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.
Everything goes into this diary, week-by-week, but you'll also find it a source of great tips, resources, tools, podcast recommendations and so on.
If you're new to the podcast and want to easily access the back catalogue of podcast diaries, in chronological order, please check out this page.
If I ever miss something out, or you'd like more information, just drop me an email at email@example.com.
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
Paul's Podcast Diary Archive