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Discussion Starter #1
(Conclusions edited in below)

This is an amazing community to be apart of, a community that thrives on contribution. My turn again :)

Below you'll find a report of my promo run for the release of Riven. I hit publish just after midnight last night, then tried to get some sleep. When I woke up, it was live.

The essential strategy focuses on the three month KDP cycle. Three months ago I released ARCANE. Since then, I've built up 201 subscribers to my blog and sold 2862 copies of the book (that number includes borrows and paperbacks, but not free copies), a 14% subscription conversion rate.

I took Wayne's advice a while back and gave all my subscribers a reason to sign up--they receive a 24 hour window to purchase the book for 99 cents. After that, it goes up to $4.99 (why so high? It's kinda fat -- bonus douche bag thumbprint for scale). People complained book 2 was too short, yet it was 98k. Book 2 is 172k. Hrumph.

My one folly was not starting an advance review team earlier. That's something I'll try to rectify for book 3.

Anyway, on to the promo run (all ADs point to Arcane. Will fill in the numbers as they come in):

Midnight Feb 19th: dropped Arcane to 99 cents (non countdown, so only 35 cents per sale).

Fri Feb 20th:
  • scififantasyfreak (free)
  • FussyLibrarian ($8 cost)
  • Google ADWords ($15.29 got me 294 clicks, 3247 impressions, 11.54% CTR, 0.05 avg CPC)

RESULTS: 33 sales, 9 borrows, 1 paperback sale.

Sat Feb 21st: Riven launch day. 24 hours at 99 cents. Email to subscribers sent (Yielded 72% open rate, 38% click rate). AD Lineup:
  • Google ADWords ($24.23 spent, 830 clicks, 6351 impressions, 13.07% CTR, $0.03 CPC)
  • ebookhounds ($3 cost)
  • Bknights ($10.5 cost)
  • Awesomegang ($10 cost)
  • Book basset ($22 cost)
  • Bargainbooksy ($40 cost)

RESULTS: 165 sales (96 Riven, 69 Arcane), 12 borrows, 2 paperbacks.

RIVEN release debut rank:

It hit the Hot New Releases List. In comparison, it took ARCANE two and a half weeks to hit the hot new release charts. Riven did it on day 1. If anything, it's a testament to the power of a mailing list (201 people on mine; email sent 9 am).

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

#4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
#8 in Books > Teens > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age
#11 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Coming of Age

EVENING: Spontaneous party to celebrate. Drinks. More drinks. Coffee.

Sun Feb 22nd: Riven goes up to $4.99 sometime today. Arcane stays at 99 cents.
  • Google ADWords ($21.52 spent, yielding 791 clicks, 5,412 impressions, 14.62% CTR, $0.03 avg CPC.)
  • Goodkindles ($8 cost)
  • Genrepulse ($30 cost) -- Yielded 105 clicks so far via their bitly tracker link--still trickling in though, what an awesome idea! Would use again just for this feature.
  • ENT ($15 cost)

RESULTS: 97 ebook sales (66 Arcane, 31 Riven), 25 borrows.

Evening: RIVEN returns to $4.99, all AD focus remains on ARCANE.

Mon Feb 23rd: Final promo day.

RESULTS: 58 sales (46 ARCANE, 12 RIVEN), 32 borrows, 1 paperback sale.

A beer.

Monday night: Arcane returns to $3.99.

Tue / Wed / Sometime: Official public release: Twitter + blog announcement + Facebook .

TOTAL COST OF RELEASE PROMO CAMPAIGN: $154.50 + ADWORDS $84.62
TOTAL SALES: 353 (not all were at 99 cents)
TOTAL BORROWS: 78
PAPERBACK SALES: 4
POST PROMO TRICKLE IN EFFECT: Estimating conservatively +10%


FINAL CONCLUSIONS:

Promo a success, but Advance Review Team needed next time.

Was supposed to turn ADWords off but couldn't resist.

Impossible to tease out where sales came from. Nonetheless, we can draw a few rudimentary conclusions: Genrepulse netted 105 clicks for 30 bucks, which is approx $0.34 CPC, coming from people most likely to purchase the book. Worth it in my opinion. And kudos for passing a traceable link to the author! Also, mailing list responsible for about 80% of Riven sales. Promo or no promo, that mailing list is essential--like having your own mini bookbub. Speaking of which, mailing list settled with 75.1% opens, 39.8% clicks. Not as high as I had hoped, but still respectable.

Next up: Launch of book 3 in about three months or so ;)

 

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Sever hun.  Great job on your promo.  Please reread your first sentence.    I don't want you to leave.  I think you missed a space.
 

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Congrats, Sever!

 

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Good stuff, very professional approach. Good luck with it! I'm very interested to know how the book 2 release impacts book 1 sales, as I will also be releasing book 2 shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much, everyone :)

It's certainly coming along. The only thing missing from the lineup is Bookbub. Maybe next time, eh? Unfortunately I'm a bit behind my paperback prep. Turns out I wasn't flattening the layers properly, resulting in having a much darker than normal cover. *Facepalm*.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's going to be difficult to separate out my numbers from the AD sources, especially because ADWords is involved. Makes me wish Amazon gave us more info as to where exactly sales are coming from :(
 
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