Every day since I began writing toward publication, I’ve sat down to my computer, rubbed my palms together in preparation, and stated the affirmation, “I am an excellent writer. I am a bestselling author.” That was six years ago when I was a decent writer with a lot to learn, and the idea of being a bestselling author seemed miles away. But I’m a firm believer in the power of affirmations. When I hit the Kindle top 100 list yesterday, I thought, Holy cow! I did it!
After a moment of grinning like a loon and jumping up and down, I came back to reality and looked at what that really meant and analyzed how it happened overnight.
As I mentioned last week, one of the key ingredients to achieving my goals is to create visibility. I spend a lot of time on Indie Romance Ink, a yahoo group where indie authors share ideas and information about all things indie. I also follow WG2E (Writer’s Guide to E-publishing) blog site where numbers are reported, analyzed and manipulated on a daily basis through creating a solid backlist of products and precise placement of advertising. D.D. Scott wrote an excellent blog on the importance of creating visibility and talked about bestseller lists and what they mean. View her blog here.
I’ve been hearing for months about review sites, promotional opportunities, and what has worked for others. The candid communication and exchange of information on WG2E, IRI, WANA Minions and YARWA has been incredible–thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. So I decided to take what I’ve learned and do my own Visibility Experiment.
Two of the promotional opportunities that are frequently mentioned are Pixel Of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily. Both are paid advertisements, but have reportedly garnered excellent results for many authors. When I finally decided to pay for the Pixel Of Ink spotlight ($119 for a one day ad), I knew I was taking a leap of faith. I had lowered the price of Heaven Is For Heroes to .99 cents and figured that I would have to sell 340 books to recoup the cost of the ad. I had no epectation that this might actually happen, but I was hopeful. I was also taking into account the long term effects of this kind of visibility and how the added exposure would fit into my overall marketing plan for the next month during my release of ON THIN ICE. I decided the cost was worth it, even if I didn’t make back my cash investment right away.
When the ad went live at 2:00 Sunday afternoon and stayed up through 2:00 on Cyber Monday, I was blown away by my results. I didn’t sell enough in one day to pay for my ad, but I did sell 170 e-books in twenty-four hours, which propelled me to #68 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary. Technically, being in the top 100 on any list puts me in the bestseller category, but THE top 100 in the Kindle paid store is a bit tougher to achieve. I would need to sell about 300 books in a day to get there, and staying there is the real trick. After the Pixel Of Ink ad came down today, sales went back to just above their normal trickle and my overall ranking in the Kindle paid store rapidly dropped from #638 to #1,219—still nothing to sneeze at in the bigger pool of 750,000 e-books. Was a day on the best seller list worth the $119 investment? You bet! Heaven Is For Heroes was viewed by about 80, 000 readers. That kind of visibility is bound to create momentum for my next book. I’ll be saving my pennies for a Kindle Nation Daily ad (about $199) in the near future and I’m not stopping there. I have a blog tour scheduled, (My first appearance is today at http://clovercheryl.blogspot.com/ where you can meet my main character, Penny from On Thin Ice). Beginning December 4th, I’ll be participating in a Blog Hop with several other authors, and I’m part of a Book Lovers Buffet .99 e-book blowout–all scheduled for December.
To further create visibility, I’m taking yet another page from Jennifer Fusco, Market Or Die guru, and working with other authors to cross promote. Starting this Friday, I’ll be giving up my personal blog through my Blogger site and joining four awesome indie YA authors at www.yabeyond.com. We go live December 1st. I’m excited for the opportunity to blog every Friday about Healthy Teen Tips, while my new grog partners cover topics like music and movies, dating, love, school, and all things YA. Cool, huh? I’m hoping to reach out to my target audience and really start using my knowledge about health and fitness to make a difference in the lives of teens. No worries, I’ll still be here every Tuesday passing along writing and publishing secrets to all of you wonderful Scribes followers.
Everything is slowly falling into place and I owe so many thanks for help along the way, I wouldn’t know where to begin, but one thing I do know, is that setting goals is the first step to any good marketing plan and that believing in yourself is an essential ingredient in achieving your dreams. Here’s to getting on and staying on the Kindle Top 100 list.
Sharing your goals can help you by holding you accountable. It can also help others by motivating them and giving them ideas. As December knocks on your door, have you set any goals for the first quarter of 2012? Any ideas about increasing your visibility?