Disappearing in Plain Sight–Five Free Days–Part Four

Analyzing the situation - Bruce Witzel photo

In the first post of this series, I described how I made the decision to try for a BookBub (BB) advertising slot. In part two, I outlined the steps I took in preparation for the big BB day. Part three was the fun post! I got to write a timeline of my stunned disbelief at the success of my promotion. In this last of the series, I host my own post-game show.

Five-day promotion totals:

  • Free Downloads – 34,990
  • Sales – 95
  • KENP’s – 16,622 = approx. 33 sales (calculated at the 48 cents per 100 pages and divided by an average cost across my books of $2.44)

Total expenditure for promotion – $596.00 (CND)

  • BookBub to run March 27th – 330. 75
  • Fussy Librarian spot to run March 26th – 33.38
  • Book Marketing Tool (placing my promo info up on 30 different sites) – 21.29
  • Book Sends/IQ Reader slot to run March 28th – 207.07

Total costs recouped by the first day post-promotion! And sales across all three books in the Crater Lake Series have continued at a good pace since the promotion ended.

Stanford - Bruce Witzel photo

Final Reflections:

Until I saw it with my own eyes, I never believed BookBub would work the way it did! Wow! I recommend the Book Marketing Tool. I know this small expenditure really pushed me up the charts ahead of the BB slot. Not sure how much impact Fussy Librarian had but again, relatively inexpensive. I also had the benefit – for no cost – of going out on a fellow author’s email list with a really attractive advert for my book and that definitely had impact. Building a social network is never effort wasted!

In the two days prior to the BB, I had a lot of re-tweeting action on Twitter as well as extra sharing of my Facebook posts and increased traffic on my blog. I’m sure all these little things added up.

The one expense I remain unsure of was the BookSends slot that ran the day after the BB placement. It was costly. Downloads stayed close to 10,000 for the day the BookSends email went out – could have been a partial carry over from the BB, though. There’s no way to tease these things apart. Common wisdom does suggest that surrounding the BB slot by other promos extends the halo effect. Another time, I would try harder for something less expensive.

U of T - Bruce Witzel photo

I’ve already garnered ten new reviews and have had a taste of my first 2 stars! The reader said Disappearing in Plain Sight was self-indulgent without a single character to care about. I feel I have truly arrived with that criticism. I’ve also had a number of positive emails – here are just a few snippets of these: “One of the best books I’ve read in years …”; “Thank you for writing such a healing book.” ; “Once a year, there will be a book or books in this case, that I know I am going to read again and again for the rest of my life.”

Many, many thanks to everyone who supported my promotion and for those who have been with me from the beginning. We’ve plugged away together and the celebration is sweeter in the sharing. It was a wild and crazy five days!.

I look forward to doing another post in this series at the one-month, two-month and three-month beyond BookBub mark.

Minneapolis - Bruce Witzel photo

24 comments on “Disappearing in Plain Sight–Five Free Days–Part Four

  1. Congratulations, Fran. Your hard work pays off! 😊

  2. Don’t worry about the negative comment on that review. There are some people out there who make it their job to put a writer down.

    • Thanks, Anneli – but on the contrary of worrying, I am quite pleased. Breaking onto a larger reader scene means negative reviews are a given. I’ll gladly take the positive with the negative. After all, no book is for everyone. And anytime, anyone takes the time to express their views via a review is fine by me.

      • I don’t mind an honest negative opinion, but some are just plain nasty. Those are the ones I don’t like. There’s no place for that in a review. But I’m sure readers of the reviews can recognize the source. I agree that once you reach a wider readership you won’t please everyone and it’s part of being a writer to accept all opinions.

  3. Remarkable! With that many downloads, you’re sure to get a ripple effect in the sales of your other books.

    Well, I’m off to sign up for a BookBub promo … 😜

    • Hey, Kevin – It is the 2nd and 3rd book of the Crater Lake series that are definitely flying off the virtual shelves right now. Perhaps the fact that Disappearing in Plain Sight is the first of a series skews my data somewhat. Do check out BookBub! They have this great blog on their site with absolutely tons of analytical data to help authors make the right choices as to dates, price point, series versus stand-alone etc.

  4. Louise Butcher says:

    This summary and your final reflections are bound to be a big help to others. You are so willing to share your experiences in ways that reveal what may lie ahead on the bumpy road of self-publishing and book promotion. You pave the way, raising the valleys and lowering the hills. I love the closing picture of the cherry on the end of the spoon. For me, it hints at the tasty follow-up reports you intend to post on the journey you’ve described in this four-part series. I’ll be back!

    • I’m still riding a wave of sales and KENP’s read – exciting to watch the graph each day but it is definitely time to get back to work on the fourth book in the Crater Lake Series! Many thanks for following along with this series of posts, Louise. Let’s hope those follow-up reports will be as tasty as that cherry on the spoon.

  5. Erin says:

    Thank you for this excellent series! I plan to share it with another self-published friend of mine.

  6. Wow, Awesome. I can’t believe the number of downloads! That is so great. I favorited this post for future us. Thanks so much for sharing the whole process and the results!

  7. FoxEmerson says:

    Thanks so much for posting your review and I’m so excited for you that it went well! I know exactly how it feels to create a story then begin the fear of obscurity. Having your work out there and being read is gold. Very happy!

    • It has been an exciting 11 days and counting. I think for creative people, having a book read or a piece of art viewed or a play seen – it is about sharing more than anything else. A golden experience, for sure. Many thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog and make a comment 🙂

  8. Congratulations on your success and thanks for sharing your experience with us. @sheilamgood at Cow Pasture Chronicles

  9. foxemerson says:

    Hi Fran. I just wanted to share my own piece of information on things that worked for me.

    I have run quite a few ads in various websites and none were as successful as peoplereads.com for a small cost of 8.99 I made 500% return so can’t complain. What I have learned (the hard way) is that you will make very little money or clicks through social media, it is good for exposure but nothing else. By far the best engagement is newsletters.


    • Thanks for these tips, Fox. I agree on the fact that various social media (Facebook, Twitter and blogging) are not a good bet for return on investment – time or money. Social media should be about being social not trying to make a buck. Also agree – newsletters to truly engaged followers and targeted email campaigns of the type BookBub runs seem to be the only game in town these days. Thanks again for offering your experience.

  10. Gwen Stephens says:

    I know I haven’t been the best follower lately (returning to full-time teaching has readjusted priorities and to-do lists), but this series was so encouraging to read. I’m a Book Bub subscriber, so it’s fascinating to see what this platform does for authors. I’ll look forward to your follow up posts on how sales are doing in the months after the promo.

    • Any time I see your smiling face, Gwen, I am happy! Of course, full-time work must have meant more than a few adjustments. I’m a month past the promo now and getting organized to do a post that talks about the halo effect – sales of the other books in the Crater Lake series.

  11. BookStar says:

    Congrats on your successful promo! Those are some seriously impressive numbers. No doubt BookBub did most of the heavy lifting; when I’ve done promos with them I see about 75% of the results on the first day and another 25% on the second day (and then further sales/downloads the following days based on the improved ranking). But the other places you submitted to must have helped as well!

    Next time you (or your readers) are looking for sites to submit to, I recommend Robin Reads, Ereader News Today, and also the book deals newsletter I created along with another author, BookStar (www.bookstardaily.com). It’s too expensive to submit to EVERY site, but it’s good to submit to a few so that your ranking goes higher, and thus you’ll be able to get more sales afterward due to your ranking.

    Good luck with your future promos!

    • Thanks for the congrats and for the suggestions! Most self-published authors, when wearing the promotion hat, are on the look out for quality places to list our books.

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