they don’t.  And they love Bookbub as indie authors do. It is far more difficult to snag a regular Bookbub promo slot.

Now, if you are wondering how a FREE unit earns $$$: It is this: Readers visit your book pages, download the free and also ‘borrow’ or buy other books in an author’s list. If a reader enjoys a book, she may post a review. That’s a plus. Except for about  20 reviews on my books, all are organic. That is: Readers responding to this gentle plea at THE END of my stories…

Thank you for taking time to read [title]. If you enjoyed it, please consider telling your friends or posting a short review.  Word of mouth is an author’s best friend and much appreciated. 

Trending: Lower downloads in promotions across the board. I use Bookbub’s pricing list as a guide, among other data.  In the past Bookbub suggested average downloads in romance to be in the neighborhood of 60K. Today average downloads on a free romance unit is: 37,300. Priced at 99c or more–average downloads expected: 3400 or less.

We can still earn $$$. We just have to be savvy and plan our promos. And work with tighter budgets. We also need to continue to build our subscribers lists and keep those subscribers interested. Networking is a boon. In eNovel authors at Work, we support one another’s promotions and lend a hand toward our successes. As our market matures the challenges are greater. Amazon affiliates are in the publishing business too, with various imprints.

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I’m Jackie Weger, founder of eNovel Authors at Work. @1917.  Thank you for visiting. Comments welcome. Be nice. If you can’t be nice, be articulate. We welcome you to share your stories. Do take a moment to visit our blogs where you will discover helpful tips–none of which cost $$$.



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  1. Emily Kaplan says:

    Good stuff. Thanks, Jackie.

  2. MM Jaye says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jackie! Great insight!

  3. Good information, Jackie, thank you!

  4. Thanks for running these beta tests and compiling the results.

  5. dalefurse says:

    Great info. Thanks for sharing your results.

  6. Terrific post, Jackie. Don’t know if it helps anyone reading the comments but I always use Justkindlebooks, Bookhearts and GreatBooksGreatDeals (GBGD) when I do promo. I find that they deliver a good service. Also, Justkindlebooks allows me to give my own bitly and it helps to track the clicks afterwards.

  7. As always, pure gold. Thank you so much for sharing, Jackie!

  8. Wow! Great results. You work hard at your promotions and it pays off. Well done.

  9. ajlape672014 says:

    I did this FREE promo with Jackie and had great return and used Digital Book Today (free ad), Kindle Book Review Media Blast, Booktastik, reading deals, and David Tweets.

  10. Traci Hall says:

    Awesome results Jackie! Great job, and thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you, Jackie. Brilliant work and insight, as always.

  12. Thanks for great breakdown, Jackie!

  13. Linda Lee says:

    Thanks for your insights, Jackie. Shared. 🙂

  14. Mary Smith says:

    Thanks for this, Jackie. Just been turned by BookBub so am thinking about how to proceed. Would you recommend FREE rather than 99c?

  15. Barbara Plum says:

    I write thrillers, but I plan to check out your promo groups to see if some will work for me.

  16. Thank you for sharing, Jackie ?

  17. […] All of which costs $$$.  Savvy promotion costs money. Read about successful smaller promotions HERE  and […]

  18. […] Weger of eNovel Authors At Work (#eNovAaW) recently shared her experience promoting her book using free days. Even though Bookbub has repeatedly accepted her, she wanted to learn if indie authors could earn […]

  19. Thanks for sharing. It’s one thing for someone to say a promotion worked or not, but seeing the numbers means understanding how well it went.

    • Jackie Weger says:

      Susan Gourley: You are welcome. I get annoyed with authors who say: I sold a ton of books.” So, I trot over to book tracker and see they sold 10 or 20. Or perhaps not even that. Book stats down in the 1000,000s. They ain’t selling and they ain’t making any $$. I don’t get these ego trips. We need facts to make the right decisions for our books. I share facts. Another author may do better, especially in a different genre. My books have a lot of competition with some wonderful writers.

  20. Emily Kaplan says:

    Great info. Definitely bookmarking for my next promo.

  21. dalefurse says:

    Thanks for sharing, Jackie. And so nice to see you had a positive return on your investment. 🙂

  22. Thanks for sharing, Jackie. Your energy astounds me!! I will try to duplicate 😉

  23. Mary Smith says:

    Great information, Jackie. Thanks.

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