By Keely Brooke Keith
As a new author releasing my first book, I was warned that unless my book is being released by one of the Big Five (it’s not) with a hefty marketing budget (nowhere close to hefty) I should be prepared to work for my readership. I was also warned that the initial burst of sales would consist of people I had reached through my blogging efforts and social media, the book’s pre-release marketing, and largely people who knew me personally, and at about the 6-week mark, sales might stagnant.
I decided to try my own marketing push six-weeks after release, but then I realized six weeks from my book’s release date would be the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. So, I decided to do my first 99c promo during Thanksgiving week. I wanted to use a few ebook promoters to reach new readers. These ebook promoters offer readers a subscription to a daily email of ebook bargains, based on the readers preferences. Authors/publishers pay to be included in the email. Some of the promoters have hundreds of thousands of subscribers. These promoters are currently out of my budget ($400 and up to be included one email). Some have several thousand subscribers ($5-$40). Some don’t list their number of subscribers, but they come to me recommended by other authors, so I tried them.
Here are the promoters I worked with:
- $10 any genre, subscriber stats not listed
- Book also featured on their website day of ad
- My Note: My ad was scheduled to be in the email the day my book’s price was being dropped to 99c, so I went ahead and listed it as $3.99 just in case some retailers hadn’t changed the price yet. I’m glad I did because B&N did not change the price until the next day.
- Result: A small jump in sales. I would try them again listed as 99c.
- eBook must be free or 99c
- $5 any genre, no subscriber count given
- Book also promote to their 99K Twitter followers and 13K Facebook fans
- Result: A few more sales than normal. I would use them again because it’s so cheep.
- Prices differ based on the amount of subscribers to your genre and your ebook price. $10 for a 99c promo for my genre (5,000 subscribers)
- Result: A spike in sales. BooksSends was definitely the best bang for my buck.
The ebook version of The Land Uncharted returned to its regular price of $3.99 at the end of November, but since that is still considered a bargain book, I partnered with a couple other promoters for the first week of December.
- Prices differ based on your genre. $7 for my genre (17,000 subscribers)
- Book also listed in their searchable database for 30 days
- My Note: The Land Uncharted was advertised as $3.99 but Amazon still had it price at .99 all day
- My Conclusion: A small jump in sales. I would use them again.
- New Release listing $8.99, any genre
- No subscriber count given
- Includes Tweets and Facebook mention
- Result: No sales increase. Their email is formatted like a blog post and so a subscriber would have to scroll a long way to get to the buy link. I’m not recommending them at this time.
My takeaway: Overall, directly emailing readers who’ve asked for it is an effective advertising tool. These email promotion services are a great way to find new readers. Don’t expect to make money off a 99c ebook; this is about reaching new readers. The best email campaign of all is the author’s own email list, so while I’ll use some of these advertisers again someday, my marketing focus is on building my list.
About The Author
Keely Brooke Keith, author of the Uncharted series, is a bass guitarist and resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband, Marty, and their daughter, Rachel.
Keely’s debut novel, The Land Uncharted, is available at: