S3, E80: Second Promotion Results, Tails, and NaNo Wrap

Giving my wrap up on how this year’s NaNo went before getting into a deep look at how Aisuru’s second promotion went, the “tail” results, and my overall take aways from it all.

News & Notes:

  • Life piles on
  • Winter break
  • Manga Mondays are back!

NaNo Wrap Up

All in all, I’m really pleased with how I did this NaNo! Girl in the Forest started off strong and I had significantly fewer non-writing days this year than I typically have during Nano. I only skipped Saturdays and Mondays for writing, and as I wrote six hours each Sunday, I kept my word count chart pretty consistent!

As I suspected would happen, Girl in the Forest did end up being short – ending at 45,542 words, but with the addition of that short story I wrote in one morning, I still ended up at 51,000 words and a win. 🙂 I am happy with how both my novel and the short turned out and I’m looking forward to revising them both.

I’ve already ordered a bound copy for doing my revision read with once Deviations is off to editing. With luck, maybe I can even get Girl in the Forest finished and out before the end of 2016. Two books released next year would be awesome! Though finances may dictate otherwise, so for now it’s a “we’ll see” idea.

Aisuru’s Promotion Results

It’s now been just over a month since I ran Aisuru’s big 99 cent promotion, and as previously promised, it’s time to see how it all went (note, accompanying blog posts has charts). As a quick reminder, I used a Kindle Countdown deal to reduce Aisuru’s price to 99 cents from November 1st through the 7th, and went all out on promoting in through a huge range of sites, 33 in all plus my newsletter, Facebook, and Google+. All in all I spent $410.99 on the promotion efforts in hopes of boosting Aisuru’s long non-existent sales and increase exposure.

So let’s look at the day-to-day numbers, and which promo sites worked and didn’t.

November 1st ($20; mostly didn’t schedule anything I couldn’t control the timing of just in case, some of the places I submitted to ran on the 1st though – basically BookHippo and down)

KNEP Read: 0
Day’s Sales: 3
Total KNEP: 0
Total Sales: 3

November 2nd ($50.00 total)

KNEP Read: 0
Day’s Sales: 25
Total KNEP: 0
Total Sales: 28

November 3rd ($83.00 total)

KNEP Read: 76
Day’s Sales: 14
Total KNEP: 76
Total Sales: 42

November 4th ($100.00 total)

KNEP Read: 110
Day’s Sales: 28
Total KNEP: 186
Total Sales: 70

November 5th ($109.99 total)

KNEP Read: 680
Day’s Sales: 15
Total KNEP: 866
Total Sales: 85

November 6th ($48.50 total)

KNEP Read: 370
Day’s Sales: 12
Total KNEP: 1,236
Total Sales: 97

November 7th ($5.00 total)

  • Ripley’s Booklist ($5; this site is purely YA and their emails are very curated so thought it would be an interesting one to try; they also only send out on Saturday)

KNEP Read: 1
Day’s Sales: 2
Total KNEP: 1,237
Total Sales: 99

All in all, I earned $54.68 in direct royalties and, if the payout remains the same, and estimated $6.19 in pages read for a total of $60.87, for an abysmal 14.8% ROI. On the positive side, nearly 100 copies of Aisuru sold and it was clearly borrowed quite a few times as well, which boosted it’s rank. One buyer even left a lovely Goodreads review and Aisuru has now finally sold enough copies to appear in and show “Also boughts” 🙂

sales by day during the promotion

sales by day during the promotion

KENP by day during promotion

KENP by day during promotion

Promotion “Tail”

Now many fellow indies mention that promotions are not just about the promotion period itself, but the “tail”, i.e. the over all results and effects of the promotion in terms of increased sales, borrows, rankings, and reviews.

In Aisuru’s case, the tail was both a nice change and disappointing. Sales wise, as soon as the promotion ended, so did all sales and not another copy has sold since. Borrow and reading wise, though, I continued to have almost pages read daily, though some days it’s just 1 or 2 pages while others it jumps to the hundreds again. All together, since the end of the promo, I’ve had another 6,384 pages read, for another $31.92 potential earnings. That brings measurable earnings to $92.79 and the ROI up to 22.5%. If I presume everyone who started Aisuru finished it, then that means approximately 13 people have completely read Aisuru and one more is in progress.

Aisuru’s sales rank jump from the hideous 1,485,439 before the promo started to a peak of 6,155 during the promotion! Since then, it’s mostly fallen, though at a significantly slower rate than after any previous sales rank boost, and it pops up again whenever there is a new borrow. For example, I can tell I had at least one borrow on December 9th as it jumped up from 443,379 to 117,613. As of today, it’s at 420,078.

My author rank climbed from 895,810 to a peak of 12,486 during the promotion. While it is falling, like Aisuru’s rank, it is falling at a slower rate than before and occasionally bops back up when another borrow comes in. As of today, I’m at 319,402, thanks to that most recent borrow.

As for reviews, Aisuru did pick up 2 new reviews, but neither is from a verified purchaser so I’m presuming they are from the review service at Hungry Author I signed up for in October (and which resulted in 10 people claiming a copy for review and, as far as I can tell, 2 reviews).

Sales since promotion

Sales since promotion

KENP since promotion

KENP since promotion

Sales rank: before, during and after promo

Sales rank: before, during and after promo

Author rank, before, during, and after the promo

Author rank, before, during, and after the promo

My Take Away

So what did I learn from it all?

  1. Most paid promotion sites are not worth what they charge, at least for stories like mine and single title authors; future promotions will be focused on narrowing down the seeming performers while those who failed to perform here will not be bothered with again
  2. Promotion sites that “work” and perform well for some genres won’t necessarily do so for others.
  3. Promoting with just one title available is primarily a nice way to get a quick boost in sales, maybe subscribers, and that’s about it. It won’t have long term gains and obviously there is no follow through to see because nothing else is available
  4. Yes, you must “spend money to make money” but as always try to spend wisely!
  5. Not to spend nearly so much money on promotion again unless it’s BookBub 😛

Future promotions will be much more focused and probably not come until Deviations is out, either as a launch celebration for Deviations or some time after to hopefully boost both since Deviations will be more limited promo wise being new.