Posts Tagged With: kindle

My Experience with Amazon Marketing Services

In my continued desperate attempts to get people to read my books, I decided to try out Amazon Marketing Services. For anyone who doesn’t know what that means, it’s basically a marketing service run by Amazon where you create an ad that will show up when people browse related products. You set a CPC bid (i.e. how much you pay when someone clicks the ad), along with a max budget. Then you sit back and hope the people who click your ad are willing to take the next step and purchase your book!

 

My marketing adventure …

I set up the ad for my first book, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, back in January of 2017. The CPC bid I chose was $0.35 — as in, every time someone clicks the ad, I pay Amazon 35 cents. I tried a cheaper CPC bid (25 cents) but it wasn’t getting any views, so I had to up it a bit to make it worth Amazon’s time to actually show my ad.

My max budget was $200 although, SPOILER ALERT, I totally did not run through all that money. Hahaha, can you imagine? That would mean people would actually have to click the ad.

Sarcasm aside, I did see a tiny bit of return for my investment, although definitely not nearly as much as I put in. Here’s the stats on my campaign, which I ran for about 4 months starting in January of 2017:

amazon marketing services results may 2017

 

Let’s break those numbers down …

17,990 impressions: # of people who saw the ad (or the ad showed up while they were browsing Amazon and they ignored it)

199 clicks: # of people who clicked the ad (costing me 35 cents per click)

1.106% CTR: the ratio of clicks to impressions

199 DPV: same concept as “clicks” (not sure why this is a different stat)

$69.65 Spend: amount of money I spent to get people to click the ad

$0.35 ACPC: average cost per click (because I could raise or lower the click price if I found it wasn’t getting enough views)

6 estimated orders: # of sales they’re pretty sure happened because the customer clicked the ad

$15.94 Estimated Total Sales: the amount of royalties I made off selling those 6 ebooks (which doesn’t make sense because I know for a fact I make less than $2.66 per ebook sold …)

 

So what does this mean?

I spent approximately $70 to sell $16 worth of books. It’s possible some people clicked the ad, saw the book, decided to buy it later, and therefore their sales didn’t register with the “estimated total sales” measurement — but my sales have been fairly pitiful, so I doubt that. All in all, an interesting experiment, but a failed one in my opinion. I wish it had turned out better, but ultimately the point was to see if the system worked — and for me, it definitely didn’t.

I think this sort of “cost per click” system would work a lot better if the product being sold had a higher sell price — as in, you’re paying Amazon, say, $1 per click, but you make $20 if the product sells. That would make the initial payout worth it. For a $2.99 book, however, I just can’t see how this kind of marketing makes financial sense unless the purchase rate is much, much higher.

 

Anyone else have experience with Amazon Marketing Services, or something similar? I’d love to hear about it!

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Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Musings on my first two KDP free download days!

Last weekend, I took advantage of the KDP free days promotion and put Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It on free download for the entire weekend. I’ll start by showing you the results, and then I’ll walk you through what I did to promote the book, and how effective I think said promotions were.

Ready? Steady? Go!

Here’s a screencap of the downloads graph:

kdp free days graph

So over the course of 48 hours, the grand total of downloads was: 2,861 

Now, I’m pretty darn excited about this. I know some authors get upwards of 4,000 downloads with zero promotion, but heck, it’s my first free weekend!

 

Part 1: Pre-promotion marketing tactics

About a week before the free promotion started, I signed the book up with about a dozen of those “free book blast” sites.

Here’s the site I used: http://authormarketingclub.com/members/submit-your-book/

If you scroll way down, there’s a bunch of website icons. The idea is you click on an icon, and it opens up to that site’s submission form. Most of the sites on there offer free book promotion if you’re doing a KDP free book day, but they do specify that it’s first come first served, so your book isn’t guaranteed to show up on their marketing blast. There are of course paid options to ensure your book is featured, but I just signed up for the free stuff.

Of all the sites I signed up for, the only one I saw actually tweet about my book was http://www.book-circle.com/. Others might have also promoted my book, but if they did, I didn’t see it.

All in all, it’s hard to judge the effectiveness of these sorts of sites. However, they are free, so there’s no real downside apart from time expended. So I’d say I recommend using these sites, as long as you’ve got spare time and won’t be too disappointed if nothing comes of it.

 

Part 2: Saturday (Day 1) begins!

I started off the first download day by doing the standard social media thing — tweeting about it, writing a blog post, posting on Facebook, etc. I’m part of a few writer groups on Facebook, so I posted in there as well.

Downloads started off slow — by noon on Saturday I was at about 200. Not too shabby, but not where I wanted to be! So I thought to myself: Michelle, there has to be another way to promote your free download days. But where?

 

Part 3: IMGUR

Here’s where the story really kicks off. If you haven’t heard of IMGUR, go check it out now. It’s basically just a site where people post funny photos or GIFs, and then people look at them, upvote or downvote them, and comment on them. Kind of like Reddit, except way less complicated — and way less specialized.

I love IMGUR. I go on every day and catch up on the latest memes. There’s some truly hysterical stuff on there. And I’ve tried posting a few photos on there (mostly of my roommates’ adorable cats), but those photos never made it out of “user sub” — basically, they only got maybe 20 upvotes each, and you need at least 300 upvotes to boost your post to the front page (which is the part of IMGUR that most people look at).

So I thought, what the heck. Might as well post my book — what’ s the downside? Even if it only gets 20 upvotes, that’s 20 more people downloading the book!

Thus, I posted this:

imgur postThis was posted around midday Saturday. Apparently that’s a good time to post, because over the next few hours the upvotes gradually rose. 100 … 120 … 150 … 200 … For a while, it sat around 250, and I was obviously psyched, because 250 people saw it and liked it! But I was also a little disappointed, because supposedly 300 is the magic number to get to the front page, and I was so close!

Then I stopped checking IMGUR for updates and went off to do something else for a few hours. When I came back, I saw the upvote count and nearly had a heart attack — it was over a thousand!

By Sunday, the final upvote count was ~3,000. I was beyond the moon by that point. I got a ton of awesome comments, people asking questions about my book, or about self-publishing, or about writing in general. There were obviously some trolls, but for the most part everyone was really supportive. Click here to check out the post and the comments. (And note that the top comment is a reference to a meme that’s currently popular — it has nothing to do with my book, lol.)

After my post hit the front page, free downloads skyrocketed. Victory!

 

Conclusion:

All in all, I’m really happy with my first free download weekend. I won’t say sales increased a great deal in the wake of the free days (or at all, really), but I did net 5 new reviews, so that alone is fantastic!

I wouldn’t suggest IMGUR as a good promotion platform for indie authors. It’s not an advertising site — it’s just a place to share funny photos and cool original content. I think I got away with it because I posted at the right time of day, I posted a photo of both myself (a young woman) and a cute dog, and the fact that the book was for free (i.e., I wasn’t trying to sell it, just give it away). However, if you want to check out the site and give it a try, go for it! At the very least, you’ll see some funny posts and get a good laugh out of it.

 

Thus concludes my report. Have an awesome weekend, everyone!

 

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Last call for FREE Imminent Danger download!

Greetings all!

Just wanted to remind you that Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It is only free for a few more hours (midnight Feb 1), so if you wanted to grab a copy, do it quickly!

***

Assorted links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

***

I’ll post results and lessons learned and whatnot in the next few days. Happy reading, everyone!

Unrelated media of the day:

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My book is FREE this weekend!

Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It is officially free to download this weekend (January 31 – February 1).

Click here to check it out!

* * *

Here are details about the book:

Imminent Danger Cover RevealGenre: YA sci-fi / romance / adventure

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse.

Trapped on a spaceship bound for the slave markets of Sirius B, Eris fears she’ll never see her home again. But then fate whisks her away from her reptilian captors and into the arms of Varrin, a fast-talking space pirate who promises to deliver her safely back to Earth. He claims to have her best interests at heart, but Eris soon discovers that her charming rescuer has a hidden agenda.

As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have?

* * *

I’ll be posting results of the free weekend once said weekend is over, so check back here if you’re curious. Other than that … let’s get this baby to #1 on the Free Kindle Chart!

SHWOOP.

Categories: Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Imminent Danger is Officially LIVE!

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen — Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It is re-released on Amazon and ready for your reading enjoyment! (Scroll to the end of the post for links.)

The 2nd edition features a variety of exciting updates, including:

  • A brand new cover!
  • Revised interior text! (the story didn’t change or anything, my editor and I just did another run-through to tighten up phrasing, remove some minor logistical errors, punch up the wow! factor, etc.)
  • An affordable print edition! ($12.99 list price on Amazon, compared to the previous $21.99 atrocity that iUniverse created)
  • An affordable ebook edition! (it’s enrolled in KDP, so I’ll probably be doing some free days in the near future)
  • A shout-out to my fellow WordPress bloggers in the Acknowledgments section! (if you’re reading this, you rock, and never forget that)

For anyone just finding this site for the first time, here’s the cover and description of Imminent Danger:

Imminent Danger Cover Reveal

High school junior Eris Miller thinks she’s having a bad day when her roommate’s boyfriend catches her stepping out of the shower wearing nothing but a towel. Then she gets abducted by scaly six-armed aliens with a strange fondness for the color blue, and her day suddenly gets a whole lot worse.

Trapped on a spaceship bound for the slave markets of Sirius B, Eris fears she’ll never see her home again. But then fate whisks her away from her reptilian captors and into the arms of Varrin, a fast-talking space pirate who promises to deliver her safely back to Earth. He claims to have her best interests at heart, but Eris soon discovers that her charming rescuer has a hidden agenda.

As they race across the galaxy, outrunning a villainous figure from Varrin’s past, Eris begins to realize that their relationship is putting her planet, her life and her heart in imminent danger. She knows that trusting Varrin could prove deadly … but what other choice does she have?

***

Check out the book here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

***

Call for reviews:

If you have at some point in the past read Imminent Danger and enjoyed it, please consider posting a review on any of the above sites. The reviews from the old edition did not carry over to the new edition, so currently Imminent Danger is sad and review-less. Thanks!

SHWOOP.

Categories: My Works, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Guest Post: Do Not Despair — the Digital Age is Here!

Today’s guest post comes to us from Tom Dale, a writer over at sainsburysebooks.co.uk, who was kind enough to offer some insights on the current state of digital self-publishing. Read on!

*    *    *

Do not despair; the digital age is here!

The digital age has changed the world. It has transformed the way we do almost everything, from the minute to the massive. There are valid arguments claiming that technology has enhanced our lives and those that say it has detracted from it. Personally I sit somewhere between these two camps, but on the whole I believe it has made life better and broadened possibilities for many people on the planet. The greatest achievement of the technological age, I would argue, is the enhancement of global interconnectedness. That may sound a little wordy but think about it for a second; in that second you thought about it millions of people communicated with millions more people.

eBook agains books

This greater connectivity has one key benefit for authors the world over; self publishing can be done by anyone and distributed globally in an instant. Not only that but your content will sit alongside works which have had thousands of pounds thrown at them for publication, with no distinguishable difference. When Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, a tool for authors to self-publish their books to Amazon’s Kindle store, was launched alongside its famous e-reader, the Kindle, vast new possibilities were created for authors without the resources or support to get their work published. This format has been reproduced by many other eBook publishers such as Apples iBook or Barnes and Noble’s Nook publishing services.

Gordon Willoughby, Director of Kindle EU, has had to say of these platforms: “[It] enables ‘ordinary’ Kindle authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the literary world and we’re so excited to see it succeeding for both readers and authors.” Mr Willoughby’s words ring true in light of the thousands of success stories that have come out of eBook self publication.

Amazon_Kindle_3Despite some controversy around Amazon’s publication service and rumours of excessive ‘delivery charges’ added onto Amazon’s fee for eBook sales, the KDP tool is an invaluable one for aspiring authors. If you are sitting on your first book – receiving rejection letters from traditional print publishers – do not be disheartened; it has been hailed as a cure for the depression of rejection from publishers. The tales of self-publishing success often tell of multiple rejections, only to receive multiple offers once a name was made on the eBook market.

There are a plethora of alternatives to Amazon’s KDP and I would suggest maximising your potential sales by exploring all these other avenues to ensure maximum reach. However, despite the controversy around the two royalty levels that Amazon offers, you should not exclude yourself from that market. Consider that people who own Kindles are unlikely to use other eBook purchasing services (although from I what I hear competitors such as Sainsburys’s eBooks are beginning to challenge this) and that just under half the e-reader market share is held by the Kindle, it would make no business sense to back out of such a vast market on principle or otherwise.

The HelpKathryn Stockett, author of the bestselling novel The Help, who was famously rejected dozens of times before getting her work published, has been quoted telling fellow authors: “What if I had given up at 15? Or 40? Or even 60?” And how many did stop at 40, or 50, or 60? It takes an incredibly strong person to still believe in your work after so much rejection but it would seem that this rejection has no bearing on the merit of your work.

So, in short, this new age of self-publication bypasses the depressing, even soul-destroying, world in which the fickle choice of another affects your very existence as an author. The global connectivity that has been gifted to us by the digital age has brought with it other gifts. The ability to jump straight from author to published author in a matter of hours and to see one’s work sat on the shelves, albeit digital ones, of a global bookstore alongside the best bestsellers and the most successful storytellers work. It gifts new self-confidence to demoralised authors and a road to success to those who had never broached the barrier of the ominous publisher.

Long live digital!

 

Tom Erik Dale is a freelance journalist, writer, and lover of all things literary. He has long been an enthusiastic reader of both fiction and non-fiction, and is a keen believer in the digital reader revolution.

 

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Categories: Guest Post, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Awesome news! Imminent Danger is officially available for purchase!

Today is probably the best day of my life, because I can officially announce that my debut novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, is now for sale everywhere books are sold!

Imminent Danger_blog_soft cover

Woooooooo!

Right, calming down now. I suppose links might be helpful at this point, so let’s see what I can dig up …

Click here to buy a softcover from Amazon.com.

Click here to buy a softcover from Amazon.ca.

Click here to buy an ebook from Kindle (US).

Click here to buy an ebook from Kindle (CA).

Click here to visit my website and see the complete list of online retailer options.

I’m trying to think of witty things to say here, but I’m just too gosh-darned psyched that I can finally call myself a published author. Many thanks in advance to the people who decide to give my creation a shot, and many thanks also to everyone who has supported me through this whole publishing adventure. You guys rock my proverbial socks, and I can give no higher praise than that.

To Imminent Danger! To publishing! To VICTORY!!!!!!

 

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Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 88 Comments

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