How to get the most out of a promotion

When I put up a page full of books, I can see interesting patterns emerge. No, in case you’re asking, position on the page has little to do with how well a book sells. Box sets usually do very well, which I why I elected to put them at the bottom of the page, and darn it, they still do really well.

From a reader’s perspective, a book will do well if:

  • The cover is attractive and well-designed. Covers with bright colours tend to draw the attention more, but by far the covers doing well are those that reflect the sort of book the readers are going to get. Covers, blurb and the book’s designated categories must all point in the same direction.
  • The sales are also increased if the deal represents value. This is why box sets always do well in 99c sales. But 99c for a novella isn’t as good a deal as 99c for a big epic fantasy novel.
  • Books do well if readers don’t see the same deal every time. For this reason, new books and new writers often do well in the promo, and writers who keep coming back with the same books see their sales diminish.
  • On the other hand, books also do well if the writer comes back most most months but discounts different books, and if the writer has a large and active social media following.

Covers and blurbs can be changed quickly, but a social media following is not quick or easy to build up. With each reader you add to your list or Facebook page, you increase your reach, and this benefit is magnified by however many writers take part in a cross-promotion. That, ultimately, is the value of a promotion like this.