Monday, July 18, 2016

How I hit #19 on Amazon's Top 100 Free List & Spent Less Than $200 in Advertising

Last week I offered my novel Reborn to readers for free using Amazon's KDP Select free days. To my surprise, the book hit 19 on the top 100 free list. Even cooler, it stayed in the top 100 for its entire free run.

I say surprise because Bookbub had turned it down (in your face BB!) and I didn't feel all that confident in other paid marketing venues. In fact, I booked only one paid list (Freebooksy, which actually generated a decent amount of free downloads). I was bracing myself for the whole thing to be a huge, giant FAIL only to have my book's free run perform very well.

So how did my book do so well with so little support?

Well, first of all, let me share that I've been an indie since before Bookbub existed. I was here when selling books was so easy some people made millions (I came in at the tail end of that, unfortunately) and I was here when third party lists (aka Bookbub) were the key to success and now I'm here as most of those third party lists fade and authors are left to mill about as they try to figure out what's worth spending their marketing dollars on (FB ads? Twitter ads? Amazon ads? What exactly?).

Which is why I even bothered to write this post. We're in the middle of a marketing paradigm shift. What used to work isn't very effective anymore, what does work is up in the air and the new hot things in marketing are expensive. (I just looked at a $2000 marketing package put together by one marketing site. WHAT??? And that's not the only place doing those kinds of 'packages!')

Unfortunately, I cannot offer you any quick fixes. Most of what I did relies on the fact that I've been around for a while and have built up things like my newsletter, network and key technical skills.

But, if I can do it, so can you!

AND it doesn't cost $2,000!

Here's the laundry list...

1. I spent $100 on Facebook ads. I budgeted for more, but that's what I ended up spending. Because I've been doing ads for a while, I know how to target readers and write ad copy that gets clicks. My click through rates were 10%+ at a cost of $0.08 per click. The problem was, with just 3 days in my free run, my FB ads couldn't really gear up and hit critical mass. This is one of the major drawbacks to FB ads, they don't move fast enough in the short term.

2. I hit Facebook groups. Since I've been around for years, I seem to be able to post in 50+ FB groups at one time without going to FB jail. (Please don't let writing that jinx me!) I hit the groups hard at the start of the free run and just before it ended. It definitely moved books BUT note that I spent some time on my 'ad copy.' I didn't slap just any ol' string of words into my posts.

3.Reborn is part of a larger project. So I had other authors who wanted to see Reborn do well because it also benefited them via sell through to their books in the series. They helped promote the free run.

4.I am part of a strong author community in my genre. I've built both the Wolf Pack reader group and a private parallel group for authors in my genre. When we work together, we are a marketing powerhouse. Reborn is not the first book in the group to rank on the top 100 free list and I doubt it will be the last. (We are also pretty good at improving rank and sales on paid books, but that's a whole other post.) Authors spread the word on my free run and I did some newsletter swaps for the book as well (i.e. I share their book, they share mine.)

5. I have a big newsletter (since I'm such an ancient indie and all) and readers supported the free run. They downloaded, shared posts, liked my FB post in various groups and were generally behind the book cheering it on. (THANK YOU READERS!) So basically, I went into this free run with a reader base, which always helps.

6. I made sure to tell everyone this was the first time Reborn had ever been free so readers would know they probably hadn't one clicked this particular book before. I also emphasized there were more books in the series--all in KU, which made it attractive to readers using KU.

7. Being in KU does seem to confer some extra sparkle to a free run. I don't have a lot of experience with KU, but Amazon's system really loved my book for whatever reason.

8. The book was on trend. I didn't take a book in a genre that no one cares about right now (my Burlesque action adventure romance *sob*) and set that free. No, I focused on a genre that I knew had a strong audience.

TIP: Regardless of how you write your genre, always angle your marketing to what's trending (without crossing the line into outright lying because no one likes a liar, but don't be afraid to highlight what's hot in your books...or to slap your hero on a motorcycle if everyone's digging motorcycles. No, that's not a cheap trick, it's called giving your book market appeal, much like a house needs to have curb appeal. Appeal to readers, make them happy and you'll sell books!).


WHY DID I GIVE MY BOOK AWAY FOR FREE?

For those who don't see the value in a free run, here's why I did it:

1. To push the whole series (which it did very well).

2. To find new readers (who are signing up for my newsletter in droves).

Free has a (deferred) payoff, but you must know how you're going to make it worth the initial loss of sales revenue.


Are you an author? Did you like this post? Want more? I have an irregular marketing newsletter that you can sign up for. I do NOT promote my books or anyone else's. There's no bookselling. It's just for marketing information and posts like this one.

The sign up is here: http://eepurl.com/UO8jb






Monday, July 11, 2016

Wolf Pack Howl - July 13 - 15 2016 (winners added)



Winners of the Wolf Pack Howl are posted below each author's name. Thanks for joining us!


~~~

Ellis Leigh

Betsy Pauzauskie
'My Book Boyfriend is an Animal' prize pack

Lissa Matthews

Natalie Margie Cooper
$10 Gift Card

Nancy Corrigan

Michelle Bledsoe
$10 Gift Card

Sedona Venez

Jeanette Bowman
$5 Amazon Gift Card


Jami Brumfield

Billie Metcalf
$10 Gift Card

Katalina Leon

Pam Harmon Kinsey
Wolf Pack tote with surprises inside

Rachael Slate

 Veronica Vasquez
Signed paperback copy of 'Moon Borne'

Rinelle Grey

Heather Christman QuarnstromTina RucciBelinda Lucero

Full set the 'Dragon Ruins' serial &
a SFR box set (barren planet romance)

Bethany Shaw

Jo Ann Potter Vincenti
$10 Amazon, Nook or iBooks Gift Card

C.E. Black

Diana Ware-Page
Signed paperback

Michelle Fox

Effie Kattalakis

$10 Amazon Gift Card


Olivia Arran

Missy GeniSheryl CernigliaRobin Cruce
First 3 ebooks in the Alpha Protectors series

Michelle Johnson Santana
$20 Amazon Gift Card

Krystal Shannan

Jessica Jones
Surprise autographed paperback

Sheryl Cerniglia
$5 Amazon Gift Card

Dara Fraser

Haley Scully
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Solease M Barner

Michele Fowler Henderson
$25 Amazon Gift Card

Ann Gimpel

Paranormal Book Feast
$20 Amazon Gift Card

Rebecca Rivard

Greeneyedlove Fanfiction
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Crystal Dawn

Debbie Watson
$10 Amazon Gift Card

Victoria Danann

Linda Lytle
Entire catalog of 14 ebooks

Wolf Pack Authors

Sharon Watson-Azmier 

$10 Amazon Gift Card



~~~

Join The Wolf Pack Facebook group!

It's the place to be for readers who like a good howl:



Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Wolf Pack 99 Cent Sale & Giveaway! June 8 - 10 2016



Celebrate summer with the Wolf Pack authors!

All the reads below are 99¢ or f*r*e*e!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for a special giveaway!


Sale ends Friday!


REMEMBER:  Check prices before you buy. They can change without notice.





In a world where vampires are real, blood is a financial asset and sex mixed with blood commands the highest price.




He needs a mate for a weekend, and she needs a vacation...




An innocent girl is tossed into the tiger's den.

nook   iBooks   kobo



Wolves are beasts in bed. And two are better than one...

nook   iBooks   kobo



Breezy has just become the focus of a deranged killer. Will Xan be able to save her before whoever is out to end her life succeeds?

nook   iBooks   kobo



She has one year to mate and ten sexy alpha males wolves to choose from.




Can werewolf Talia trust the new pack that rescued her, or will they betray her too?

nook   iBooks   kobo



What would you sacrifice to save the one you love?




Can this couple defeat an evil with no conscience and only the desire for vengeance to find their forever love?




A bear shifter and a naiad try to find their escaped prisoner before time runs out.

nook   iBooks   kobo



Can a wizard and a dryad defeat the evil festering in Manhattan?




Mal moved to Cedarville to start a new life and found so much more.




To save my best friend's life, I must go undercover as a blood courtesan.




Will his darkside catch up to him before he finds his mate?




What happens when a grown up Red meets her big, bad wolf?




Can Vampire, Ronan, find and save the Dragon being hunted on his patch in time!




Canidae has upped their antics and planed to hurt Owen where he feels it most. He’ll need to protect those in his pack and the little Rabbit that has found herself in the wolf’s den.




I'll either be Nash's secret weapon--or the downfall of his coven.




Will vampire Sebastian be able to save Serenity from herself?

nook   iBooks   kobo




We put the “sin” in casino. What happens when a water elemental meets a firebrand? Lots of steamy paranormal action!

nook   iBooks   kobo



A demon gives a werewolf king a second change at love he thought he'd never have.

nook   iBooks   kobo



The Norseston alpha plays matchmaker for four of the pack’s lonely, rough-around-the-edges, single wolves.




On the run...into the arms of forbidden love.




Join The Wolf Pack Facebook group!

It's the place to be for readers who like a good howl:

Don't forget to enter the giveaways! We have 2 this time!

Win a $100 or $50 gift card from the run! 


CLICK HERE!

And join our growing community for a chance to win 1 of FOUR $100 gift cards!

CLICK HERE!


Monday, May 9, 2016

Wolf Pack 99 Cent Sale & Giveaway! May 18 - 20 2016



Celebrate May with the Wolf Pack authors!

All the reads below are 99¢ or f*r*e*e!

Scroll to the bottom of this page for a special giveaway!


Sale ends Friday!


REMEMBER:  Check prices before you buy. They can change without notice.





Gambling with magic, betting on love.

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ googleplay ~ kobo 



Before being claimed by her Alpha dragon,
she makes the mistake of falling in love with his Beta...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



A wolf shifter tormented by his past,
and a mate who will do whatever it takes to save him from it.

amazon us ~ amazon uk



Meet the Broken Hill Bears: a rough, tough bunch of bear wrestlers, 
whose loyalty and passion are everything 

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



An alpha wolf fights to protect the witch he loves

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



What happens when a woman with nothing left to lose
falls for a shifter on the verge of losing everything? 

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



A wolf shifter seeking a missing pack mate
finds a different kind of mate when she meets a dark stranger.

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ googleplay ~ kobo 



Together, they will battle to save the Wolves - or die trying. 

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



If love is the ivy, secrets are the poison.

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ googleplay ~ kobo 



After the mating moon sets... a doubter will believe, 
a warrior will rise, and passion will rule the night. 

amazon us ~ amazon uk 



It was supposed to be a one-night fling--how'd we end up married?

amazon us ~ amazon uk



When the predator becomes the prey...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ googleplay ~ kobo 



An unlikely pair team up to find missing werewolves.

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



Keeping their hands to themselves is a challenge
equal to the ancient one they now face... 

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



Her dream-come-true is everyone else's nightmare!

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



Loving her might just kill him...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ kobo 



She refuses to be sacrificed to dragons,
until she meets two she can't resist...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



4 cases of paranormal mystery, with some romance sprinkled in -
escape into the PBI Case Files...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au 



Luck isn't on her side, but that hot dragon shifter
might turn out to be her new lucky charm...

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



Not even the Universe has all the answers and time is running out...
The Fate of her dragon may be the death of them all!

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au 



This wolf shifter is in Vegas to win big, not to fall for the
petite dragon who steals his winnings... and his heart.

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



Will running from her demons send her
into the arms of a sexy fallen angel?

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 



He’s back and he wants only one thing - her.

amazon us ~ amazon uk



It's time to worry when the voices in your head start talking back. 

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au



Fighting the primitive urge to mate,
will these two alphas step up when their women are in danger?

amazon us ~ amazon uk ~ amazon au
nook ~ iBooks ~ kobo 


Join The Wolf Pack Facebook group!
It's the place to be for readers who like a good howl:

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Win a $100 or $50 gift card!