$.99 Book Sale Post Motem


I’m probably jumping the gun here: there are, after all, 8 more days until Xmas, 7 more days until Hanukah.

But all but one of my online discount book “campaigns” for The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives are over.  Yes, I’ll wait with bated breath to see if somehow Booktastic at http://booktastic.com comes through big time.

Booktastic.com offers the following to authors who pay between $5 and $10, depending upon the genre and the number of subscribers.  In my case, a one-off email will be sent to 3500 potential readers.  Sounds like a plan.

  • We send our subscribers  daily emails in their chosen genres for ebooks that are on sale, and new releases.
  • Your ebook stays on our site for the duration of your sale.
  • We send our subscribers daily emails listing competitions and giveaways.
  • Our Facebook features include your book post being advertised to the fans who have liked our page and Facebook users who are readers in your genre but have not liked our page.
  • All emailed promotions are also featured on our website. This can help increase sales of titles or generate buzz for an author around a new release, giveaway or competition.
  • Our editors streamline your blurb to ensure we present readers with a short, attention-grabbing hook. When you advertise with us, you agree to accept any changes we may make to your advertising copy.

Music to an author’s ears.  Or is it?  The stats on not on our side:

After skyrocketing from 2008 to 2012, e-book sales leveled off in 2013 and have fallen more than 10% since then, according to the AAP StatShot Annual 2015.

The average U.S. nonfiction book is now selling less than 250 copies per year and less than 2,000 copies over its lifetime.


Now, during my $.99 sale, Amazon reported that 68 copies of the sibling book sold in one day.  Not bad!  And I don’t have figures for the other online book sites like Kobo, Barnes&Noble, and iBook.

And it was on the 68 copy day that my ranking in the Kindle sibling category skyrocketed to #1.  I was on top of the pile for exactly 24 hours.  Then the gradual slide began . . . #3, #4, #6, and now a disappointing #12.


Talk about a roller coaster ride!





I couldn’t help checking daily, if not several times a day.  A broken promise.  But I couldn’t help myself.  Not a statistician, I thought I could pair a particular online marketing feature with sales.  Besides, I was curious.

And, yes, that “big” sales day corresponded with features the day of and two days prior on http://bookoftheday.org/the-sibling-connection-how-siblings-shape-our-lives-jane-leder/http://booksgosocial.com/, and http://readingdeals.com/.

There’s no way of knowing how many potential readers clicked through to at least check out my book and whether or not they’ll remember my name or book title when my next opus is published.  Head’s up:  Dead Serious: A Book For Teens About Teen Suicide. 

But I wouldn’t hesitate to discount that book and sign up again for at least 8 of the online discount book sites.  I may not have made much, if any, money (What can anyone expect when selling anything for $.99?), but I know that I’d burned my bridges with social media and that I was in dire need of new marketing outlets.

I know I rarely, if ever, buy a book because of a tweet or post.  Like most folks, I’d rather rant after reading a post-election article or comment on a photo of a “friend’s” adorable grandchild.


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