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.

The Recommendation

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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7 thoughts on “Resources for Writers: The Fussy Librarian

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’ve looked up Fussy Librarian before but never did a promo with them before.

    I have to say, wow, you have a great starting point! I’m nowhere near there and occasionally get a couple purchases a month. Then again, we’re at completely different places in our writing career and you’re more established, whereas I’m just starting out.

    Did you feature any of your other books in the series on FL or did they just have to read more and found your other ones on other sites? I may have to consider this for my Reaper sequel. I’ve already discounted the first one, but making it free could really get some crazy sales on the new release if people like the first one.

    So much to think about!

    Like

    1. So, generally, most of these promo sites only want to feature your first book if you have a series since readers rarely want to jump into a series in the second or third book (unless you can convince them each book stands alone). I’ve only ever done my first in series as a freebie promotion, or my box sets as a 99c bargain promo. And I’ve done both types of promos (free and discounted) with Fussy Librarian and both have generated great results.

      Since you’ll have a hard time finding places that will do book two of a series, the best way to let readers know about your next book in the series is to simply make a quick note at the end. I’ve started putting, right after the end of the book, something like, “If you want to continue the story/adventure/etc be sure to pick up NEXT BOOK” with maybe a little tagline teaser. The NEXT BOOK bit is then linked to my Books2Read Universal Book Link page for that book (you can also link to your Book Funnel Sales Page, either works). This was a huge game changer with the latest promos I’ve done for Domna.

      A little more expensive option is Book Barbarian which will let you do a double feature with books one and two of a series in one promo, but you have to have reviews on both books so it’s not the best for a launch plan. But you’d definitely have enough for them to accept Reaper. I’ve got a promo scheduled with BB this week (just a single book), so I’ll be reporting on that soon enough.

      You can always try a 99c promo on Reaper with FL and see how that goes. Free will get you plenty of downloads, but I’m never quite sure how many of those freebie downloads ever get read. Either one should give you a big push.

      Definitely sign up to the Fussy Librarian newsletter (the one for authors, not the book discount one) because they often send discount codes for their free promos…usually 20% off.

      If none of that makes sense, let me know. It can get complicated!! That’s why my head is so scattered half the time :))

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right, that makes sense. Selling a second book is going to be difficult on those kinda sites.

        Okay, I’ll definitely do more sleuthing on FL. For a while I did some paid promos and didn’t quite recoup my costs so I kind of stopped doing them for a while because I got discouraged.

        Actually, all of that made sense since I’ve been through the ringer a couple times. I do need to focus on my launch plan very soon. Thanks for all the great advice!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well according to the gurus of all this, it’s not worthwhile to put much into promoting a book (especially in a series) unless you have more books for readers to continue with afterward…preferably several more books. Or unless you’re using the promo to build your newsletter following.

        That’s mainly why I’m pushing myself so hard to get this trilogy done and published as close together as possible. I won’t be doing any paid marketing for it until all three books are out, so I don’t want to wait too long between the release of #1 and #3…even if it kills me 😋

        Don’t get too discouraged. I imagine once you have a follow up for Reaper, you’ll see more bang for the marketing buck!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That makes a ton of sense to me. My main plan is to have some book tours to get some eyes on it like I did for the first one around release time.

    Very smart move. I look forward to reading the trilogy!

    Thanks for all your great insight and positivity. 🙂

    Like

      1. Oh, well they can be really helpful to get the word out, especially blog tours. I’ve used RR Book Tours and had some really good results. Cobbling one together might make my brain explode lol but it’s possible. If you do one for your books I’ll participate!

        Like

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