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Wednesday, November 4

Paid Book Blitz Results / IWSG

 

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.

THANK YOU: First, I want to thank everyone who commented on my post last month for IWSG Day in which I discussed using Tarot cards to help me through my depression. I wasn't able to venture around first as I usually do, so I appreciate that you visited my blog. :) So many of you shared that you use (or have used) Tarot cards, have deck(s) of your own, know someone who does readings, or expressed your interest in having a reading done. That meant a lot to me. I was skeptical about posting that (because I know it's not for everyone), so thank you so much for sharing that with me!


Book Blitz Results

Last month, I had a Book Blitz run from October 4-10 for the release of Frozen Crimes. I paid for the service through Xpresso Book Tours, which was my first time ever paying for such a service. I usually orchestrate my own blog tours/blasts, etc., but I wanted to see what a paid service could do. I went with Xpresso Book Tours because the fees were in my budget, I liked the details about the service, and their credentials were great.

FYI: A blitz is pretty much a shout-out, like what I call a book blast. It's the book's info only (blurb, excerpt, cover art, your author details). No guest posts. A blitz/blast is different from a book tour, which usually includes a guest post (or review) for more substance. I always do book tours with 10 unique guest posts for my new releases. By "unique" I mean, none of the guest posts are duplicated on other blogs. I manage my tours myself because I have blogs I know I can contact for best results. With a blitz/blast, however, I wanted to test out what would happen if I paid someone to help with that.


Sign Ups - I had 113 people sign up. I wasn't anticipating so many. Most of the people who signed up did so with their blogs, but there were several for Facebook and Instagram. Also, most shared the blog post to other platforms. HOWEVER, 50 did not post, nearly half. That was a disappointment.


The Blitz - Unlike with my guest posts, where I at least get a few comments, the blitz posts on these book blogs did not get any comments. Not one. But...I will add that a few bloggers I do know signed up, and those were the posts that received comments from their followers and people I know, which was nice to see. (Thank you, Christine Rains, Jemi Fraser, Shannon Lawrence, and Tricia Schneider [whose post generated the MOST tweets from others] for signing up!)


Giveaway - I was very strategic with the entries for my giveaway. I don't care about Facebook likes or number of Twitter followers, because those social media platforms may not be around forever.

My giveaway entries included signing up for my newsletter (something I control), following me on BookBub (because they send out free new release emails to all of your followers), following me on Goodreads, joining my Facebook Group Fey's Sparklers (there's rumors FB will be changing groups, but I can navigate off Facebook in the future, if necessary.)

I also had subscribing to my YouTube Channel as an option. (Because they will see my videos in their subscription feed. They may or may not, depending on if they clicked the bell icon and selected to get "all notifications," get an email whenever I post a video.)

During the 7-day blitz these were the numbers:

BookBub Followers - 61

Newsletter Subscribers - 33

YouTube Subscribers - 25

Facebook Group Requests - 33

Goodreads Follows - 49


Book Sales - This is the only thing I don't think it had an impact on, which, of course, I was hoping it would. The blitz got my book's name, cover art, blurb, and my name out there, but it didn't do much more than that. Being traditionally published, I cannot see my book sales at any given moment. I will only know how many books of Frozen Crimes I sold during Oct/Nov/Dec when I get the sales info in March (this is just how it is). However, I did not see any sort of spike with my book's Amazon ranking, so I don't believe it helped much, if at all. That could be because it's Book 5 in a series. A standalone may have a different outcome.


Takeaways -

- Giveaways work very well when doing a paid blitz because they reach more people, and that will lead to more subscribers/likes. In this regard, the blitz was worth it.

- If your book is free, it would probably do amazingly well, because, based on how well my giveaway did, people just want free things. Words like "giveaway" and "free" attract them. With that said, I would not advise setting your book as free during its release for several reasons I won't get into here. You could do a blitz for a book that has already been out, though, and mark it as free for a few days. That would probably have excellent results.

- A standalone book may do better with a paid blitz like this than the last book in a series. (Oops. Hey, this is how we learn! I wanted to do whatever I could for the end of my series and gave this a shot. I'm glad that I did. It's given me ideas.)

- You never know what'll create book sales. I've been promoting a series for years, so it's been tough to get new sales for later releases when readers may not have even read Book One.

- In terms of comments, I could orchestrate my own book blast, as I have done in the past, and get actual comments on the posts. This isn't a deal-breaker, though, just a bit of a downer.

- With that said, I am considering testing out a blitz with other releases to see the difference in results. I'm also interested in testing out their cover reveal option (with a giveaway, of course).


The Giveaway

And for anyone curious about my giveaway... I started it on September 30th and ended it on October 30th. I had a massive giveaway consisting of eBooks and actual goodies (pictured below). I've been planning for this giveaway for a long time. I had my giveaway details in the blitz posts as well as my ten blog tour guest posts. I put it in my newsletter, on Facebook, posted to a few FB groups, and tweeted about it. 3,142 ENTERIES...my most successful giveaway yet.

By the end of the entire giveaway and all promo efforts, these were my giveaway numbers.

BookBub Followers - 106

Newsletter Subscribers - 73

YouTube Subscribers - 61

Facebook Group Requests - 55

Goodreads Follows - 97


QUESTION: Have you ever paid for a book tour/blitz service? What were your results?


44 comments:

  1. Fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. I'm at the newbie end of learning the promo & marketing curve so this is very helpful.
    Sales is definitely our main goal and I hope those show up for you in the future with those additional followers. I did a paid newsletter for my freebie recently. It resulted in tons of downloads of the freebie & paid for itself within 3 or 4 days with sales on the additional books. We'll see if that turns into regular readers which would be great!

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    1. You're welcome! I love to share information like this when I do something new promo-wise.

      I'm interested in knowing what newsletter you did the promo in. :)

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  2. Chrys, thanks for sharing all this information! I, too, just finished a blog tour, etc. and had pretty much the same results. Can't beat FREE!! But you can still reach potential readers.

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    1. Absolutely! There's always the chance of reaching potential readers. :)

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  3. Great information Chrys guess I've been too caught up with problems but will certainly do More reading in future.
    Hope you're ok.
    Yvonne.

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    1. I am doing well. I hope you are, too, Yvonne. <3

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  4. I'm glad you found it worth it, even if it was with a later book in the series. Thanks for sharing your insights into it!

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  5. That's good to know. Sounds like it was more effective at gaining followers on the platforms and newsletters than anything else. I've done one paid service and it did little for sales.

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    1. Gaining followers/subscribers is huge, though. They are the ones who can become readers. :)

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  6. I was wondering about your experience with the paid blitz. Thank you for sharing the info/analysis.

    That's a ton of entries for the giveaway!

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    1. You're welcome! I like to share the results, even if it may be different for others. The info is always helpful. :)

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  7. This was so interesting to read. I would use one of these services for a book blast or blog tour to reach new readers. I think that's really important when marketing. And I agree that giveaways draw people in, which is why I always do them with my posts. It helps the authors and agents get more exposure.

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    1. Giveaways are very helpful in attracting people.

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  8. Chrys, thanks for sharing your insights. Marketing tips are always welcome :)

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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  9. Those are impressive numbers (stats results) for new subs and follows, Chrys. I would say your paid campaign was a success!

    I know how frustrating the lack of parallel lines from follows to book sales can be. It is a beast that takes time---turning subs and follows into sales. I have paid for facebook ads, book bub ads and that's it. I have never done a book blitz. I did a ton or promo in my community and other cities in fact. So more in person interviews but that was 2012/13 so a different ball game.

    I think people are commenting less on blogs so don't be discouraged by that flat curve. People are moving away from blogs and going to social platforms, especially Instagram, for more access to instant followers etc. This is what I have noticed over the last two years.
    Thank you for sharing your experience and honest results with us. It's incentive for us Indie authors.

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    1. I do think it's a success. I just have to remind myself that although sales may not have happened, a lot of other goodness came out of it, and those numbers could become new readers in the future. :)

      I have noticed that people aren't commenting on blogs as much anymore. First noticed it last year, and then this year because of COVID is has gotten worse. *sigh*

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  10. Thank you for sharing all this wonderful information, and congrats. Happy IWSG Day!

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  11. I've used blog tour services before. When I was really bogged down with a lot to do, it seemed a more efficient way to manage a launch. It sounds as though yours was quite successful. 2,142 entries is a darned good number.

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    Replies
    1. Using a blog tour service certainly does help when one is bogged down.

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  12. I've paid for book blitzes before and I can say your experience is similar to what I had. Lots of eyes on the book, but not as many sales as I'd hope.

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    1. I hope that the new followers I got will eventually lead to sales. :)

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  13. Thanks for sharing all of this info! It sounds like it was at least successful in gaining followers, which will hopefully lead to some book sales!

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  14. Thank you so much for giving us all that information and the stats! Really fascinating. --and the takeaways too!

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  15. Interesting info. It's good to try different things, and what you learned is educational for us all.

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    1. That's why I like to share this info when I can. :)

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  16. Very interesting, it all sounds expensive for little return. Although in the long run, you just never know! Good luck!

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    1. This specific service was much more affordable than other services like it I've seen. You have to think of the ROI in another way, I guess. Like how I could possibly get new readers/sales from these new followers/subscribers in the future.

      Other than the fact that I was hoping for book sales, I never even considered that I'd come close to earning the money back since I get far less in royalties, being traditionally published and all. That's why I don't pay for ads with Amazon or Facebook...with the small percentage I earn of each sale, I wouldn't come close to what I spent. I was willing to try this, though. :)

      Delete
  17. Thanks for the info! I'm always curious to see how different forms of marketing/advertising do. I sunk some money into Amazon/Facebook ads for the new release, and while it generated huge numbers of views/impressions, the actual sales directly from the ads was minuscule.

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    1. Ads don't work well for me, being traditionallu published. I never make back what I put in.

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  18. I've thought about doing paid book tours, including one for hist-fic authors, but held back at the price. If I did put down the money, I'd want to know what the odds were of generating decent sales.

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    1. Unfortunately, you can never know those odds. It all depends on your book, the audience of the tour, the cover, the price, the blurb, which blogs host you and if they have readers, and even when you do the tour factors in.

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  19. Hi Chrys - you're always so thorough in what you do ... as well as let us know. I guess you learnt and that's the main thing - and you have your books out there ready for sales as and when ... take care and all the best - Hilary

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    1. I try to be thorough, and I like to share what I learn and know with others. That's why I created with blog. :)

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  20. I have never paid or given away things, but I appreciating hearing about your experiences because I have thought about it. Maybe I’ll do it sometime!

    www.fromarockyhillside.com

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  21. This is all very helpful information, and I'm going to take note for this when I finally put my book out there (which won't happen soon unfortunately, but someday in the near future I hope). One thing I worried about was how to promote the book because I don't really know much about that, so thank you for providing this information to all of us.

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    1. You're welcome! I'll keep sharing what I can to give you more ideas. :)

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  22. Sounds like a great way to build a following and reach people/readers even if it doesn't bring an immediate increase in sales. Thanks for sharing all this great information.

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Please tell me what you think. I love to chat! :)

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