Full Disclosure | Marketing My Books at $.99 Was a Complete #Failure

Well, my latest Kindle promotion has come to a close.

Based on the results, I’m disappointed but there were many aspects of this that are my own fault and the rest I leave up to indie author suppression across social media due to pay to play and the ass backwards algorithms that make it impossible to get any traction what so ever on all platforms unless you spend a lot of money on ads.
The best I can say is that I learned a lot and didn’t spend much, mostly because I don’t have much to spend.

First, the numbers:

How many free and where they were downloaded from:

IVORY DAWN was FREE for 5 days.  The total amount of FREE downloads was: 634
The combined total of my other five books in this series over 7 days at $.99 was: 27
I used a Twitter promo service named Content Mo. They fulfilled their end of the deal by tweeting my books repeatedly over the entire 7 days, complete with appropriate hashtags, review snippets and or descriptions, across several Twitter accounts. Here are two examples:
Twitter Posts
I retweeted these and they were retweeted by a few of my followers several times: Maybe ten times.
I also sent my own tweets via Hootsuite, with similar but different hashtags no less than 50 times.
I also made good use of my Instagram, and both Facebook pages as well as my personal Facebook page where I also shared the book sale at least once a day. I also shared the promotion on Linked In, Tumbler and here on blog several times throughout the week.
Now, adding up the $60 to Content Mo, my Canva membership which I used to create my ads, and my Hootsuite membership to schedule my tweets, I spent about $100.00 on this promotion.

My Net royalties for this whole debacle?

$33.38! 

My thoughts on the whole matter:

At first, I was angry. No, maybe angry isn’t strong enough. I was incensed. Livid…like quit writing, take down all of my books and disappear from society for a while. Delete any semblance of my identity from social media and give all of these social media platforms a big Fuck You for how they’ve made self promotion virtually impossible unless you’re some full time social media guru who knows their way around the system. Yes, in the past couple days I’ve taken to YouTube to research how to beat the algorithms and grow organically but you know what? I really do not have the time right now to devote to this but I am going to figure out a way to MAKE TIME to do this because unfortunately, as you’ve just seen, I cannot afford not to and neither can you unless you’re selling books like crazy or can afford to pay someone to take care of all of this for you, which I cannot.
Like you, I have thousands of dollars tied up in the eight books I’ve written and published, not to mention the thousands of hours, blood sweat and tears spent writing them.
Sorry for this rant but yeah, I’m a little bitter after this crushing experience. Feel free to share your own if you like. I’d love to commiserate while I lick my wounds and prepare for the next battle.
One thing’s for certain though, I am NOT a quitter. I didn’t devote all of this time and love for the craft to be shafted and shut down just because I cannot afford to make this happen. I’m not giving up!
So, here is where I share my previous experience with a similar promotion two years ago, before the all of the algorithm changes and suppression. Here is a glimpse into the good old days when hard work, a little elbow grease as they say and a little bit of money yielded me a royalty check of nearly $1,000.00 for a free book promotion, not to mention lots of reviews and new followers.  That royalty check was for pages read! 
It almost brings a tear to my eye when I read this post entitled:

There once was a time when we could do it all. That’s over now.

I have one more book to write in my Razor’s Adventures series. I have one more book to write in my Fireflies series. Since agents don’t want series’, I’ll be focusing my attention on the stand alone novel I’m currently working on and getting that ready to submit to agents in early 2020. I’m grateful that I’ve managed to write and publish eight novels in under seven years but what good is writing if nobody gets to read it? Yes, it’s therapeutic and satisfying and to be honest, I’d go nuts if I didn’t get these crazy stories out of my head but when you feel like everything is stacked against you, that you’re making mistakes with marketing or you’re out here screaming, “Hey! I’m over here! Take my books they’re FREE or only $.99!” and because all of these platforms now say, ” Pay us or you’ll be screaming into space,” all of the hours I spent making promo materials and paying for advertising were essentially completely wasted.

I’d like to personally thank Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, WordPress, Linked In and any other social media platform in the world for proving me right.

But guess what? It ain’t over ’till it’s over and I’m just getting started you jerks.

3 thoughts on “Full Disclosure | Marketing My Books at $.99 Was a Complete #Failure

  1. A wonderfully informative, and bracingly honest article. Thank you, Peggy, for sharing your thoughts, and your experiences with us. Although the end results, this time, were decidedly unfavorable, the lessons learned were helpful, at least. Please do, keep up the good fight! And here’s hoping your journey forward with the stand alone novel you’re working on, will prove that your determination and hard work was worth spilling all that blood, sweat, and tears. I believe in you.

  2. Oh man. Thanks for giving the hard totals. I’m still in the writing haven’t ever put anything out anywhere stage, but this is pretty defeating to read. But again, I really appreciated you breaking down what you did, and where you spent, and how it all panned out. I love writing, but this just sounds so frustrating. *sigh*

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