Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at SkipJack Publishing!
Let me introduce myself. I’m Candi, and I am one of the publishing assistants here at SkipJack. I work specifically with Pamela, and assist her with the majority of her marketing and publicity tasks. She promotes discounted e-books (99 cents) and free e-books. She’s tried promoting print, audio, and full price e-books online, but found that she gets a positive ROI only on 99 cent and free e-books.
We thought it would be a good time to re-visit online promos, and what’s working now. The holiday season is upon us and books are a favorite gift, thus it’s considered by many a great time to promote yours.
Before we start, and speaking of online promotions, we wanted to let you know that SkipJack author Ken Oder is offering his novel The Closing for the discounted price of 99 cents in e-book form through Black Friday, in conjunction with a BookBub promotion. Be sure to snatch up your discounted copy this week, HERE.
Back to our topic: In April of this year, we switched out Pamela’s lead free romantic mystery of the What Doesn’t Kill You series, Saving Grace, with Heaven to Betsy, the 1st of the Emily novels. Pamela felt Saving Grace needed a rest as a free title, and she wanted to offer Heaven to Betsy free since we’d just released Hell to Pay, the 3rd Emily novel.
The following information was gathered over the past twelve months. It’s still relevant and working. Some of the prices and subscribership have gone up, but the impact of these sites remains the same.
So, what’s worked on Kindle (60%+ of eBook market) for her free mystery? I’ve listed our latest run with each promotion company.
1.) BookBub: June 14; $505; 100,000+ free downloads with 1,580,000 mystery subscribers (not all Kindle; see below); rigorously curated and highly respected
2.) http://robinreads.com/ : September 23; $55; 2,700+ free downloads with 120,000 subscribers (Not all Kindle see below)
3.) ereadernewstoday: June 13; $40; 2,500 free downloads; undisclosed subscriber list size (not all Kindle; see below)
4.) Book Sends: September 9; $100; 1,000+ free downloads; with 98,000 mystery subscribers (update: schedule Book Sends through ereaderIQ)
5.) FreeBooksy : November 11; $85; 800+ free downloads with 182,800 mystery-specified subscribers (or Bargain Booksy for discounted books, not all Kindle see below)
6.) OHFB: August 24; $100; 500+ free downloads; with undisclosed subscriber list size
7.) Kindle Nation Daily’s Kindle Daily Deal: October 28; $129; 200+ free downloads; with 158,500 non-genre-specified subscribers (We book a Baker’s Dozen at a time, and utilize the different packages KND offers)
Who do we use to promote books elsewhere (<=40% of eBook market)?
- Bookbub: see above; Nook, iBooks, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords
- ereadernewstoday: see above; Nook, iBooks, Google Play, and Kobo
- Story Finds: $15 donation; 160,000 page “visitors,” but no email
- Fussy Librarian: $18; 92,618 mystery specific subscribers
- ebooksoda: $15; 14,000 email subscribers
Note that each promotional vendor also reaches readers through social media and their website. We mention subscriber list for each, though, because it is the most powerful, in our humble opinion. Also note we find that even Kindle-only promos positively impact Pamela’s downloads on other sites.
The sites have minimum time periods until you can submit a book again, and some for how often an author can be featured. BookBub, for instance, will run a book a maximum of every six months, and an author only every two months.
We have tried a number of additional sites, free and paid, during this time period but the ones listed above were the most effective. Other sites we would continue to use without a doubt: Pixel of Ink (update: book Pixel of Ink through ereaderIQ)., Bargain eBook Hunter, FK Books and Tips, Bookpraiser (multi-promo site aggregator), and Book Marketing Tools (ditto).
We advertise each Friday, 12 months a year, to keep Pamela’s rankings up. She has found that once you let rankings fall and your book loses visibility, it’s much harder to get it back up again. Also, she finds that the amount of paid books she’s selling to people who read her first-in-series-free mystery more than offsets the cost of the promotions. Much more.
So, with that all being said, this month, we are switching out Heaven to Betsy (currently her free title) and going back to making the lead book in her What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series, Saving Grace, free again. We are excited, to begin scheduling our book promotions with Saving Grace after her rest, and to begin again a true first-in-series-free promotion run.
Would you like to know how to get a BookBub deal, one of the biggest and most effective of all book promotions? All you have to do is click on the image below to attend this course at our SkipJack School. You’ll learn tips from Pamela, whom in the past 12 months has landed not one, not two, not three, but four BookBubs (2 for Saving Grace, 1 for Heaven to Betsy, and 1 for The Katie Box Set)! To put that in perspective, in 2015 BookBub received 55,000 submissions. They ran about than 12,000 promotions, featuring nearly than 8,000 authors.
We here at SkipJack Publishing hope this information has been helpful to you. If you’ve had great success with other services, please let us all know in the comments.
Candi Fite, SkipJack Publishing Assistant
As there are two sides to every story, there are two sides of Candi’s creativity. Over the years, she’s crafted poetry, short stories, a children’s picture book, and her most recent work, is a humorous Cozy Mystery. She wrote her first poem when she was ten about her baby sister who was fascinated by her own toes.
As a self-taught mixed media & abstract expressionist artist, Candi relies on her free spirit and her passion to express herself to guide her through the intuitive process of creating art. Inspired by the beauty and architecture of nature, she uses her hands, brushes, and her beloved metal pie server, as she layers, textures, builds, paints, and allows each piece to happen organically.
Her hopes are that her artwork connects viewers with their own emotions and provokes deep feelings, and her stories not only entertain, but also make her readers laugh.
Follow her: @gypsychickart on Facebook and Instagram, Candilynn Fite-Writer on Facebook.
You can pick up a copy of Little Acorn’s Big Fall, a Children’s Picture Book, on Amazon. How to Leash a Thief (A Steely & Cuff Mystery #1) is due out in early 2017.