First some housekeeping stuff. I want to continue posting about how I’m doing with the book and what marketing I’m working on and all of that in service to someone else learning from my experiences, but I also realize that’s not why a lot of people follow this thing. I’m going to be prefacing the headlines of these types of posts with Self Publishing: so you can ignore them if you’re not all about it.
That being said… here we go! Week 1 of Blue Gentian was incredibly successful. 130 people downloaded the book for free. It’s AMAZING that 130 people were interested enough in this thing to check it out. Thank you!
2 things I’ve learned over the last few weeks.
Thing 1: Several friends were asking me if they could actually PAY for the novel. I wasn’t sure what to do about that, since I wanted to start running the book right out of the gate for free. Does Amazon give pre-orderers the free price? I didn’t know. So… it turns out that people who have pre-ordered the book pay for it, even if you run a free promotion on the day of the book’s release. If you have people who actually want to pay, ask them to pre-order. You can have your cake and eat it too!
Thing 2: I had originally planned to run a Kindle Free promotion, and then go for a Countdown Deal right after. It turns out that Amazon won’t let you run those within the same KDP sign up time. Every 90 days I can run either a Free promotion or a Countdown Deal promotion, but not both. Boo. But good to know for planning purposes.
Next we’re on to marketing:
Now that the book costs money, I’m wading into the area of Amazon Ads. So far I only have Sponsored Product ads out there, and no Product Placement ads. Product Placement got expensive, guys! $100 is the minimum spend (yikes!). So, I’ll refine my copy on the cheap stuff and then worry about those costly ads when I have something I know probably works.
I know absolutely nothing about copywriting, and I think it shows… since the free promotion ended I have sold NO books. I’m not terribly worried yet. I’m playing the long game with this, not the short one. I had also heard about this phenomenon. Since Amazon separates out free from paid, you essentially start out at square one again when the free deal ends. The internet warned me. But I am downloading copywriting books and faffing around with the copy on my ads now because things can always be improved. I have five ads running right now, and they all have different descriptions enticing people to buy. We’ll see which ones actually do something.
Once I know I have copy that works, I’ll start faffing with Keywords. That’s at least a month away, though. I want to give the ads a chance to work if they’re going to.
Last is the bigger picture:
I’ve been thinking critically about how the book is presented and I realized today that I actually wouldn’t buy it if it came up in my feed as-is. Everything looks great, but I always want a slew of reviews on my self-published titles to prove that they’re readable. Right now, that’s the biggest thing I lack. I’m discussing a possible blog tour because of it, though that’s also probably at least a month away. I don’t want to be too annoying to my friends and family either, but I’ll also probably do a big social media request for reviews in about a month. I’ll give everyone some time to read it first, though. And then after that, I’ll knock it off with the “please do this for me?” stuff so my friends don’t start to hate me.
What do I do while waiting for all the ads to aggregate and everything? Work on my next book, of course!