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Author Topic: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting  (Read 1432 times)  

Online GeneDoucette

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Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« on: June 15, 2017, 03:58:42 AM »
My new novel, Unfiction, is out on the 20th, and it's going to be an interesting day. Like, more interesting than just that it's a release day.

For starters, when I picked June 20th, I didn't know Bookbub would accept a $.99 promotion for The Spaceship Next Door on the same day.

Also, I got their official notice that the New Release alert for Unfiction would go out to my small number of followers on the 20th. Their email had this nugget in it as well:

Quote
Please note that in addition to the 261 readers following you, there are approximately 38,036 more readers who have expressed interest in your work on BookBub. These readers won't get your New Release Alert because they don't follow you. We suggest letting some of these readers know about your new book by running a BookBub Ad with your name selected in the "Refine by Author" section of the ad creation form.

I had been running BB ads on Unfiction already, to announce the preorder, but it wasn't really giving me the kind of return I was hoping for, so I'd suspended it--on the same day I got the BB for Spaceship. I'd actually already set up a release-day advertisement pretty much tailored the way they suggest above. What I didn't know was that '38,036 readers' number, before now. That's pretty cool.

So, as far as I can figure, on the 20th, the modest number of people who have preordered Unfiction will be getting their copies. Then:

--people who have never read The Spaceship Next Door will be seeing it offered in their daily blast

--people who have read TSND will still see it in their blast (if they are subscribing to sci-fi) but will also see an advertisement for Unfiction at the bottom of the email

--people who have not read TSND and don't subscribe to sci-fi but have read one of my fantasy books through Bookbub will see an advertisement for Unfiction at the bottom of the email

Other things of interest: will a bookbub promo be enough to get a book onto one of Amazon's new top 20 lists? will the increase in whispersync prices destroy the audiobook sell-throughs a BB promo usually spawns? Will the fact that this deal is happening on the 20th--a day when Amazon traditionally freezes things for a few hours while updating everyone's sales reports--retard the sales rankings?

Anyway, it should make for a crazy day. I'll try and update, if people are interested.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2017, 04:00:23 AM by GeneDoucette »

Online Devyn Jayse

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2017, 06:41:13 AM »
I think what you've got there is the perfect storm of promotion. Pretty sure you're going to knock it out of the park. Please update!

I loved The Spaceship Next Door. I'm off to pre-order Unfiction  :D
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Offline Eric T Knight

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 06:53:29 AM »
I'm interested in hearing how it goes. Best of luck.

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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2017, 07:41:40 AM »
Quote
I think what you've got there is the perfect storm of promotion. Pretty sure you're going to knock it out of the park. Please update!

I loved The Spaceship Next Door. I'm off to pre-order Unfiction  :D

thanks!
Quote
I'm interested in hearing how it goes. Best of luck.

I'll try and update over the course of the day...

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2017, 08:50:47 AM »
Here's hoping it's epic! :)

Offline elizabethbarone

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2017, 10:25:30 AM »
Fingers crossed for you!

I love Bookbub's drive: "You should totally take out a PPC ad with us, too." 😂

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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 10:26:28 AM »
Fingers crossed for you!

I love Bookbub's drive: "You should totally take out a PPC ad with us, too." 😂

I know. That's some chutzpah. OTOH, I was like "oh, 38,000? fine."

Online Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 10:44:36 AM »
Looking forward to hearing your results.

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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2017, 05:03:28 PM »
Looking forward to hearing your results.

thanks! Me too. :-)

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 11:20:08 AM »
Update, the day before the big day:

The Spaceship Next Door is marked down on Amazon and Nook, and scheduled to discount on Kobo, Apple and GP. (Amazon only allows scheduled discount if you're in Select, and Nook doesn't do it at all, so I had to mark them down myself.) This should be ready to fly by tomorrow.

The advertisement for Unfiction on Bookbub is set to go. It's already available for sale in print--the only way to get print ready in time with the ebook is to put it up early--and Apple just sent me an email saying the book is for sale now. I think this may be because it's already 6/20 somewhere in Apple's sales market, but who knows? Maybe their calendar is screwed up. The closest thing to a review for Unfiction right now is a 'first impressions' note from one reviewer on goodreads. I remain terrified that nobody will like it, as always.

Offline Rickie Blair

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 03:27:44 PM »
I remain terrified that nobody will like it, as always.

They're going to love it. Spaceship is terrific. Enjoy the day!


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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 05:44:25 PM »
They're going to love it. Spaceship is terrific. Enjoy the day!

thank you! Slightly less terrified now.

Offline MissingAlaska

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 08:21:10 AM »
I'm curious about your pricing strategy for "Unfiction".  $5.99 for a new launch seems to go against conventional wisdom (pricing at $0.99 in hopes of getting onto the "hot new releases" list).  Any specific reasons?

Secondly, it occurred to me that Bookbub might preferentially target higher priced books for advertising in order to increase their referral fees. This alone might be a good reason for indies to consider higher-priced initial launches (if their work can support it).

Best of luck on what appears to be an awesome launch!

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 08:58:59 AM »
I'm curious about your pricing strategy for "Unfiction".  $5.99 for a new launch seems to go against conventional wisdom (pricing at $0.99 in hopes of getting onto the "hot new releases" list).  Any specific reasons?

Secondly, it occurred to me that Bookbub might preferentially target higher priced books for advertising in order to increase their referral fees. This alone might be a good reason for indies to consider higher-priced initial launches (if their work can support it).

Best of luck on what appears to be an awesome launch!

I've always launched at full price. If anything I've done can be called a strategy, mine is:

1: set up preorders early so as to get buzz going and the necessary pages for backmatter linking, AND to start the ball on the audiobook... but at full price

2: collect reviews, WOM, also-boughts, still at full price until

3: 3-4 months have passed, then apply for a bookbub.


Bookbub very much does consider the degree of the discount. Launching and holding at $5.99 makes the $0.99 discount more appealing. Of course, it also means i need to get a bookbub for it to work. That said, I've never really tried to chase a hot-new-releases listing, or any kind of ranking.

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 09:40:37 AM »
Updates:

1: I didn't know Bookbub also sent out special emails to people who follow you on BB, when you have a book featured in their daily mailing. (I only realized it would be an intelligent thing to do to follow myself a couple of weeks ago.) This morning I received an email called "New deal on Gene Doucette's ebook" promoting the Spaceship discount. It came at 9:41 AM. This was before the regular 'email bargains' blast arrived, which came at 9:48.

2: The "New release from Gene Doucette" email announcing Unfiction went out a hundred minutes later at 11:28.

3: It's 12:35 right now, Spaceship has 1,091 downloads on Amazon and is ranked 1,105. The audiobook is only surging a little, ranked at 2,919.

4: Unfiction, meanwhile isn't moving the dial all that much. The preorders went through overnight--there were 105 of them, on Amazon. (Other platforms had a few, but only a few.) Most of those sales were recorded yesterday. Right now, I'm only looking at 6 new orders. Its current rank on Amazon is 27,999.

Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2017, 04:35:24 PM »
Update:

It's 7:25 PM. The Spaceship Next Door is ranked 83, Kindle edition, and 676 for Audible. That price bump in the whispersync price from $1.99 to $7.49 is likely going to keep the audio edition out of the top 100, but my royalty is probably going to look a lot nicer. Total ebook sales so far on Amazon: 2,055.

Unfiction is rapidly proving that no advertising can get people to the door like a discount in pricing. New sales for today: 13, so far.

However, I also heard back today on a submission to a promotion opportunity over on Kobo. Unfiction was accepted in a week-long promo over there from June 29-July 4.

Here's the description of the promo:

Quote
We're thrilled to invite KWL authors to participate in our Independence Day Super Sale, occurring in the United States from June 29 to July 4 (inclusive). This sale is a price promotion ($3.99 & under, excluding free). We're looking for some great books that will be PROMOTIONALLY PRICED at $3.99 or below to be part of the promotion. Preference will be given to NEW RELEASES (preferably published in 2017). These titles will be mixed in with titles on sale from major publishers. There is a small number of spaces available, so please ensure you submit your BEST title. Competition for this will be fierce. Books with higher retail prices and steeper discounts are more likely to be picked (ex. a title being discounted from $7.99 to $2.99 is better than a $4.99 title being discounted to $3.99). This promotion will be supported by a dedicated e-mail, feature spots in additional e-mails, homepage hero banner supports, online marketing support, and social media support.

I couldn't have applied for this if I'd rolled out Unfiction at a discount. This doesn't prove anything, I think, except that I continue to be the Forrest Gump of book promotion.

Now I need to figure out what to do about Amazon for that week. Do I lower the price for them too, or wait for them to price match and send a nasty note?

Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2017, 04:28:35 AM »
Almost final tally:

Spaceship got as high as #47 on Amazon US. I saw it reach #8 on Amazon Canada, and this morning it's #17 on Nook. That said, the numbers are lower than they have been historically. AZN US numbers were 2414 yesterday and another 99 today. Nook had 288 yesterday and another 8 today. (Side note: 288 sales got me to #17 overall on that platform. Discuss.) I haven't pulled Google Play and iTunes hasn't updated yesterday's numbers yet.

It adds up to about 500 less than the last run, which is hardly worthy of complaint. It also got into the 20's last time, and that is also hardly worthy of complaint.

Unfiction's sales didn't appear to be impacted by the additional advertising offered by Bookbub, free or paid. The paid ad ran for one day, had 101 clickthroughs out of 4,563 impressions. It didn't cost a lot, so I'm probably going to add a day or two to it just to see. I may have suffered from people getting two special emails from BB on the same day with my name in the title: one is a special announcement, two looks like a mailing error or spam.

Audiobooks cross-sales for Spaceship definitely suffered from the higher price of whispersync, but I'm kind of okay with that. Getting $3 per download vs. $0.80 is a big deal.

Offline Rickie Blair

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2017, 05:20:46 AM »
Just bought the audiobook; looking forward to it!


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Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2017, 06:55:32 AM »
Final follow-up: itunes numbers were 217 for Spaceship yesterday.

Also-- in case anyone has ever wondered what it's like to write a standalone, and roll it out without any guaranteed early reviews (from betas, or whatever) and then wait for reviews to show up, yes it IS terrifying.

Offline PiscaPress

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2017, 07:40:36 AM »
Thanks for posting results, Gene. Top 50 is pretty great.
very very very small publisher
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Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2017, 04:34:17 PM »
...Nook had 288 yesterday and another 8 today. (Side note: 288 sales got me to #17 overall on that platform. Discuss.)

Just throwing this chart in with Nook sales-to-ranks for 2014 and 2015 for our catalog. We went all in with Select shortly after, so I don't have anything more current. I last updated this puppy May of 2015.

One difference between then and now is that the BN charts used to report ranks hourly. The last time I checked, they were only reporting once per day. However, the time of that once per day coincided with the time books would typically hit their best ranks during the hourly model, so basically a wash.

Roughly, it appears that 2 and 3 years ago, 288 sales would have gotten a best rank of #25-30.

If we take July 2014's sales of 366 to hit a comparable #18 rank, then based on these very ad-hoc comparisons, BN's ebook store volume appears to be down about 20% (the difference between 288 and 360) at the higher levels. 

Ouch.


Online GeneDoucette

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2017, 04:46:20 PM »
Just throwing this chart in with Nook sales-to-ranks for 2014 and 2015 for our catalog. We went all in with Select shortly after, so I don't have anything more current. I last updated this puppy May of 2015.

One difference between then and now is that the BN charts used to report ranks hourly. The last time I checked, they were only reporting once per day. However, the time of that once per day coincided with the time books would typically hit their best ranks during the hourly model, so basically a wash.

Roughly, it appears that 2 and 3 years ago, 288 sales would have gotten a best rank of #25-30.

If we take July 2014's sales of 366 to hit a comparable #18 rank, then based on these very ad-hoc comparisons, BN's ebook store volume appears to be down about 20% (the difference between 288 and 360) at the higher levels. 

Ouch.



Now that's the kind of content I come here for. Thanks, Phoenix.

I don't know for sure if they update rank only once a day or not, or if they do, what time of day that is. I know my rank is lower at the end of the day than it was this morning: I'm at 31 now.

Offline PhoenixS

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Re: Unfiction's release day is going to be interesting
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2017, 05:07:53 PM »
Ah, looks like the once-per-day thing has changed! It used to happen only around 9-10am CT. Good to know for stalking data-gathering purposes.

Do keep in mind what limited stats are here doesn't make for anything more than a single point-in-time anecdote. This doesn't say anything definitive about the actual volume trend between then and now. We'd need more data points to even start making educated guesses. But every trend chart starts with a single point... :)