Author Topic: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases  (Read 18576 times)  

Offline Viv Phoenix

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Thanks. I'm adding this to my collection of your helpful posts. Love this: "C) they aren't ridiculously priced for the results they provide"  I spend more on promo every month. The key is to spend it well.

I'll echo Mmandolin on SweetFreeBooks. The first time I contacted her, I mentioned the book was a new release and sent a link to my author profile to show that I have books with good averages. She responds fast, terrific to deal with.

I've seen comments that the $40 Genre Pulse package isn't any more effective than the genre-specific one. Nothing against GP, just something people might want to dig into before booking. I like their click-tracking feature.

E.B. Brown's MMLhttp://www.ebbrownbooks.com/vip-reader-rewards.html promo gave my mailing list a huge boost. $15 for the first book, $5 each for additional books. I'm running three books there, so it also gave quick feedback on the preferences of a new reader pool.

I had a good 99c sales bump from BargainBooksy for Horror in a different book line. The cost of an erom ad was too high for the results on a recent bundle. It didn't feel like a waste of money; I just don't plan on doing another of their high-priced slots this year.

I've seen sales bumps from Awesome Gang. It's one of the few free ones I still use.

Book Raid is great to deal with and I like their dashboard feature. It's one of the best-looking and well-designed promo sites I use. I credit a few sales to them due to testing them on their own a couple of times.

I'm experimenting with BookSprout because I like to reach into more devices/reader pools. When I asked for a shortcut for uploading our entire catalog, he did it! It takes only a couple of minutes to check over the fetched listings. :) He added a promo-tracking feature, too.

Bknights works so well for free runs and is so inexpensive, I don't mind that results on launches/99c sales are uneven. I just stack it.

BTW, Mailer Lite is free and unlike MailChimp, it has customer service and automated emails for free accounts. I discovered this when I found out my MailChimp link led to a bad certificate - right before the MML promo. Mailer Lite expedited my approval and I was able to use their easy landing page to handle my signups for the promo. Thanks to Kboards, I found Zoho mail, too.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 04:03:47 PM by Viv Phoenix »
Author of high-heat romantic thrillers and New Adult books for adventurous readers. My High-heat Book Club News gives you free books, multi-author giveaways and exclusive previews. Writing from the Yucatan and Central America, with a home base in my original state, California.
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Online Nicholas Erik

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Wonderful guide Nicholas!! I made the mistake of trying to do a blast for my first book, with the other books still due to come. I'm hindsight I should have done the blast for book 1 with at least two or three books in the series out.

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I wouldn't consider this a mistake, so long as you had a mailing list link in the back of book #1. In fact, I really like advertising as much as possible at launch, since you're playing with "house money."

@mmandolin: Thanks for the additions! Sweet Free Books + Amazon Marketing Services have been added. I recently discovered SFB was eligible (re: yesterday). Good catch. If I could find a submission form for Buck Books, I'd be game to include it - but I can't. Do you have to email them?

Also, if you or anyone else knows if AMS PPC still requires you to set a $100 campaign budget, let me know. I found that super annoying and unnecessary early on, but maybe they've changed it.

Your link to Aimee's excellent slow burn post inspired me to dig through my links and add recent threads that are gold-mines of information. At some point, I'll do a launch post that breaks down the main strategies, but if people have time to spare before that happens, those are absolutely worth the reads from cover to cover.

@Viv Phoenix: thanks for all the additions! I've added Book Raid to the list - I recently submitted my first new release to them the other day, and I agree, it was super painless. I think they could be pretty big in the future. I also added E.B. Brown's MML to the list - but does anyone know if this is different than the cross author promos she runs? I seem to remember that she ran free cross author promos in the past, a la what Patty does. Maybe it was the MML thing all along, and I just wasn't reading close enough.

Also, if anyone has links to author promos, I can add them. There's a lot floating around the boards these days across a bunch of genres.

Interesting tip on Mailer Lite. I've switched mailing list ESPs three or four times, I believe, in the last couple months. Super annoying to find a good one. I'm now using ConvertKit (convertkit.com; $29/mo), which has pluses (super easy, painless tagging/automation, fast dashboard) and minuses (weird email formatting/writing issues). But it's better than Aweber, Mailchimp and GetResponse, and offers easier automation/tagging than Drip.

Nick
« Last Edit: July 15, 2016, 11:13:09 PM by Nicholas Erik »

Offline MaggieWay

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I wouldn't consider this a mistake, so long as you had a mailing list link in the back of book #1. In fact, I really like advertising as much as possible at launch, since you're playing with "house money."

@mmandolin: Thanks for the additions! Sweet Free Books + Amazon Marketing Services have been added. I recently discovered SFB was eligible (re: yesterday). Good catch. If I could find a submission form for Buck Books, I'd be game to include it - but I can't. Do you have to email them?

Also, if you or anyone else knows if AMS PPC still requires you to set a $100 campaign budget, let me know. I found that super annoying and unnecessary early on, but maybe they've changed it.

Your link to Aimee's excellent slow burn post inspired me to dig through my links and add recent threads that are gold-mines of information. At some point, I'll do a launch post that breaks down the main strategies, but if people have time to spare before that happens, those are absolutely worth the reads from cover to cover.

@Viv Phoenix: thanks for all the additions! I've added Book Raid to the list - I recently submitted my first new release to them the other day, and I agree, it was super painless. I think they could be pretty big in the future. I also added E.B. Brown's MML to the list - but does anyone know if this is different than the cross author promos she runs? I seem to remember that she ran free cross author promos in the past, a la what Patty does. Maybe it was the MML thing all along, and I just wasn't reading close enough.

Also, if anyone has links to author promos, I can add them. There's a lot floating around the boards these days across a bunch of genres.

Interesting tip on Mailer Lite. I've switched mailing list ESPs three or four times, I believe, in the last couple months. Super annoying to find a good one. I'm now using ConvertKit (convertkit.com; $29/mo), which has pluses (super easy, painless tagging/automation, fast dashboard) and minuses (weird email formatting/writing issues). But it's better than Aweber, Mailchimp and GetResponse, and offers easier automation/tagging than Drip.

Nick
Thanks Nick :)
I didn't make back my money, I blame this down to an irrelevant cover and not compelling enough blurb.
All good, my biggest focus is building my mailing list.
I will say KND and Bknights were effective promotions for me.

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Offline Viv Phoenix

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[snipped]
 @Viv Phoenix: thanks for all the additions! I've added Book Raid to the list - I recently submitted my first new release to them the other day, and I agree, it was super painless. I think they could be pretty big in the future. I also added E.B. Brown's MML to the list - but does anyone know if this is different than the cross author promos she runs? I seem to remember that she ran free cross author promos in the past, a la what Patty does. Maybe it was the MML thing all along, and I just wasn't reading close enough.

Also, if anyone has links to author promos, I can add them. There's a lot floating around the boards these days across a bunch of genres.

Interesting tip on Mailer Lite. I've switched mailing list ESPs three or four times, I believe, in the last couple months. Super annoying to find a good one. I'm now using ConvertKit (convertkit.com; $29/mo), which has pluses (super easy, painless tagging/automation, fast dashboard) and minuses (weird email formatting/writing issues). But it's better than Aweber, Mailchimp and GetResponse, and offers easier automation/tagging than Drip.

Nick

You're welcome. I get a great deal of value from your posts. Here's the link to MML info: http://www.ebbrownbooks.com/mega-promo.html She also does a separate one for free books. That one is $10 and doesn't have a giveaway for mailing list building. I discovered her promos via the thread here. I didn't see any no-charge options on the site.

BTW, realized after I wrote that post that results are relative. My mailing list is only a few weeks old, so the 156 new signups since MML started on July 1 exceeded my expectations. That might be small to someone with a much larger list. Some participants report fewer signups.

Glad ConvertKit is working better for you than the others did. Easy, fast and with automation are high on my list. I'm keeping my overhead as low as possible to maximize my ad budget, so a free account was my priority. Finding out the hard way that my MailChimp account was dead due to a bad certificate and they don't allow any customer service contact from free accounts put me off MailChimp. I was looking for an alternative due to the new Captcha hassle; posts here indicated that people are seeing a decline in signups.

Everything went smoothly with my first MailerLite campaign. Newsletter creation is fast with their drag & drop interface. Lots of customization options, too. I'm going to give it a couple weeks to make sure it works for everything I need, then move my other mailing lists off MailChimp. Their customer service reps have been fast and helpful. Their paid rates are much lower than MailChimp and MadMimi for when I do want to upgrade: $10 a month for 1k-5k subscribers. Their landing page has a demo of their form-building interface: https://www.mailerlite.com/

Yes, Book Raid is confidence-inspiring. I'm making the most of their sweet beta free-ness.
Here's Booksprout: https://booksproutapp.com/publisher/ 
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 05:58:10 PM by Viv Phoenix »
Author of high-heat romantic thrillers and New Adult books for adventurous readers. My High-heat Book Club News gives you free books, multi-author giveaways and exclusive previews. Writing from the Yucatan and Central America, with a home base in my original state, California.
My religion is kindness. The Dalai Lama
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Online Nicholas Erik

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Thanks for the clarification. I've updated the original post to explain. 150+ signups for $15 is more than reasonable, given that many people pay up to $1 per email address via Facebook ads.

Keeping costs low is key early on. I was terrible at this, and spent close to $600 on Aweber over three years before I even sent out a broadcast.

@MaggieWay: I used to recommend KND's Free Highlighter, but when I recently ran it alone I got less than 50 downloads. I haven't used any of KND's other options. But that was a bummer, since the free highlighter used to be gold.

Nick

Offline Viv Phoenix

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Thanks for the clarification. I've updated the original post to explain. 150+ signups for $15 is more than reasonable, given that many people pay up to $1 per email address via Facebook ads.

Keeping costs low is key early on. I was terrible at this, and spent close to $600 on Aweber over three years before I even sent out a broadcast.
[snipped]
Nick
You're welcome. I agree, it's a good value. I paid $25 for my MML run ($15 for the first book and $5 each for two more). Based on results I've seen from other participants, signup numbers vary a great deal. I got sales bumps and increased page reads on the three books, too, so I'm glad I tried it. Here's E.B. Brown's Mega Mailing List promo thread: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,227874.0.html

Ouch on your Aweber expense. Live and learn. :) I started publishing with no budget at all, so I've had to force myself to increase my spending. The money keeps coming back thanks to getting way beyond my comfort zone with promotions. That's why promos get first dibs on my publishing dollars.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2016, 06:27:07 PM by Viv Phoenix »
Author of high-heat romantic thrillers and New Adult books for adventurous readers. My High-heat Book Club News gives you free books, multi-author giveaways and exclusive previews. Writing from the Yucatan and Central America, with a home base in my original state, California.
My religion is kindness. The Dalai Lama
Viv Phoenix | Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Paranormal Romances as Aly First, PNR & Fantasy

Offline mmandolin

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@mmandolin: Thanks for the additions! Sweet Free Books + Amazon Marketing Services have been added. I recently discovered SFB was eligible (re: yesterday). Good catch. If I could find a submission form for Buck Books, I'd be game to include it - but I can't. Do you have to email them?

Also, if you or anyone else knows if AMS PPC still requires you to set a $100 campaign budget, let me know. I found that super annoying and unnecessary early on, but maybe they've changed it.

You should still be able to contact Buck Books through here: http://buckbooks.net/affiliates/contact.php
If that doesn't work for folks they can PM me.

I think with AMS you need to set that $100 budget, but I suggest doing it. The sponsored products type of ad where you put in keywords is solid.

Offline Viv Phoenix

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Thanks Mmandolin, that email address for Buck Books works.

I want to add that Awesome Gang has a feature option for $10. At the end of the submission form click the Yes bubble under this header: Featured Book Listing $10 (optional)* Here's the description of what's included in the featured book promo: http://awesomegang.com/advertising-on-awesomegang/

« Last Edit: August 10, 2016, 09:01:37 PM by Viv Phoenix »
Author of high-heat romantic thrillers and New Adult books for adventurous readers. My High-heat Book Club News gives you free books, multi-author giveaways and exclusive previews. Writing from the Yucatan and Central America, with a home base in my original state, California.
My religion is kindness. The Dalai Lama
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Offline drewavera

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Really great thread. I'm saving this one :)


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Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

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Update: we only offer the triple blast option now, called a book blast. It's normally $299, but there is a $99 off coupon for members of our Facebook group. We adjusted to only hosting 1 new release per day for optimized results. Some authors are using an add on spotlight feature to this ($100) and I haven't had a lot of people report results on that yet. One girl said it got her 30 sales more and another girl told me it got her 200 sales in a couple hours (but here was a boxed set). I don't know where she finished for the day. ✌🏻️ Authors who see the best results seem to do HA on day 1 and then follow up with other promos on day 2, 3, and 4 to get sticky. One author got sticky in top 1000 (might have been top 500?) and raised price to $2.99 and stayed there all month. They were also in KU though. Gorgeous covers seem to help. My readers are pretty open about the fact they judge books by their covers and will one click a book of the cover is pretty enough. Hope that helps!

Online Nicholas Erik

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Cool; appreciate the info, Rebecca. I updated the Hungry Author/Genre Crave section.

Nick

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Re: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2016, 01:41:25 AM »
Just a quick update: added around 10 new options - with results, if I have them to report - that I've used or discovered since writing the original post. Hope you find them helpful.

Nick

Offline mmandolin

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Re: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases
« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2016, 02:00:51 PM »
Thanks for the updates, Nick. Epic stuff  :)

Offline Viv Phoenix

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Re: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2016, 09:07:25 PM »
Thanks for the updates.

I got another 113 subscribers from my current EB Brown promo, and they're still coming in.
BookSprout keeps adding cool features to the app and it's still free. https://booksproutapp.com/publisher/
BookRaid, still one of the best-designed promo sites and it now displays clicks. Results have ranged from 0 to 8 sales.
Ebook Soda possibly 12 sales but some might have been from another promo the day before. 
BKnights
no longer seems worth using for 99cent books in Erotic Romance and free downloads have declined, too.
Romance Devoured: Probably 15 sales on my new MMF Bisexual Romance this month.
Author of high-heat romantic thrillers and New Adult books for adventurous readers. My High-heat Book Club News gives you free books, multi-author giveaways and exclusive previews. Writing from the Yucatan and Central America, with a home base in my original state, California.
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Offline Lefevre

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Re: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2016, 11:12:30 PM »
Way past cool! Thanks for posting.
Lefevre

Offline brkingsolver

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Re: A Mini Guide to Launch Promo Services - Sites You Can Use for New Releases
« Reply #40 on: November 02, 2016, 07:23:41 AM »
Setting up a first-in-series release in December, so this is very helpful. Have a release-day blast with Rebecca, then setting up additional promos for the rest of the week. The biggest hassle is not yet having an ASIN.

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Online Nicholas Erik

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Hard to believe this is almost a year old. I just edited the original post, making sure the info was up to date. If anything slipped through the cracks, let me know.

And if anyone has any new sites or options, post 'em.

Nick

Offline mmandolin

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Hard to believe this is almost a year old. I just edited the original post, making sure the info was up to date. If anything slipped through the cracks, let me know.

And if anyone has any new sites or options, post 'em.

Nick

Thanks Nick!

AMS is definitely becoming a primary tool for my launches. Lots of potential with AMS; they like taking my money during a launch more than at any other time, and I'm glad to give it to them.  ;)

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I want to mention how helpful this thread was during my last book launch. I found about some promo options of which I was unaware.


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Online Nicholas Erik

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I want to mention how helpful this thread was during my last book launch. I found about some promo options of which I was unaware.

Glad it was helpful, Bill - hope you sold a bunch of books.

Thanks Nick!

AMS is definitely becoming a primary tool for my launches. Lots of potential with AMS; they like taking my money during a launch more than at any other time, and I'm glad to give it to them.  ;)

Yeah, I'm really starting to think that spending more money on PPC is the way to go (for launches, for building a list, and in general). For one, you know where it's going (e.g. you don't have to worry about promoters doing questionable things). And two, even if you're losing money (e.g. your goal is pure visibility), you still lose less on a per sale basis in comparison to most of the newsletter services. Lastly, it's scalable - so if you have money to burn, you can get up to $200, $400, $1000+ a day and not run through Facebook's audience (if you're in a big genre, at least).

ETA: I've added a "no longer recommended" section. I've debated doing this, but I think it's important to go over why a few services have dropped off the list, rather than simply deleting them.

Nick
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 08:00:16 PM by Nicholas Erik »

Offline Alix Nichols

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Thanks Nick!
AMS is definitely becoming a primary tool for my launches. Lots of potential with AMS; they like taking my money during a launch more than at any other time, and I'm glad to give it to them.  ;)
Do you run Product Display ads? I've done Sponsored Product ads for my launches, and they are effective, but scaling them during the launch window is a Herculean task...
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Online Nicholas Erik

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Do you run Product Display ads? I've done Sponsored Product ads for my launches, and they are effective, but scaling them during the launch window is a Herculean task...

Not mmandolin, obviously, but I only run Sponsored Product ads. The Product Display ads still mandate a lifetime budget of $100 or more. Not that AMS usually approaches even 5% of that, from the few I've ran (not recently - over a year ago), but I'm still wary. The results were negligible from the few I ran, but that's not a real sample size. Others have had much more success with the Sponsored Product ads, too, though.

The Product Display ads might be good for "zagging" right now - e.g. the Sponsored Products are becoming somewhat saturated. I'll test a few more to see. But keep an eye on the budget to make sure the spend doesn't go up.

Nick

Offline mmandolin

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Do you run Product Display ads? I've done Sponsored Product ads for my launches, and they are effective, but scaling them during the launch window is a Herculean task...

Yeah, sponsored product ads are usually the way to go. The best way to get more impressions/clicks during launch is to have higher bids, and several hundred keywords. Then cut down bid price and ineffective keywords later, if need be.

Online JaclynDolamore

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Not mmandolin, obviously, but I only run Sponsored Product ads. The Product Display ads still mandate a lifetime budget of $100 or more. Not that AMS usually approaches even 5% of that, from the few I've ran (not recently - over a year ago), but I'm still wary. The results were negligible from the few I ran, but that's not a real sample size. Others have had much more success with the Sponsored Product ads, too, though.


But Product Display asks you to set a time frame for the ad to run and then you can choose to spread the ads over the duration of that period, so...it shouldn't blow through $100 like, "surprise!" Unless someone has stories to the contrary, but I haven't heard any. (With that said, I've had no luck with them, but at least too much money spent isn't my concern.)

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Offline Cassie Leigh

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But Product Display asks you to set a time frame for the ad to run and then you can choose to spread the ads over the duration of that period, so...it shouldn't blow through $100 like, "surprise!" Unless someone has stories to the contrary, but I haven't heard any. (With that said, I've had no luck with them, but at least too much money spent isn't my concern.)

I had one a year ago that blew through the budget in a single day to my absolute horror.  But they didn't charge me for it.


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