The prime focus of my campaign is to build awareness and ranking though increased sales during the promotional period that will position my book for long term success. Whatever I achieve in sales during the promotion itself is fantastic, but it is what happens afterwards that really counts.
A recap on where I am in June so far. My target was to sell 1,000 books this month. By the end of yesterday (the 14th) my sales stood at 283. This was some way behind the target figure of 466 at this stage of the month, but with all the promotional activity to come, I'm confident of catching up.
So how did the first day go? I was hopeful of a good start as I had activity from the first 3 of my partners, these being People Reads, Books Butterfly and The Fussy Librarian. The Countdown Deal itself started at midnight in both territories, so it started several hours earlier in the UK. In the USA, it started at midnight PST, which is 8am over here in the UK. So unsurprisingly, not a lot happened in the first few hours as everyone was asleep. By mid-morning here in the UK, I had 4 sales and 4 borrows for the day, not far off what would be expected for an ordinary day. Before lunch MTYY was ranked as follows in the UK:
#9,983 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#9 in Kindle Store > Books > Literature & Fiction > Humour & Satire > Dark Comedy
#14 in Kindle Store > Books > Romance > Time Travel
#22 in Books > Fiction > Romance > Time Travel
And in the USA:
#19,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Humor & Satire > Dark Comedy
#41 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel
#62 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Time Travel
The first partner to kick off with some activity was People Reads. The main thrust of my activity with them was to be the subscriber email which was due to go out around teatime, UK time. However, I got an email from them at 9:17am informing me that they were now featuring me on their website, and I got my first tweet promoting the book an hour or two later. This had been retweeted 19 times by lunchtime, which is pretty encouraging. Bearing in mind that it was still early morning in America, I still wasn't expecting much to happen until late afternoon here, so I was quite pleased to see that by 2:30pm, my sales were up to 11, with borrows at 5.
The real action kicked off around teatime. The first email to go out was from The Fussy Librarian. That hit my inbox at 4:11pm, just in time for breakfast in LA. Within an hour or so, I was starting to see my sales ticking over nicely. The People Reads email followed at 5:35pm, and finally the mail from Books Butterfly at 10:19pm. By the time I went to bed I was up to 40 sales on the day, and when I got up in the morning, I was up to 57 (with 10 borrows). Most of these extra sales had come in America as I expected - that is where most of the subscribers to those sites are based.
So, how do I feel about day 1 of the promotion? Pretty pleased. The performance is about what I expected. But did I get my money's worth? Well, let's look at what I paid and what I got.
The Fussy Librarian has a nice easy to use site, and my feature cost me $16. My book was the first of two in the science fiction email they sent me. My People Reads feature was $15 and lasts all week - in addition to the email I'm featured on their site and they are putting out regular tweets. Finally, there is Books Butterfly. Their site isn't the easiest to negotiate, and it's not easy to judge the effectiveness, as the promotional activity is spread out over a number of sites. They do offer a guarantee with their campaigns - I had a "Silver 25" which means a guaranteed 25 sales for $25. However, this is based against your normal daily sale when not on a deal, and does not take into account any other activity going on. So there is no real way to measure it. One thing I will say for this site is that the owner is very friendly and approachable and will talk over your campaign with you. It is also a two day campaign with them so I am only half way through. Tehnically I've met their criteria of 25 extra sales, but how many of those were as a direct result of my feature with them I cannot tell.
So how many extra sales did I get altogether? Well, I've calculated this based on past experience and performance, and I estimate that about 35 of my 57 sales yesterday were down to the promotional activity from these sites. So have I made my money back yet? Well, technically, no, because between them I invested $56, and at 70% royalty on 99c, I'm looking at about $24 returned. But that is only so far...the campaign continues today so there will be more sales, and crucially, those extra sales have given my book a strong boost in the rankings that will stand it in good stead when the really big guns come out tomorrow. Just basic sales figures are not the whole story.
Tomorrow is the real centrepiece of my campaign - when I will be featured on ENT, Choosy Bookworm and Booksends. The fact that the book will already have a strong ranking by the time those emails go out can only help with consumer confidence. So I'm very happy with the contribution that my first 3 partners have given me and that $56 was well spent.
I spoke about rankings, well, as of this morning, the rankings are as follows:
US: #7,749 - and crucially it's hit #1 in the Dark Comedy category which means it gets an attractive Orange banner declaring the fact that it is a bestseller.
UK: #5,205 - not as dramatic a climb as in America, but all the focus of my activity is over there this time.
Jason Ayres is the author of six books, including his brand new novel, My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday, available here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UDHAD0M