Sunday, December 7, 2014

My KDP Countdown Marketing Strategy

In a couple weeks I'm going to have two books go sale via the Amazon KDP Select.  Of course, this doesn't do much good if no one knows it's about to happen, so it pays to advertise.  It's easy to go overboard on that stuff, though, so I deliberately took a nice, moderate approach.  And I am by no means an expert.  I am not writing this to say "these are the site you should use to become a best seller."  I don't now any golden secrets there.  I'm just writing this because I'm proud of my simplistic, organized approach.  That's what I'm sharing here.

The reason for my launching this campaign at all: my newest book, Hungry Gods, which is now up for preorder.  To help that along, I am also putting a related short story, Puppet Theatre, on for free and my other novel, Tarnish, on a countdown (both the week of December 14, btw.)  By launching countdown deals on these two works, I hope to draw more attention to the third.

The initial, guiding principles I wanted to use were:
   1. Budgeting.  I didn't want to spend more than one day's worth of time or more than $100 on this.  (Because I believe that, despite a lot of talk about this subject, marketing for us little-known writers just starting out is going to have a very limited effect.  Therefore, I also employed:
   2. 80/20.  How can I get 80% of the effect from 20% of the effort?

So then I set my plan:
   1. Marketing plan.  Meaning, which services am I going to use?
   2. Author central messages.  I went to Author Central and added a line to my books pointing them all toward the 50% preorder deal on my newest book.
   3. Set my KDP dates.  After checking the availability of my chosen services, I set the countdown and freebie periods and made them official.
   4. Buy the plans.  For those marketing outlets that I'd selected (now that I had my official dates), I went ahead and bought the services.

Easy, right?  Again, I'm not trying to blow anyone's mind here, I'm showing how I simplified the process for myself to keep it organized, easy, and cheap (on time and money, both of which I need to be frugal with).

So which sites did I choose?  I decided to not go with some of the tweeting services I've seen.  I just don't know how reliable a medium that is.  It seems to me that a lot of those thousands of followers could be (1) fake and (2) largely authors like myself who have signed up with intent to advertise, not necessarily buy.  So I skipped the tweeters.

I found a service at that allowed me to submit my freebie listing to 30+ different services by filling out just one form.  Talk about 80/20!  Definitely worth it to me for the $15 fee.  Similarly, I picked just two email services that seemed to me to be relatively big fish with nice presentation rather than ones that didn't look quite as professional.  I went with ($20 for the higher tier service) and BargainBooksy ($40 for SF).  You can judge for yourselves whether these were good choices.

The obvious question is, "What about Bookbub?"  I did submit there multiple times but never made the cut.  (I suspect it has to do, at least partially, with not having enough reviews yet.)  There were a couple other services I was looking at too, but in order to stay within my budgets I decided that that was it.  Good enough.  All I really needed was for potential readers to be directed to any one of my books, which are all wearing arrows pointing toward the new novel.  That's the ultimate goal here for me anyway.

So there you go.  No revelations, just sharing what I've done.  Will it work?  Don't know yet, but I sure hope so!

Any indie authors with tips, suggestions, or questions, please do comment!

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