The Left Handed Study Promotion: Day 1

The Left Handed Study Promotion: Day 1

 

I launched The Left Handed Study quietly at first because I wanted to see the results of what self-publishers call a soft launch. The early results were better than I thought. Of the million or so ebooks available for downloading on Amazon The Left Handed Study quickly rose to 52, 169 (if memory serves) in the rankings. If you think about rankings in terms of percentages, 52,169 is not bad. Amazon claims they have over a million ebooks in their ranking database so The Left Handed Study was near or in the top 5%. So what is a soft launch?

 

A soft launch can be characterized as notifying your network and seeing what happens. And since my last name isn’t Kardashian, my soft launch promotional activities were as modest as my network and consisted of a few posts to my 50 or so Facebook Friends, a couple of Tweets, a posting on LinkedIn to my 500+ contacts and a dozen or so free books I sent to friends and relatives. Those activities completed, my ranking dropped like a bomb out of an airplane over the following days. I sank steadily, first to the low 100,000’s, until The Left Handed Study was all the way down to 455,000+ after a week of non-marketing. But success is always a cocktail and and I had a secret ingredient planned.

 

Before getting to that ingredient, allow me to digress and explain my marketing strategy. My marketing strategy is built around finding 500-1,000 avid readers, fans. One way to do that is to give your ebook away for a few days, Amazon let’s you have five free days within any 90-day period, and hope broad exposure and massive free downloads will produce a cadre of dedicated readers. Of course free ebooks need to be promoted too so I again leaned on my network and hired Ebook Booster to blast my free-download days promotion out to 40 other websites that do nothing but promote free ebooks. My $35.00 booster investment exposed by book to well over 100,000 potential readers and the results were astonishing.

 

My free copy promotion was scheduled to start on April 1. However, and this is interesting, on March 31, the day before the promotion, The Left Handed Study started climbing in the rankings. On March 31 The Left Handed Study’s ranking rose from the mid-400’s to 109,771. As context, my guess is that ranking rise represents a few dozen sales. When you’re that far down it doesn’t take much to see a significant rise in Amazon’s rankings. I believe those sales came from the websites Booster used to promote by give-away and were caused by them doing some kind of advance announcement. Some curious readers read my teaser copy, my short description of the story, and went to Amazon early, found The Left Handed Study, and bought the $2.99 version. That was nice but the promotion really exceeded all my expectations.

 

The next day, April 1 at 5:00 in the morning, my ranking had declined to 139,105. I have no idea why and don’t care because by noon, The Left Handed Study had surged to a remarkable 10,124 and ranked #26 in the “Crime Fiction – Murder” and #77 in the “Thriller – Crime” categories, respectively. That was incredible but it gets better.

 

The Left Handed Study continued to climb throughout the day and by 2:30 was ranked 4,333 out of over a million ebooks, in the top 0.04% of all free ebooks. By 5:00 that afternoon the free copy must have been burning up Amazon’s servers because The Left Handed Study was ranked at 3,038 and at 10:00 pm, my last check, The Left Handed Study was ranked 2,384 overall and was #12 in the “Crime Fiction – Murder” and #34 in the “Thriller – Crime” categories. I suspect that first day will be the high-water mark for the promotion, which is fine.

 

This morning (April 2 at 7:00 a.m.) The Left Handed Study ranked at 2,114 (#11 for Murder and #35 for Crime) but by mid-morning it had dropped slightly to 2,281 and by mid-afternoon it was at 2,538 and ranked #13 in “Murder” and #37 in “Crime”. Those remain respectable numbers but the tide may be ebbing. We’ll know more tomorrow. I’ll explain the rest of my strategy then as well.

 

Steve

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