Welcome to Paul's Podcast Diary for Saturday 28th September, 2019.
Coming up this week:
- It’s rapid release week 3 … and I’ve been struck down by another bout of skivitis!
- I’ve got a review of my Q3 goals for 2019
- Why I’m switching off the Google ads and ramping up the Facebook ads
This diary charts my self-publishing journey – the ups the downs, the successes and the failures.
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This Week's Talking Points
1) Julie Stock's launch notes:
- So, for the launch of my 3rd full-length novel, although 7th book, I decided to really implement all the advice I’ve heard or read from various people. I particularly looked at Adam Croft’s advice in the Indie Author Mindset, Nicholas Erik’s website and Mark Dawson’s advice in his Self-Publishing 101 course. And I’m listening avidly to your diaries regarding the rapid release as well.
- I set up a detailed schedule of emails to my list which had around 600 people on it by this point. This included emails to my very small ARC readers group but only 3 people replied to that, and only 1 of those eventually reviewed the book on Goodreads. The other emails started on the 30 June and I sent them weekly until 4 August, as well as one on Pub Day and a thank you one afterwards. I didn’t suffer too much from people unsubscribing but the open rates did drop off.
- I also booked a blog tour at the end of May and the earliest I could get then was for 20 August, 2 weeks after publication. I went with it though and as you saw, it went really well, netting me lots of great reviews and lots of sales/page reads.
- In between the emails, I took part in a hashtag promo on Twitter every week that the RNA has sort of commandeered. It’s called #TuesNews and will usually get me over 80 retweets each week. I’m not sure it really generates sales but it does help with visibility.
- The RNA also puts a post on its website every month of new releases by its members and I made sure that my book was in that list in August. Again, this is more for visibility than anything else.
- I took part in a Book Funnel giveaway mid-July to try and build my list and gained another 150 subscribers but a fair few of these have since dropped off.
- I made sure to claim the book on Goodreads, BookBub and Amazon Author Central.
- By mid-July, my pre-orders were at 12 so I decided to do a FB ad to see if I could get any more. I’d never done this before, despite trying ads on all platforms. Even though I’d bought Mark Dawson’s Ads course, I still haven’t finished it, but I subscribe to David Gaughran’s newsletter and he’d been doing a step-by-step FB ads series so I followed his steps to the letter and created the ad. A month later, I had 172 pre-orders! I’d never had more than 26 before.
- Another thing I did for the first time was to use a co-op service to allow me to pay for a 1 month stint on NetGalley. This cost me £46 and for that, I ended up with 27 reviews. Not all of them post on Amazon/Goodreads – it was about 1/3 – but it gave me lots of great quotes from the overwhelmingly positive reviews – 4* overall. NetGalley can be very negative so I felt very pleased with that result.
- I left it a bit late with setting up email promotions for my launch week but in the end, I did the following:
- 6 Aug – Book Doggy – sales – 31
- 7 Aug – Pillow Talk – sales – 8
- 8 Aug – None – sales – 23
- 9 Aug – Many Books – sales – 26
- 10 Aug – None – sales – 14
- 11 Aug – Bargain Books and ENT – sales – 63
- My sales from the email promotions didn’t always cover the cost of the promos except for on the last day, and as you can see I had sales on days when there were no promos so it’s hard to say whether these were really successful or not.
- You can also see that my sales weren’t especially high. In fact, since my publication day on 6 August and that last email promo day on 11 Aug, I haven’t sold more than 14 copies of this latest novel on any one day. However, my page reads have literally blown up. I’m averaging 80% page reads and 20% sales across all my books.
- I have kept the FB ads going on The Bistro since Publication Day, and as they were going so well, I’ve now got an ad on every book. I still don’t really use ad sets but I’m going to crack on and finish the Ads for Authors course now to see what I can do to take this to the next level.
- My highest earnings in a month since publishing my first book in 2015, were approx. £575. My earnings for August this year = £1157 and estimated for this month so far = £1159.
- So I feel like I’ve cracked the first level of using Facebook ads to promote my books. It’s hard to tell whether anything else had a real impact, although you could say that some of the email promos have been worthwhile. The other thing I’ve just remembered is that I kept the price at 99p from pre-order until after the end of the blog tour, so the income is even better when you consider that.
2) My interview on the Self Publishing Spotlight podcast:
3) The Secret Bunker in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2019/sep/25/take-the-kids-scotlands-secret-nuclear-bunker-st-andrews
4) Q3 on the planning board:
This week on social media:
Thanks for the shout out and glad you enjoyed the pics. Truth is I was harshly reproached by my family: how did I dare not to send a single pic of Frodo? He’s a keen SPJ listener and traveler (at his 10th EU ontheroad). Hope I’m making up with these pics. Great episode! pic.twitter.com/WUAQyTJXog
— Adriana Licio (@adrianalici) September 22, 2019
— Tim Lewis @Stoneham Press #indieAuthorChat (@StonehamPress) September 21, 2019
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