Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Word Witch Wednesday - the second ad's results

As you know, I've been trying a few new things with marketing my books. Two weeks ago, I ran an ad for a sale on my urban fantasy novel, Of Blood and Sorrow. It didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but I did learn from it. (Still no new reviews for the book.)

Yesterday, an ad for my newest release, Dark Dawning (Totem #1) ran in The Fussy Librarian. This was a nicely economical choice. I put the book in both the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genres for $22. The Fussy Librarian was quick in responding, efficient in setting it up, and sent an email making sure the info was correct two days beforehand.

But I didn't make my money back. In fact, this ad fell far short of expectations. The book is only available on Amazon. I had 2 sales yesterday.

This book is part of a series, so that wasn't the problem. I'm starting to come to the conclusion that ads probably only work if you're putting your book free for a limited time or you're already famous.

My final ad will be in Bargain Booksy on Monday. This is the most expensive one, and it is also the release date of the second book in the Totem series. Fingers crossed!

Another new marketing venture I've been trying is newsletter swaps. What this means is that I promote an author's book in my newsletter and they promote mine in theirs. I haven't noticed any effect on sales or newsletter subscribers from previous swaps until the one I did on Monday for the MegaSale. I got a couple of sales from it, but I got over 100 new subscribers to my newsletter.

Did it help that the sale was accompanied by a giveaway with a prize of a $100 Amazon gift card? I can guarantee you it did.

When someone subscribes to my newsletter, I offer up a free ebook (The 13th Floor Complete Collection) as a thank you. I would say only 10% actually responded and took the book. They were excited to get a new read, and every one of them were polite about it. I'm hoping that if readers like The 13th Floor series, they're going to love Totem.

Do you sign up for newsletters just to get an entry in giveaways? Do you take free ebooks when they're offered to you?


  1. Hi Christine - thanks for trying the ads (various) and then for letting us know. I'll sign up for a newsletter if I want to .. the free books don't really entice ... but I enjoy them .. cheers Hilary

  2. I love to read about your experiences. I so much hate the marketing side of this business. I'm still waiting for Oprah to mention me. (Is she still on TV?) I think our biggest problem is the plethora of free books out there. Why should any one EVER BUY a book, since they can fill their Kindle catalog with free ones. Until that scourge passes, I can't see any marketing doing a whole bunch of good.

  3. Several of my books were featured in the Fussy Librarian but that was back when it was free. Offering a free book for a newsletter sign up or doing a newsletter swap sounds like a better deal.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Christine. I haven't tried any of this so I'm learning a lot. :)

    I think the newsletter switch up sounds like a good cross-promotion idea - a win-win.

  5. Hilary, the free books don't entice me either. I just like fun stuff and the news!

    Mac, I have no idea if Oprah is still on TV somewhere! I agree with you about all the free content out there. It's frustrating.

    Alex, I agree!

    Madeline, you're welcome. I'm happy to share. :)

  6. I ALWAYS take free ebooks. I mean, you'd have to be crazy not to, right?

    I've participated in a few newsletter sign up giveaways and seen great numbers from them, but those don't necessarily translate into sales or even interest. Regardless, I think having someone's email is the BEST way to market. Lately, the trend has been to have people follow author profiles on Amazon. They get notifications whenever you release a new book if they're following you.

    Truthfully, I don't sign up for newsletters. It's because my inbox is already overrun. I'll follow someone on twitter or like a facebook page, but email is a big commitment.

  7. I've noticed that with buying book ads, they work the best with free books. I have yet to make my money back on ads I bought with books I put on sale for 99cents. There's always a few sales, but not enough to make what I spent back.

  8. I always take my free books. (I didn't yours because I own it, LOL)

    It's so hard to find something that works like a charm. I do think the higher prizes are a good idea- maybe combine forces with other writers to up the give away prize.

  9. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'll admit, I'm on the Bookbub email list and I only look at the free books. I feel bad about that, but I suspect that's the mindset of most readers out there. Look, there's so much content--The Wall of Content--that no one has to pay for anything any more if they don't want to. There's always something free. So unless it's an author they already know and love and are willing to pay for . . . The only way to get those readers is via freebies. If they like it, they'll come back and buy more. Hopefully. It sucks for writers because most of us can't make a living, but . . . That's the reality.

  10. Don't forget your page reads in KU. Did they go up with the ad?

    I do sometimes sign up to newsletters for the free read. Of course, I have so many books to read that unless I think I'll love the book, then I don't take advantage of it being free.

  11. I do take free books when offered but there are so many offered now I only take the ones that interest me in some way like the cover, title or blurb or overall premise. Any of those things can sell me.

    When it first started I took a lot for giveaways but again there are so many. My email is not swamped by authors their promotions and freebies. I have not unsubscribed from those I chose to subscribe to but I have been thinking about it because of that and only keep the ones I am sincerely interested and I think I will get to read. I have so many books that it takes TIME to read them all and people I know and interact with come first and move up my read list.

    I loved Chrys blog fest launch for her book. That is one the most unique and interesting ways I have seen to date. I don't know how well she did but it definitely was fun and drew my attention.

    Now I am not so quick to enter drawing type giveaways anymore, especially, if it involves having to sign up with multi authors because there are too many emails already and I don't want to add to them unless I am genuinely interested in.

    Good luck with the ads.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  12. Oh, wanted to add one more thought, I am a voracious reader. I would never have believed I could get enough books to keep up with my reading addiction. Now in 2016, I cannot keep up with all the books I want to read. I read as little as 5 books a month, normally more. It boggles my mind that I am now overwhelmed and have to pick and choose in an even more selective way than I already did.


  13. Well boo on the ads! And thank you so much for sharing what you've discovered.

    I really like the idea of a book swap, and I liked the other idea you had of recommending similar books for people in the newsletter.

    I don't sign up for newsletters just for a giveaway, but if I do sign up for a newsletter and a free book is offered. I to take it. It would not be prudent not to. ;)

  14. It's so helpful to hear your ad experiences--even if they haven't been as awesome as you might hope. Fingers crossed for your next one! I need to get on this newsletter swap thing--sounds really fun.

  15. Crystal, me too!

    Patricia, that is the lesson I'm learning too.

    Elizabeth, a free read is always welcome. :)

    M, I'm seeing that Wall of Content more and more. I guess all we can do is try to climb over it.

    Cherie, a little bit. I don't know what's good on those page reads, though.

    Juneta, I'm a big reader too, and like you, I now have to be picky when I'm reading books because there are so many.

    Holly, very true! I do have a huge TBR list, though. *LOL*

    Meradeth, the trick in these swaps is to get in with authors in your genre that have big mailing lists. I don't have a big mailing list yet, but some I've swapped with had 10,000 subscribers! That's great free promotion.

  16. I'll take a free ebook if I think there's a good chance I'll want to read it. I already have so many books piled up in my Kindle there's no point in getting more. I sign up for newsletters when I'm interested in the author, regardless of whether there's a giveaway or not.

  17. I never sign up for newsletters to get a freebie or giveaway entry, I must admit. Keeping up with my inbox can be so overwhelming that I only like to sign up if I'm already a fan of that author's work!

  18. Ken, me too.

    Heather, my inbox can get scary full too!

  19. Of all the ads we've run, BookBub and Kindle Books and Tips have been the only ones worth the cash spent.

  20. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I also already have The 13th Floor, but I only sign up when I want news and updates from not so famous people who won't email me every day or even every week. I split my emails up between five addresses and I filter probably 80% of my emails, and I still get annoyed sometimes. I really think email lists work best for non-fiction authors. I have one non-fiction author who sends stuff out every week and I don't mind, but I still filter them in a dedicated folder. I hope the Bargain Booksy goes well!!

  21. Diane, that's what I've been hearing too.

    Krystal, you're smart to filter your email like that. I should do the same thing!


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