We’re very open about our book marketing packages and book launch details – even though a lot of what we do involves “magic” secrets that other people charge hundreds of dollars for, we’re up front about what we require. Because we know what works.
And even though our clients know what they’re getting into, sometimes they balk once we get started.
“What do you mean I have to give my book away for free?!” They ask.
I get it. You worked hard on your book. And maybe you’ve even done some research and learned that many established authors are moving away from KDP Select or free giveaway campaigns because they “aren’t worth it.”
And why the heck would you pay us money for book marketing, if we are just going to give your book away for free and not make a return on your investment.
It sounds sketchy, right?
Here’s the thing: Your number one priority shouldn’t be to make sales. Not in the beginning. Your number one priority is to connect with readers who are going to love your book, and turn them into champions. There’s a lot of competition. It’s going to be very hard for anyone to give a damn about your book.
First you have to gain their trust. If they don’t know you, you can get blurbs and reviews from lots of people – and hopefully other authors they do trust. But even that may not be enough for them to pay for something they’ve never heard of until a minute ago. Which is why, during launch week, you need to be everywhere so it seems like everyone is talking about you.
But even if you do everything right, you’ll get a trickle of sales. You want a torrent. A flood.
Most books simply aren’t cut out to be mega bestsellers, but you’ll never know if you don’t give your book a big heavy push to see if it picks up speed. Setting your book for free removes all resistance and will allow thousands of people who might enjoy it to give your book a chance. After that it’s up to the book.
Why can’t you just do it yourself?
I’m liberal with my book marketing advice, and I always tell people to do this:
1. Do a KDP free campaign for 5 days.
2. Set the book at 99cents for two weeks.
3. Set the book at 3.99, and write another book.
But then they do that and tell me it didn’t work. Nothing happened.
Setting your book for free doesn’t do anything by itself. You’ve got to tell people about it.
And you’ve got to tell the right people, in the right way.
If you do your own free campaign and just change the price to zero, you might get a few dozen downloads. For most fiction genres, a well promoted, well publicized free campaign should get over 5,000. And for some of the books we’ve promoted, we’ve gotten over 25,000!
True, not all of those people are going to read your book. They might just skim. It might not really interest them.
But you want to get that number as high as possible, because about 40% of those people will read it. And about 10% will like it. And 3% will love it. If you get 100 free downloads, that means maybe 3 people will leave a positive review. But if you get 5,000 downloads, you may get 150 reviews from fans who really enjoyed your book. And if you can get 150 reviews, that book will probably continue to sell briskly. That’s the goal. That’s why we do free campaigns.
We don’t do marketing that involves lots of advertising, because after the book launch if we haven’t done our job well, your book will drop down the rankings and virtually disappear, and all the sales will dry up. Maybe we could sell 1000 copies quickly, and you’d make a bunch of money…. but then it might be dead in the water.
Instead, we do a powerful free campaign because we’ve found it provides more valuable, long-term results, followed by a 99cent campaign because it’s easier to stay on top of the paid listings, and if we’ve done everything right, the book will continue to sell with almost no marketing from then on, providing stable passive income.