Today we’re talking to Beth Teliho, author of Order of Seven and all-around funny gal.
Order of Seven is FREE for 2 days only – Feb 26 & 27 – so download your copy now! It’s a Young Adult supernatural suspense, written for all ages.
Hi Beth! I know you recently ran a free book promo for your first book, Order of Seven (which I enjoyed BTW!).
Why did you decide to use this promotional tactic?
I’ve heard a lot of differing opinions about free promos. Some authors are against them, because why give something away for free that you put so much money and effort towards? Valid point, and I agree…to an extent. Order of Seven had a great start last year for the debut of an unknown author, and I’m thankful for it, but at around the nine-month mark, I had exhausted my reach. I feel like my top priority now should be discoverability. I’m a speck in an ocean of books; I need more readers to know it exists. I’ve done 99-cent promos before, but my highest number of downloads was 84. That’s fine, but I wanted way more than that.
What hurdles did you face?
I submitted to the king of all ad sites, Bookbub, and was rejected, so that was a tad bit disappointing, but that’s okay. I’d rather score them with a 99-cent promo another time so I’ll make some money back. Still a disappointment but to a lesser degree was a rejection from ENT (Ereader News Today).
Two bigger sites that couldn’t do my first date range did commit to my backup dates, so it’ll actually be free again February 26 & 27. That may seem strange to offer it free again so soon, but it’s an experiment to see how well these other ad sites deliver on downloads. This way, I’ll know if I’d like to use them again for a 99-cent promo. I’m just having fun with it because I won’t do another free promo unless I’m using it to market my next book.
What did you want to accomplish with this promotion?
I concentrated my goals on the first date range because that one had the most marketing associated with it. My goal was to get at least one thousand downloads. I also wanted to hit #1 on Amazon in my sub-category and place in the top 100 in free downloads, both of which I accomplished. Yay!
And the results were…staggering! 5000+ downloads? Why do you think it was so successful?
Yes, 5,313 to be exact, and more to come 2/26 & 2/27! First, I must give huge props to my incredible cyber-street-team and their willingness to promote for me! All in all, it was hugely successful because I spent some money on it. I doubt a free promo with a budget of $0 could result in that many downloads, unless of course it was a very well known author.
I didn’t spend a ton of money, but I put a little where it counts. I boosted a Facebook post about the promo, and I also ran a contest on that post. Anyone who liked, or commented, or shared automatically had a chance to win a signed copy of Order of Seven. The extra traffic due to the contest was great!
Here’s a rundown of which sites I used and how much it cost:
For the 2/9 – 2/11 promo:
- FB boost – $18
- Books Butterfly – $90 (expensive, but they guarantee downloads.)
- Fussy Librarian – $20
- Digital Book Today – $30
- Indie Book of the Day – Free
- Ask David (they tweet to 48K followers) – Free
- Best ebooks for free – Free
For the 2/26 – 2/27 promo: (not doing any Facebook or other hardcore marketing for this one because I want to see the results of the ad sites on their own)
- Robin Reads – $15
- Book Gorilla – $50
Total investment for all promo days: $228 (including the cost to ship a book to the contest winner). For the results I saw, it was worth every penny!
Any other suggestions for fellow authors who want to try this tactic?
I would use a free promo when you have exhausted your reach and need the discoverability, or to pump up interest for another book release. Don’t give it away in the beginning (much like with dating- ha!) because interest will be high amongst your reach at first…let them pay for it so you make money to budget for future promos.
If you want the most for your effort, budget a little money toward it. Free ad sites – although it certainly doesn’t hurt to use them – result in little to no downloads so don’t rely solely on them. Schedule as many paid ads for your promo as you can afford and then market all over social media. Have your friends (or street team) market too. Boost a Facebook post if you can – even a $5 boost helps way more than you’d think. Most of all, don’t stress! Have fun with it. It’s all an experiment, and one that results in more readers who might’ve never known about your book otherwise. In my humble opinion, it’s a win-win.