I am satisfied with, but not really ecstatic about, the results of this sale. I know some of you are interested in how promotion services stack up against the bottom line, so here’s a breakdown of the sale and results. Obviously skip this post if that’s not your thing.
What I was trying to do was stack up enough promotions on top of each other to hit five thousand free downloads of Tuyo over the course of the five free days. This didn’t happen, which was disappointing. But the sale did make money rather than crashing and burning in an expensive fiasco, so it wasn’t too disappointing.
Given things I’ve read about series promotions, I dropped the prices for the other books in this series. As you may have noticed, I set Nikoles VERY low, to $0.99. I did that to help overcome the reluctance readers have shown to pick up a series title that doesn’t feature Ryo and that attentive readers know is linked to the main series in a somewhat tragic way. I also did it to help encourage readers to download the first free book, buy the second very inexpensive book, and then hopefully go on to buy the next books.
I’m pretty satisfied with the results. Nikoles sold about half as many copies over the five days as it had over its previous lifetime. I used a countdown deal so that I’d get $0.70 per sale rather than $.35.
I hesitated to price Tarashana as low as I did — $2.99 — but wanted to encourage follow through with the series. I released Keraunani at a fairly low price — $3.99 — for the same reason. Those prices seemed okay. The two books sold almost equal numbers of copies during the sale, so I’m not sure it was necessary to put Tarashana down as far as I did.
I meant to leave prices low through the middle of the month because, again, I’ve read that can really help boost KU reads. It turns out that if you lower prices with a countdown deal, you can’t then manually lower prices for two weeks following the countdown deal. Learn something new every day, I guess, because I had not realized that. Therefore all prices went up at the end of the sale period. You CAN manually lower prices after a free-book promotion, so I am keeping Tuyo low for another week or so.
Direct sales paid for the promotion in just over two days, leaving the remaining direct-sales royalties plus the entire KU boost, whatever that turns out to comprise, as profit.
Here are the day-by-day results
1/29 — Freebooksy, Fussy Librarian, EReader News Today, Book Rebel, and Book Cave all stacked up on top of each other — a little over 2000 downloads.
This was by far the best day, but still somewhat disappointing. After stacking up all those well-regarded promo services, I’d hoped for better. I’ve hit 2000 per day before with fewer services lined up. But this was still enough to kick Tuyo up to #1 in a bunch of categories and break into the Top 100 in Kindle Store category. Book Cave continued featuring Tuyo for all five days of the promotion, which is unusual; most promotion services are scheduled for just one day. I’m not sure Book Cave did much for the sale, however. By the fifth day, direct sales had fallen tremendously.
1/30 — Book Lover’s Haven — almost 500 downloads, so that wasn’t bad. Book Lover’s Haven is by far the cheapest promotion service I used, so they seem to have had amazingly good bang for the buck, but I’m guessing the Freebooksy promotion may have boosted downloads into the next day. But I would absolutely use BLH again. Tuyo remained #1 in its categories, including Epic Fantasy, and remained in the Top 100 Free Kindle Ebooks all day.
1/31 — Book Runes, Book Sends, Book Raid — approximately 450 downloads, not as good a result as I was hoping. Tuyo remained #1 in all its categories and in the Top 100 Kindle Store all day.
2/1 — Nothing was specifically targeted at 2/1, but Book Cave continued to feature Tuyo. About 200 downloads. To my surprise, Tuyo remained #1 in its categories and in the Top 100 Free Kindle Ebooks for most of the day.
2/2 — Book Dealio, the first time I’d used this service, so I was quite interested in seeing what would happen here. Answer: not much. Again, about 200 downloads. Not sure I would use this service again. This is when Tuyo fell in the rankings.
Meanwhile, KU reads. As a rule, the KU bounce begins a couple days after the sale starts and then ebbs and flows but continues to climb for some time. By February 1, KU pages read had roughly doubled compared to the preceding month. Pages read is continuing to climb, though with plenty of statistical noise. I don’t know how long that will last, but I hope right through this month and hopefully all the way through March. Obviously releasing the Black Dog collection and running a sale on that series will boost things there too, but (history suggests) not nearly as much as running a sale on the Tuyo series.