I’m sixty days into my new position as top dog at an eBook promotion site. It’s been a ton of fun and along the way I’ve had several mini-epiphanies. I want to share them with you because I think as writers and marketers, the things I’ve learned might help you. And, if you’re like me, you might find some of this truly surprising.
1. Readers are really, really grateful that the service is there.
I thought the whole world knew about Bookbub and ENT and whatever other book promotion site is currently flavor of the month. This is incorrect. Either they know about those other services and they want more choices, or they haven’t heard of them. I’ve received multiple emails thanking me for the service. Right after the “thank you”, the one sentence I hear over and over is “I love your books”.
2. Don’t judge a book by its cover.
This one is hard to figure out. I’ve had books with very basic covers and blurbs that have done quite well. You’ve seen the covers. They have three different shades of (insert basic color here), a band in the middle, the title at the top, and the author’s name at the bottom. The synopsis is quite pedestrian, nothing really jumps out at you, yet readers download the book. I think they must be researching further, checking the “Look Inside” feature and deciding it’s a book they want to read. I’ve had several books that barely met our criteria, but I accepted them anyway and they’ve done fairly well.
3. Thursdays are a very good day to promote your work.
Tuesdays are still good, especially for new releases, but don’t forget about Thursdays. They have consistently been strong traffic days on the website and have shown strong open and click rates for the newsletter. Sundays are hit and miss. I’ve had some Sundays where it seems like everyone is perusing books and others that are just okay. Fridays are usually weak. The other days of the week are up and down. And, the first and last days of the month also seem to be strong.
4. New releases.
New releases offered at a discount, especially 99 cent new releases, get almost as much traffic (website viewing as well as newsletter clicks), as free books. I’ve even had a couple of days where new releases get more activity. Readers want to know what’s new and as long as it’s offered at a discount, they’ll make the purchase.
5. Readers want more than just your books.
At our new and growing site, we’re instituting programs to help authors and readers interact. From the correspondence I’ve had with readers, I know the desire is there. As authors we want to connect with our readers of course, but most readers want it too. They sign up for authors’ newsletters and email me commenting on the books they’ve purchased.
6. Readers are reading books.
They’re not just loading up their Kindles. There are some voracious readers out there. I receive emails from readers as quickly as three days from the newsletter inclusion telling me how much they enjoyed reading a particular book. Sometimes, they’re downloading the book and reading them immediately. I’m always happy to send along information to the author’s other works too, of course. This goes back to my previous point that readers truly want more contact with the creator of the work.
It’s been a fascinating couple of months and I’m sure I’ll have more to share with you down the road. Writing can be such a solitary task that it’s sometimes easy to forget that there are real people on the other side of your story, enjoying your work and wanting more. So, keep creating. There are readers waiting for your next book (especially if it’s on sale).