HOW much?

I was never the least bit fascinated by figures, but now I’m running my own global company, I have to be. And I’m finding it interesting!

Nice pic? Here’s what I had to do to drive a book up to the top of the US iBook store’s romance section (and tenth in their whole store that day.)

On October 6th I invested in a Bookbub promotion. Bookbub is the world leader in online book advertising. You tell them what you’re interested in and they’ll send you 1 – 4 deals each day ONLY for that genre. It’s very hard for authors to get accepted, so readers know they’re being offered successful books. It works like crazy. It’s also not cheap.

OK, they agreed to offer my boxed set of three Wellington novels for 99 cents. Ridiculously good value. Bookbub charges $US734 for a one-day space for a 99 cent book. That’s $NZ1023. Ow!

Bear in mind I’m entirely indie. I have no kindly publisher offering me their promotional money and international clout. So what else am I going to do to make this go well enough to cover the awful cost?

A free ad in Read, which is very supportive of indie authors. A Choosy Bookworm ad for $US48 ($NZ68.56). An ad three days after the BookBub on EReader News Today, which costs $US55 ($NZ78.85). And a ‘Deal of the Day’ on FreeBooksy/BargainBooksy five days after the Bookbub which is $US125 ($NZ177.25).

That’s all I dared to spend, but I could have gone on and on booking spaces…

I also sent out a newsletter to my readers, and a couple of good friends gave me a reciprocal mention in theirs. And there was some retweeting and sharing of Facebook messages – a very nice bonus. Thank you!

That’s a total of $US962 or $NZ1348 out. Scary numbers when you’re getting a royalty of only 33 cents per sale in! I’m willing to share that results for October 6th and 7th look like this:

Amazon 2166 sales. Kobo 101. iBooks 402. B&N Nook 491.

So for the first two days we’re looking at 3160 sales, and at 33 cents per sale, that’s around $US1042 in. (Remember $962 has gone out.) I can see 141 sales for today on Amazon as I’m writing this, so I’ve squeaked home. Two more ads to follow – maybe there’ll be enough to pay some tax as well! You see how close things can get?


It feels good having a screenshot confirming that my books reached the 62nd place in the whole Kindle store, but as a way of making money for an author on her own… it can be precarious.