Category: Retailer Promotions

Fantasy Trilogy in Kobo 3 for 2 deal

kobo promotion

Retailer promotions are a powerful tool for any self-published author. Every month retailers tell us about the eBook promotions they have coming up and ask us if we have any suitable titles. This gives us a great opportunity to put the spotlight on our authors’ eBooks. Being in a retailer promotion makes eBooks much more visible as the promotions are normally heavily advertised on the retailer’s home page and often through their email newsletters (which go out to thousands of readers) too. This means that your title will get a lot more traffic than normal.

This month Kobo have selected the debut fantasy trilogy, The Power of Nine Series, by R.M. Dorn for their Find a New Series 3 for 2 promotion. The deal started on the 19th January and will run until the 25th of January, with the idea of encouraging readers to get stuck into a brand new series. This is perfect timing as books 2 and 3 in the series only launched this week, and this will instantly raise their profile and can be mentioned when contacting bloggers and reviewers.

Kobo-power-of-nineA

Even if your series is not picked up by the retailers for promotion, there are still some great marketing opportunities that work exceptionally well when you have more than one book/eBook to sell. If you have any others to add to the list, please add them in the comments below.

3 Ways To Market A Series of eBooks

Having more than one book or eBook up your sleeve does give you more opportunities as an author.

  • Have your first book at a temptingly low price to get readers hooked on your writing, and then sell the rest of your series for the full price. You could even give your first eBook away to readers that sign up to your email newsletter (they will be more likely to sign up if they are getting a freebie), then once you’ve got them enjoying your writing you can sell your other titles at full price.
  • Create short ‘backstories’ featuring peripheral characters and use this as ‘bonus material’ on your author website.
  • Once you have built a reader-base for books 1 and 2, reach out to your readers and ask them what they would like to see happen in the next book. If they feel they have contributed to the story they are very likely to buy the book, plus this is a good way to have fun with your fans. E.L. James was exceptionally good at involving the fan community in her writing process.

Kindle Books Summer Sale

 

Kindle SummerRecently two of our children’s ebooks – Stars by Antony Lishak, a book celebrating adversity and friendship between two boys in during the Nazi invasion of Poland, and The Golden Moonbeam by Angela James, a magical fantasyland adventure – were featured in the Kindle Books Summer Sale on Amazon. The sale targets readers who are looking for a good, inexpensive, leisure read to enjoy while they are traveling or on holiday. Most books in the Kindle Book Sale start at just 99 pence, as Amazon tries to tempt buyers in for a quick impulse buy. We work with the merchandisers at the biggest retailers every single month to pitch our authors’ works and get them into as many suitable promotions as possible. Being included in a retailer promotion is a really valuable marketing tool with both short-term and long-term benefits.

Phase 1: Getting Visible

The Kindle Books Summer Sale, like all the Amazon promotions our authors feature in, provides our authors with a great opportunity to stand out from the competition (and on Amazon there is a LOT of competition). Amazon has a 65% share in the ebook market, so being included in an Amazon promotion is likely to increase your visibility and sales more than being included in a promotion with a smaller retailer. Amazon gets an enormous amount of traffic every single day. According to eBizMBA, Amazon is ranked 5th in the top 15 most popular websites and generates over 500 million unique monthly viewers. But with size comes challenges. Although Amazon has proved that it is the most powerful place sell your books, the problem is that with high traffic comes high competition. Everyone is fighting for a chance to be seen. Writer Claude Nougat estimates that one new book is added to the Kindle store, every 5 minutes, and that number looks likely to increase!

Being in a featured promotion such as the Kindle Book Summer sale allows authors to get visible by clearing through the clutter and connecting directly with readers. Instead of their book being buried on the 167th page of Amazon, it can be featured in a banner on the Kindle Deals page thus placing it in closer proximity to potential readers.

Phase 2: Getting  More Reviews

Kindle Books Summer Sale authors will see a massive increase in visibility/chart position and a short-term sales spike. However, there are longer-term benefits too. A little while after the sale, readers will start to finish reading the eBook and will leave reviews. There may be a lag between the end of the sale and when you see an increase in reviews (don’t lose heart – people are busy). This boost in reader reviews increases credibility and buyer confidence (especially from a debut/relatively unknown writer), and this will be beneficial long after the promotional period has ended. Reader reviews sell books. If someone has never heard of your book, they probably want to know what other people have to say about it before they purchase it. Alternatively, if no one has bothered to review your book, why should they try it? The Kindle Book Summer Sale becomes a catalyst for the increasing books reviews and establishing the author’s brand. Even mixed reviews are helpful because readers may purchase your book just so they can form their own opinion. When the promotional sale is over, you will still have the reviews as base to lure in readers.

Kindle Summer Books Sale 1

Getting into a promotion like a Kindle deal is marketing gold for an author, but requires you to have a good working relationship with book retailers around the world (many retailers will not work with authors directly unless they are serious bestsellers). We have spent years building up these relationships and work with retailers to find out what they are looking for when to make sure our authors have the best chance of being selected, consequently our authors are featured in promotions nearly every month. Have a look at some of the recent promotions we have been involved with at Amazon and Kobo.

Limited price promotions “hurry” customers into snap decisions and quick purchases (a couple of clicks is all it takes). With prices around 99p, Amazon can whip customers into a buying frenzy. Have you ever bought a book/eBook as a result of a price promotion? Please let us know below.

Kobo Father’s Day Promotion

Kobo father's day promotion

Last weekend we were delighted that two of our titles, Operation Blue Halo, a gripping military thriller, and A Little Local Difficulty, a cosy British detective story, were included in the Kobo Father’s Day promotion. This was a headline promotion that was given the prime position – slap bang in the middle of their home page. Retailer promotions are a great way for any author to increase the visibility of their title. The idea is that you tempt readers in with a limited-period price promotion to get people buying, reading, reviewing and generally talking about your book. Every month we work with the merchandisers at the top international online retailers to find out what kind of eBooks they are looking to promote and then pitch any of our authors’ eBooks that fit the bill.

What do retailers want to promote?

  • Genre fiction is particularly popular with retailers as they know these titles tend to sell very well.
  • Anything with a juicy discount. If your book is normally £1.99 and you are offering it for £1.49 that is not as much of an incentive as something being slashed from £3.99 to £1.49
  • They also want something that looks good (has a really well-designed jacket) as they don’t want to give prominent “shelf space” to something that might lower the tone of their brand or waste time promoting a product that readers won’t like the look of. They are not just thinking about their website here, as price promotions are often publicised via email newsletters, social media etc. 
  •  Anything that other customers have enjoyed reading. To find out more about the importance of customer reviews see this post.
  • Some retailers run promotions in several countries at the same time, in which case they will be looking for titles that are available to buy internationally, rather than just in the UK.

Self-published authors need to look for any opportunity to promote their books. You might not obviously think “crime thriller” when someone says “Father’s Day” but for any retailer Father’s Day or Mother’s Day or even Valentine’s Day is a reason to temporarily drop prices, get people “through the door” and bump up sales volumes for the weekend. No doubt a lot of Kobo’s customers would have grabbed bargain books for themselves rather than their fathers, but that’s not the point. Authors, you need to start thinking like a marketeer to seek out these seasonal opportunities to push your book.