Yesterday I started an analyis of what worked and what failed as I attempted to market my first fiction ebook: The Great Scottish Land Grab.
Today I want to look in more detail at what I was doing to market the book and what results it had.
The chart below shows the lifetime sales of Land Grab book one since June 2014:
First thing to point out is that Orange/yellow shows sales where I got paid, blue is sales of the book after I set the price to free.
One of my biggest mistakes was not making book one free right away. Instead I priced it at 99p.
I was marketing Land Grab every single day during the summer of 2014. I printed up business cards, approached random strangers at village fairs and at train stations. I posted on Facebook and Twitter and while I sold over a hundred copies, look at the difference in numbers from October 2016… I did almost no marketing at all for the three months from October 2016 and people still found and downloaded the book!
I wonder how many more downloads I might have had in 2014 if I had enticed people in with a free offer.
The next two charts show life-time sales for books two and three respectively:
The numbers are not huge so I can’t make any hard and fast statements about what worked and what didn’t work, but it does seem to me that releasing Land Grab as a series did allow people to try at a low price and then free, and then go on to buy the other books in the series.
Both in 2014 and since October 2016, I’ve seen people go on to buy book two and three after downloading book one.
The chart for the full trilogy looks very different:
The fact is that I still carry business cards with me and still give them out or leave them in cafe’s and other venues for people to find. The business cards only advertise the full novel and I think that people who are intrigued by the cover image on the cards or maybe by something I’ve said will go on to buy the full novel.
Contrast the final chart with the first three and you see that huge dead area from November 2015 till August 2016. Without advertising I don’t see sales.
That’s a really important statement. Early this year I had an offer from Facebook. A £30 credit towards Facebook advertising. I used £12 of that voucher to advertise The Great Scottish Land Grab and later worked out that I made a slight profit off the back of it. (In reality a full profit as Facebook gave me a free voucher, but looking to see whether I would make a profit in future, it was small, but there.)
Tomorrow I’m going to try and round all this up into some sage advice to anyone thinking about how they can sell their book.