Self-Marketing Question

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Have any of you used services like Book Bub, Book Gorilla, Early Bird, eReaderIQ,ย or The Fussy Librarian to promote your work? I know BookBub is pricey, and while it might be worth it, it’s not in my budget. The Fussy Librarian has a circulation of 75,000 readers, over 60,000 signed up for notices in my genre. You can get a one-time mention for $9 per book. That’s something I can afford, and submitting a book for approval was a very easy task. So, I’ve done it. I’ll let you know how it works, what the display looks like when the email with my listing comes around, and whether or not I see an increase in sales afterward. I figured for $18, it was worth a shot, but we’ll see how it goes.

What experiences have you had? Let us hear what you have to say, good or bad.

17 thoughts on “Self-Marketing Question

  1. So far, aside from “marketing” my book through newspaper syndication and through my blog, I’ve found some success with Book Trunk, where I sell copies out of the trunk of my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot. That way, I can also tell people my book’s available at Wal-Mart.

    In all seriousness, I’m really interested in seeing how The Fussy Librarian works for you.

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  2. I’m thinking more and more seriously about Book Trunk, myself. I’ve heard it can be quite profitable, if you don’t mind standing around in 100 degree temps, on hot asphalt, swatting mosquitoes, and keeping an eye out for errant alligators. (Oh, wait. I read somewhere that I wrestle those. I’m good.)

    I will be sure to let you know how The Fussy Librarian works. I’m going to check out pricing and “rules” for a couple of the other ones, too, and I’ll list my findings. When it comes to self-marketing, I suck with the strength of 1,000,000 Hoovers on Bare Floor setting! I must get better at this, and I hope to help everyone here do so, as well. We start by helping each other.
    ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve been starting to research these, as you know, and all of the data I have so far is second-hand, from kboard posters. They seem to think that you should expect about 1 paid download per thousand subscribers to each service, and the ones they recommend the most are: Bookbub (they say, if you can get in, do it — this is apparently the cat’s meow despite the serious price), Ereader News Today (many of them seem to think this is the best of the cheaper options), Midlist (free but seems to pull a lot of weight), Pixel of Ink (ditto), Bargainbooksy, Book Gorilla, and Kindle Nation Daily. I’m just starting to dabble into this with various accounts I manage and results have been as followed: Bargainbooksy (only 8 downloads on a middle reader fantasy novel, but increased sales of adult books by same author enough to offset the ad) and Fussy Librarian (trying this today on the same kid’s book, so am not sure yet). In general, most folks suggest that paid promotions become more worthwhile the more books you have available, which makes sense — if someone snags your advertised book and likes it, chances are they’ll buy some of the others too.

    Please do post the results of your experiment, and I’ll comment with a followup on mine then!

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    • Thanks for such a comprehensive reply, Anna. So by your formula (gleaned from others), 60,000 followers would be 60 downloads? Times 2 books? 120? I’d be fine with that for an investment of $18, IF it works. We’ll see.

      Even if I could get in to BookBub, no way I have an extra $600 to risk on it. I’m taking note of each place you mention and looking at what they offer, too.

      I definitely think the secret is to have more books out there, and am considering doing less marketing and more writing. Marketing eats into my creative time, and I resent it, so I’d like to come up with a plan that reduces the amount of time I spend doing it, and increases the amount of time I can devote to writing, before I forget what letters are and fall face down on the keyboard.

      I’ll be interested in seeing what you decide after doing more research. Thanks for sharing with us.

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  4. Unfortunately, two books downloaded per thousand people on the email list is probably wishful thinking. You should probably count on more like 1.1 to 1.4 (with the higher number being if you have other books in that series and the lower number if you have unrelated books). Of course, it will also vary a lot depending on whether you have a lot of reviews — I think the children’s book I was pushing last week didn’t get as downloads as it should have because it only had four reviews at the time. Adult fiction novels will do the best.

    All of that said, though, I only do marketing in little surges, generally when I’m obsessed with writing a new book but have been pounding at the keyboard for so many hours that my brain has gone fuzzy and my wrists are in pain. Definitely prioritize writing! Actually, from what I’ve read, one of the best ways to leverage these promotional sites is to use them on the first book in the series during the launch of the second book….

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  5. Interesting, thanks. I was actually thinking of 2 different promotions, one for each book, $9 each. So going by the 1 book per thousand, that’s roughly 60 books each promo. Probably still wishful thinking, but if it gets some more books out there, and some REVIEWS, it would be nice. And The Fussy Librarian will only take books with a certain number. I’m well above their requirements on both books, with 33 reviews & a solid 4.9 rating on Swamp Ghosts, and 63 reviews and a decent 4.6 on Wake-Robin Ridge. But I know I need more reviews, so I’m looking for any sources I can find to get the books more visible.

    When I release A Boy Named Rabbit (aiming for November, but that could be wishful thinking), I’ll remember to try some of these services for Wake-Robin, because people need to read it before Rabbit. (Or I’ll mark it down to 99 cents. Or both.) Same thing for Hunter, which should come out in the spring. They’ll need to read Swamp Ghosts first. But every day, I get closer to saying the heck with all this extra marketing, besides just blogging and tweeting new releases. I should be spending my very precious time WRITING.

    I’d still like to have a Virtual Assistant. When I get rich……… ๐Ÿ˜€

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  6. Gotcha! Then, yes, your stats are a good guesstimate. Might be a better use of funds, though, if you’re doing both at the same time, to hit Fussy Librarian with one and then another of the similar-priced services with the other so you get less overlap of readers. Other similar-priced offerings include: Bkknights, Ereadernewstoday, GenrePulse 99 cent sales, SweetFree Books, Book Basset, The Daily Book Worm, HotZippy, Freebookshub, and efiction finds.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love these lists, thanks! I submitted both books for approval yesterday, on two separate forms, because that’s the only way you can do it. I haven’t heard back, so I don’t know how or when they will run them, or whether they will be spread apart, or what. Since neither is on sale, they will be listed as “Regular Low Price” on the circular (for want of a better word). But their submission forms don’t ask for when you want to run them. Maybe if you click on Sale, a menu would pop up asking for the dates, I’m not sure. Also, I think I read somewhere that they will only run a book once in a 30 day period, but I couldn’t find that info yesterday. So, this whole thing with Fussy will be a learning experience, and I’ll share it here.

      Now to get us a few more members here who can join in the conversations and share with us, too!

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  7. BTW, one thing I did notice, is that most of the lists I’ve subscribed too ONLY advertise free or “on sale” books, where The Fussy Librarian will advertise regular priced items, although they only want to list ones that are regularly priced under $5.99. So if you want to advertise through these services, even when your books aren’t on sale, you have to read the fine print. Or the big headline, whichever it is. ๐Ÿ˜€ And further, Book Gorilla specifically limits its listing to books by best-selling authors, big names, like Grisham and so forth. So that one’s right out for most of us, probably.

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  8. Re Fussy Librarian, I’ve advertised with them a few times, but only had a handful of sales. Probably about enough to cover the price of the ads, but that was in the earlier days when they had less subscribers. I do believe they now have a website where the books will continue to be listed after the email promo, for at least a month or so.
    Other sites to investigate for full priced books are:
    http://www.indieauthorland.com/
    http://www.ebooksoda.com/
    http://indiereader.com/
    https://www.bookbub.com/ebook-deals/recommended
    http://bookgorilla.com/
    http://www.weberbooks.com/kindle/
    http://awesomegang.com/
    http://www.fkbooksandtips.com/
    http://www.peoplereads.com/
    http://freebooksandmore.com/
    Of course these sites change their terms/priorities etc. at the drop of a hat, but worth taking a look?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, thanks so much for this list, Deborah! I will have to find a permanent home in the Menu for our Resources, so they are all in once place, like you’ve done on your blog. I hope you’ll stop by often, and remember, if you want to share news about your own promos, releases, etc, just email me the info to me, and I’ll do a post for you, and share it on FB, Twitter, my other blogs, etc. Also, if you’d like me to do an author introduction to you, with links to all your books, and your bio, I’d love to do that. Send me a note at mmeara@cfl.rr.com And Welcome!

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      • Thanks Marcia,
        email in the post to you ๐Ÿ™‚
        This promo has made me realise that each time I do one, I need to update my lists, as I keep finding more places, and some vanish – the never-ending pressure to keep things current. Ah well, it’s worth it ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  9. Thanks for all the info on marketing websites. I’ve advertised one of my novels, an older one that hasn’t been selling very well this year, on eBook Soda and The Fussy Librarian, but I won’t know if I had any sales until I get my third quarter royalty check. If I see any sales for it, I’ll be advertising my others there as well.

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    • I hope they both work for you, Evelyn. Being totally self-published, I’ll know as soon as they run it, probably. I should be able to see a pick up in sales right away, if it works. I think I’m going to go ahead and list them on a couple more sites, so I have something to compare with, and I’ll post results, if any, here. Let us know what you find out, when you do get the results in for yours.

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  10. I forgot to mention that I also do book sales and signings at local Christmas Craft Shows. Last year, I sold quite a few novels, most of them during the last hour before closing time. I was surprised at how many people had relatives they didn’t know what to buy for, but who liked to read my genre. And of course, my signature was just icing on the cake for them.

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    • Think I’ll start a new thread on this topic, Evelyn. I am doing my first book signing in January. It’s a small one at a library south of Orlando, but I’m looking forward to the experience. I would be interested in anything you want to share about this. I know Ned just did another signing, too. I’ll post in just a minute and ask if anyone else has anything to share about signings, good or bad. Thanks for the reminder. I think it sounds like a great way to meet your readers and sell some books, too.

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