Tuesday 26 April 2016

Sharing My Progress: Promoting Tales From Virdura

So, you may or may not know that my new fantasy flash fiction collection, Tales From Virdura, went up for pre-order last week Monday.

I'm going to do something I've never done before - I'm going to share with you how exactly I'm going about promoting and marketing it, and try to be as honest as I possibly can about the results.

Here goes...

The book first went up on Goodreads on 10 October last year. It had no edition label, other than "ebook", but it had the first draft of my product description. The product description changed a few times between the time it first went up, and the time the book was loaded to the retailers.

I contacted my cover designer in January, and we had a long meeting to discuss my vision for the cover.

Fast forward all the way to 18 April 2016. I was finishing the manuscript and waiting for my cover designer.

The second I had the cover, I created and published three separate editions: one for Amazon (Kindle), one for Smashwords, and one for Kobo. At the same time I re-labelled the book on Goodreads to "Smashwords Edition", and put in the ISBN.

Smashwords approved the book the very same day, and by the following morning, it was live on iTunes. Amazon approved it later that evening, and so I created another Goodreads edition, labelled "Kindle Edition".

By now it was last week Tuesday (19 April), and so I wrote and published a blog post, advertising the book and encouraging people to pre-order it. I promised people a copy of A Petition to Magic if they would pre-order it and e-mail me their receipt.

I tweeted a link to that blog post, and promoted it:

(Please retweet the above tweet, if you're on Twitter)

At the time of this writing, that tweet has had about 33 000 impressions, 7 clicks, and has cost me R20.51 (approximately $1.42). I'll keep on updating that figure until my budget is exhausted, or the book releases, whichever comes first.

I also posted it to Facebook (but did not pay to promote it):

(As above, with the Tweet, feel free to share that Facebook post)

By the following day (Wednesday, 19 April 2016), the pre-order was live at Barnes & Noble. I updated the above blog post, and decided that now was a good time to create the official Tales From Virdura page on my website. It was also the day I created new cover images for my Twitter account, my Facebook account, and this blog.

It was Thursday by the time the Kobo Edition of Tales From Virdura finally went live, so I updated the above blog post, added a new purchase link to my website, and created the Kobo Edition of the book on Goodreads.

With all the pre-order links live, and the official page up and running, I took a chance and submitted the book for a free promotion through eBookLister. By Saturday, I saw that it was live on their site, and I was ecstatic. I also submitted to Choosy Bookworm at the same time, but as far as I know, they have not promoted it in any way.

On Sunday, I submitted to two more sites: Pretty-hot.com and ReadFree.ly. It went live on Pretty-hot later that afternoon, I haven't seen it on ReadFree.ly yet.

And that's the story so far. I am tweeting the link to the blog post (offering A Petition to Magic free) every single day until release, and posting it to Facebook once per week.

At the time of this writing, I have yet to make any pre-order sales on Amazon or Kobo. If I've sold any on iTunes, Smashwords hasn't reported them to me yet.

I'll continue to update this blog post as more information becomes available. Wish me luck!

[Update 2016-05-03] One week later... It appears that none of the other sites I submitted Tales From Virdura to are going to promote it for me. I've continued to tweet the link to the above blog post every day. I've had some retweets and likes - even a few clicks - but still no pre-orders. My Twitter campaign is still running, and I've now spent R28.01, for a total of nine clicks.

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