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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in KDP Select until December 31st.

Because I did no ARCs or Booksprouts or friends & family, etc, the reviews have been sparse. It's my first novel, (a romance), and I have very limited funds to invest in marketing, ads, etc. I also don't have any other books right now to benefit from backlist reading, so I'm very hesitant. All I've done so far is one small scale newsletter that boosted my KENP to about 2-3 reads per day.

Bookfunnel has a $20 option, but because of KDP Select, I can only do 10%, which will equate to about 13k words, which would cover the first four chapters.

I've never been on Bookfunnel, tho, and don't know anything about their readers. Do people usually follow through and buy/read based on samples of novels or would they just ignore it? Personally, if I was on a site with hundreds of free books, I might not even look twice at a sample. And I feel like, to be fair, I should add in a sign somewhere on the front that says "SAMPLE" so that I'm not tricking anyone into checking it out thinking they're getting a full novel.

Would it be worth it from a promotional sense just so that there are more eyes on it, so people know it exists?
 

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Personally, I'd forget about any kind of marketing for now and just focus on writing another book. Another book = a second chance for readers to discover you, and you look more established with multiple books.

If you were determined to get some reviews on your first book, you could use your ku free days and grab a slot in a newsletter like Fussy. That'll snag you some reviews.

But reviews aren't the be all and end all. A few to show that people have read it is good, but they don't help sales as much as you might imagine. I have nearly 500 review on one of my books now, and it doesn't sell much better than when it had fifty.

What's making me more money is having a backlist of more books.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah... yes. Thanks for the advice. I think I'm going with this option. I see everywhere that "If you write it, people will come" is not a good approach to take, and maybe later on, I'll try to step this side of my game up, but it's too much of a distraction right now. And also way too expensive. Book promotion seems like a whole industry in and of itself. I just realised I spent all night on Youtube researching these things...

Could have been planning or writing instead.
 

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You'd be better off spending $20 a month on an Amazon ad campaign.
35 cent maximum bid. Auto target, so let Amazon choose who to show it to. $10 a day max budget.
And don't worry, it never spends your maximum daily budget.
 

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I love BookFunnel but I'd skip it for now, until you have more books out. Also, in the future, you can put a full book on BookFunnel in advance of publication and pull it down before publishing into KU. That way you're able to give out more than a sample, without violating the KU terms. And if you publish a paperback edition about a week before the ebook, that'll give the reviewers a place to leave any reviews. Something like this:

* Publish paperback
* Share book with potential reviewers through BookFunnel
* Wait a few days
* Pull down from Bookfunnel
* Publish ebook into KU
* In a few days, the paperback and ebook will link up and share reviews

That's probably not very helpful to hear now, but just some thoughts for future books.
 

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In the indie genre fiction game, seldom (VERY seldom) does one book break out. It's series that sell books and make incomes. Focus on a series, whether it's a saga, or a loose series sharing characters or settings, or building an author brand of standalones in the same genre.

Market later. Not that marketing can't work with one book only, but it's not as effective if your readers have nothing else to buy after they read that first book.
 
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When I was in KU, I had the 10% sample but asked for no email address. 

There are also SALES promos for books on BookFunnel if you create a sales landing page.  You can enter Amazon/KU promos if you like.  Best of luck with the book!
 

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You could get eyes on your book with promos and advertising, but it's gonna be less successful without reviews (you should have 4, preferably 10 reviews, to get social proof for sales). If I were you, I'd consider taking it off KU for a month or two to get reviews, then return back on KU if your book does well there. The other option is to do what people are saying above. Publish new books hoping that will provide enough impetus to move the first one. Utilize free promos to garner reviews. I would base the two options on how prolific you are and how many future books you're planning on publishing.

You'll get more reviews based on already having reviews. You'll giveaway more books on a free run, then get more reviews, if your book already has reviews. It's a chicken in the egg thing.

I do love Bookfunnel but I agree with Carol. In your case, I wouldn't use them this early.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Carol (was Dara) said:
I love BookFunnel but I'd skip it for now, until you have more books out. Also, in the future, you can put a full book on BookFunnel in advance of publication and pull it down before publishing into KU. That way you're able to give out more than a sample, without violating the KU terms. And if you publish a paperback edition about a week before the ebook, that'll give the reviewers a place to leave any reviews. Something like this:

* Publish paperback
* Share book with potential reviewers through BookFunnel
* Wait a few days
* Pull down from Bookfunnel
* Publish ebook into KU
* In a few days, the paperback and ebook will link up and share reviews

That's probably not very helpful to hear now, but just some thoughts for future books.
Thank you! This is extremely helpful ;D I'm starting to think of this first book as my "how not to do a book launch" life lesson. I got a little frustrated and just hit publish without doing the research on all the available options and stuff. Book promotion seems like an industry onto itself, but this is a nice, clear plan for the future.

alhawke said:
The other option is to do what people are saying above. Publish new books hoping that will provide enough impetus to move the first one. Utilize free promos to garner reviews. I would base the two options on how prolific you are and how many future books you're planning on publishing.
The second novel I'm planning is less niche and should be much more popular. Much easier to get people to take a chance on than "violent MMA romcom" at least. Hopefully, they combine well, and I get a little momentum going. At first, it was a little bit of a one-person inside-joke, "mma romcom", but I like it now, the whole "published author" feel. I'll take it a lot more seriously in the future. I'll plan things out properly, learn the ways of Amazon and keywords and all that. Set aside an ad budget...

Thanks a lot everyone for the advice.
 

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I wouldn't use BookFunnel to give away a sample of your book. People are just not into that. I would wait until you have something free and full length (or, perhaps, a bonus scene for your release. A lot of people are giving away their bonus scenes with BookFunnel and seeing great results. I have not tried this yet).

Now... is it worth it? Well, I doubt you'll get subscribers cheaper anywhere else, even with a relatively unpopular sample. But if you're trying to save money, I'd hold off on BookFunnel.

zeedaye said:
The second novel I'm planning is less niche and should be much more popular. Much easier to get people to take a chance on than "violent MMA romcom" at least. Hopefully, they combine well, and I get a little momentum going. At first, it was a little bit of a one-person inside-joke, "mma romcom", but I like it now, the whole "published author" feel. I'll take it a lot more seriously in the future. I'll plan things out properly, learn the ways of Amazon and keywords and all that. Set aside an ad budget...
Violent MMA romance sounds like a pretty hot seller. Sports are huge and violent sports are the biggest. There's a reason why 90% of sports romances are hockey or football. Alright, it might be more like 70%, but it is mostly hockey and football, with the occasional baseball (I have to guess it's patriotism, nothing more American than baseball and apple pie) and then basketball and soccer way off in the distance. (If only people knew water polo is violent, then I could write my water polo series).

Is it really a romcom or is it a humorous romance? Bc you can go either way with that. A lot of sports authors are writing humorous romance. Helena Hunting and Elle Kennedy are both selling humorous hockey books.
 
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