Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paid Book Promotions-What Works and What Doesn’t

Since May 1 when I released First Visions, I’ve done a number of book promotions. This has been really a trial and error process for me as I tracked sales in correlation to each promotion. This is only my personal experience and many indie writers could have very different results.

Virtual Book Tours
I can’t rave enough about doing a blog tour for your book. I had such a great experience during both my tours and they probably offered up the best value as far as paid promotional opportunities. A month long tour through Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours costs around $100 and includes 20 stops. For a two week tour through Bewitching Book Tours, you’ll pay around $50 and stop at 10 blogs.

Why do a blog tour? Because you’re expanding your readership at each stop on your tour. Tour stops can include an interview, excerpt and guest post. My favorite part of my blog tours is that many of the blogs reviewed First Visions. When you don’t have that many reviews, this can be extremely helpful.

As far as sales, I did see a significant jump. During the tours (which I scheduled back to back for six weeks), I was selling about double the number of copies I had been averaging before the tour started.

Kindle Nation Daily Sponsorship
This promotion is definitely one of the priciest of the ones I tried. However, if you have the budget, I HIGHLY recommend it! The package I purchased included an ebook of the day sponsorship and a free excerpts email blast. The ebook of the day post includes a widget and sample of your book featured on Kindle Nation Daily, Book Gorilla and Book The email blast sends out a 5,000 to 20,000 word excerpt to 30,000 opted in email subscribers. Cost of the package was $300.

On May 31, my email blast was scheduled through Kindle Nation Daily. On the day before my sponsorship, my sales rank was 24,093. The day of my sponsorship, First Visions peaked at 5,364.

For the August 1 ebook of the day sponsorship, my sales rank the day before was 10,246. During the sponsorship, First Visions peaked at 3,550. Sales did well following the sponsorships as well.

Google Ads
I’ve heard authors that like Google ads to market their books, but I’m unsure if I will use it for my next book. The major advantage of Google ads are they are ideal if you’re looking for a low cost marketing opportunity. You can deposit $20 and set a low daily budget to keep your ads running for a few weeks. They also have plenty of promotions for first time users (I had a $100 free credit for my first ads). I earned a significant number of clicks and impressions, but didn’t see a huge jump in book sales. However, if you’re only paying $2.00 a day, selling only one extra copy a day of a $2.99 ebook would make you break even.

Blog Ads
For me, blog ads didn’t have a major effect on my sales. I signed up for a week-long promotion and chose four different book blogs for my ad to appear. The cost was $50 and prices were based on the number of site views each blog averaged daily. To be honest, the ads were pretty expensive and I didn’t see any difference in the number of the copies sold during that week.   

After careful consideration, I decided to enroll First Visions in the KDP Select program for three months. Although I have mixed feelings about the program, it’s hard not to admit how the vast majority of my sales come from I also feel it would be a good way to introduce readers to the series before my second book comes out in October. My first free day will be August 28. Here’s the link to the Kindle version: First Visions: Second Sight Book One.


  1. Great information for indie writers, thank you!

  2. Great tips :) Thank you for sharing. I'm currently saving posts like this for when my books are published.

  3. Cool info. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I'm just getting into a campaign. I will consider a blog tour. Thanks for taking the time to write this up, Heather. WRITE ON!