Over the weekend I was part of a large (over 130 books) multi-author promotion. The premise was simple, the host put the cover and a link to the book on her site, and all of the authors involved promoted the hell out of the entire promotion. We sent links to our newsletters, put it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and everywhere else we could think of.
The host said that she got over 1,000 hits per hour for the duration of day one. We had a combined reach of over 300,000 people across our combined social media and newsletter networks. We got a lot of eyes on those book covers.
These are my key takeaways from this, and below are my results.
I have my mother in law staying with me at the moment, and she’s an avid reader. She reads an average of a book a day, or a book every other day. She reads widely, from urban fantasy, to romance, to western, and so on. I told her about this promotion, because OMG over 130 free books! She confirmed what we’ve long suspected – covers are everything.
I forget the exact phrase she used but she said “I’m sorry to say it, but when you read as many books as I do, we do judge books by their cover. I don’t have the time or patience to read every description. If the cover doesn’t grab me, I don’t click.”
I found myself doing the exact same thing she did when I looked down that page – my eye skimmed over the covers that didn’t fit the genres I enjoy, and those that weren’t to the same high standard that I tend to look for. I know that a lot of authors baulk at the idea of spending $300+ on a good cover, but it’s absolutely worth it. Some of those books that my eye skimmed over could have been amazingly written. They could have been my book of the year, but I won’t ever find out because the cover didn’t grab me. My time is precious, I’m not going to spend two hours looking through and reading every description.
On a vaguely related note – a lot of people hate the idea of making their book free. I’m far more likely to step out of my comfort zone and try something shiny and new if it’s free. I’m not usually a fan of sci-fi or dystopian but I grabbed some books from both genres in this promotion. I know my mother in law did the same – it’s a fantastic way to hook new people. There’s no risk, and they’re willing to dive in and try something new.
The next thing I learnt from this, and the multi-author promotion I did a week ago on Infernal Bonds is you need a huge amount of eyes on the page to see some progress. With our combined reach of over 300,000 people on social media and such, we achieved 24,000 (ish) hits on the page, on day one alone (I don’t have the full numbers). That then translated into somewhere between 400 and 1800 downloads for each author over the weekend. There’s a huge difference between people who potentially saw the link, and people who went on to download each book.
The numbers from the previous multi-author promotion were smaller, the reach was still over 200,000 but fewer authors were involved, and fewer downloads and sales were achieved. If you really want this to work, you need a fantastic reach.
Infernal Ties was free for the very first time. I put up some tweets, I made this blog post, and shared on Facebook. I have to admit, I was incredibly happy with the results I achieved.
This is the rank I woke up to on Sunday:
That was achieved by 1260 downloads over the course of Saturday. I got a total of 1703 downloads over the weekend.
I’m over the moon to say that I also got a rather nice number of sales and pages read on Infernal Bonds (book 2), and a good number of pre-orders on Witch Infernal (book 3). That really is an important part of doing these big promotions – you need sequels out to the book that’s free to make them worth it. It’s fantastic to have 1703 people download Infernal Ties, really, I’m absolutely ecstatic. But! The profit, the real value, is in the sell-through onto the later books.
In summary, squee thank you so much you absolutely fantastic wonderful people for the love and support you’ve given me! I’m absolutely astounded and over the moon with the amazing support you all give me. This series means a lot to me, there’s a lot riding on it, and you guys keep making me happy dance and cry tears of joy! Thank you!!
If you’re looking for a new Urban Fantasy read, then you can pick up Infernal Ties for $1.99 or read it for free in Kindle Unlimited.