Assessment Part One

September and October were busy months for me on the promotion front. I really dislike promotion, but it’s necessary for authors to push here and there. My promotional stuff wove together like an intricate web. I decided to hit it hard and see what happens.

Here is a list of everything I can remember. I intend to do follow up posts and break down the assessment a bit further.

  • The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack was designed to fuel interest in my longer works.
  • There was cover art for this book shared across blogland.
  • I sent Notebook on a tour of my blog friends.
  • I paid for a blog tour for Will O’ the Wisp.
  • I accepted every guest invitation I could during this time. I reblogged them all too.
  • I set up some review sites for both books.
  • I participated in Teri Polen’s Halloween promotion.
  • I pushed out Macabre Macaroni stories every week of October.
  • I ran three Amazon promotions.
  • I participated in the Rave Reviews Book Club Back to School Book and Blog Block Party.
  • I tried to sent out at least one tweet per day throughout this time period.
  • There were some unexpected surprises along the way that I benefited from.

Let’s talk about the first four today. Everything relates to everything else, but I have to start somewhere.

Notebook has a couple of promotional things about it. It was designed to be a gateway drug to my longer fiction. I tried to cover the various speculative genres I write in. If you’re into science fiction, there are a couple of stories for you and you only spent 99 cents. Maybe you enjoyed a fantasy or a ghost story along with your science fiction.

I also included an introduction and mentioned that writers appreciate reviews. Finally, I included a section of Will O’ the Wisp in the back of the book. It’s like a free test drive.

I did the usual cover art release to fuel interest. This was followed up by begging asking blog friends to host a post about this new book. I used Lisa the robot girl to help with this, and commissioned some unique art to help the push. Lisa draws a lot of attention, and the images are pretty good at getting folks to take a gander. She dropped these off as posters for various hosts along the way. (It doesn’t hurt that she has a short story in Notebook either. It drives interest.)

I made a few writing cabin posts myself about getting Notebook out the door. They were very popular.

In October, I sent Will O’ the Wisp on a tour that I paid for. I hired 4-Wills Publishing to put this together for me. Some of these posts went to non-Wordpress sites, and that’s a good thing. A blog tour is all about reaching new people. I love you guys, but we all seem to follow the same group of people. A tour can become so much static after you’ve seen it a few times. With new sites, it’s at least fresh to a few people.

I shared some Lisa art at a few of these stops too. It’s the same reasoning, just different art.

I sold books based upon these ideas. The Notebook tour was particularly successful. Tours are kind of hit and miss, but reaching new readers via a paid tour has some merit.

I tried to reblog everyone who hosted me, and those who surprised me along the way. I also tried to participate in the comments. I think commenting is extremely important.

I don’t have any data to decide if the Experimental Notebook drove sales to Will O’ the Wisp. To really test this, I would have to only promote Notebook and assess the Wisp sales. I didn’t want to take that chance. I believe Notebook moved a few copies of Wisp. (And it could keep happening.)

I averaged just under three book sales per day for over sixty days. There are still sales coming in. The funny part is every book except Arson made a few sales. Arson is a different story, and I’ll leave it at that. A bunch of people bought The Cock of the South in a three day cluster. Notebook landed in the top 100 for a few days in some segment of Amazon.

Notebook was the big seller. Is it because of better cover art? Maybe my blurb is better? Maybe its the 99 cent price. There is no way of knowing for certain, but it’s worth thinking about. More on this when I write about the Amazon promotions.

Some of you will laugh at my small success, but it’s pretty darned good for me. It’s a place to build from. I like the fact that it lasted so long, and it’s still happening.

I’ll grab another handfull of bullet points and write about them in a couple of days. Everything ties together, and it’s either break it down, or make one gigantic post that nobody will actually read.

Weigh in here. Are there other things I could have done? Maybe something else I should have done? I spent money on the book that delivers a 70% royalty, and did as much free stuff as possible for the one that only pays 35 cents per sale.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Assessment Part One

  1. I’ve got no suggestions because it sounds like you did everything you could without going insane. Honestly, I’m very impressed with all of that and I’m curious how the Amazon promotions did. As far as ‘small successes’, I believe the keyword in there is ‘successes’. Those can build up and create some great momentum.

    “A tour can become so much static after you’ve seen it a few times.” I’ve been facing this issue for a while. Seems something becomes hot, everyone does it, and then you need something new to stand out.

    (Trying to comment while a 6-year-old drums on my arm and hugs my head like the ‘big white gorilla’ in Goosebumps.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a bit different appearing on a Blogger or Tumblr site. It’s more difficult to comment and participate. It may be worth the time though, because it’s a new audience. Here on WP we are all one big happy family. I think it’s good to post on the other sites as a guest.

      Like

      • I haven’t figured out how people interact on Tumblr. When I look at a picture there and see a comment or somebody posts a shot of a conversation, I wonder if I simply haven’t unlocked the button. I agree about the guesting on other sites. Did a few things with people on Blogger a while back. Worked out pretty well.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a good tour to me!! I like to see the breakdown of what works for marketing. I try to post links to authors I see have something up for sale on my reading links blog posts. I hope it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My current mindset is that it all helps. I know it’s all appreciated. There is no silver bullet that’s going to do the whole job. It involves a lot of projects that produce a bit here and a bit there. It took a lot of planning too. I had to write all those posts, and plan ahead for the Lisa artwork.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Trying to figure out the best ways to market is tricky. With my new book, I’m going to do more face-to-face this time around. Which makes my teeth chatter…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a lot of work, and I’m glad you found success! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m impressed! I’ve been struggling with the marketing for my books. I’d like to pick your brain! I’ve tried signings, but I’m mobility impaired and can’t stand for long periods of time. Standing helps to attract people to the table it seems. I reblog other people’s posts about their books and share posts on Facebook for other authors. Your stuff is good. I’m glad you did well! Keep it up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy to answer questions, if I can. I’ve benefited from your reblogs, and appreciate them. I’ve never promoted at a live event before. All of my stuff is online. I will return to the bullet list and discuss more in a future post.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It sounds like you had good success in introducing your books and your style to a lot of new readers. Congrats on all those sales and breaking the top 100 on Amazon. I’d love to know if you were happy with the exposure you got from 4 Wills Publishing. I’m going to do a book tour for A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS in April and still need to find a company. The touring company I usually go with is awesome, but most of the host blogs are geared more toward romance and I need to reach mystery and suspense readers.

    I’ve got a lot of friends who use Blogger, and although it drives me nuts commenting on those blogs because of the hoops you have to jump through I’ve been doing it for several years and have met many good friends that way.

    Sorry I haven’t been visible lately. Just got back from vacay in Punta Cana and am playing catch-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been thinking about you in the tropics while I was getting my furnace replaced. I learned how to fake a reblog from a Blogger site. It involves copy and paste, then linking the last few words. That also makes it easy for me to return and play in the comments. I think there is merit in trying several tour groups. They all have a different reach.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Have you tried Ebook Soda? For $15.00 they send your book details, etc. to a targeted audience (email list). Damn if that little promotion didn’t give me tons of sales. Much more sales than some of the other higher paid promo sites. It’s all a crap shoot, but it worked great for me. Let me know if you can’t find the link.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m definitely intrigued… and impressed. 🙂 Have you done anything with your business cards yet that you’ve seen work? (Or is there any way of knowing?)

    Liked by 1 person

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