Launch Post-Mortem

The Kindle Countdown Deal is over.  The First Kingdom is back to its original $3.99 price.  The advertisements have ended.  The official launch has concluded.

So how’d I do?  I can’t say I’m impressed, but I’m not depressed either.  Before I started this, my unspoken goal for this launch was to sell 100 copies.  I am a new author with no other works, so I had that going against me.  But given what I’d spent on advertising and the like, I’d hoped that I’d somehow manage to get to triple digits.  Unfortunately, I did not.  However, I got close.  How close?  We’ll take this day by day.

July 1 2016

Originally, I had five advertisers planned for this day.  But I got rejected from E-Reader News Today, twice.  (Once for submitting too early and the second time for…who knows?)  I then I had second thoughts about another advertiser.  So I wound up with three.

  1. Book Barbarian ($20)
  2. Digital Book Today ($30)
  3. E. B. Brown’s Mega Promo ($15)

Units sold: 21

I wound up selling 21 “units.”  This would, somehow, be my best day.  I figure Book Barbarian was probably responsible for most of the sales, though this is merely based on what I’ve read about other’s results.  It’s not so easy to attribute to only one of them.  Given how well I did, I would still book with any of these three again.

July 2, 2016

On my second day, I actually did have five advertisers booked.

  1. Bargain Booksy ($40)
  2. Free Kindle Books and Tips ($25)
  3. Books Butterfly ($50)
  4. Ripley’s Book List ($5)
  5. Patty Jensen’s Promo (free)

Units sold: 19

This was my second best day, and it was still a bit of a letdown.  I had more advertisers, and had clearly spent more money on them, and it was still a decline from Day One.  The best deals were obviously Patty Jensen’s Promo and Ripley’s Book List.  Books Butterfly and Bargain Booksy are both fairly expensive.  Yet it’s hard to attribute sales to any one of these.  If I were to book with them again, I’d probably do one a day just to get a better idea of the results they generate.

July 3, 2016

Technically, I started with only one advertiser booked.  But I learned of a free one and so it doubled.  And Book Butterfly also counts subsequent days, as does Patty Jensen’s Promo.

  1. Betty Book Freak ($12)
  2. Book Raid (free)

Units sold:  8

Well, it was a more than 50% drop, in sales but also in spending.  Both of today’s bookings were reasonably priced, and though I didn’t sell as many, I wouldn’t knock either of them.

July 4, 2016

Independence Day.  Even though it was a national holiday, I still had ads going out.

  1. Book Basset ($21.99)
  2. Sweet Free Books ($7)
  3. Read Freely (free)

Units sold: 7

And this wasn’t even the worst day.  Read Freely didn’t guarantee a day, so it was a surprise to see my book come up in their newsletter.  Sweet Free Books is a reasonable deal.  Book Basset though?  I guess we can just blame the holiday for it, unless someone else had a similar experience?

July 5, 2016

This was the worst day of the entire launch.  I honestly wasn’t expecting such terrible results.

  1. Awesome Gang ($10)
  2. eBook Soda ($15)

Units sold: 3

That’s THREE.  I could not be more disappointed with the results.  I would probably not book with either of these sites again.  I wonder if I saved myself the $25 if I’d still have three sales.  Gosh.  I should ask for a refund, but you know, you take your chances when book with certain sites.  These two did not work for me.

July 6, 2016

Given how poorly I did the previous day, my expectations were low.

  1. Flurries of Words ($10)
  2. Genre Pulse ($17)

Units sold:  11

Sales jumped up again.  I’d heard positive things about Genre Pulse and they actually provided easily accessible stats.  Take a look:

GP

So I had a lot of clicks, though how many of those are unique clicks are impossible to distinguish.  And Flurries of Words tweeted all day about the book.  So you know, I’d go with either of these two again.

July 7, 2016

I only had one thing going for me this day.

  1. Amazon Marketing Services (up to $15 a day)

Units sold:  7

I cannot attribute any of my sales to Amazon’s Marketing.  If you check the graph above, you’ll see a lot more clicks from Genre Pulse on this day, which was probably responsible for my sales.  Amazon gives you the statistics and I had about 9 clicks and zero sales from their ads.  But they only charge you for clicks, so it’s not that expensive.  It just hasn’t shown any results.

What I Haven’t Mentioned

I also posted The First Kingdom sale on my Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as sent out a newsletter to my mailing list.  Yes, people actually signed up for my mailing list.  I can attribute that to the E. B. Brown Promo.  Now, taken together, these probably generated 5-10 units sold over the course of seven days.  I did confirm with some friends that they bought it.

Let’s take a look at the most important statistic:  how much I spent and how much I made.

Advertising:  $277.99

Units sold:  76

Royalty:  $44.56 (US)

2.70 GBP

3.56 CAD

3.79 AUD

So I made about $50 and sold 74 (2 were refunded).  If I was approaching this like a business, than I’d be operating at a net loss.  The advertising cost doesn’t even take into account paying for a website and a cover.  But, that’s not the right way to look at it.  The entire point of all of this was to get myself out there.  And though I only sold 75% of my unspoken goal, that’s still a passing grade.

You see, I only budgeted myself what I got back in taxes from Uncle Sam this year.  And I still have money left from that.  So this wasn’t bad at all.  I even made some money back.  And this doesn’t include pages read royalties from Kindle Unlimited, which there hasn’t been much of anyway.  So I didn’t get a huge return on investment, but I did get people to buy and hopefully read my novel.  And this was only the beginning of a very long process.  There’s much more to do, which I’ll go into next time.

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