Friday, 14 March 2014

How I Became A Bestseller in One Day

And I didn't do anything unethical or annoying.

In fact, it was insanely easy. And I'm going to cut to the chase and tell you how I did it.

I paid for it.

Yep. I handed over money to a book promotions service, they promoted my book and BANG, in one day The Summer of Shambles rose from a flatline of #600,000 in Paid Kindle to hit #37 in Paid Kindle > Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary.

Thirty Seven!
On a Bestseller List!

Just look at that!

As I posted last week, an author's biggest problem is discoverability. You can have the funniest, best-written, most romantic and magical award-winning book around *ehem* but hardly anyone will buy it if they don't know the book is out there.

I've had fantastic reviews from the most rabid fans. I've had people blame me for keeping them up all night reading. I've had people rave about how gorgeous the covers are and that they'll 'leap off the shelves'.

What I haven't had are decent sales. And by decent I mean enough to put a few meals on the table.

Last week, I hired Ereader News Today (ENT) They send daily emails out to thousands of readers; those emails are chock-full of bargain and free books. I paid for The Summer of Shambles to be on that email on Tuesday, USA time.

I also lowered the price of Shambles for the promotion, from $2.99 to $0.99c.

And then all I did was sit back and watch the numbers come in from Amazon.

By mid afternoon, it had risen to about 30,000 in Paid Kindle, but still no 'List' section.

Then a couple of hours later, things really kicked into gear as Shambles started to climb. Climb and Climb and Climb. By my bedtime, it was at #37 and I was so excited I couldn't sleep. An hour later it was still in the high 30s and by then I was ready to pass out.

It was the most astronomical day and a huge 'win' for discoverability. Readers were discovering my book and buying it.

Here's where I think ENT is really clever. They earn money based on a percentage of your royalties from book sales. With the low price, I'll 'earn' about 34 cents per book. I will probably pay ENT half that. Which is fine by me. The fact is, I will only be paying for books sold, which is pretty fair all round.

I don't know how many books I've actually sold at this point. But the fact is, The Summer of Shambles is now officially an AMAZON BESTSELLER and I can strap that all over the place because it's true and it actually happened.


Louise Reynolds said...

Congratulations, you best-seller, you :-) Very interesting, article and something I'll be tucking away to do if I self-pub one day. Sounds well worth it.

Tracey Alvarez said...

Congratulations, Ebony! Thanks for posting this, I'm so glad to know that you've had success with ENT as I've been hedging wondering if I should try them out. Hope the sales keep pouring in for you! :)

Ebony McKenna. said...

Louise, it is definitely something to try. Especially if you use a job like ENT, where you're charged a percentage of the take, so to speak.

And I think you should seriously think about doing some indie releases in conjunction with other oublished titles. It means when readers (like me!) want more of you, there is more to be had!

Ebony McKenna. said...

Tracey, I really didn't think I'd get such good results. It will take a week or so to find out exactly how many copies I sold, and I'll blog those results too.
(Unless they're embarrassingly awful ... But then, that's still worth a post because it may mean you only need to sell x number of books to make the Bestseller list. )

But I figured this was a fairly low-risk way to promo, for a scaredy cat like me.

Belinda Fyffe said...

Well done Ebs! Now I can tell people I am the friend of a best selling author! They were always impressed before when I said I was friends with a published author - imagine their faces now.

Thanks for making me appear more interesting! Ha ha.

Great advice though, well done for sharing. I will be following your subsequent posts with interest.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Tell everyone, Belinda! Lol, don't hold back.