I took out a BookBub ad for Death Line #3 in my Rafferty and Llewellyn procedural series on 9 March 2014.
I also entered it in Amazon’s Select programme and had four free days from 7 – 10 March 2014.
I chose to go with the free book option in the Mystery Category (or, rather, my finances chose this option as the only one viable!).
Here’s the screenshot for 9 March, the day of my best ranking on amazon.com:
As you can see, Death Line reached a ranking of 2 Free Overall.
No 1 in Police Procedurals.
No 1 in British Detectives.
There was an all-country total download of 46,882, with the US responsible for nearly all of it.
Here’s the country by country Amazon breakdown mid-morning on 11 March, one day after my freebie offer finished and two days after the BookBub ad:
I’ve made a few edits to make allowance for my woeful maths and general brain fatigue! I had originally mistakenly listed the paid sales as just for the book that was the subject of the Bookbub ad, when in fact it was for all books. Mea Culpa.
THIS TOTAL COMPARES WITH AN ALL BOOKS PAID SALES RATE OF 272 (including 3 borrows) BY THE SAME DATE IN THE PREVIOUS MONTH.
This worked out as a Total Daily Sales Rate for all books of 42.90 on 11 March compared to a Total Daily Sales Rate of 24.72 on 11 February 2014. The PredictedMonthly Sales Rates were 1,330, compared to a Predicted Monthly Sales Rate of 766.54 and an actual February Sales Rate of 630 (I’ve had to pretend in the predicted figure that February had 31 days instead of only 28 to give a proper comparison).
In addition, the sales of the first and second in the series greatly increased and at mid-morning on 11 March had sales for the US totalling 152 for the first and 94 for the second in the series. Prior to the Bookbub ad sales for these two books were 11 and 8 respectively at 23.30 GMT on 7 March. Just over one a day.
So that would make the comparative Daily Sales of these books:
Dead Before Morning13.81 on 11 March and only 1.57 on 7 March
Down Among the Dead Men 8.54 on 11 March and only 1.14 on 7 March.
I also made my very first sales of any sort to Brazil and Mexico and had only my second ever Japanese downloads.
Admittedly, we’re not dealing in enormous numbers of sales here; no J K Rowling, me! But the BB ad shifted an awful lot more books. I’m sure you’re able to work out what the percentage increase is (if you do, can you share? Never quite got to grips with percentages).
Your book’s been accepted. How wonderful! Congratulations.
It’s a terrific, feeling, isn’t it, after all those rejections?
But now comes the real work. What? You thought you’d done the work and that now came the pleasure? Ha! Think again.
Writing the book’s only half of it. And if you’re a techno-thickie,
like me, you’ll be amazed at what you can learn to do; I certainly
Everyone knows about the signings and the crowds of people who come to each. But everyone would be wrong. Unless you’re very
well-known, you’ll be lucky to get more than a handful of signings, if that. Think about it. Why would a bookstore manager want to
put himself to the trouble for a writer that no one’s ever heard of? For a writer who’s unlikely to sell more than one or two books (and one of these purchases will probably be made by the writer’s partner)? What happens most often is that the writer sits behind a desk with a pile of his/her books and no one comes. That, believe it or not, is the harsh truth of most book signings. You don’t need to take my word for it. Watch this video made by writer Parnell Hall and have a laugh while the sober truth sinks in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZoJ5OKmEJY.
So what can you do? There are other things. Libraries are always welcoming to the idea of your giving a talk. Ring around a few libraries, ask to speak to the librarian and introduce yourself and your new book. You should get an invitation or two to speak. No good at speaking off the cuff? Don’t worry. It’s perfectly acceptable to use notes. I do myself as my short-term memory is shockingly bad and I’m hopeless at speaking without a crib. You may even sell a few books.
There are also other things you can do to draw attention to yourself. I’m in the middle of preparing for a seventeen-date Blog Tour in February. It’s a lot of work as you have to prepare posts to go on other people’s blogs and you won’t be too popular if you repeat the same blog on several people’s sites. You’re expected to be original and, as I said, originality brings a lot of work.
How did I organise this? I’m a member of a number of writing/book sites and I checked on the File listing of one of them: Yahoo Group’s MurderMustAdvertise, for those members who were prepared to host other writer members and contacted each one. You’ll need to be organised and create a Blog Tour folder on your computer where you can store the emails listing what you’re to do. You should also set up a folder in Documents with docs for each of the separate posts you’ve been asked to make and note in your diary the names, email addresses, dates, blog addresses and what your post is to consist of. If you don’t do all this you’ll get in a hopeless muddle. I could have arranged more Blog Tour dates if I’d contacted members on other book or writing sites, but I thought seventeen gigs was as much as I could cope with. This is my first Blog Tour, after all, and I didn’t want to over-reach myself.
I’ve written several question and answer sessions, prepared a few different excerpts of Deadly Reunion, my latest Rafferty & Llewellyn crime novel which comes out on 24 February, with links to the other excerpts.Deadly Reunionis the reason I organised the blog tour.
What else have I written? Another blogger asked me to produce a post about my writing ‘Made it Moment’. LOL! Shows how deluded one can be! One asked me to supply my Top Ten Tips for writers. Another wanted me to write a post about my ebook experiences since I’ve published two of my Rafferty novels to kindle et al. They all wanted a short bio and brief synopses of bothDeadly Reunion, my latest hardback, andDead Before Morning, my latest ebook. Another blogger wanted me to tell her readers about how I set about making my various video book trailers. I did it The Hard Way, I thought! The first one was made from a basis of total ignorance. Boy, this marketing mallarkey is a very steep learning curve. I’ve also collected up the links to various reviews, to my youtube video book trailers, to amazon and, of course, my blog and website. I’m still working on some posts. But when I’ve finished, I’ll put up a list of all my Blog Tour gigs and you can follow me through the Tour if you wish. You’ll probably be asked to provide a few prizes. I think the most usual is that, at the end of the Blog Tour, a drawing is made of all of those people who have made a comment during your Tour. It’s up to you to check on each of the blog sites for the comments and to note down the details of each so you can make the draw.
What else have I done? I’ve made a video interview of myself, using the webcam on the computer, with my poor husband acting as the interviewer. Here’s the link if you want to take a look and have a laugh at our pretty inept efforts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoMLVcKxzBw This was about our fifth attempt, so you can imagine how poor the earlier efforts were. It was originally done for The Lit Chick Show, a video blog that hosts author interviews. But I’m going to do it again for the show and hope that both of us manage to project ourselves a bit better! Practise! Practise! Practise! The interview’s not due to air until the 25 February, so we’ve got time to apply a bit of polish. You could do something similar and put it up on youtube, then at least you’ll have something ready for your Blog Tour when you organise it. You can try to get radio interviews; local radio is generally pretty willing to host you and local newspapers might well feature you if you contact them.
I’ve explained before, in a previous post, that you’ll have to provide your own marketing materials, like bookmarks, flyers and postcards, as it’s unlikely that your publisher will do it. I’ve just altered the design of my bookmarks, but I’ve had a hell of a job lining up the two sides of the bookmarks. It’s been very wasteful of my white card and my computer inks, not to mention my time. But fingers crossed, they’re lined up now. My next printing will tell. Oh for the money to be able to pay someone else to make the blasted things! Hey, maybe next week, I’ll have time to do some actual book writing!
Well! You’ve been and gone and done it! Got your book accepted, I mean. That’s great. Many, many congratulations. Celebrate. Go on, you deserve it. You’ve just accomplished something that hundreds, if not thousands of people attempt.
But once the celebrations are over, it’s time to get down to work. Apart from starting on your second book (you are, aren’t you?), you’ve got some more hard work to do. Unless your agent and editor think you’re going to be a bestseller, they won’t offer much in the way of marketing, so you’ll have to do it. Of course, you might have enough cash to pay a publicist to do it for you (lucky you!). But if not, the following are the sorts of things you’ll have to do:
Get yourself a Facebook Page and make friends, as many as you can manage. I don’t mean the ordinary Family and Friends page, this is a Page with a capital P, where you can post about all the amazing things that are happening since you became a soon-to-be author. Mention your book – not so much that people’s eyes glaze over when they see a post from your Page, but perhaps once or twice a week.and ask for reviews once it’s published, providing the link to the book’s page on amazon.
Send out postcards about your book as soon as you have the artwork of the book jacket. Google bookstores and libraries and anyone else you can think of who might do you some good and send them one of your postcards. Put the cover of your book on the postcard along with details of publisher, price, where to buy, your website (you have got one, haven’t you?) and a brief synopsis of the book. Add any reviews you’ve received to the address side of the postcard.
Create, or get a printer to do them for you, flyers and bookmarks to hand out when you give talks about how you wrote your book, your life as a writer, your journey to publication, whatever.
Join crimespace, librarything, linkedin, theredroom goodreads and post your bio and details of your book.
Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to buy it. You’ll only receive six or so free copies, perhaps ten if it’s a pb, so be mean with them. Don’t hand one out to anyone who asks, though you’ll have to give one to your other half and perhaps your mum. Make the rest buy a copy.
Ask your local bookstores if you can do a signing. And if you get a ‘yes’, don’t just sit at the table waiting for customers. Wander round the store and hand out bookmarks and flyers. Chat to people. Be as friendly as you know how and some of them might just buy your book. If you’ve got the free time and can afford the travel expenses, ask for signings further afield, too.
If you can afford to buy however many more copies of your book, contact reviewers (newspapers, magazines, online) and ask if they’ll review your book. If so, parcel it up and send it off.
What else? Can’t think of anything else for now. But you’ve got plenty to be getting on with.
And for those of you who received a rejection – take heart. Writing’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll get there. It’s just going to take a bit longer. Maybe the next day’s post will bring a show of interest from one of those many editors/agents you wrote to. It only takes one. Meanwhile, for a bit of fellow-feeling with other rejected authors, go my my website (http://www.geraldineevans.com/) and click Links, then scroll down and find Rejection Collection (that’s what it’s called if I remember rightly) and read about what other rejected authors have received. It just might make you feel a bit better. If not, what are you waiting for? Get on with the next book. There’s nothing like it for stopping the tears. And it would be good to be able to say you’re working on the follow-up when you do get that spark of interest from Miss Ed. Go to it!