Tips From An Editor

BookBub Ads

I got approved to do BookBub ads last month but hadn’t gotten around to setting one up until last night. I’m doing a budget of $50 for 13 days starting today, June 3 and ending on June 15. This is my ad:

I need to set up another one for Loving Ashe and this is the image I made for it so far:

I haven’t set up Loving Ashe yet but after checking my budget and making sure I’ll have enough funds to tide me over until the 15th, then I can set one up. I actually need to sell some of my things to add to my ad budget since I’m raising it this month. It’s already close to $1500 and last month my ROI was only 200%.

It’s not where I want it to be which is at 300% and up ROI like the month before but it’s just been weird. The world is crazy and I don’t blame people for pulling back on extra expenses like books. Still, life has to go on or the bad guys win.

I’m looking for ways to lower my ads especially for FB where I’ve probably used up my audience there and also just focus on one series to advertise. It’s difficult to advertise 2 series(es) because that’s 2 ad budgets to handle, technically. So it’s going up this month with the addition of Bookbub and there’s also AMS which is under $5/day at the moment for Collateral Attraction (no traction there at all though).

Synopsis Planning Sheet

Just something I found on my Patreon page. Sorry it’s all in caps but I’m too tired to fix it:

  1. HOW DOES THE STORY START? (OPENING IMAGE/SETTING/IDEA THAT HOOKS THE READER)
  2. WHO IS THE HERO? WHAT DOES HE WANT?
  3. WHO’S THE HEROINE? WHAT DOES SHE WANT?
  4. WHAT BRINGS THE HERO AND HEROINE TOGETHER (INCITING INCIDENT)  WHAT’S THE INTERNAL CONFLICT HERE?
  5. WHAT’S THE FIRST TURNING POINT?  HOW DOES THE EXTERNAL CONFLICT AFFECT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE HERO AND HEROINE?
  6. WHAT’S THE MIDPOINT?   WHAT LINE HAS BEEN CROSSED THAT, ONCE CROSSED, THERE’S NO TURNING BACK?  THIS SHOULD HEIGHTEN BOTH THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL CONFLICT.
  7. WINNING SEEMS IMMINENT BUT…
  8. EVERYTHING SEEMS GOING WELL. ALMOST TOO WELL. EVERYTHING’S COMING TOGETHER FOR THE HERO AND HEROINE BUT BECAUSE THE CONFLICT HASN’T BEEN RESOLVED YET, WE’RE NOT AT THE END. WHAT DOES THIS PART OF THE STORY (RIGHT BEFORE THE BLACK MOMENT) LOOK LIKE?
  9. WHAT’S THE BLACK MOMENT? WHAT TEARS THE HERO AND HEROINE APART?
  10. WHAT’S THE CLIMAX?  THIS IS WHERE THE EXTERNAL CONFLICT COMES TO A HEAD, AND IT OFTEN SERVES TO BRING THE HERO AND HEROINE BACK TOGETHER.  THE HERO AND HEROINE MUST RISE ABOVE THEIR RESPECTIVE INTERNAL CONFLICTS IN ORDER TO TACKLE THE EXTERNAL CONFLICT.
  11. HOW ARE THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL CONFLICTS RESOLVED?
  12. HOW DOES THE STORY END? LEAVE US WITH A MEMORABLE FINAL IMAGE.

And Now For the Real Numbers

So In His Heart is live and more reviewers reviewed the book than bought it.

Out of the 21 ARC reviews, only ONE thought to pay 99 cents for the book. That’s their prerogative. That’s why they’re called Advance Readers.

All in all, I have a total of 12 books sold.

Twelve books sold. At 99 cents.

This after I sent a newsletter to 6K subscribers telling them about the new release.

Out of 316 clicks, 8 people bought the book yesterday.

Eight people out of 316 clicks to the Pronoun landing page.

There are a few things to take away from this and they are not encouraging.

  1. Except for 12 people on my mailing list, no one wants to pay for a book. Out of 316 clicks, eight people thought to buy the book yesterday. Those numbers are discouraging af.
  2. The Pronoun landing page could be where people change their minds. Best to link the book directly to each retailer’s page.
  3. The book in question is just not good. Maybe at 28k words, it’s too short.
  4. Who the fuck knows?

Here are the Pronoun numbers. This is the first book that I’m taking live through Pronoun since they announced their 70% pricing agreement with Amazon for books priced below $2.99 which matches everyone else’s pricing tier (I think). However, you still get 35% for sales made in other countries.

I guess I got a return on Kobo AU? Who knows, right?

 

In His Heart is Officially Live

I released In His Heart, a Finding Sam novella 3 days ago and so far, it’s… okay. Not great, but not too bad either. It started at #26 in its subcategory on the first day so not too shabby.

 

It’s dropped all the way to 60K in the whole store in the last two days but I sent out a newsletter today and it’s at 33K and #32 in its subcategory. Because it’s a novella, it falls under short stories which is a broad genre by itself.

By late afternoon, my rank did get better, probably after subscribers began opening their emails.

By evening, the book went up a few more points but that’s about it. And it also showed up in the top 3 New Releases chart.

One of the things about this whole publishing business is that you gotta have a plan. I didn’t have a plan for this one so there are no ads, no nothing. It’s also a novella attached to an existing book so it’s not like I could call it a standalone. I’m sure someone out there knows how to market this thing but I sure don’t and wondering how to tackle it beyond the occasional tweet and FB post is a time suck.

One of the things I’m not used to with this book is that everything is through Pronoun. Through Pronoun as the aggregator, a 99 cent book gets 69 cents versus 35 cents if I go direct to Amazon. But the disadvantage is that I don’t see the sales on my dashboard and so I have to wait for the next day’s sales numbers to appear like I do with Draft2Digital. Probably good so that I don’t stress over nonexistent sales numbers with this book.

So now I should really stop worrying about it and write Jordan’s story as well as Gareth’s. And then there’s Sage which is turning into a hopeless case and I really need to excuse myself from the private Kindle Words group and ease my suffering.

 

 

May Book Promotion

I’m running too many ads right now and it’s driving me crazy that sales dropped in half overnight when I was changing my ads up. Unfortunately, I can’t remember now what I changed so I’m just kinda starting over.

One of the things I noticed after my Bookbub run with Loving Ashe set free is that the sell-through for Loving Riley, while it did get me over 500 sales out of 715 preorders (because apparently you can’t trust that preorder number and celebrate prematurely), DID NOT LAST.  It didn’t help that the BB was scheduled to coincide with the first preorder date of March 30 so when April 26 came (the final preorder date), sell-through momentum was gone. Totally gone.

It also didn’t help that while I did plan on upping my advertising budget to at least $500 for release week, I RAN OUT OF MONEY. I actually ran out of money – I had more month left than actual money in the bank. At least, I had enough money left to pay FB and Amazon for the current month’s billing. But anything else beyond that to take advantage of release week? Nothing.

By the time I did get some money in, it was the second week and by then, I was too gun-shy to up my advertising. Since I didn’t make my goal for February (60-day net means that I’m getting February royalties in May), that meant that my budget for this month is slimmer than usual. So in addition to monthly subscriptions coming due during the first week (Mark Dawson’s course for one which is a whopping $75), I really need to watch every penny. Every. Penny.

Unfortunately, even though I’ve decided to scale down my advertising, it’s not happening. I’m spending more each day now actually and it’s only because my ROI is the lowest it’s been. 160% return for the month alone. Sales really have gone DOWN even as my ad spend is still the same at roughly $50 a day.

But it could also be the current political climate. Congress just voted to dismantle Obamacare and 24 million people, including myself, are probably not going to be covered because of preexisting conditions which include pregnancy and C-sections, in my case. And my son, who is on the autism spectrum. I’d be watching every penny, too, and only spend on the essentials and not books.

Still, I can either just curl up and give up or keep going. So here are my current ads. Some of them are Post Boosts, which I hear are useless but it’s worth a try. If they don’t help raise my ROI, then I will reassess in a week.

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Google Play Pricing

It’s no secret that Google Play discounts books to their customers, a move that can wreak havoc to Amazon sales when Amazon price-matches your book in the Kindle store.  So it’s been suggested to raise your book price on Google Play when you list them, but by how much?

Set Price = Discounted Price
99c = no change (royalty = 52%)
1.49 = no change (royalty = 52%)
2.49 = 1.92 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 67%)
2.99 = 2.09 (Discount = 30%. Actual royalty = 74%)
3.49 = 2.65 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
3.94 = 2.99 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
3.99 = 3.03 (Discount = 24%. Actual royalty = 68%)
4.50 = 3.44 (Discount = 23.5%. Actual royalty = 68%)
4.99 = 3.82 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.18 = 3.99 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.25 = 4.04 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
5.99 = 4.61 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 67.5%)
6.48 = 4.99 (Discount = 23%. Actual royalty = 68%)
9.99 = 7.99 (Discount = 20%. Actual royalty = 65%)
8.99 = 7.52 (Discount = 16%. Actual royalty = 62%)
15.99 = 9.99 (Discount = 37%. Actual royalty = 83%)