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One big piece of launching that I don't see a lot of people talking about is how to judge the success of your book promotions, specifically your paid promotions. This is part of a series on how I moved from making under $100/month self-publishing on Amazon to consistently over four-figures a month within a year. 

One of the investments I made as I launched my pen name last year was paid book promotions. I dabbled in Facebook ads and AMS ads, but the main bulk of my spending was in email promotions. These sites have built up email lists full of readers and send emails out to those readers with your book in them.

Email sells books and I've seen a good return from this! However, it's not that simple. I'm going to share tips on how to tell if your book promotions are actually successful. 

Before I get there, it's important to note that many of the sites have requirements. You may need a certain number of reviews and your book may need to be discounted to a certain degree. 

How to Judge the Success of Your Book Promotions Choose Wisely

All of these sites are not the same! Just because a site costs a lot doesn't mean that it will have the best results. 

  • Look for genre-specific lists
  • Sign up for the email lists-- does it truncate the email?
  • Ask other authors in your genre
  • Realize that established isn't always better
  • They should have responsive customer service
Test and Track

If you don't note how the sales work, you may not realize which sites to use again and which ones to avoid. 

  • Try doing one per day
  • Make note if you also have a newsletter swap that day
  • When you start out, it's best not to run FB or other ads at the same time
  • Track it over time and by book title (ex: billionaire vs other books)
Know How to Read Results

It's often not a dollar for dollar thing. If I spend $25 on a promotion, I would love to make $25 back, but sometimes it's more complex. 

  • Other book sales that week
  • Sales over a few days' time
  • Pagereads over that week (if you're in KU)
  • Ranking on Amazon, which gets you more visibility & organic sales
  • Email list sign-ups that week
  • One sale might turn into a READER, not just a sale

When it comes to paid promotions, these email list promotions have been very successful for me, but I've seen them fluctuate over time per book. I'm not going to stop tracking the sales, because I don't want to waste my money! 

Other things you need to consider:

  • If your book cover doesn't look professional and/or fit the genre, you won't make sales.
  • If you only have ONE book, you won't have a backlist to help you make more sales from the promotion.
  • If your book is not part of a series, you won't make as many other sales from the promotion.
  • If your book is part of a series that has to be read in order and is NOT the first book, you won't have as much success. 

I hope that this helps you not waste your time and your MONEY on paid promotions. If you aren't sure where to find these sites, you can check out these lists:

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