A couple of weeks ago I lowered the price of Beyond Parallel to $.99 and decided to take on a wizard in the Help Me Defeat Harry Potter Campaign.
I failed in the quest, but the actual campaign was a decent success.
- Beyond Parallel reached as high as 5,000 in the Kindle Charts
- It broke the top 50 in the Coming-of-Age Genre
- It overtook The Virgin Suicides and stopped just short of the Da Vinci Code
I’m not rich, famous or a bestseller, but it did help me reach a few thousand eyes, keep the exposure of Beyond Parallel ticking away, and hopefully, at some point, will add a few more reviews to my ever growing account.
I learned a great deal – some of which I already knew (or at least suspected) and some that I didn’t. Let me explain:
1: Get Creative
I could simply have done a $.99 Sale, and to be honest it probably wouldn’t have a made much difference to the sales. What the ‘Help Me Defeat Harry Potter’ campaign did was capture the attention of people, and this resulted in nice comments, conversations, and interest.
It didn’t go viral, but creativity always presents the potential to do so, therefore, when you choose a sale of some kind, get your creative juices flowing and do something DIFFERENT.
Join forces with another writer, create a quirky campaign, or do whatever it is that you think might capture some attention. I like what Colleen Hoover recently did and the Valentines Promotion by SSP. It might seem simple, but too often people run a promotion, reduce the price of their book, and advertise on a few select sites.
The issues is everyone does this. It’s time to Stand Out!
2: Be Suspect With Your Money
I didn’t spend much money on this campaign, largely because I didn’t have a great deal to spare. I decided I’d utilise as many Free Advertising sites as I could (like: Dailycheapreads.com) with a few select paid version thrown in for good measure.
There are plenty of options that allow you to advertise for around $5, so I partook in about 5 of these (a total budget of $25). I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s clear that some services are worth nothing at all.
Sites like Bargain Book Hunter didn’t get back to me after payment, and for me this is a red flag on what to expect. Services like ENT provided decent communication, and I was able to look at the landing page/Facebook post, and although it’s hard to track where each sale came from, those who communicate make it easier.
My advice is to stay away from paid directories, those who say they can connect you with thousands of twitter followers, and instead search the Kindle Forums for services people recommend. Be selective with your money.
3: Save Up A Budget
What I learned above all else is that you get what you pay for. With Free and small-fee services my ceiling was always going to be low, so instead I suggest you save up and consider tools like:
Proven services that require large sums of money ultimately bring readers, downloads, and interest – and although you might not break even, the chances of going viral, raising reviews, and generally garnering exposure are much much higher.
The aim of any promotion is to edge you closer to your Tipping Point, and the best way to do this is through services that work time and time again. Unfortunately this requires money and a budget of at least $300-500.
Next Time, Harry, Next Time
Much of this comes as little surprise, and if I’m being totally honest I’m fairly happy with how everything went. It wasn’t a booming success, but it did confirm a few suspicions.
My next plan is to utilise my KDP Select Free Days, plan for a Kickstarter Campaign, and at some point do a further promotion where I’ll invest at least $500 in proven tools.
Overall, my advice is to stray away from the small promotions and wait until you can do something worthwhile. It’s a Catch-22 Situation, I know, because we need to earn some before we spend some. This means you need to get out there, hustle, reach everyone you can, and slowly edge forward step-by-step. It isn’t easy and it won’t happen over night, but all it takes (sometimes) is one good promotion to get the ball rolling.
Like I say, next time, Harry…next time
Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million