I made the Bestseller list, thanks in no small part, to the support of kboards. I had no idea it was even a possibility. Posts like this one showed me the way: https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,214032.0.html
So this is just my addition to the well of knowledge that I hope gives me good karma!
First: Facebook advertising without a plan or a clue! I spent $907 on Facebook ads–and received at most 610 sales from them. I could have sold more for less money if I’d done these things:
- Dropped price four days before sale (I did this anyway, worried about fighting Nook support over the weekend) -> Started Facebook Campaign with $5/day per vendor to get an idea what worked on what vendors.
- Had affiliate codes for each vendor (that worked in Facebook ads–my Viglink links didn’t work, not sure if Viglink links don’t work, or if Nook doesn’t like me) to recoup more costs and tracked ads effectiveness.
- Spent Facebook money steadily and consistently over the course of the sale. An explanation: Facebook tries first to spend all your money for the day and second to get you the best cost-per-click. If you have less money to spend, it is going to be reaching for higher quality leads to give you the best bang-for-your buck. If you have more money to spend it is going to have to advertise to lower quality leads in order to exhaust your funds.
Second: panicking about Nook sales before BookBub/eBookbutterfly. If you look at my advertiser list you’ll see that I used a lot of advertisers that promote books on all vendors before my Thursday when ‘Bub hit. (BookBarbarian, ReadCheaply, ManyBooks, ReadingDeals, MyBookCave, ENT, BargainBooksy, Ebookhounds, SweetFreeBooks, Riffle, Fussy). Nonetheless, I only had about 99 sales on Nook by EOD Wednesday. The two BEST advertisers for non-Amazon sites are BookBub and Butterfly, but Butterfly’s posts don’t go out until afternoon/evening … so my Wednesday sales were low.
Third: Having a 99-cent sale on my box set when I first released it. I didn’t release Archangel Down at 99-cents, and probably should have, as it was a new series in a new genre. (That could be its own post!) Feeling guilty, I released the box set at 99-cents and sent out a note to my mailing list and mentioned it on FB. I got over 100 sales–mostly fans buying the set for friends. I should have released it quietly without fanfare, sent a note to my ARC readers for some reviews, and only told my fans during my sale.
Fourth: Not being completely informed to start. I didn’t know USA Today List sales are counted from Monday to Sunday evening. (I thought it was Sunday to Saturday — but that’s the NYTimes List.) I didn’t know I’d need 500 sales on Nook at least.
Fifth: Not working with the vendors. If I had really planned it well, I could have contacted Nook, iBooks, and Kobo and tried to get their help with promotions by being featured in Kobo First, Nook Next, and/or an iBooks editorial selection.
First: I think my advertiser line-up was pretty good.
Second: Starting advertisements three days before the BookBub. This wouldn’t have worked if my sales was on, say Monday (so there is the luck of it!) … but it helped me rank higher on the day of my Bub. I started out that day at a rank of 339–I didn’t have as far to go to reach #16. Also, Amazon really rewards consistency above discounts “spikes.” I had friends who sold more on Amazon the days of their sales and not ranked so high.
Three: ebookButterfly This relates to the first two points above. eBookButterfly promotes your sale on a lot of various blogs over the course of several days. The spike isn’t as high, but I’ve always seen a steady stream of sales from them that gradually diminish over the course of a few days. It’s great for rankings.
Fourth: Promoting my permafree if an advertiser was booked or didn’t allow 99-cent sales. An example: KND owns BookGorilla, which is a pretty reliable advertiser. Gorilla was booked, so I used a KND $29 free day highlighter. This put my first in series on the KND Facebook Page and in front of the BookGorilla audience. I put a “Box Set on Sale” note on my permafree page on Amazon–I’m pretty sure this helped sales.
Fifth: Facebook. I didn’t do it well, but it was important. I’ve heard of people only hitting 250 sales with BookBub on Nook who’ve made up the difference with Facebook sales.
Sixth: New Promo Pictures on FB everyday. This kept my fans from getting bored, and allowed me to reach different audiences. I noticed guys preferred the promos with Loki, women preferred the Amy Promos.
POSTING ON KBOARDS and sharing the sale with all my author friends! I got sales here, but more importantly I got support. Everyone who shared my Facebook posts with their fans, or on their FB pages and blogs really helped me out! Also, I wouldn’t have had ANY Twitter presence whatsoever if writer friends hadn’t stepped up for me. I sucks at the Twitters (which is okay! We can’t all be dynamos everywhere.)