Author Topic: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?  (Read 2396 times)  

Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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Just wondering what promotions (the kind you pay for) are working well during this financially handicapped time of the pandemic (beside Bookbub)? I have recently used Book Sends and Bargain Booksy and, for the first time ever for me, both promotions DID NOT DO WELL AT ALL. I know people are suffering now, so I wonder if this is just the pandemic or if it was the two promotional sites? Any suggestions of promotions that are working well?

Kathryn Meyer Griffith horror/thriller/murder mystery author since 1984; 29 novels,13 short stories
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    Offline Trioxin 245

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #1 on: July 12, 2020, 02:36:38 pm »
    Ive noticed a steep decline of sales from Bargain Booksy over the last year.

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #2 on: July 12, 2020, 02:58:59 pm »
    Free hand sanitizer with purchase.

    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #3 on: July 12, 2020, 03:06:26 pm »
    Truth be told, I haven't had much results from ANY of them in the past six months. I've used nearly all of them. Besides BookBub, as noted, I had an ENT ad that showed some sales. I'm trying Fussy and ENT again this month, just to throw my hat in the ring. I spent about $100 between two books for AMS and the results were fairly dismal. In my personal experience, my biggest waste of money, in the earlier days, were FB and Twitter Booster ads, which were total crap. I have actually received full refunds from marketing companies that showed zero results for me. Mine have always been KU and .99 cents in the YA urban fantasy genre. 
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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #4 on: July 12, 2020, 04:25:39 pm »
    I'm attempting BookDoggy, EbookBetty, ENT, BookRaid, and BookRunes with a new release next month, so I'll report back! In the past, ENT, BookRaid, and BookRunes were excellent. The others are new to me, so we'll see.

    Offline ShaneCarrow

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #5 on: July 12, 2020, 05:37:58 pm »
    Some of them still give good return on investment, but in general, compared to a couple of years ago, promotional newsletters seem to be less effective across the board. People have even said Bookbub, while still great, is less effective than it used to be (I recall someone speculating it's because they put more books into each individual email now.) Although there's also the fact that most of us (correct me if I'm wrong) are generally promoting the same books to the same set of subscribers and will naturally see diminishing returns.

    What else is there, though, if promotional newsletters start to flounder? Facebook/Twitter ads and AMS?

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    Offline Carol Davis

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #6 on: July 13, 2020, 07:56:07 am »
    I rely on swapping "ads" in other authors' newsletters, and joining group promotions on BookFunnel. (Neither of which costs me anything other than the BookFunnel membership.) I've gotten very nice results from Robin Reads in the past, but I haven't run an ad with them since Covid started.

    That's for sweet romance books, BTW.







    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #7 on: July 13, 2020, 08:43:13 am »
    MyBookCave is still working well for me. It was $34 for paranormal romance and I got 785 downloads and 7 sales from my promo in April. I have scheduled another one for July 19th and I can let you know if that goes well. They've been pretty consistent for me thus far. Fussy Librarian let me down hard back in early March, so it's not just you. There is definitely a slump from the plague and people are strapped for cash. My June sales were horrendous. Good luck out there.

    Oh, just remembered: I have 4 books that I promote in Prolific Works giveaways on a rotating basis. It's 100% free. You give away copies by either organizing or participating in group giveaways and that's been a big help of getting my books on shelves at no cost. Something to consider.
    « Last Edit: July 13, 2020, 08:45:19 am by kyokominamino »

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    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #8 on: July 13, 2020, 08:46:08 am »
    I'll be able to let you know how they're working for free deals next week.

    I have a Bknights on the 18th. A Fussy Librarian and ENT on the 19th. And Bookbub on the 20th. I'll report back how well they're working.

    Offline Marco de Hoogh

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #9 on: July 13, 2020, 09:28:43 am »
    Ah damn! Stupid rookie question.  ;D
    What's ENT?


    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #10 on: July 13, 2020, 09:54:52 am »
    Ah damn! Stupid rookie question.  ;D
    What's ENT?

    Ereader News Today. They're expensive but typically VERY effective.

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #11 on: July 13, 2020, 10:00:01 am »
    My experience has been a little different, just so you have another data point. I did ENT 2-weeks ago and was pleased with the results. I don't do free or other discounted promotions, but have been running FB ads only (not AMS) with some success. June was my best full month so far, and July has been even better. My books are $4.99-$5.99, and I offer one 3-book collection for $9.99 (it gets the first 3 books of the series, and the 4th is not included). All that might change, of course, but that's the current state. A pretty new author myself (first ever book released 4/2019) so still learning.

    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 10:19:59 am »
    Ah damn! Stupid rookie question.  ;D
    What's ENT?

    As Kyoko said up above, Ereader News Today.

    When it comes to free promotions, the tiers kind of go as follows:

    Bookbub - the behemoths of book promotions.
    .
    .
    .
    Freebooksy/ENT/Bookbarbarian (for Fantasy) - these guys are heavy hitters. Not Bookbub, but still capable of shifting thousands of free copies if the wind is blowing in the right direction.
    .
    .
    .
    FussyLibrarian/RobinReads
    .
    .
    Bknight/ChoosyBookworm and many other smaller ones.
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 01:14:59 pm by Gareth K Pengelly »

    Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #13 on: July 14, 2020, 10:32:35 am »
    Thanks all...
    I, too, have noticed a big change in some of the once good promotional sites. I just did Book Sends and Bargain Booksy and was really surprised at how bad the results were. 6 months ago they were still good. Bookbub has become not as effective, but still the best of them all. I just go right down my list of 29 novels and hope to get more Bookbubs. Yes, I agree...what will we do when these top sites fail? I started out self-publishing 8 years ago. Before that I was with legacy publishers for 36 years. I have made more money in the last 8 than all those 36 before. I just keep on learning, dodging, and relearning. BTW...I still can't get my book covers to show below my posts...I've tried everything. Doesn't work. Can someone help me?

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    Offline Marco de Hoogh

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #14 on: July 14, 2020, 12:51:11 pm »
    As Kyoko said up above, Ereader News Today.

    When it comes to free promotions, the tiers kind of go as follows:

    Bookbub - the behemoths of book promotions.
    .
    Freebooksy/ENT/Bookbarbarian (for Fantasy) - these guys are heavy hitters. Not Bookbub, but still capable of shifting thousands of free copies if the wind is blowing in the right direction.
    .
    Bknights/FussyLibrarian/RobinReads
    .
    Bknight/ChoosyBookworm and many other smaller ones.
    Thanks for the clarification kyokominamino and the info Gareth! I have applied for a promotion using ENT. It's my first book, with no reviews on .com (although I have some on .ca and .uk) so we will see if they approve...
    Cheers.


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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #15 on: July 14, 2020, 01:45:05 pm »
    Fussy Librarian!  I did a FREE book promo over two weeks ago...and my book is still #23 in Free Holiday Fiction.

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    Offline A Dark Path

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 03:24:48 pm »
    As Kyoko said up above, Ereader News Today.

    When it comes to free promotions, the tiers kind of go as follows:

    Bookbub - the behemoths of book promotions.
    .
    .
    .
    Freebooksy/ENT/Bookbarbarian (for Fantasy) - these guys are heavy hitters. Not Bookbub, but still capable of shifting thousands of free copies if the wind is blowing in the right direction.
    .
    .
    .
    FussyLibrarian/RobinReads
    .
    .
    Bknight/ChoosyBookworm and many other smaller ones.

    I really would advise NOT to book with ChoosyBookworm. They did me over last month. Took the money and then failed to promote, and I'm not the only one that has happened to recently, either! And you won't get any response from them if you try and pursue the issue. Actually, good luck even trying to find their customer service contact details. I ended up registering a complaint with Paypal, and it was only then that Choosy balked and refunded me. Seriously, my case wasn't a one off. DO NOT BOOK CHOOSY BOOKWORM!
    « Last Edit: July 14, 2020, 03:30:09 pm by A Dark Path »

    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #17 on: July 14, 2020, 03:33:20 pm »
    I really would advise NOT to book with ChoosyBookworm. They did me over last month. Took the money and then failed to promote, and I'm not the only one that has happened to recently, either! And you won't get any response from them if you try and pursue the issue. Actually, good luck even trying to find their customer service contact details. I ended up registering a complaint with Paypal, and it was only then that Choosy balked and refunded me. Seriously, my case wasn't a one off. DO NOT BOOK CHOOSY BOOKWORM!

    Cheers for the heads up, A Dark Path.

    I used them once maybe three years ago, and I remember underwhelming results, which is why I put them right at the bottom.

    In hindsight, I think I put Bknights a little too low. For costing only a fiver, they usually punch above their weight.

    Offline kyokominamino

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #18 on: July 14, 2020, 07:55:37 pm »
    Seconded. I stopped using Choosy Bookworm I think in 2018 because the promos definitely under-performed and I've read a lot of complaints from other authors who said the admin staff are either unresponsive or hostile when confronted with issues.

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    Offline edipet

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #19 on: July 15, 2020, 12:28:11 am »
    I really would advise NOT to book with ChoosyBookworm. They did me over last month. Took the money and then failed to promote, and I'm not the only one that has happened to recently, either! And you won't get any response from them if you try and pursue the issue. Actually, good luck even trying to find their customer service contact details. I ended up registering a complaint with Paypal, and it was only then that Choosy balked and refunded me. Seriously, my case wasn't a one off. DO NOT BOOK CHOOSY BOOKWORM!

    I echo that warning - DO NOT go with Choosy Bookworm or ANY of its side-sites that masquerade as independent promo sites. That includes yournewbooks. I booked 3 promotions with them - on 3 separate days and they did not run the book. There is no contact tab on any of their sites - so you can't even email a complaint. There does not seem to be ANYONE running or looking after these sites - but their advertising (pitching their services) is in overdrive - it's automated, I'm sure, and I can't even unsubscribe from their drivel pitch - just won't let me unsubscribe. I got a refund from PayPal for one of the days when they didn't run the promo but not the other two. Choosy used to be a decent promo site. No idea what happened there but it's pure scam now. AVOID at all costs.


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    Offline Ted Cross

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #20 on: July 15, 2020, 05:54:33 am »
    I've pretty much lost faith in Bookbub, at least for now with the virus. I had one in December that failed badly. Then I had one in June for a book that had never had a Bookbub before (so no saturation) and it also failed. I'm not even sure that Bookbub ran the ad for Nook because I had zero sales for that, even though I had checked the price and it was correct. I think if I try for any more Bookbub ads it will be after the economy starts to show signs of recovery, but that's just me.

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    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #21 on: July 15, 2020, 05:57:13 am »
    I've pretty much lost faith in Bookbub, at least for now with the virus. I had one in December that failed badly. Then I had one in June for a book that had never had a Bookbub before (so no saturation) and it also failed. I'm not even sure that Bookbub ran the ad for Nook because I had zero sales for that, even though I had checked the price and it was correct. I think if I try for any more Bookbub ads it will be after the economy starts to show signs of recovery, but that's just me.

    Sorry to hear that!

    I check the books in my Bookbub email every day, and they invariably make it high up the charts, usually up to the top 10 in free, or near as dammit. In fact, the YA Fantasy that was featured yesterday is still number 10 in free.

    Possibly the 99c market has been hit harder, if that's the promotion you did?
    « Last Edit: July 15, 2020, 05:58:56 am by Gareth K Pengelly »

    Offline Ted Cross

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #22 on: July 15, 2020, 06:13:07 am »
    Sorry to hear that!

    I check the books in my Bookbub email every day, and they invariably make it high up the charts, usually up to the top 10 in free, or near as dammit. In fact, the YA Fantasy that was featured yesterday is still number 10 in free.

    Possibly the 99c market has been hit harder, if that's the promotion you did?

    Yes, I have always done .99 promos since I don't have series (yet, still working on them). The book that failed in December had a fabulous Bookbub result in 2015. Note that books can hit number one in their categories, as mine did in both of these past two failed promos, and still not do well enough to cover the cost. Also, I had pretty much no tail these past two times.

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    Offline Gareth K Pengelly

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #23 on: July 15, 2020, 06:30:22 am »
    Yes, I have always done .99 promos since I don't have series (yet, still working on them). The book that failed in December had a fabulous Bookbub result in 2015. Note that books can hit number one in their categories, as mine did in both of these past two failed promos, and still not do well enough to cover the cost. Also, I had pretty much no tail these past two times.

    Bugger, sorry to hear that. Uncertain times indeed, when even Bookbub aren't their usual stellar selves!

    Offline Kathryn Meyer Griffith

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    Re: What PROMOTIONS are working well now in the time of the plague?
    « Reply #24 on: July 21, 2020, 11:36:58 am »
    Yes, I've had two $.99 BookBubs on two stand alone books in the last few months and just made back the cost (I'm wide) with a little extra. I've found, especially lately, that BookBub works the best on a FREE 1st in a series (I have two series). The $.99 stand alones I mainly do for further exposure as I have 29 novels and 13 shorts stories. But FREE 1st in series books do the best.

    Gareth...how did your last Bookbub do? (you had one on July 20, I think?)
    « Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 11:38:49 am by Kathryn Meyer Griffith »

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