“… I have broken a certain barrier and have been able to lift the Trilogy into a meaningful level of visibility.”
This is an email I received from a former student of my online book marketing class, Octavia Randolph. I am reprinting it with her permission here, with some very minor edits to keep it succinct.
I took your on-line marketing class (the one that began on April 15th). Even though I couldn’t contribute much to the class I did benefit from it, and I wanted to share with you how my book marketing efforts are going.
I have three historical fiction novels – a trilogy – in KDP Select, released late last September. The Circle of Ceridwen, Book One is the first.
Prior to four weeks ago I had sold a total of about 500 books, across all three titles, since last October. In the last week of July I held a two-tiered book promotion centering around Book One. Over a three day period I gave away a total of 27, 500 copies of Book One. (Yes, 27,500. )
The biggest give-away day was July 30th, when I paid to have BookBub advertise my Free day via email to their (reputed) 320,000 readers of historical fiction. Over 21,000 copies of my novel were downloaded on July 30th. The book was #6 of the 100 Top Free on the Kindle page on Amazon, so it was on the front page (of that certain page,”the top 100 free Kindle books”) all day long.
What happened the next day was most surprising: I SOLD 184 copies of Book One, a book I gave 21,000 copies away a day earlier. BookBub charges $170 to advertise a Free book in the Historical Fiction category, and I made $504 in sales from the same title the day after.
My total monthly sales across all three titles for the month of July was 510 copies – more than I had sold in the prior nine months. And in August so far (this is August 20th) I have sold 155 copies of Book One, 619 copies of Book Two, and 531 copies of Book Three.
And I have more than doubled the number of reviews I have – on July 30th I had 33 reviews across all three books, and today I have 83 reviews. Why? Because taking your advice, I republished all three novels on July 29th with these three lines at the end of the text:
“Now that you have finished my book, won’t you please consider writing a review? (Hot links to Amazon US and Amazon UK) Reviews are the best way readers discover great new books. I would truly appreciate it.”
So merely by ASKING for a review, I am getting them! And I am proud that the vast majority are 5 star, with people asking for Book Four.
I am now selling at an average of 70 to 75 books a day across all three titles. This is $200 a day.
I think the lesson is that a one day give-away announced by BookBub is a very good investment. It is ALL about making your book visible in the marketplace. Of course, the book needs to be good, or no one will go on and buy Book Two. But you must make your book visible to begin with.
The second is to make sure you ASK for reviews in the actual text of the book. If you ask, a larger percentage of readers will do it. Many of the people who have reviewed my books have not reviewed anything, ever, on Amazon before. So that is important. By asking them they feel a connection to the author, and feel perhaps a little debt to her, and want to reward her with a review.
I’m hoping at this point I have broken a certain barrier and have been able to lift the Trilogy into a meaningful level of visibility. I have a very well developed website and also guest blog once a month on the English Historical Fiction Authors site. I also have a mailing list of 2,700 which I write to each month, to announce my new blog piece.
I hope this information is helpful to you, and want to particularly thank you for your suggestion that authors ask for reviews in their books – that has helped me so much.
You can find Octavia’s Historical Fiction trilogies:
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.