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A further progress report on my self-publishing

Hi folks.

 

It is now nearly four months since I have written and I will not recommence until I am sure I feel competent to advertise without large financial losses. It’s been a long break away from writing and still, the desire has not returned. For those self-pubbing or thinking of, I provide a report on my advertising progress.

 

After my efforts on the first of Feb, I’ve hung back waiting to see how sales progressed and page reads continued thru my series. The results after 1 Feb showed a steep fall-off in sales within two weeks but the page reads continued for six weeks or so.

On the 1st of May, I spent $100 on email promotion sites, and again the sales were good for a short period. My page reads improved from the time before and still progress although beginning to tail off.

I have received income near the cost of my ads and expect by the end of this month, June, to have broken square. I may advertise again using the knowledge of past efforts and expect reasonable results. This tempts me to spend more.

 

Ratings:

I maintain a rating of 4.4 or so and reviews continue to arrive in good numbers, so this area does not concern me.

 

Results of my last ad spend:

Here I am very happy. Sales were good and the page reads better than ever. The page reads continued for all books even though now six weeks+ from the ads. I’d been hoping for that. Readers are moving through my whole series which lights my days and gives confidence my stories engage them well enough.

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Blue is the 1st in the series, yellow the second, and red the third.

85% of the reads and sales came from the UK (buggered if I know why as I chose no specific email promotion sites based there.)

 

Other lessons:

The last adverting campaign enforced the lesson that 3 books are not enough, tho it is a good base from which to learn the ropes. I have progressed no farther with my next four-book series with one finished, one almost, and two drafted. I would speculate that were they finished when I did the last advertising campaign, sell-through would have given me a profit. That is a good reason to finish the second series and I’m working on a means to kick my own bum and fire up.

 

The immediate future:

Without a social media presence or a mailing list, there is little hope of commercial success so that stumps me. Both avenues are beyond my patience levels and I hate social media. I must try again to master Amazon ads and Bookbub. They are huge platforms and success on either would push me into decent sales and what I consider success.

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Replies (13)
    • Well done, Robert, sounds good as far as it goes.

      What do you have against social media? Most people do not get trolled or insulted and it is a very good way of spreading the message. About half my promotion was through social media.

      I was interested in your promotion emails: do they send out emails advertising your books straight into people’s emails?

      When you say you have no desire to write anymore, do you still read? I find reading and walking inspire me and I can’t wait to get back from the walk to start writing again.

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      • Hi, G. I have nothing against social media other than I don't understand them all and I can't be bothered with the chats and stuff. Yes the sites send emails to all their lists within the categories you nominate. You need to phrase your text so prospects know it's part of a series (I'll show you my efforts when you are ready, if you want). Some have promos for series and these are better than one of novel promos. Check out Freebooksy and Bookraid as they have been my best. Freebooksy has an offshoot called Bargain Booksy for paid = 99c usually. I didn't use Freebooksy last time as it was too expensive but I used it in Feb and it was good. I'm not reading novels at the moment and have not done so for many months. Still reading non-fiction. I walk a lot, love it, but when I get back from my walk I'm ready for beer, not writing.😎 

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      • Hi Robert,

        I'm just dipping my toe into the world of websites and it scares the bejezuz outta me. Everything you have done looks amazingly impressive! For my own website I am trying to build a readers and writers site. So my own author site with links to hints and tips for writing, a blog outlining my own writers journey as it goes, contact functions and pushing good books for reading... no idea what I am doing though... I feel you on the whole loss of desire thing. I think we slump sometimes with the amount of Ben Nevis' needing climbed it seems never ending! But one morning you'll wake up and something will hit you like a sledgehammer and push you back into the love of it I'm sure! Good luck!

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        • Thank you, Robert!

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          • Hi Rob (and Susan?). Re. Author websites.

            I watched this webinar live a short while ago and although there's a lot of repetitive hard-selling, which you can skim through, there are some interesting insights into how to collect subscribers via a website or without one. 

            Rob, you might like to look into using MailerLite's single sign up landing page for authors instead of an entire website.

            Replay only available until 30th June, then they'll take it down.

            https://bryancohen.leadpages.co/5-myths-replay-2/

            I'm finding social media a pain too. Can't get followers on Facebook or on Instagram. Just a sad, lonely woman with no friends.😢

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            • As always Carol, thankyou!!!

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            • Thanks for reporting back Robert. Your read-through rate is something to celebrate! 

              There are two authors who provide full programmes in Amazon Ads and Facebook Ads. I have not tried them as I don't have the money at the moment, but their testimonials look impressive. Funnily enough one of them is Bryan Cohen (US-based) who Carol mentions above, the other is Mark Dawson (UK-based).

              Bryan Cohen's 5 day Author Ad Profit Challenge: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2230194167089012/about/

              Mark Dawson's Ads for Authors: https://learn.selfpublishingformula.com/p/adsforauthors

              If you try either it would be great to know what you think!

              Wishing you continued success 🎉

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              • Cost is the problem for me too, which is why I devour all the free stuff I can find from these two. Mark Dawson's SPF org. does a free to watch YouTube video every Friday (the Self Publishing Show). Bryan is doing another webinar about email on Thursday 23rd. If you sign up to his newsletters, you get links to the free webinars - along with the advertising and publicity for his books and the BestPageForward services (his company). But you can always ignore what you don't need.

                Hope this helps, if you don't know all this already.

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                • I'm convinced at the moment, KT, that the email promotion sites are my best option (keeping in mind my dislike of social media). Thru trial and error I have at least found some that work for me. From my last effort on the 1st May I have recouped enough go again. That is a vast improvement over my past efforts. There are some sites I have not used and I can slip one or two of these into my next effort and build a profitable system.

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                  • Hi Robert, firstly, thanks for sharing your experiences, I'm impressed by the results you've achieved to date, it is inspiring, so keep going! As regards the email promotion sites you mention, do you reduce the price of your book to zero for the duration of the promotion, or do you set it at 99p or equivalent? Have you tried both price points, and was there any material difference in response and/or subsequent read through?

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                  • Hey Rob, the results of your lart sales ad look pretty positive. It's interesting to me that the third book page reads are growing methodically and consistently. That strikes me as a very good sign...even more reason to get that 4th book written!

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