IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Authors promoted by Buck Books agree to spread the word about them in return. As an affiliate, I’ll earn a few cents if you click the ad to the left and go on to sign up for their emails. Some of the folks here know me well enough to know I would never spread misinformation to fellow indies over a few pennies. Whole dollars? Maybe. Make it a hundred and we can talk. But in the meanwhile, what follows is an honest account of my experience with Buck Books. I think it’s worth sharing because, as discussed in my Part 1 post on my own blog, they’ve been the object of some controversy around the KBoards and elsewhere.
My marketing plan for book 2 in the Lydia Trinket series focuses heavily on promotion of book 1, the 99 cent “funnel” book. I had an opportunity to kick that off yesterday with a Buck Books promotion. It was the only promotion running and the first since December. To get to the meat of things right away, my results were:
- 28 sales on Amazon
- Peak Amazon rank (I think) #13,006; didn’t hit the top 100 lists in my categories
So, nowhere near the 50, 60, 100+ sales some people are reporting with them. But Ghost in the Canteen is a bit of an oddball book, and I don’t tend to get the kind of results from promotions that one with more mainstream appeal would have. That’s still the most ebook sales I’ve ever had in one day. Plus it’s been six months since the book was released, and I haven’t released anything since, so sales had dried up. The Kindle edition was ranked at about 900k before the promotion started.
All in all, that’s a big bump for me. And the promotion was completely free. I’m very pleased with the results.
On to the controversy: yes, they do require you to promote them in return. However, how you do that is entirely up to you. The only contact I had with anyone at Buck Books was one brief and friendly email exchange confirming the date of my promotion. At no time was I approached with any specific requests or suggestions. I did two blog posts (including this one), I have the banner ad in the sidebar at my blog, and I sent out ONE Tweet (I cannot stand Twitter spam) yesterday. None of these things were uncomfortable for me or unusual during a promotion.
I also hear it’s pretty hard to get a Buck Books ad, so a little bit about that: my genre is dark/paranormal fantasy. I imagine more popular/saturated genres would be more competitive. I did get a response from them pretty quickly after I applied (I believe it was within 24 hours). This book is always 99 cents so I wasn’t bound by a Kindle Countdown or anything like that, and I suspect my flexibility on dates was a helpful factor.
So there you have it. I have a bunch of promotions for Ghost in the Canteen running the week of May 4, which is the week after Peak of the Devil is released. (I’m hoping for some also-bought/sales rank cross mojination.) I’m using a mix of paid and free sites. I’ll post all my results here when it’s over.