Don’t Make My Mistake

mistakeI’ve been posting about free newsletter marketing lately, but I did try my first paid marketing campaign, for The Golden Key, this past summer. It had a couple of high moments, but overall I made a blunder that I’d like others to avoid.

First, I scheduled a grand tour–Bargain Booksy, Robin Reads, Book Barbarian, Fussy Librarian, Free Kindle Books and Tips, and a few Facebook sites got thrown into the mix. All highly recommended sites that had done well for other writer friends.

I always buy a copy as soon as my book’s released. It still looked good, so I went forward with the paid promo. But I forgot to check the Look Inside until the advertising run was over. Epic fail on my part.

I also paid for Hidden Gems, a review service, at the same time, and the resulting reviews were positive overall, with a few being incredible. My favorite: “Not what I expected. It was so much more.”

But otherwise, I spent $200 to net about 33 sales. I figured I wouldn’t break even because it was a novelette, and I was selling at $.99. Novelettes have much smaller potential audiences. But I was expecting to do better than that.

Then I checked the Look Inside. Aargh! This was the first book I’ve published that included a map. It turned out that the first thing potential readers saw when they pulled up the Look Inside was my map, stretched beyond recognition. I had to scroll down something like three pages worth to get to text.

It was no problem to get the Look Inside fixed. An email to Amazon and a day’s wait.

So, whenever you publish a book, buy a copy, and CHECK THE LOOK INSIDE. Learn from my mistake.

Happy promoting! 🙂

Avid writer and reader of Faerie tales and noblebright fantasy.

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Posted in promotion
20 comments on “Don’t Make My Mistake
  1. Thanks for the important advice!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Madam Mim says:

    Oh goodness! That does sound like a nightmare! Good advice 🙂 I hope the book does well 🙂


  3. Glad to pass it on–especially since it’s an easy fix. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh dear, that is unlucky, Cathleen. Thanks for sharing your experience. Happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jenanita01 says:

    Sorry to hear about your oversight, but at least you managed to get some reviews, so not a total disaster!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That’s disheartening. I have had countless problems with Amazon on “Look Inside” but none were solved so fast. I’m pretty fed up with them.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Painful to see afterwards but solid advice for all of us. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cathleen, you’ve been incredibly generous at sharing your experiences with marketing and promotion. Thank you for your outreach to those of us just starting out. Wishing you a successful and happy New Year.

    As an aside, I’d love to know what you feel has been the most rewarding part of self-publishing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year to you, too, Sharon. 🙂

      The most rewarding part of self-publishing for me is being able to publish. Trade authors live with terrible uncertainties–their books can be pulled up to the last minute, and there’s basically nothing they can do. I don’t think I would hold up particularly well under that pressure, so I’m glad I don’t have it.

      I’m getting my stories out there, and they’re getting read. That’s really the core of what I wanted when I started writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks so much for the heads-up, Cathleen. Wishing you a blessed and beautiful 2019! ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JM Williams says:

    I feel your pain about marketing investments vs returns. I’ve tried a few advert/review services but none of them worked well. I never heard of Hidden Gems. How did they work for you?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As a reader/customer, I use the Look Inside feature quite a bit, but I never thought about it from the perspective of an author — that if it isn’t formatted properly, you’re potentially turning off interested readers. Thanks, as always, Cathleen, for sharing the wisdom of your experiences.


  12. I’m sorry that happened to you, Cathleen, but how kind of you to share that experience with your readers. A helpful post indeed. I hope your new year is off to a good start.


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