This is material I included in the introductory segment of The Indy Author Podcast Episode 075 related to my 2021 04 18 BookBub Featured Deal.
For today’s personal update … on the publishing front, I thought I’d give you an update on a BookBub Featured Deal I ran on April 18.
I got accepted for a BookBub Featured Deal for Ann Kinnear Book 1: THE SENSE OF DEATH, which I had applied for in the run-up to the launch of Book 4: A FURNACE FOR YOUR FOE, on 4/26, hoping that readers will like Book 1 enough that they will run through the whole expanding series.
I was especially interested in how the Featured Deal would do because, despite continued tweaking, my Facebook Ads performance has been dropping. I realized that one problem was that when I got my new cover for Lizzy Ballard Book 1: ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, I retired the ad that featured the old cover, and it had almost 550 post reactions—pretty much all positive—so I lost that social credibility. I’m thinking I might turn those ads back on even though the new cover is so much cooler—at least until, I hope, the ads with the new cover catch up in terms of engagement.
On 4/18, just on Amazon, I sold 1,702 copies of TSOD at $0.99, which, factoring in a 35% royalty rate because the cost is below $2.99, delivery costs of about $0.10 per ebook (which is an easy cost to overlook), the $20 I spent yesterday on Facebook Ads, and the $478 I spent on the BookBub Featured Deal, means that I lost $78.76 just on Amazon and just on THE SENSE OF DEATH.
However, I also sold 79 copies of Ann Kinnear Books 2 and 3 and the Books 1-3 Ebook Box Set, which is many more than I normally sell when I just have Facebook Ads running. And, because the novels are $4.99 and the box set is $8.99 and earn a 70% royalty, that meant I earned $175.81 just on Amazon and just from the Ann Kinnear Series. (In fact, I made more than that because I’m not bothering to break out the higher box set price—I just count those sales the same as sales of the single novels.) Plus, I also sold 12 Ann Kinnear Suspense Shorts, which I normally don’t factor into my profit analysis at all.
I was very disappointed that there were NO sales on Google Play. I’m trying to follow Mark Leslie Lefebvre’s advice on giving all the platforms some love, but it’s hard to do when it’s so difficult to break in, even with something as big as a BookBub Featured Deal.
I sold 73 copies of THE SENSE OF DEATH on Kobo—which I’m now going direct to—four copies of Books 2 and 3 in the series and, interestingly 4 copies of the ebook box set, which is a much higher percentage than on any other platform. That bears out what I’ve heard—that Kobo customers like box sets.
On Draft2Digital, I checked my sales throughout the day and was seeing nothing, but I was gratified to look up my sales from 4/18 today and see that I sold 333 copies of THE SENSE OF DEATH and 10 of the other books in the series. That was fairly evenly divided across Apple and Barnes & Noble.
I was hoping that my sales of the Lizzy Ballard Thrillers might see a spillover uptick, but I really didn’t sell many more of those yesterday than I normally do. However, I think it’s reasonable to assume that people who read and enjoy THE SENSE OF DEATH will not only continue to buy the follow-on Ann Kinnear novels, box set, and suspense shorts, but might also move over to the Lizzy books, because they share the same theme of what happens when an extraordinary ability transforms an ordinary life.
Another super fun result of the BookBub Featured Deal was that for a few glorious hours, THE SENSE OF DEATH was number one on Amazon, in Psychic Suspense. Ghost Fiction, and Ghost Suspense, and at one point reached number 49 in the entire Kindle store.
I think some of the success of the Featured Deal is that I have 230 ratings for the sense of death on Amazon. It has a 4.5 average rating. And so if people could get to that page and see the details, I think they were incented by the good reaction that previous readers have had to it.
Of course every BookBub Featured Deal is going to shoot a book into these desirable ranks, but I’m hoping that with continued care and feeding of my Facebook Ads, and as more readers can add their votes to the ratings and help spread the word to their friends, I can retain some of this momentum over a long tail.
Tune into The Indy Author Podcast for continued updates!
2021 04 20 Update
Sales continued strong the day after the BookBub Featured Deal, with 312 sales of THE SENSE OF DEATH and 39 sales of Books 2 and 3. Having accounted for the full cost of the BookBub FD ($478) on 4/19, that means a profit of ~$190 on the Ann Kinnear series just on Amazon.
On 4/19, also got 104 sales of THE SENSE OF DEATH via D2D (Apple and B&N, plus a sale on Overdrive) and 30 on Kobo.
Finally seeing some sales on Google Play--woo hoo! 47 sales from the series from 4/18 only showed up today (4/20).
Still #1 in Psychic Suspense, Ghost Fiction, and Ghost Suspense--woo hoo!--even though the rank is dropping.
Matty Dalrymple is the author of the Ann Kinnear Suspense Novels and is the principal at William Kingsfield Publishers.