Hello Writers of Bloglandia,
It’s time for another post in which I share with you a resource such as a book on marketing or craft, a promo site, or simply a tool that I hope will make your writing life even more marvelous.
A Reminder About These Posts
In case you missed last week’s premier Resources for Writers post, you can see why and how this all started by jumping over to the very first Resources for Writers post (featuring a review for David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Digital) HERE.
During December, I’ll be tossing up several Resources for Writers posts just to give you a taste for what this new feature is all about. After that, I’ll likely do one once or twice a month.
Of course, if you are a writer and have a resource (good or bad) you want to share, don’t be shy about contacting me so you can be featured on this, um, feature.
And if you’re reading this in the future, and want to check out all of the Resources for Writers posts, you can find them by clicking that category link hanging around near the title of this post.
Okay, let’s get going with a promo site review!!!
Testing the Promo Sites
Now, while I’ve stockpiled several book review posts, this is my first Resources post for a promo site. And I do plan on sharing several of these promo site reviews with you as I test them out.
I am running these promos individually to test them out, but normally, for the biggest bang for your buck, you would want to stack promotions from these sites over the course of four or five days. This helps boost your book in the stores and should lead to long term sales/downloads long after the promo ends.
Your best results in getting that long-term stickiness are going to come from getting consistent downloads over the course of those four or five days. But how can you know what sort of results the sites will deliver?
THAT is the point of this experimentation I’m sharing with you. You can see how my promos went, judge the numbers, and then set up your own stacked promo accordingly. And yes, i will be doing a stacked promo in January and I will share my results with you on that.
And if you have any questions about stacking and stickiness, do not hesitate to ask in the comments below!!
Your Mileage May Vary
But before we start, let’s cover a few caveats, warnings, disclaimers, or whatever you want to call them.
- First, I’m sharing nothing but my own experience with the promo site in question. Your results will vary. You might blow my results out of the water (most likely), or you might get little response. I’m not guaranteeing anything.
- Second, I am not getting anything for this review/analysis.
- Third, I am being very honest with my results. The good and the bad. And that includes my starting points. This is very uncomfortable for me because I know my book sales numbers suck. Please don’t judge me, or laugh.
Okay, I think that’s it let’s jump into this and explore the promo site….
The Fussy Librarian – Free Book Promotion
Overall Opinion: Pick me up off the floor because I’ve been gobsmacked with happiness!
The Book in Question
The book I used for this promotion is Domna, Part One: The Sun God’s Daughter. The book is permafree on all retailers. I released it, oh hell, I can’t remember, maybe January 2018. Sure, that sounds good.
However, I recently gave the series a new look with a more genre-specific cover. I also updated the back matter in all the books in the series. Part of that new back matter includes providing a direct link to buy the next book in the series.
The Goal of the Promotion
To give the newly revamped series a little boost and to see if those back of the book buy links actually worked.
The Starting Point
Without any promotions running (say via BookFunnel), this book normally gets about 10 downloads a day. The rest of the series sells maybe a few books a week.
The Promotion and the Results
For this promo experiment, I purchased a spot in The Fussy Librarian’s free books newsletter. Fussy Librarian also has a discount book newsletter which is less expensive and has generated good results for me in the past (Note: I’m doing a discount book promo in January, so I’ll share that as well).
The promo ran on 1 October 2020, and that’s a Thursday for anyone keeping track.
The results were staggering. My download numbers weren’t really any surprise (Ive run free promos with FL before and am familiar with what to expect).
Keep in mind, not everyone opens the newsletter on the day it’s sent, so you should see some downloads/sales trickling in after Promo Day. Also, I think freebies get a spot on the FL website…but don’t quote me on that.
Anyway, here’s the download numbers (I’m only sharing Amazon numbers…I forgot to write down the numbers from the other stores…oops)
- Day 1 = 414
- Day 2 = 49
- Day 3 = 40
- Day 4 = 24
And then things went mostly back to normal….but not quite.
See, something crazy started happening. The rest of the books in the series began selling like ice water in the desert!
Every single day for at least three weeks, I was selling Books 2 – 6 of the six-part series, as well as The Complete Set. Keep in mind I went into this selling a handful of books a week. After the FL promo, I was selling around ten books a day.
Not counting months when I’ve released a new book, it was honestly my best sales month ever.
The Nuts & Bolts
Fussy Librarian promo spots cost between $15 and $65. The price varies depending on genre and whether your book is free (most expensive) or discounted (cheaper option).
This cost is pretty damn affordable, although as with every other type of book promotion, the prices are creeping up. However, FL does occasionally send out decent discounts to its loyal customers… and even to people they hope to make into loyal customers.
The process of setting up a promo on FL is a bit clunky. While you can rerun a book you’ve promoted in the past, there is still a lot of copying and pasting to get all your store links in there, and it is frustrating that the description/marketing copy doesn’t stick when you go to promote the book again.
Payment is simple. Once you submit, if they approve your book, you’ll get an invoice that you can easily pay online.
As a bonus…FL is one of the few promo sites that will take new releases, or books that have yet to gain many reviews.
So do I recommend Fussy Librarian? Oh hells yes!! Again, this wasn’t my first promo with them, so the fact that I’ve been a repeat customer should tell you something (I hate wasting money!).
But the results this time were sending me into fits of happy dancing. The cover did seem to appeal to more readers and I have to say those links in the back of the book must have worked some sort of magic.
Even if you don’t plan on running a promo with FL, I highly recommend signing up for their author newsletter. About once a week, sometimes every two weeks, you’ll get a handy email full of publishing news, writing tips, and marketing advice from around the interwebs.
Have you tried Fussy Librarian? If so, did you find it useful? If not, are you planning on giving it a try? Let me know in a comment!!
If you’d like to contribute to Resources for Writers, don’t hesitate to contact me.
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