How do you judge your marketing success if you don’t have direct access to book sales?
Well, to some degree, you can’t judge individual campaign types or individual ad success. Amazon rankings can help, but once again, the system there is comparative and inconsistent.
When publishing traditionally, you generally get schedule reports with paychecks. Mine are distributed quarterly. This means every three months. Therefore, I expect to receive my first either in late September or early October. Once I receive the first, the rest will be easy to parse out.
For writers who self-publish, knowing sales can be much easier; however, it can be tempting to jump techniques after a few days of no change. Generally, a few weeks are necessary for the full results of any marketing campaign. At the very least, a week should be given to any single day marketing plugs, a month to any week ones, and such on and so forth. You’re looking for long term results not sudden sales which might result in returns.
When should you take the leap?
If you want to full analyze your marketing campaigns, determine a way to look at sales and space out the ads / tours / etc. If you put them too close together, you might not be able to tell the immediate results of other from the residual of the previous. Aim for a mix of temporary and longer remaining marketing types. Temporary, herein, being ad campaigns or anything that will not remain after a prescribed period. If the ad vanishes to some degree, it’s temporary. This means it’s less likely to have long term residual effects. A longer remaining type – blog tours, tweets – will remain searchable and appear on search engines long after the original hype. By remaining, they increase your result frequency and up the chance of someone stumbling across your book.
Like any other platform, it takes a long time to formulate a foundation of consistent book sales. If you aren’t willing to dedicate time for a full year, publishing might not be for you. Writing does not have immediate results. It can be incredible slow. Patience and practice are vital for success.