Author Topic: Advertising for perma free  (Read 1947 times)  

Offline JRTomlin

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Advertising for perma free
« on: January 23, 2018, 03:58:32 PM »
This no doubt is covered somewhere but my search-fu seems to be broken. I have the first novel of my Black Douglas Trilogy perma-free now and until I can wrangle a Bookbub promo for it, am trying to figure out if it is worthwhile to run smaller ads, promotions? Anyone with experience, if you'd advise me (or link to a helpful post) that would be great.

Thanks.

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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2018, 04:12:05 PM »
Oh, heck yeah it's worth it! Um, dependent on what your sell-thru is like anyways.

I think these are all worth paying for (not in order of best to worst though!) and finding a drip advertiser that works for you is also helpful. BookBub CPM, AMS, and Facebook are all good for a steady dribble.
ReadCheaply   35
EreaderIQ   35
KND   20.99
GenrePulse   12.75
BookBasset   7.99
ebooksoda   15
BookDoggy   8
FreeBooksy   85
Riffle   30
eBookDiscovery   14
ReadingDeals   29
ebookhounds   20
FKTIPS   25
ManyBooks   25
Fussy   -
BookGorilla   50
RobinReads   60
BookBarbarian   60
ENT   35
bkinights   11
BookSends   125
MyBookCave   -
BookBotBob   -
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 04:15:25 PM by C. Gockel »


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Offline Martitalbott

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2018, 04:33:18 PM »
I haven't had a lot of luck with some of the smaller promo sites, and because I am wide, I don't buy from sites that only promote to Amazon.

If you're not familiar with this site, it's worth opening an account and looking at the site below to see if others are having any luck with the smaller sites.

 http://www.jasonbladd.com/indielistersmembers/

       
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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2018, 05:35:26 PM »
I tend to have what I consider a pretty high sell-through on that series which is one reason I went with making this one perma-free and historically on Amazon is has had solid sales. Of course what I consider high sell-through and what someone else does may differ. 😜

Thanks for the list. I'll look that over. If anyone has suggestions about which might work best for perma-free that would be great as well. I got some sales with BB CPM but not a good enough click through rate to be satisfactory. I may experiment more later, but at the moment I'm going to skip that for now and of course AMS only feeds to Amazon, so I'm looking for other choices.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 05:38:19 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2018, 06:09:56 PM »
Forgot to say, my box set recently did really well on One Hundred Free Books.


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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2018, 06:11:34 PM »
Thanks again.

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Online Nicholas Erik

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2018, 12:34:15 AM »
If you're doing free books via BookBub CPM, make sure you bid way under what they suggest (e.g $3 or $4 per thousand impressions). That way, even if your CTR is mediocre, the clicks are still cheap. Make sure you're targeting all retailers, as clicks to Kobo et al. tend to be cheaper. I've never advertised a permafree book on AMS, but you can set the bidding to $0.10 or less, which should get you some cheap clicks and, with the book being free, a relatively high conversion rate. No way of telling, but I'd expect 50 - 70% conversion with a decent cover/blurb, so if it's $0.05 a click, that's about $0.07 - $0.10 a download, which is reasonable.

From C. Gockel's list, FreeBooksy/ENT/Robin Reads/BookBarbarian will provide 80% of the downloads, maybe more, so if you're feeling lazy or don't want to book everything, you can just use the essentials. You can try Robin Read's Featured Book of the Day if they're booked in Mystery for the foreseeable future. They claim to only accept 1% of books for that, but they're far more lenient in my experience. BookBarbarian might be out (they're fantasy/SF only, and I seem to recall that you write historical mysteries?). I'm assuming the $125 quoted is for BookSends' Free Book of the Day; they let you use your Amazon affiliate tag, which helps recoup the cost. Definitely enter that if you book it. The Free Book of the Day is a bit hit or miss, though, for the price. Might be worth rolling the dice anyway if your series has high sellthrough and you're looking for another semi-big hitter. You can always use their standard genre listing, which I think is $75 for mysteries. If you have more money or want to push things higher, you can fill the other sites in as desired.

FreeBooksy is surprisingly powerful if you've never run the book with them before; I got 4500+ downloads for a thriller the other day. And it's super easy to book, without any waiting period, so you could start with that. For $85 it's probably going to do 2x - 3x the downloads of BookSends for $125.

The other thing you can do with a permafree is enter it into cross promos as your reader magnet. Then you build your list and distribute hundreds - maybe thousands - of copies of the first in series to readers while you're doing it. Win-win. You can do that concurrently with any promo sites you're running, so that's a nice way to get extra mileage out of your permafree.

One final thing: when you do get a BookBub, make the end date at least a month away (or longer, if you plan to stick with permafree for awhile). I had a permafree BookBub on Nov 20th and set the end date as Dec 20th. Since they leave it on the site until the deal's expiration date, downloads continued to come in at a rate of 30 - 50 a day on Amazon. As soon as it hit the 21st, the book's ranking and daily downloads began to plummet. Clearly much of the download traffic was coming from BookBub. It's now down to 10 - 15 downloads a day, and sinking rather rapidly.

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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2018, 07:10:34 PM »
This trilogy is historical (biographical) fiction although I write historical mysteries as well. There's a fair amount of cross over between the genres.

Good idea about keeping AMS for a freebie and bidding low. (I've run AMS ads since they started) I hadn't considered that. I have a very high sell-through on that trilogy so it is worth paying a bit for.

I'll reconsider my BB ad strategy further down the line. While I did a few dollars better than break even on the ads, I just haven't hit the right graphic or list I think. That's a good suggestion on the BB promo to make it lengthy to take advantage of their leaving it up on their site.

I'm going to spread ads in different lists out so I can tell which are giving me results rather than stacking. When I have a better feel for which work for my genre, I may consider stacking though.

Thanks for the suggestions.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 07:21:53 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2018, 07:35:27 PM »
Thanks for the information on this. I need to stop pretending that my free series starter doesn't exist and revisit some of these sites.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2018, 10:28:32 PM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon and 50 on Kobo. A couple of dozen each on B&N and iBooks. It could have been worse but I really expected better than that from ENT.

I have my doubts about Freebooksy. It would have to go on their "Literary Fiction" list and... meh. I'll think about it. Robins Reads is out. They don't have a Historical Fiction or a Literary Fiction category. I didn't check but isn't BookBarbarian SFF only? That's my memory but maybe it's changed. Marketing is never the fun part.

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Offline Stelliswolfe

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 06:28:38 AM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon and 50 on Kobo. A couple of dozen each on B&N and iBooks. It could have been worse but I really expected better than that from ENT.

I have my doubts about Freebooksy. It would have to go on their "Literary Fiction" list and... meh. I'll think about it. Robins Reads is out. They don't have a Historical Fiction or a Literary Fiction category. I didn't check but isn't BookBarbarian SFF only? That's my memory but maybe it's changed. Marketing is never the fun part.

I've used Freebooksy a couple of times, ending up with over 1k downloads. For the price, I think they're pretty cool.
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Offline Marian

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 07:05:23 AM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon and 50 on Kobo. A couple of dozen each on B&N and iBooks. It could have been worse but I really expected better than that from ENT.

I have my doubts about Freebooksy. It would have to go on their "Literary Fiction" list and... meh. I'll think about it. Robins Reads is out. They don't have a Historical Fiction or a Literary Fiction category. I didn't check but isn't BookBarbarian SFF only? That's my memory but maybe it's changed. Marketing is never the fun part.
It's surprising that Robin Reads doesn't have either Women's Fiction or Literary Fiction. Women's Fiction is big category that they've overlooked.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 10:36:11 AM »
I've used Freebooksy a couple of times, ending up with over 1k downloads. For the price, I think they're pretty cool.
Do you write Historical Fiction? Whether or not that is great results is a judgement call.

It's surprising that Robin Reads doesn't have either Women's Fiction or Literary Fiction. Women's Fiction is big category that they've overlooked.

I actually emailed them to clarify and they said they would run HF under either romance or mystery. Well, it's not so ... *sigh*

It is odd because BB has an absolutely huge mailing list for HF and you'd think lists would notice it is a thing - one that a lot of people buy.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 10:40:04 AM by JRTomlin »

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Online Bob Stewart

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 04:12:26 PM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon and 50 on Kobo. A couple of dozen each on B&N and iBooks. It could have been worse but I really expected better than that from ENT.

Wow. It's been a while since I was wide with a permafree. But I don't ever remember a promo coming out that lopsided. That's like 40:1, Amazon:B&N (or Apple.)

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 07:06:09 PM »
The results were weird, but that is how it turned out. And of course the point was to try to get some traction on those since I just went wide with the trilogy. Obviously it didn't do the job for me. HF is always a little harder to advertise than say romance or SFF, so I have fewer choices. I'm running a Fussy Librarian ad in the middle of the month. They never have huge results but don't cost much either. Meantime I'm thinking over a strategy. In March I plan to move one more novel - the prequel to the trilogy - wide as well although needless to say my results wide are not overwhelming.

ETA: Even with some promotion, I might as well not have bothered with B&N and Apple. Only Kobo has any movement at all, mainly in Canada. But hopefully more work will give some results. We'll see.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 07:08:01 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2018, 12:05:26 AM »
I can't believe that I can't find anyone to advertise with. It really is frustrating. (No, they're not mysteries)

I really have spun my wheels trying to figure out an advertising strategy other than wait until mid-March when I can try for a Bookbub promo.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 12:12:17 AM by JRTomlin »

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Offline ADDavies

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2018, 02:31:56 AM »
For a small d/l boost you can also submit permafrees to sites that don't charge. They don't guarantee a feature when you don't pay, of course, but it can't hurt to try.

Author Marketing Club has this tool that makes subbing to free sites fairly simple.

http://authormarketingclub.com/members/submit-your-book/

Or for $29 you can use this tool which is slightly more user-friendly but, y'know, you pay a small fee to use it.

http://bookmarketingtools.com/submission-tool-features

There was a guy on Fiverr who did the same thing for you but I can't find him now.

Ebookbooster submits to 45+ sites, but again it's paid ($35) and there's no guarantees of a feature.

http://www.ebookbooster.com/

I find these work intermittently, although never earth shattering results.
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Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2018, 09:41:59 AM »
I'm ran an ENT promo which was disappointing, only about a thousand downloads on Amazon ...

Oh, for the days that ENT gave me 1,000 downloads. Sigh. I generally insist on $10==100 downloads. ENT usually does that for me.

I also find the free sites to be useful, and have an assistant that submits to all of them periodically.


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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2018, 12:32:44 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions. I found in the past that the time free sites took outweighed their benefit, but maybe it's time to give them another try.

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Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2018, 12:39:13 PM »
Ugh! I paid for the Book Marketing Tools one without looking closely at it. It is Amazon only! That sucks. Money wasted really.

Reminder to self: Look before you leap.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 12:41:13 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline mike h

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2018, 03:42:40 PM »
Oh, for the days that ENT gave me 1,000 downloads. Sigh. I generally insist on $10==100 downloads. ENT usually does that for me.

I also find the free sites to be useful, and have an assistant that submits to all of them periodically.
Call me uniformed (or anything else you like) but what does ENT stand for?

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #21 on: February 13, 2018, 05:45:17 PM »
Ereader News Today :)

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Offline Rex Jameson

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 11:55:43 PM »
Here is a breakdown of my experience with free book promoter services in downloads per dollar for a free novel in the space opera/fantasy genres. YMMV.



Update: At the request of Booksbutterfly, I have removed the DL/$. According to their administrators, my book was a rare underperformer, and I do not want to give the impression that this is a normal circumstance. According to Booksbutterfly, over 90% of all submissions hit the 1k download mark in their first push. I did not see this, but my book was apparently an outlier. The administrators seem to be hard-working, diligent people. My book was probably just not appropriate for the service.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:47:24 AM by Rex Jameson »

Offline kathrynoh

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2018, 05:01:26 AM »
Here is a breakdown of my experience with free book promoter services in downloads per dollar for a free novel in the space opera/fantasy genres. YMMV.



Just out of interest, did you do any analysis of sell through per promo site?

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: Advertising for perma free
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2018, 12:07:02 PM »
Just out of interest, did you do any analysis of sell through per promo site?

I don't do anything too granular, but ENT has always shone when it comes to sell-thru. I Love Vampire Novels used to have amazing sell-thru, too, though I haven't used them in a while. All the other sites I listed have just been normalish. BookBub actually has the worst sell-thru in my experience, but the absolute numbers of downloads are so high that it doesn't matter.


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