This September, I ran my biggest promotion to date on The Conjurors Collection, which is a bundle of the first three books in the series. It is the most successful promotion that I’ve run so far. Below are my best rankings during the promotion period.
I discounted the bundle, which was $7.99, to $0.99 for two weeks, from September 6-19. In total, I sold 612 copies (earning me $214) and had a huge surge in readers from Kindle Unlimited, for which I was paid over $400. My check from Amazon for September was more than $700. Even considering that I spent $350 on advertising, I made a great profit (for me). Even better, the following month I made almost $500 even though I did very little advertising (less than $50), so the long-term benefit of the ad campaign was significant.
A month later I ran a mini-promotion on just the first book in the series, The Society of Imaginary Friends, discounting it to $0.99 for a week. I only spent $43 in advertising, but I had less than 50 sales. I wanted to call this out because part of my success with my September promotion was that I was selling three books for $0.99, which was a much more attractive deal.
Below I’ll list the sites that I used for advertising and the costs and results of each one. But some key takeaways – it’s worth it to have multiple days of high sales, even if the ads don’t immediately pay for themselves, because it pushes up your rank on Amazon, and the increased visibility results in more sales in the long term. For my next promotion, I plan to cluster my ads so that the ones that sell the most units are on subsequent days rather than spread out.
Another takeaway was that for a huge book like my bundle, it was worth it to be exclusive to Amazon (KDP Select). I was paid much better by every Amazon Unlimited reader than I was from readers who bought the bundle at $0.99. In the first case, I probably made over $5 for every reader who finished the book, and in the second case I made under $0.35. So while I may make my individual books available on other sites, I’ll keep my bundle exclusive to Amazon.
Below are the number of copies of the collection that I sold on a particular day, with the associated ad that I used.
September 19, 2015: Ebook Soda ($10), Pixel of Ink ($30)
Number of Downloads: 71
Pixel of Ink is a site known for delivering a return on ad investment, but they do not always have options to advertise with them. It’s a matter of luck if your book can be featured when you need it there. I can’t say for certain how many sales were from Ebook Soda, so I may try advertising with them separately in a future promotion.
September 18, 2015: FKBT ($25)
Number of Downloads: 35
I was somewhat disappointed with the Free Kindle Books & Tips ad, given its price tag. It’s one of the few I won’t be using again, because my $25 can be split among other sites that will deliver a bigger value altogether.
September 17, 2015: Wattpad (Free), Indies Unlimited Thrifty Thursday (Free)
Number of Downloads: 19
I was concerned about my rankings dropping because I had no paid ads on this day, and was pleasantly surprised that a post on my Wattpad account (where I have the first book in the series published for free) and Indies Unlimited delivered an excellent influx of readers for no charge.
September 16, 2015: Booksends ($50)
Number of Downloads: 70
Though Booksends is pricey, I recommend it in order to drive up your Amazon sales rank. Though my initial investment in the ad didn’t yield a positive return, I do think it helped the overall campaign by selling such a high number of copies in one day.
September 14 & 15, 2015: Books Butterfly ($50), Book Barbarian ($8)
Number of Downloads: 92
These ads were over the course of two days. Like the Booksends ad, I recommend using Books Butterfly to give your ad campaign momentum by having a higher number of downloads, even if the ad doesn’t pay for itself right away. I will also try Book Barbarian again, next time on its own day so I can better determine how well it does on its own.
September 13, 2015: The Fussy Librarian ($24 to be listed in multiple genres)
Number of Downloads: 19
I’ve advertised with Fussy in the past with better results, but this time I was disappointed in the return on my investment. However, I think part of the problem was that I spent extra cash to be listed in additional genres. Next time, I’ll stick to one genre, which will have a lower price tag.
September 12, 2015: eBookHounds ($5), Robin Reads ($15)
Number of Downloads: 59
This was my first time advertising on these two sites, and I will definitely be using them again. I had a high number of downloads for a low cost, and it was one of a few days where I immediately made a profit, not counting the long-term impact on sales.
September 11, 2015: Betty Book FREAK ($8), Reading Deals (Free)
Number of Downloads: 17
For $8, I was satisfied with the number of downloads I received. I would try using Betty Book FREAK again to see how it performs on a different day.
September 10, 2015: The Ereader Cafe ($25)
Number of Downloads: 27
Like FKBT, I was disappointed by how few downloads my $25 got me. This is a site I may cut from my future promotions to see if the money can be better spent elsewhere.
September 9, 2015: Booklover’s Heaven (Free), BKKnights ($5.50)
Number of Downloads: 22
BK Knights always gives me a good return for a small price tag. But be careful which of his services you choose. I recommend SKIPPING his twitter/facebook offerings. Instead, opt to be listed on his site, where readers are more likely to download your book.
September 8, 2015: Ereader News Today ($20)
Number of Downloads: 50
I always have excellent results when I advertise with ENT, and this time was no exception.
September 7, 2015: Discount Books Daily ($10), Booktastik ($10), SweetFreeBooks ($5), ReadFreely (Free)
Number of Downloads: 25
By grouping so many ads together, it’s hard for me to parse which ones worked best. Maybe one site is responsible for all 25 sales, in which case I would be doing it a disservice not to recommend it. However, I will think twice before advertising on any of the paid sites from this day of my promo in the future, because the number of downloads was disappointing for a combined budget of $25.
September 6, 2015: BookGorilla ($50), ReadCheaply (Free)
Number of Downloads: 71
Like Booksends and Books Butterfly, though BookGorilla is pricey, I recommend it in order to drive up your Amazon sales rank. Though my initial investment in the ad didn’t yield a positive return, I do think it helped the overall campaign by selling such a high number of copies in one day.
Have you found other sites that you highly recommend for advertising ebooks? If so, please share!
Thank you for sharing this useful info. I admire your thoroughness in researching all these sites – and congratulations on your good sales.
Thank you! Best of luck with your own campaign.
Excellent post Kristen, interesting to see how effective advertising can be. Well done on those sales 🙂
Thanks so much, Alison!
Insanely helpful! Thank you for sharing.
You’re very welcome! Hope your own launch is doing well.
Very useful! Thanks for sharing this. Just thinking about whether I wanted to go free or countdown this Select period, and you may’ve just made up my mind. 🙂
So glad to help! I hope your promo goes well.