I’ve done a few promotions (paid and free) in the past, but I find that besides Bookbub, it’s extremely hard to get a good return on investment (ROI). BargainBooksy gets high results, but when you’ve got to lower your price and deal with a price per book (PPB) of ~$0.35, you need a high amount to cross the threshold. Which is why I avoid longer promotions.
Three days show better results for me than a week, but I wanted to test a long one, so we saw a 9-day spread. Starting on June 17th and the last promotion on June 26th. Officially, price lowered on the 17th and returned to normal on the 27th. I priced at $0.99 (usually $3.99).
Some of these are new, and a number are ones people requested as they had good results elsewhere.
6/17 – BookGorilla ($50 – Fantasy)
6/18 – Fussy Librarian ($20 – Horror/Fantasy – Urban)
6/19 – Price Dropped Books ($21 – Fantasy)
6/20 – Bargain Booksy ($40 – Fantasy/Paranormal)
6/21 – Book Send ($35 – Fantasy)
6/22 – Genre Pulse ($17 – Fantasy)
6/26 – Robin Reads ($40 – Horror)
I would never usually do the gap between Genre Pulse and Robin Reads normally, but I didn’t want to have the price too high when I was basically betting on this failing due to the timeline. All in all, over $200 spent. With that price point, I had to get ~800 in sale to get a profit.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get close.
Sales remained even or comparably normal on all days except those associated with BookGorilla (10x normal sales), Bargain Booksy (20 x normal sales), and Robin Reads (20x normal sales). Everybody else saw it returning to normal.
I’ve used Fussy Librarian a few times in the past, and I’ve seen more success with my regular price than with a sales price. However, I’m a firm believer in over-saturation, so I wouldn’t be shocked if my success in the past decreased my chance of success currently. I’d maybe only run a book through them twice (one – first coming out, two – special price).
At the prices above, even with the increase in sales, BookGorilla wouldn’t be worth it in my book. Bargain Booksy performs well repeatedly for me. Robin Reads, however, was new.
As some of you also know, summer months in the US (June, July, August) see drops in book sales, so June generally has a dip. This makes Robin Reads all the more interesting to me. I don’t plan on another paid promotion test until October, but I’ll add that one to my list of second test runs. BookGorilla – unlikely to do again.
And on long promotions? Hard no. This reinforced exactly what I thought, what every other bit of data I find states – short flash sales or sales no longer than 3 days do the best. Keep it to a single day. Push that ‘going, going, gone’ consumer panic button by keeping things short.