In my previous posts on the book marketing topic, I talked about some of the things that I have tried from a marketing perspective. Book Marketing Part 3 – The Fog Begins to Lift means that some of this marketing stuff is beginning to become clear to me. Working through some of the topics I have has helped clarify things for me and will help me formulate a marketing plan for 2015. Today, I want to talk about KDP, Kindle Select, Kindle Unlimited and a few others. Let’s get started!
Kindle, KDP, Kindle Select, Kindle Unlimited, and Smashwords
I published all 4 of The Gemstone Chronicles on Kindle, Smashwords, and Createspace. As most of you know, Kindle is the heavyweight in the self-publishing world, so you must have a presence there (at least that’s my opinion). If you are part of Kindle Direct (KDP), then you can publish on other platforms and expand your market options. That is where I personally have seen the best results. If you are part of Kindle Select or Kindle Unlimited, then you can only sell ebooks through Amazon. This can be good or bad, depending on your perspective.
Some authors who unpublished their works on Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, etc. to go exclusive on Kindle Unlimited and have done very well with that strategy. I know others who locked themselves into the 3 month Kindle Select program and didn’t see any boost at all. I tried Kindle Select and it didn’t work for me. While I still get a majority of my ebooks sales through Amazon, I do get a nice percentage of sales from Smashwords (and via Kobo, iBooks, and other outlets with whom Smashwords partners). I haven’t tried Kindle Unlimited as I don’t want to withdraw my books from those other outlets.
As with other book marketing options, you just have to try them to see which works best for your situation. Remember, too, that these companies are all for-profit organizations, so the decisions they make are in their best interests, not necessarily yours. I’m certainly not bashing the companies for making a profit. Without profits, they wouldn’t be in existence, but they are going to make decisions that most benefit themselves.
Bookbub is an interesting site to visit and consider. I cannot say that I have used Bookbub, but that is simply a matter of economics for me. As I have mentioned in the previous posts, I have little to no promotional budget, so BookBub just doesn’t work for me at this time. I know authors who have used it and done very well. Let me give you some BookBub stats for what it would be for one of my books.
For Fantasy, Bookbub has 950,000+ subscribers. Depending on the price of the book, there are different prices for the promotion that range between $175 and $875. A fantasy book averages 17,400 downloads and 1360 sales. The range of sales is 210 – 3530. What this means to me is that I could reduce the price of a book to $0.99, pay $325 for the promotion, and, if I sell the average, make $1021. However, if I sell on the low-end (210 books sold), then I lose money.
However, it isn’t simply a make or lose money decision. If I run that promotion and I sell 210 of The Carnelian and sell 210 of The Amethyst (for which I didn’t pay any promotional fee to BookBub) as a result of a reader becoming interested in the series after buying the first book as part of the promotion, then I come out ahead. Remember, this is about promotion and marketing, so getting the book out there to the public is the goal! Here is the link to BookBub’s listing requirements. This page will give you all the information you need to try to get listed on BookBub!
As I sell books, I do try to set some aside for promotional efforts. Once I get enough saved up, I think I will give BookBub a try. I have heard that it isn’t the easiest place to get accepted, and many authors I have talked with have submitted multiple times before getting accepted. Don’t be discouraged! If you don’t get on BookBub initially, try other options until BookBub accepts your submission!
BookViral is similar to BookBub in that it is a pay site. Unlike BookBub, though, BookViral provides a review and promotional activity for a period of time. I did give BookViral a try for The Carnelian (here is the link) and did get some sales from it, but I don’t think I recovered the amount spent for the listing. The review was great and they do a good job of tweeting it, posting it on Facebook, and other social media sites, so there certainly is a lot of exposure to be gained from the site. It is reasonably priced, I think, and cost me about $120 to do the promotion. Since the links provided at BookViral are links to Amazon, the selling price is whatever you have at that time. it might be a good option to try while you are waiting on acceptance from BookBub, although BookViral does say that they have standards for approval as well, so I can’t say how difficult it is to get accepted. I know that they did accept mine on first submission.
Clean Indie Reads is a great website I found a couple of years ago. The site targets middle grade and up and is the home of flinch-free fiction. This means there isn’t any erotica or sexually explicit material, minimal curse words (including no “F words”), and no graphic violence or gore. My books are middle grade and up and meet the other criteria. It was a great place to list them. CIR consists of a great bunch of authors that are always ready to help and will retweet and provide support for the CIR group. If you have flinch-free books, give CIR a try!! Here is a link to my CIR page so you can get an idea of what it’s like.
There are so many options out there for marketing opportunities. This small sampling and those from the previous posts cannot begin to list them all. In my next post, I will try to introduce some other opportunities of which I am aware. If you want to share what has worked for your and your marketing efforts, leave me a comment. I would love to check them out! Let’s all sell more books in 2015!
Connect with me:
If you want to connect with me, I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+! I always enjoy meeting new people and making new connections. If you have read any of The Gemstone Chronicles, I would love to know what you thought and would appreciate a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or Smashwords! Happy New Year and best wishes for a fantastic 2015!!