Call to Arms – Book Marketing Results

Where are the best places to promote your e-book? Check out these numbers to see. Thank Nicholas Rossis for gathering this invaluable data and putting these results together, and to everyone who shared their numbers.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Following my Call to Arms, a number of you responded by sharing with me your book marketing experience. I now have about a hundred responses by some fifty authors. Although some of the responses were expected, there were quite a few surprises in there for me.

Methodology

For anyone wishing to take a look at the raw data, you can download this Excel spreadsheet. I grouped the results according to whether the book was offered full-price, discounted or free. I also have a fourth category titled Other, that includes any entries where this was not specified.

To compare the various ad media, I came up with a number that represents the ratio between number of sales and cost of advertising. In other word, if you spent $1 and had one sale, then this number would be one. If you spent $1 and had two sales, the number would be two, etc.

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Amazon Bundles of Kindle Series: Noticed This?

Bundle

KINDLE SERIES BUNDLES

Amazon appears to be bundling some Kindle series now.

Please thank sword and sorcery fantasy author Charles E. Yallowitz for mentioning this, and for letting me use the image for this post.

If you want to check out how this looks at Amazon, you can see it in action with Charles E. Yallowitz’s Legends of Windemere series:

Legends of Windemere

(By the way, I’m a big fan of the storytelling and characterization of this series.)

Here is how it works:

  • On books 1-5, below the Amazon description, there is a heading called Books In This Series (5 Books), with thumbnails below the heading.
  • The left thumbnail shows 3 of the books. It’s called the Complete Series.
  • To its right, each volume is shown separately, numbered clearly 1 thru 5.
  • The price of the complete series appears to be exactly the same as buying each volume individually.
  • It’s automatic, if you complete the series info at KDP. However, not every series is showing like this. It may depend on how many volumes you have in the series or other factors.

It’s not perfect yet.

Here are a few issues that I see:

  • Where are the savings? Customers don’t appear to save 1 penny by buying the whole series.
  • Missing volumes. Charles actually has 7 volumes in this series, but only the first 5 are showing.

But there are benefits:

  • Finally, it’s easy to find the volumes of a series. As a customer who reads sci-fi and fantasy series, I have firsthand experience struggling to find all the volumes of a series and read them in order.
  • It looks cool.

This is new. So maybe it isn’t perfected yet.

Maybe Amazon will offer KDP authors the opportunity to offer the series bundle with incentive pricing.

That would be nice:

  • We wouldn’t need to create a separate omnibus edition.
  • If purchasing the bundle impacts the sales ranks of each volume individual (to be determined), this would be an improvement over the omnibus.

Have you seen this bundle yet?

What do you think about it?

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

#1 New Release banner—is this new to Amazon?

New Release 2

#1 NEW RELEASE

Amazon has had bestseller rankings and new release rankings for ages.

But orange #1 bestseller banners in subcategories have appeared in recent months, showing both on product pages and in search results.

And now I see an orange #1 new release banner in subcategories showing on product pages.

In the hot fiction genres, it’s really hard to earn these tags in most subcategories.

I’ve actually seen the #1 bestseller banner on a handful of my nonfiction books in various subcategories, sometimes with a sales rank around 5,000, but occasionally with a sale rank closer to 100,000.

This is the first I’ve seen the #1 new release banner, and it really seemed odd finding it on a book that had only sold a couple of copies so far. Evidently, there aren’t many new releases in the same subcategory.

I like these orange banners. Though I wouldn’t mind if the extended them beyond just #1. As soon as you fall off to #2, you don’t have any banner at all. As if to say, who would want to read #2 in the subcategory?

Personally, I think Amazon should focus more on subcategory rank than overall rank. Customers see a book ranked 500,000 overall and immediately conclude it’s not selling (among print books, it could actually be selling 10 or more copies per month). Sometimes, a higher sales rank deters sales, which loses Amazon sales in niche markets where books might sell a few copies per month consistently.

If a book is ranked well overall, Amazon should show the overall rank. But if a book isn’t ranked well overall, Amazon should hide that rank and instead only show the subcategory ranks. Hey, in this subcategory, this book is #12. Sometimes Amazon shows both. However, Amazon always shows the overall rank, and doesn’t show the subcategory rank unless it’s very good.

That seems backwards to me.

Amazon’s own ranking algorithm may cost Amazon sales. Take the books that spend most of the time ranked 500,000 and up. Among millions of books, these sales add up considerably; it’s a significant amount for Amazon. But it could be higher. Several times, customers see books ranked 500,000 and up and pass on the sale. Maybe customers buy a better-ranked book instead; but other times, the customer may have bought both, or the customer may buy nothing at all.

Still, I think these new orange banners are a step in the right direction.

It’s pretty cool when you happen to find one on your book.

Take a screenshot as a souvenir.

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.

Check out these Cover Reveals (good variety)

Curtains from ShutterStock; cover designed by Melissa Stevens at theillustratedauthor.net

Curtains from ShutterStock; cover designed by Melissa Stevens at http://www.theillustratedauthor.net

COVER REVEALS

Why do a cover reveal for just my own book?

Why not do a cover reveal for a variety of new books by different authors?

So that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I was fortunate to get some really cool covers when I asked for volunteers for my multi-cover reveal. I might be reading a few of these books soon.

It’s not just me, apparently: A few of these authors had some impressive sales ranks of their other books (one has an author rank in the top 100 in the category). Thank you to everyone who participated.

Check out the cool new books below.

CURSIVE HANDWRITING FOR MATH LOVERS

Julie Harper and Chris McMullen

Know someone who could use some handwriting practice, who is more interested in math than language? This unique book might be just the thing. Julie Harper has written a number of popular handwriting workbooks, such as Wacky Sentences.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/1512181323

Julie Harper’s writing website: http://wackysentences.com

Chris McMullen’s math blog: http://improveyourmathfluency.com

ICHABOD BROOKS & THE CITY OF BEASTS

Charles E. Yallowitz

This fantasy adventure was released on June 1. The author also has a popular sword and sorcery fantasy series:

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00YLUHQRK

Charles E. Yallowitz’s blog: http://legendsofwindemere.com

See the original cover reveal: http://legendsofwindemere.com/2015/05/15/cover-reveal-ichabod-brooks-the-city-of-beasts

RIDGETOP

Carol Ervin

The byline is A Mountain Women Thriller. Carol Ervin is a popular author in the historical fiction genre (though this new release is a contemporary suspense).

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00WZXA6RM

Carol Ervin’s website: http://carolervin.com

See the original cover reveal: http://carolervin.com/2015/05/01/contemporary-suspense

THE FAMILY DIVIDED

Anne Allen

This is Book 4 of the Guernsey Novels, a popular mystery series by Anne Allen.

Find this book on Amazon (available for pre-order): http://amzn.com/B00WZXA6RM

Anne Allen’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/anne.allen.12327

SEARCH FOR THE GOLDEN SERPENT

Luciana Cavallaro

This looks like mythological and historical fiction with a modern-day hero—an intriguing blend.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00TO8TT9W

Luciana Cavallaro’s blog: http://luccav.com/blog

See the original cover reveal: http://luccav.com/2015/03/27/up-up-and-away

THE MADNESS ENGINE

Paul B. Spence

This is the third book of the Awakening sci-fi series.

Find this book on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00WLGX4TK

See the original cover reveal: https://northofandover.wordpress.com/2015/04/24/and-the-new-one-too

ONCE BURNT, TWICE BLIND

Christine Plouvier

This is the sequel to Irish Firebrands.

Find this series on Amazon: http://amzn.com/1484165705

Christine Plouvier’s blog: https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com

See the original cover reveal: https://irishfirebrands.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/irish-firebrands-sequel-gets-title-and-cover

DEATH BEFORE DAYLIGHT

Shannon A. Thompson

Coming in September, but you can get started with Book 1 of the series, Minutes Before Sunset.

Check out Shannon A. Thompson’s other books: http://www.amazon.com/Shannon-A.-Thompson/e/B00AXANG76

See the original cover reveal: http://shannonathompson.com/2015/05/20/deathbeforedaylightcr

HOW LONG ARE THE BOOKS THAT YOU READ?

Have time for a quick survey?

You can view the results when you’re done.

https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/how-long-are-the-books-that-you-read-survey

Write happy, be happy. 🙂

HAVE A COVER REVEAL?

Authors, have you done a cover reveal recently? Doing one soon?

If so, please leave a comment to let me know.

Once your cover reveal goes live, provide a link to it so I can include your cover reveal the next time I do a post like this.

Chris McMullen

Copyright © 2015

Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers

  • Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
  • Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
  • 4-in-1 Boxed set includes both volumes and more
  • Kindle Formatting Magic (coming soon)

Follow me at WordPress, find my author page on Facebook, or connect with me through Twitter.