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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17 comments on “Don’t Make My Mistake
  1. Thanks for the important advice!

    Liked by 3 people

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

    Liked by 2 people

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

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 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

  5. 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 1 person

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

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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

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

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 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

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