Since I published my first book “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” a year ago I have learnt a lot about book promotion. As an Independent author I have to learn as much as I can because it’s my job to market my books as well as to write and publish them. I had a marketing plan ready when I launched the book and I thought that I had tried just about everything I could to get the word out. How wrong I was! I realise now that all Indie authors are constantly learning and finding out new ways to promote their work.
Last week I had my first free eBook promotion, which I see as another step in my ongoing effort to promote my work. As well as propelling my book up various lists, I also learnt a lot from the experience, which I will put to good use with future books. So, I’ll start this article by taking a look at how it went before talking about other new approaches that I am taking in relation to my book promotion. At the bottom of this post I’ve also included a list of people that I want to thank for helping me to spread the word about my eBook promo.
The Free Promo Day
I had a key objective in mind when I decided to do a free eBook promo day, which was to get my book noticed in more competitive categories so that I could hopefully attract new buyers. A specific aim of this was to appear on the first page of the Amazon UK popularity list for the parenting category, which has over 17,000 books. So, before I listed the book as free I swapped my categories to others that were more competitive but where I could also expect to achieve a high rank in the popularity lists.
I wasn’t expecting the mammoth number of downloads that novelists receive because my book fits into a specific niche and its readership is predominantly UK based. Therefore, I will focus on the results that I achieved in accordance with my objectives as well as the positions achieved on the free eBook listings.
Free EBook Listings
The maximum positions that “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” achieved were:
– Second in the UK list Parenting and Families>Parenting, a category which has about 17,000 books.
– Tenth in the main UK category listing for Parenting and Families, a category which has over 61,000 books.
– Second in the US list Parenting and Relationships>Reference.
N.B. The latter category only has about 300 or so books, but I was surprised to make the US listings at all as my book has a UK bias.
At the time of writing (Saturday lunchtime) “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” achieved the following positions in the UK popularity lists for my chosen categories:
– First in Parenting and Families>Family Activities, a category with about 1000 books.
– Eleventh in Parenting and Families>Parenting, a category which has about 17,000 books.
– Number 88 in the main category Parenting and Families, a category which has over 61,000 books.
That put me just one place behind Richard Madeley’s book “Fathers and Sons”, and seven places behind Paul O’Grady’s book “At My Mother’s Knee” on the Amazon popularity list for Parenting and Families. I must admit that I never envisaged a day when I would be running closely behind Richard Madeley in hot pursuit of Paul O’Grady. What diverse lives us Indie authors lead!
I am now waiting to find out what impact my position in the popularity lists will have on book sales – fingers crossed!
Shouting about It
I must admit that shouting about my achievements is something that I am not comfortable with. I am naturally quite reserved and prefer not push myself forward. However, having a free promo day gave me a reason to shout about my work. Apart from the results described above, this enabled me to connect with more people on social media and by email. Having said that, I did feel guilty about directly approaching Twitter users who were involved in parenting, and asking them to RT my tweets. My direct approach paid off though because I had a couple of opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have come across.
The first was a request for help with the editing of a book and the second was a promotional opportunity. The latter consisted of an interview about me and my work, and the accompanying article will be published on a major UK website for mums later this week. I’m looking forward to seeing the article and will definitely be doing a bit more (online) shouting in the future.
My first eBook now has a mailing list in the back as well as details of my two forthcoming books and my social media URLs. The mailing list was something I hadn’t thought of until I read David Gaughran’s “Let’s Get Visible”, which is a really useful guide on how to get your books noticed online. Having all of these details in the back of “Kids’ Clubs and Organizations” means that, in effect, the book acts as an advertisement for future books.
For almost a year I pressed on with the blog that came as part of my website software package. There were a few problems associated with this. Firstly, the RSS feed didn’t work so people couldn’t follow my blog. Secondly, there were no statistics attached so I didn’t have a clue how many people were reading the blog.
Thankfully, I recently swapped to WordPress. I love the statistics that WordPress provides because I can see how many people are reading my blog posts. This enables me to assess which posts appeal to my readers the most. Additionally, because WordPress has its own community, it gives me another opportunity to connect with people online. That means I have more people to share my news with whenever I launch a book, run a promotion etc. I was also able to import it into my website so that you can still view it through www.dianemannion.co.uk as well as through my WordPress URL.
Future Promotional Ideas
All of the knowledge that I have gained over the last year should stand me in good stead for future books. When I release my second parenting book (hopefully in the next couple of months) I will do a few things differently, and I will give you details of any triumphs as I go along. However, there are some promotional measures that I would repeat for my second book. Basically, it means that I won’t waste time on promotional areas that haven’t worked in the past and I will focus more on those that have worked as well as trying out some new ideas.
I am really grateful to all the people who helped to get the word out about my book promo by various means, as follows:
All Round Stars – These are the people that have gone the extra mile e.g. tweeting, retweeting, mentioning the book promo on their FB pages, websites or newsletters, or downloading a copy to add to the numbers (even if the book wasn’t in a genre that appealed to them). Here we go: Alice Huskisson, Guy Portman, Anne Coates, Terry Tyler, Charlie Plunkett, Jess Sturman-Coombes, Working Bees, Steve Hill, Mark Richards and Selva Sugunendran. You are all wonderful people and I’m very grateful for all your help and support.
Terrific Tweeters and Fabulous Facebookers – There are too many to list all of them, but a few people tweeted and RTd repeatedly about my book promo so I want to give them a special mention. They are: Lizzie Lamb, I C Camilleri, Rose Edmunds, Rachel Dove, Rosie Morgan, Clare Davidson, Bestiary Business and members of the #ukLL. Some of my Facebook friends were also willing to share my incessant postings about the promo so a big thank you to them as well.
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