Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Preparing for holiday sales potential

Unbelievably, I am now moving into the third week of a six-week hiatus from my day job and only now do I believe I’ll be able to get back on a decent schedule when it comes to my writing and other book-related tasks, including my blog.  That’s the plan, anyway.
I’ve enjoyed getting back into the heads of my characters and back into the story surrounding Jorja and her friends.  But as I write, there’s always the business side to writing that I can’t ignore.  I’ve spent a lot of time lately going over my Amazon author stats, keeping up-to-date with my current sales on all channels available to me and as I work on my third novel, Ties that Bind, I’m also playing around with ideas on how to continue to market No Mother of Mine and Best Kept Secrets.

If there’s a good time to promote a product, the holiday season is certainly it.  I’ve had plenty of time to read lately so I’ve been catching up on articles I’ve had on hand which offer tips and all kinds of ideas about marketing.  There’s a lot of advice out there and there’s no way to do it all but I hope to glean some good ideas that will work.
In the meantime, I’m using what I have available to me.  I had forgotten that the Kindle version of Best Kept Secrets is part of the Amazon Matchbook program, which means anyone who has already purchased or plans to purchase a print copy of the book can also buy the Kindle version for only $0.99 cents.  While I don’t anticipate readers clamoring to obtain both print and eBook copies, at least it’s an option I can offer them.

And because Best Kept Secrets was enrolled with KDP Select (another Amazon program), I can take part in a new promotional tool Amazon just recently made available to authors called the Kindle Countdown Deal.  This tool allows me to offer a limited-time promotional discount for the Kindle version of Best Kept Secrets.  Currently, I will be offering the promotional discount on the following schedule:
·         Saturday, Nov. 30 at 8:00 a.m. the eBook will be available for $0.99 until…

·         Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:00 p.m., at which time the eBook price will move up to $1.99 until…

·         Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 12:00 a.m., the price will increase to $2.99 until…

·         Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 8:00 a.m., at which time the eBook will revert back to its original price of $3.99.
I’m not completely certain, and I hope I’m wrong, but I believe this promotion is only available in the U.S.  I apologize if that is the case but even based on only U.S. sales, I’m very curious to see how this promotional tool plays out. 

Since No Mother of Mine is not enrolled in KDP Select, I can’t offer the same promotional discount through a Kindle Countdown Deal but I am going to look into offering the eBook at a discounted price on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble sometime soon.  I’ve read blog posts by other authors who have played around with their list price so I guess it’s about time I try it for myself so I can watch what happens with my author stats. 
This time last year, I was more focused on making it through National Novel Writing Month as I plowed through regular work weeks, prepping for the holidays and spending time with my family in December after having spent all my free time on the computer in November. 

This year, things are different so that my focus can also be different.  Even if I can play around with just a couple of marketing ideas per week, I look forward to the potential benefits when the promotion is pushed during the holiday season.  As a newbie author, I need to do what I can to continue to get my name out there as I keep this in mind:
“Success does not consist in never making blunders,
but in never making the same one a second time.” 

~Josh Billings~
Through trial and error, I will learn what works, and what doesn’t, which will help me this time next year when I’m busy promoting my third book along with the first two.  I’ll continue to keep you posted on how things go.



  1. Good luck with the marketing. I'm basically in the same situation as you. I have 2 books published already with a third due out in December, and I know that it's a good time to concentrate on marketing, but working out what exactly that should entail for best results is still a puzzle! I tried the Kindle Countdown and had disappointing results, but I think that was because I did it on the spur of the moment and did not link it in with any advertising. As you say, you learn from your mistakes - and at least that one didn't cost me anything!

  2. Thanks Mel - fingers crossed that some of the ideas I use make a difference for end-of-the-year sales. Either way, I'll learn what works or how I should tweak things this time next year when I can market all 3 books as a package. Thanks again for the good luck wishes, they are much appreciated!