So, You’re a Published Author. How’s That Goin’ for Ya? by Keri Kruspe
Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Keri Kruspe as she shares with us “So, You’re a Published Author. How’s That Goin’ For Ya?” by Keri Kruspe Enjoy!
Whew…it’s been a busy month and a half since I launched by debut novel in the middle of October. A lot has happened – some good, some not so good. But that’s why I wrote these articles, to share what worked and what didn’t. I’m hoping if I tell you some of my mishaps, it’d save someone else a headache.
That said, let’s start where I left off in my last article.
HOW’D I DO?
In my last article, I told you that I sold 26 copies – 25 on Amazon and 1 on Apple. As of December 15th, I reached 114 on Amazon and 7 with Apple/Kobo and Barnes & Noble.
My mailing list has been anemic at best. On last report, I had 14 subscribers – today I have a whopping 20. My goal of 100 by thirty days is lacking, to say the least.
SO… WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST 30 DAYS?
Here’s where I confess I would have done things differently. Not that doing the ads was wrong. On the contrary I know I wouldn’t have had the sales I did without it. I just did it too long. Should have stuck with two weeks, not a month and a half.
I chose to do sponsored ads, budgeting myself at $10.00 a day. I think all-in-all I was pretty successful with it. I generated over 245,195 “hits” (meaning my ad was shown that many times) and 618 “clicks” (how many clicked to see my book and generated a charge, anywhere from .10 to 1.00, depending on the bid amount I allowed for that section.) For sales of $68.34. (This is before royalties).
What I would have done differently — My cost per sales is an average whopping 0.56 per click, way too high when compared to the monies generated. Of course, the problem is in my pricing. Remember, I had the book out at $0.99 – which means Amazon keeps 35%. No way am I going to make any money doing that. My original intention was to have the book out for $0.99 for two weeks but that plan was changed (see section – blog tour).
Conclusion — My ad campaign is in a big fat red zone. I think if I was to do this over, I would stick to my original plan of only having the book out for two weeks at $0.99 and then run it at a price of $2.99. I’ve since suspended my AMS ads and will revisit it when my second book comes out.
Beth recommended I send my book on a blog tour. Blog tour? Holy cow, I’m lucky I know how to post something to Facebook. How was I supposed to do a blog tour? Not only that, I didn’t know any bloggers to ask. So, of course, I did the next best thing. I hired someone to set it up for me. Through some recommendations, I’ve hired “Goddess Fish” to organize and conduct my blog tour.
They have several options to choose from and because I work full time, I choose a $69.00 plan where I don’t have to be hands on all day. The bad thing was they were booked and I had to wait three weeks for the tour to begin on November 29th to 45 different blogs in 7 days. As far as I can tell, the tour did not generate any sales, nor did it give me new sign ups. I did, however, get a lovely review on Amazon. Just a side note, it’s because of the blog tour that I’ve kept my book at $0.99. Once it was over, I increased the cost to $2.99.
This is an area that Beth recommended up front that I do. I put it off for a couple of weeks due to trying to get the second book ready for the content editor and finally got around to signing up. Once I got on the site I was thrilled! As a reader, the ability to access those of like mind of my genre outdid what I believe Amazon does.
Once my author page was approved, I dove into Bookbub marketing. As of now, I am running three different ads (with a daily budget of $5.00 each.) As of December 15th, I’ve spend $39.38 for 78 clicks at a click-through rate of 1.48% (or $.50 per click.) While each click does not necessarily mean sales, it does mean people are seeing my novel. Since I started the ads on December 11th, I have reached a larger audience worldwide and not just on Amazon. In fact, I’ve turned off the Amazon US link and will concentrate on the other vendors (i.e. Kobo, Apple, etc.), which I neglected before.
I advertised on LoveRomanceReads for the last thirty days. I don’t know if I’ve attracted any new folks from there, but hey, $35.00 for the month was hard to resist. I have not pursued my accounts on Twitter or Yahoo Groups. I’ve updated my author pages on Amazon, D2D, Bookbub, and Goodreads.
One thing I have done religiously is send out weekly updated emails to my subscribers. And I’ve also kept my website up-to-date, including an excerpt from the second book, D’zia’s Dilemma.
Something else that took up most of my time was trying to format my book into paperback. What a nightmare! I researched on how to do it and worked diligently on getting it right only to fail…three times. The first time, I thought I had everything perfect and ordered five copies — don’t do that. It cost me over $60.00 and they were awful. I tried two more times (another $30) and finally relented and hired someone to do it for me. Fourth time a charm and my beautiful paperback was released Thanksgiving week.
To recap, I didn’t reach my goal of 100 subscribers, still trying to figure that out. In the meantime, the second book will come out the end of December, and I’m editing my third to send to my beta readers before the end of the year. Am I discouraged? Not at all! I’m learning and growing in my chosen passion.
The best advice I could give anyone is to surround yourself with those who are encouraging and love to help. Beth and the gang at the Writer’s Fun Zone are a wealth of support and inspiration to me. In turn, I hope my continued journey is an inspiration for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Keri Kruspe has been an author since the age of twelve and has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end in Happily Ever After. Her current works, An Alien Exchange trilogy will have its first release by Winter 2018. The trilogy conclusions — D’zia’s Dilemma and Ki’s Redemption — will soon follow by the first quarter of 2019.
As a native Nevadan, Keri now resides with her family in the wilds of Northwestern Michigan. An avid reader, Keri enjoys good wine, good food, and watching action/adventure movies. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world of writing or traveling with her hubby in their RV, discovering intelligent life here on Earth. Don’t forget to visit her website at www.kerikruspe.com. Leave your feedback and sign up for her newsletter!