Author Topic: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?  (Read 3428 times)  

Offline aimeeeasterling

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1001
    • View Profile
Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
« on: June 21, 2016, 05:15:51 am »
Spurred on by Chris Fox's Write to Market, I decided to see if I could level up with book two in my current series and break 1,000 at launch. When the first book in the series launched, my goal was to push it a bit more slowly for increased stickiness (which really worked! over 6,000 sales/borrows in the last three months!). But now I'm trying to one-up myself and get the best of both worlds --- a higher launch rank that hopefully will result in just as much stickiness.

To that end, I made a complicated plan...that I immediately began ignoring. Here's what I did/am doing instead:

June 15 --- Lone Wolf Dawn goes up for sale at $3.99 with no announcement. This is earlier than planned because my ARC crew kept emailing me and wanting to know where to leave their reviews. I figured I could use the 10 days before my planned launch to get the page in order, so I immediately started emailing Amazon to link the paperback and ebook, to update the ebook page count, to add a couple of categories, and to give me a series page. (Yes, I realize most of this is supposed to happen automatically, but it never seems to do so for me.) I also emailed my early reviewers who have thus far come through with 32 reviews (out of 80 reviewers).
Sales: 2
Borrows: 1 (me, checking over the book)
Rank: 15,642

June 16 --- I mention on facebook that the book is live but *not* to buy it because the price will be lower later. Some people borrowed anyway and the book's rankings began to improve. (My social media platform is about 1.5 months old and has 550 followers.)
Sales: 1
Borrows: 3.7
Rank: 13,028

June 17 --- I sat on my hands
Sales: 6
Borrows: 6
Rank: 11,880

June 18 --- My hands started getting tired from being sat upon
Sales: 2
Borrows: 8.9
Rank: 10,117

June 19 --- C.N. Crawford mentions my book at the bottom of their newsletter (thank you!) giving me a nice little bump that continues the rising tide.
Sales: 5
Borrows: 10
Rank: 7,640

June 20 --- I actually wrote something and largely ignored my sales graph
Sales: 7
Borrows: 14.7
Rank: 6,955

June 21 --- I noticed that my rank started to slip for the first time since publishing the ebook. So I decided to go ahead and contact Bookbub about their new release blast and to add the book to my own website. At noon, I also preemptively dropped the price of the book to 99 cents.
Sales: 14 (4 at full price, 10 at 99 cents)
Borrows: 9.5
Rank: 5,753

June 22 --- Bookbub new-release email to 150 U.S. followers
Sales: 19
Borrows: 6.6
Rank: 4,263

June 23 --- Posted on my publishing company's blog, on a friend's blog, and on google plus. (None have many followers.)
Sales: 19
Borrows: 20.8
Rank: 3,927

June 24 --- Alerted 20 booksprout followers (3 opens, 0 clicks)
Sales: 19
Borrows: 26.5
Rank: 3,321

Hard launch begins June 25 when I set book 1 free for 5 days to match up with book 2 being at 99 cents.

June 25 --- Posted on my main blog and emailed my list in waves every two hours. Total subscribers 4,517 (but only 1,300 are organic). Posted on my facebook page and on the Urban Fantasy Fan facebook page that a group of likeminded authors and I have been working on building for the last month or so. (If you'd like to share my facebook post, it's at www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=150639522014318&set=a.117098362035101.1073741828.100012048135129&type=3&theater&notif_t=like&notif_id=1466860351147036. Thank you so much in advance!)
Sales: 209
Borrows: 20.9
Rank: 774

June 26 --- Ashley Meira will be listing the book in her newsletter (since I listed her new release in mine a month ago). Manybooks ad on book 1.
Sales: 140
Borrows: 27.9
Rank: 772

June 27 --- Freebooksy ad on book 1 and Roz Marshall's group promo. Antara Mann and Lisa Blackwood emailed their lists (thank you so much, ladies!).
Sales: 185
Borrows: 45.9
Rank: 687

June 28 --- Hungry Author blast on book 2, I Love Vampire Novels ad on book 1.
Sales: 207
Borrows: 42.2
Rank:  (I'm getting these from Author Central, so this one has not yet reported but it's sitting at 536 as of early the next morning.)

June 29 --- last-chance email to my list, Robinreads and Book Barbarian ad on book 1

June 30 --- raise price of book 1 back to $3.99

Phew! I'm already exhausted! Any ideas are greatly appreciated. Launches scare me to death (especially this one since I'll be setting Half Wolf free for the first time too and it seems to accumulate one-star reviews when I lower the price). Barring questions or comments, I'll try to keep you updated on sales/borrows and whether I manage my goal of breaking the 1,000-rank barrier.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 04:48:01 am by aimeeeasterling »

Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

KBoards.com

  • Advertisement
  • ***

    Offline RedAlert

    • Status: Jane Austen
    • ***
    • Posts: 355
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 06:13:38 pm »
    Thank you for your post.  I love reading about book launches!  I am curious to know why you are putting Half Wolf for free if you know it will likely get one-star reviews.  Are you testing the difference between cheaper v. free?

    I am rooting for you!

    Offline Bbates024

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 850
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 09:32:05 pm »
    Interesting! Thanks for sharing your strategy.

    I'm looking forward to see how the rest of the sites perform at the end of the month.

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 03:55:35 am »
    Thank you for your post.  I love reading about book launches!  I am curious to know why you are putting Half Wolf for free if you know it will likely get one-star reviews.  Are you testing the difference between cheaper v. free?

    I am rooting for you!

    Good question! I'm hoping the increased funnel size will be worth the one-star reviews. Another option would be to drop the book to 99 cents. But I had it at 99 cents only 2 months ago, so I doubt that would be a huge draw.

    Luckily, I have a backup plan for the one-stars. I'm participating in one of those cross-promos that deliver new email subscribers, and I plan to run them through an autoresponder sequence asking if they want to join my ARC crew. Last time I did that, I got 30 new reviews, most 4 and 5 star (because why read the book if you hate it?). So hopefully I'll be able to bring my average back up after it inevitably falls downward.

    (And thanks to both you and Bbates024 for your enthusiasm.  :) )

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 10:02:56 am »
    I've been posting sales figures and rank in the first post in this thread, but thought it was time to make my first real update. So far, I've been really happy with my results. Here's my rank courtesy of Author Central:

    I'm currently sitting at 2,543 on Amazon, with one more email still to go out to a segment of my list. And while I'd like to say this is all due to my newsletter subscribers, I think a large part of it is the authors who have helped me out by liking and sharing my facebook post. I only finally caved and joined facebook as an author last month, but the connections have been invaluable and I wish I'd done it much sooner. So there's one learning point in case anyone else is a holdout like I was!

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline WSW

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 50
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 01:01:44 pm »
    When you joined facebook as an author did you set up a page only? Or a full facebook account (or something else if they have other options that I don't know of)?

    And do you have a regular/personal account as well?

    I've been playing around with the facebook idea... I'm not a huge fan but it does seem like its been pretty successfully for making connections and advertising lately.

    Thanks!

    Offline Nicholas Erik

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1115
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #6 on: June 25, 2016, 03:17:03 pm »
    I really enjoyed your slow burn launch post. Well laid out and lots of good information.

    Curious to see how this one shakes out. Did you ever break 1000 with Half Wolf? I recall it knocking on the door, but I can't remember if it ever broke through.

    Nick

    Offline Jenny Schwartz

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 709
    • Gender: Female
    • Australia
      • View Profile
      • My website
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #7 on: June 25, 2016, 04:16:58 pm »
    Oh wow! You're doing great. I'm going to hope to sneak onto the last page of your also-boughts since I have a Hungry Author blast on the 28th too :)

    Strangely hopeful fantasy & science fiction.
    Jenny Schwartz | Website | Twitter | Facebook

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 04:35:11 pm »
    I really enjoyed your slow burn launch post. Well laid out and lots of good information.

    Curious to see how this one shakes out. Did you ever break 1000 with Half Wolf? I recall it knocking on the door, but I can't remember if it ever broke through.

    Thanks for saying that about my previous launch post! I actually wasn't sure if anyone was reading, so glad it helped.

    Half Wolf broke 1,000 for two days about 6 weeks into its life (#927 was its best rank). Definitely awesome by my standards! But I'm hoping Lone Wolf Dawn will go a little higher and stick a little longer.  :)

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #9 on: June 25, 2016, 04:41:08 pm »
    When you joined facebook as an author did you set up a page only? Or a full facebook account (or something else if they have other options that I don't know of)?

    And do you have a regular/personal account as well?

    I've been playing around with the facebook idea... I'm not a huge fan but it does seem like its been pretty successfully for making connections and advertising lately.

    So far, I have a personal page only. Which I know is a bit dicey since this is a pen name, but I'm hoping it won't come back and bite me in the butt. I may end up having to make a fan-type page (I forget what they're called) rather than a personal page at some point since I seem to be accumulating friends left and right and I understand that 5,000 friends is the limit for a personal page. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

    I do have a personal page under my real name, but don't use it. I only have it because it was a requirement to set up pages that I use for non-writing businesses.

    I'm not a fan of facebook as a fun activity either, but it seems to be very valuable as a networking tool for authors. As far as I can tell, the trick is to gang up with other authors who write at your level in your genre and scratch their backs so they'll in turn help your posts see the light of day. Otherwise, I suspect it would be depressing (assuming you're not a superstar author with a huge built-in network).

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #10 on: June 25, 2016, 04:42:44 pm »
    Oh wow! You're doing great. I'm going to hope to sneak onto the last page of your also-boughts since I have a Hungry Author blast on the 28th too :)

    I would love to share also-boughts with you! I'm going to have to check out your new book too.  :)

    And, yes, it looks like I'm hopefully going to make my goal on day 1 --- I'm nibbling at the toes of it right now with a rank of 1,002. Fingers crossed it doesn't drift in the wrong direction now that I have no more subscribers to email.

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline Jenny Schwartz

    • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
    • ****
    • Posts: 709
    • Gender: Female
    • Australia
      • View Profile
      • My website
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #11 on: June 25, 2016, 08:14:59 pm »
    Bought, along with Patty Jansen's. Hope to see KBoarders dominating the bestseller lists! And you were at 846 - Congrats!!!

    Strangely hopeful fantasy & science fiction.
    Jenny Schwartz | Website | Twitter | Facebook

    Offline Anarchist

    • Status: Arthur C Clarke
    • *****
    • Posts: 2945
    • Methodological individualist
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #12 on: June 26, 2016, 06:51:39 am »
    And, yes, it looks like I'm hopefully going to make my goal on day 1 --- I'm nibbling at the toes of it right now with a rank of 1,002. Fingers crossed it doesn't drift in the wrong direction now that I have no more subscribers to email.

    816 as of Sunday 6:50 a.m.

    Nice work!
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    "Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." - Sun Tzu

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #13 on: June 27, 2016, 11:50:35 am »
    816 as of Sunday 6:50 a.m.

    Nice work!

    Woohoo! Thanks to you and Jenny for checking my sale stats while I was forcing myself away from the computer so I wouldn't go nuts.  :) I'm now in the 700s thanks to ads on Half Wolf (currently free). Fingers crossed the rank won't plummet too far when I go back to full price on Thursday....

    I have a couple of thoughts for those who might be considering replicating my plan. First of all, I probably should have spaced my newsletter emails out over a longer period of time because the influx of sales all within an 8-hour window resulted in a rank not quite as good as you would have expected from that number of sales. Up until June 24, if you typed my best daily rank into the calculator here: https://kindlepreneur.com/amazon-kdp-sales-rank-calculator/, the website spat out a number that was eerily close to my actual daily sales + borrows. Moving 230 units (not counting ghost borrows) should have resulted in a rank of 390 rather than 774 on June 25, so I "wasted" some of those sales from a rank perspective.

    My other note is more positive --- my newsletter moved more copies of the book than I'd expected (or at least I think it did using necessarily fuzzy math). During the launch of my previous book, I spaced out my newsletters more and didn't have anything else going on to sully the math, so I was able to get a pretty good estimate on how many subscribers of each type bought books. Depending on the provenance of the list, anywhere from 0.4 to 3.5% of my subscribers bought the book within the first twelve hours after my blast...and in each case the number of sales was equal to 1/3 of the number of clicks. Using the latter data, I estimated that my sales rate for Lone Wolf Dawn clocked in higher, at 1.4% (for subscribers who came from a giveaway) to 5.2% (for organic subscribers). Overall, my 4,517 person list sold 103 copies the first day rather than the 63 I'd expected. Not bad by my standards!

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline PhoenixS

    • Status: A A Milne
    • ******
    • Posts: 4279
    • Gender: Female
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #14 on: June 27, 2016, 12:36:14 pm »
    ************
    « Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 12:25:25 pm by PhoenixS »
    Comments removed to protect content and data from the over-reaching TOS of new forum owner VerticalScope. VerticalScope claims rights to any content posted to this site as theirs to disseminate beyond this site in any way they see fit.

    KBoards was purchased by VerticalScope 7.5 years and 4000 posts after I joined. VerticalScope will not allow that existing content to be permanently deleted, despite the fact I did not and do not agree to granting the new owners the rights to my content. - September 21, 2018

    Offline Lisa Blackwood

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1062
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #15 on: June 27, 2016, 12:53:10 pm »
    Aimee,

    How long is book 1 free for? I have a newsletter going out Friday, and I will feature you in it. I'm highlighting Patty then, too, but my gargoyle urban fantasy readers don't always cross over to other types of fantasy and would probably like your series. Even if book 1 is 99c instead of Free, they'd probably still bite. Let me know.

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #16 on: June 27, 2016, 01:35:10 pm »
    First, congrats!

    Second, regarding rank vs sales/borrows. I've mentioned here to the guy who runs that calculator that he realllly needs to update it. He's using data sets from at least 2 years ago. Things change. My own rank:sales chart updated what the AE guys were using (and closer to the one Kindlepreneur uses, where 250 sales equivalents = a rank of #350 -- no. just no. it doesn't). I put that one out in May of 2015, so even it's one year out of date now. But according to it, 220 sales equivalents (sales + borrows) = a rank of #750. So I don't think your numbers are off at all since your promo was aimed toward sales not borrows. AE updated their rank:sales chart. Go by it, not Kindlepreneur (at least not until they update their data table to reflect, you know, today's reality).

    Thanks so much for commenting! I actually have a copy of your revised ranking chart saved to my computer...but didn't think to look at it. The website was just so pretty, I figured it had to be accurate.  :)

    On the one hand, that's good news since it means I didn't waste anything. On the other hand, I'd sure have to move a lot of books to move higher up the charts!

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #17 on: June 27, 2016, 01:37:40 pm »
    How long is book 1 free for? I have a newsletter going out Friday, and I will feature you in it. I'm highlighting Patty then, too, but my gargoyle urban fantasy readers don't always cross over to other types of fantasy and would probably like your series. Even if book 1 is 99c instead of Free, they'd probably still bite. Let me know.

    Thank you so much for your kind offer! I can't keep the book free until Friday, unfortunately, but I can definitely reduce the price to 99 cents. You made my day. :) I owe you one!

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    Offline rowanc

    • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
    • **
    • Posts: 90
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #18 on: June 27, 2016, 02:30:16 pm »
    Wow, what a great launch. Thanks so much for sharing, and I wish you all the best!

    Offline Lisa Blackwood

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1062
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #19 on: June 27, 2016, 05:50:44 pm »
    Thank you so much for your kind offer! I can't keep the book free until Friday, unfortunately, but I can definitely reduce the price to 99 cents. You made my day. :) I owe you one!


    Actually, I just sent it out tonight, since my readers like free to try something new and honestly, I suck at coming up with content to send them, so I'm happy to help. It gets me out of having to come up with something intelligent to talk about. 

    http://us10.campaign-archive1.com/?u=29161e79525b1bae531857245&id=11f407e74f

    Offline TheForeverGirlSeries

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1797
    • Gender: Female
    • Sunshine State
    • New York Times bestselling author
      • View Profile
      • The Forever Girl Series
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #20 on: June 28, 2016, 06:55:06 pm »
    Your rank had a nice boost today <3

    Offline aimeeeasterling

    • Status: Scheherazade
    • *****
    • Posts: 1001
      • View Profile
    Re: Can I break 1,000 launching book 2?
    « Reply #21 on: June 29, 2016, 05:04:01 am »
    Looks like I owe a bunch of you another round of thank yous! Thank you to Antara and Lisa for including me in your newsletters. Thank you to Boyd for reading my book at how ever many thousand feet (and for your shares on facebook). Thank you to Rebecca Hamilton for your Hungry Author blast. And thank you to rowanc for your best wishes. Finally, I lost track of all of the facebook shares, but I appreciated them nonetheless.

    For those of you interested in numbers, I spent $244 on ads for Half Wolf and $300 on the single ad for Lone Wolf Dawn. Meanwhile, based on the previous week's figures, I've lost about $91 so far on Half Wolf by setting it free. (Borrows increased a bit during the free period, which is why I didn't lose more.)

    On the positive side, I've grossed about $750 on Lone Wolf Dawn during its first two weeks of life. So the promo itself is currently standing at +$115 --- pretty good since the whole point is to solidify Lone Wolf Dawn's initial ranking rather than to make money. The week to come will be the real proof of concept --- how will Half Wolf fare when it comes off free with a slightly lower star rating and will Lone Wolf Dawn stay relatively high once I raise the price?

    Try Shifter Origins for FREE!
    Aimee Easterling | Aimee Easterling - Author Page | Facebook Page

    KBoards.com

    • Advertisement
    • ***