Sunday, June 10, 2012
June Promotions and an Award
Promoting books is not terribly hard work. I sit at my desk, feet propped up, snacks and beverages at hand, with the occasional dog or cat nudging me for attention, walking across my keyboard or curling up in my lap. So no, not hard -- but it is time-consuming. And I don't even fuss much with social media.
Where I do put my attention is on learning what others are innovating and then doing the necessary follow-up to see how successful different activities and ideas are. And then, of course, figuring out if other factors influenced that success. And finally, trying to come up with ways to tweak those ideas so they work for the goals I've set.
Sometimes what's worked well for others doesn't work at all for me. Sometimes I can make something work that others seem not able to. Why? Because timing, audience, price and just plain luck are all part of marketing. Why do some books seem to take off on their own and others don't?
In May, a group campaign with 10 Steel Magnolia Press books yielded moderate post-free sales across all titles. We had lots of nice promo push behind that campaign and, when our June freebook campaign came around this past week with 12 books, we didn't expect as much push. We did get a couple of nice mentions, but a couple of major sites also declined to feature our books again (not at all unexpected and probably a smart decision on their part), and one surprise mention was especially welcome.
Even with a more low-key campaign, we still managed to put 5 books into the Top 100 Free. I'll have details about post-free sales in June compared to May a little later this week. The short version is that my observation from last month seems validated. If a book doesn't get at least 3000 freeloads and sit in a Top 100 overall spot, there just isn't going to be a sales bounce any more. The divide between the books that see even a moderate bounce and those that don't is much more clearly defined -- and much, much wider.
So I've been working on promotional opportunities beyond freebooking.
There is an upcoming group sale I'll be a part of June 13-14. We have feature spots booked on two popular sites and 10 top-rated books by as many authors that will be on sale for 99c (up to 80% off). SECTOR C will be in that sales group as will A Dragon's Seduction, another Steel Magnolia Press book. In addition to cross-promoting the 10 books in the campaign, we'll be putting all our SMP titles on sale for 99c as well and see if we can't get a few collateral sales that way too.
I'm also running a June Brides Celebration promotion focusing on bridal romances June 20-21, featuring Jennifer Blake and other authors not affiliated with Steel Magnolia Press. We have three spots booked for that promotion, and will use the same tactics for cross-promoting the bridal books foremost and the SMP titles secondarily.
I'll report here on how well those campaigns go. We're hoping well enough that we'll be incentivized to continue to run a couple of themed campaigns per month.
Look for links to the website and Facebook page that will host these special sale campaigns when we launch on Wednesday.
Thursday I'll have a wrap-up on May sales.
And if you've been in or seen any promos that were especially successful (or spectacularly unsuccessful) for your books, feel free to share the details!