It’s Monday morning and my weekend promotional blitz is winding down though I am still selling books. I must say the results of my blitz were quite surprising. Four years ago, when I first started indie publishing my large catalog of titles, I spent a small fortune on advertising on reader-friendly sites like KND and Kindleboards. They were considered the biggies and prices and competition were high.
I never got a return on my investment. Yes, I did sell a lot of books, and I did get exposure, but that huge financial windfall of going viral never materialized. Times have changed. In the year since I last placed a paid advertisement on a book website, the popularity of book websites has grown tremendously. In fact, the whole dynamic of the marketplace is different.
I now believe Amazon is so flooded with books that it is impossible to get noticed by its own internal algorithms. I believe reader’s want help and suggestions in deciding what book to devour next and smart web site owners have come up with solutions. These new sites allow reader’s to pick and choose what they see using their own likes and dislikes. Some of these sites have huge subscriber lists and these subscribers buy the books emailed to them. Think about it. You’ve got 5,000,000 ebooks to choose from on Amazon or you open your email to the books you’ve specifically shown an interest in.
This said, I will continue to purchase more promotions as I prepare another huge blitz at the end of this month. I did sell books with this last one, and I did get a return on investment, not much, but what’s important is the exposure. I’m not going to say which sites sold the most books for me (don’t want a good thing to get out and have them raise their prices) but I will give a few pointers on how to pick them.
1. Of course, the biggies like Bookbub are going to cost a fortune, they are also extremely competitive and sell books. Aim for a lot of smaller sites with cheap rates for wide exposure.
2. Always check the Alexa ranking. I found a site with a worldwide ranking of under 25,000 offering ads that cost less than $25. Most sites under 100,000 should charge no more than $50 for anything.
3. Try to space each individual ad one day a part. A string of ads will not only show you what worked but also sales over time rather than all at once will raise your rank on the Amazon algorithm.
4. Once the promotion goes live you will be emailed links and share buttons. Use them. Tell everyone you know you’re being featured on a site. Get the buzz going.
So, that’s about it. I spent about $150 total on thirteen different spots for different books. I sold a combined @500 books in a three day period and residual sales are still floating in. Don’t just let your books sit on the Amazon virtual shelf gathering virtual dust, get noticed!