Pros and Cons of the $.99 Book

Well, here it is holiday time—time for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Shop Your Local Stores . . . The list continues.

So, what’s an author to do?  The goal, of course, is to expand readership and sell books.  When the standard social media PR seems to have turned into a steady but unimpressive drip, the author faces a dilemma:  sell your book for full price (in, my case, a whopping $7.99 for an ebook) or discount the book to a meager $.99 for a limited time in the hopes that a new cadre of readers will plop down their change and buy the book.

I decided to take the plunge: my book is on sale now for $.99.  My rationale?  There must be folks out there who want to better understand their sibling connections.  There must be brothers and sisters out there who think gifting an ebook during the holidays makes a terrific (and inexpensive) gift.  There have to be potential readers who’ve held off downloading the book but may be motivated now.

Alas, slapping a $.99 sticker price for The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives is just the first step.  I mean, who will know about the sale?  You’ve clubbed followers on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin . . .  By now, after a year, they are sick and tired of tweets and posts about everything sibling.  Believe me, I’ve had to dig hard to find new takes on a single theme.

So, yes, I’ll let those followers know.  But it’s time to spread my wings.  What’s next?  What’s next is signing up—sometimes for free, sometimes not—for as many recommended online book sites that promote discounted and free books to what they promise are thousands and thousands of potential readers.  Finding the best sites isn’t always easy but, as is often the case, there are sites like “Best Promotion Sites 2016” geared toward authors.

http://www.paidauthor.com/best-ebook-promotion-sites/

So, I’ve spent hours filling out forms, writing my biography as a writer, descriptions of my book, online bookstores that currently sell my book . . .  And who knows what the increased sales may be?  Sure not me.  The #1 site on this list is BookBub.  Yes, listing there which, I read, is not a guarantee costs money.  Lots of money.  The estimate to list/promote my non fiction book about family relationships is almost $500.  Are they kidding?  I’ve only made $500 in royalties so far after handing off 10% to my distributor, Bublish.  So, BookBub is out!

 

https://www.bublish.com/

Other recommended sites such as Book Reader Magazine, Discount Book Man, Book of the Day, Just Kindle Books, Your Book Promoter and more are often happy to list your book for one day for free but offer other paid programs for as low as $7.95.  For example, Book of the Day.org promises the following:

  • 3 times as much traffic as Unfiltered.
  • Your cover and description will be included in our newsletter.
  • Posts will be sent to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
  • Your book gets a full page on our main site with no external ads.
  • Displayed in the category of your choice.
  • Your book page can include video and links to Amazon, B&N, Apple, and Kobo.
  • You’ll be featured on the Front Page for at least one day.
  • You’re eligible for the Trending and Top Ten displays.
  • Your book will appear in our slider at the bottom of every page.
  • If you have more than one book on our main site, they’ll be cross-referenced at the bottom of each book’s page.
  • You can post an author profile with links to social media and your website.
  • You can use our automatic interface to announce a sale on the Special Offers page. (Also adds a sticker on your book’s page.)

You’re eligible for our Native Advertising Program, a 21-day tour around our site. (Additional charge.)

Of course, it’s an additional charge,  I have no idea what a “Native Advertising Program” might be (selling to Native Americans?), but I’m going to take a pass.

So, what the heck?  I’ll have to sell 8 books to break even, but it’s worth a shot.

While I can’t monitor the success of this listing and others on most online sites, I can check my ranking on Amazon.  Alas, when I looked this morning, my ranking had dropped since last week before I signed up for these free and not-so-free book promotion sites.  Not an encouraging start.  In fairness, most of the sites have not yet listed my book.

https://www.amazon.com/Sibling-Connection-Siblings-Shape-Lives-ebook/dp/B017E04JBO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1446474484&sr=8-2&keywords=Jane+mersky+leder

This is just one more wait-and-see stabs at selling books.  Authors who dreamed of sitting in some delightful, peaceful space and just writing, have another thing coming.  The work of a successful author is never done.  Unless she is lucky enough to have an aggressive publisher who thinks it can make some money off of your book, you are stuck:  Either do the marketing or settle for a job well done but one that floats out there in the ethernet all by itself.

 

Book About Siblings

Tweet Visual

Boy, am I frustrated.  My ebook, The Sibling Connection: How Siblings Shape Our Lives, has been available for almost 6 months. And while it hit #1 in its category on Amazon within the first week, it has now been demoted to #98.  Quite a fall from grace!

Sure, I can say that I’m a “best-selling author” of a book about siblings but, in truth, what does that mean?  Any author can hit #1 for a second, a minute, maybe a day, and call herself “best-selling.”

There are a lot of books out there about siblings, though a slew of them are written for kids (Aren’t you happy you have a new baby sister?  Not really!) or for parents (How to avoid favoring one kid over another—even though one is cute and smart and the other hates you?)  The challenge for me: How to find the niche about books written for adults who are most likely not new parents but siblings themselves.  These potential readers are the ones I’m after.

Where are you?  How can you find me?  Book marketing gurus have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves: use the SEO (for example, “book about siblings” in everything you write.)  Everything?  You mean, I can’t write about my other books?  About my take on this presidential fiasco?  About Mother’s Day?  Father’s Day?  Aging?

Nope.  I have to stick to the straight and narrow: book about siblings.

Can you imagine how limiting that can be?  How followers on Twitter soon tire of your mono focused tweets and links to your blog? How your Facebook “friends” are “un friending you en mass?  How your circle on Google+ hasn’t expanded in months?

How I get sick and tired of writing about my “book about siblings?”

And what about all those different angles on the topic that diminish by the day?  Yes, there are sources like news.google.com that can foster some ideas.  There is an occasional post on sites like the huffingtonpost.com that focuses on famous siblings.  You know, the ones: So and so’s brother drives a truck and lives just a block or two away from an urban slum but doesn’t have a jealous bone in his body, even though his famous sister makes millions of bucks.

Ah, isn’t it grand to be famous and have a sibling who is not but loves you just the same?  (Uh, I’m not sure there’s a lot of research out there to support that theory.)

So, on this Mother’s Day as I think of my own mother who died almost eight years ago, I also think about my two living siblings and how our relationships with each other were affected by our mom and all the good things (well, a few not so good) she did to foster strong connections between her children.  Her efforts were a major reason why I wrote my “book about siblings.”

Hats off to you, mom, even if I’m having a hell of a time expanding my ebook readership.  Maybe you’d have a few suggestions, if you were still around.

 

JL-Siblings-Hdr

Submit Form To Gain Access