7 Valuable Insights from Promo Debriefs Using IndieListers

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by Jason Ladd

 

If promoting your book was easy, it wouldn’t be any good, right? There’s a new place for authors to gain valuable intelligence on the effectiveness of the hundreds (thousands?) of book promotions sites on the web.

IndieListers.com is the result of a question I asked after launching and promoting One of the Few:

“What if Indie authors had a singular place to debrief their promos where everyone could learn from their experiences?”

Most Indie authors love sharing their experiences and strategies with others. They’ve learned that independent publishing is not a zero-sum game. We can all win.

But these promo stack debriefs were buried in forums and comment threads on countless websites. There were plenty of needles, but the haystack was huge.

That’s when I decided to create IndieListers, the largest free online book promotions results database on the web created exclusively by authors.

 

There is Power in the Debrief

I learned many valuable skills while flying for the Marines. One of the most important was the power of the debrief. It’s where some of the most valuable learning occurs, and it’s what prevents you from repeating mistakes and wasting money.

IndieListers is becoming the place where authors go before and after their promos–to pick the best services and report the results.

I want to share seven valuable insights that you can gain from using this free service.

 

1. What’s Out There

You’re probably familiar with a few book promotions sites such as BookBub, eReader News Today, and Book Sends, but there are a ton of other sites out there.

IndieListers maintains a mega-list of book promotion websites that provide either free or paid book promotion services. There are currently over 250 listings, all hyperlinked for easy clicking.

 

2. What Authors Are Actually Using

Some promotion websites are focused more on their clicks than your downloads. They’re highly automated, nondiscriminatory (in the book quality sense), impersonal, and most important, ineffective.

Experienced authors don’t use them because they don’t work.

IndieListers shows you which promos authors are using, and whether or not they are effective.

 

3. Cost-per-Download

IndieListers is focused mainly on e-book activity, and a simple calculation built into the site reveals the cost-per-download for any given promotion. That’s good, but IndieListers data lets you take it further allowing you to estimate profit or loss.

 

4. Estimate Profit of Loss

Cost-per-click and book sale price combined with industry knowledge can help you estimate whether or not an author’s promo was profitable.

For instance, an eBook exclusively on Amazon during a $0.99 cent promotion will yield the author a 35% royalty from Amazon. In other words, the author will make $0.35 cents per download.

If the cost-per-download is less than $0.35 cents, it’s a good assumption the promo was profitable, and vice versa.

A book priced at $2.99 making a %70 royalty will yield the author $2.09 per download. If the cost-per-download is greater than that, they probably lost money.

 

5. Author Experience

IndieListers has a place to leave general comments about the promotion experience. For instance, it’s nice to know when an author is provided a refund–something we’ve seen from BKnights and FreeBooksy.

Comments have also provided feedback on the effectiveness of the “we-will-list-your-book-on-all-the-promotion-sites-for-you” services. During one of my promotions, I could only confirm my book on 5 out of 31 sites on promotion day (granted, some of these services still require a lot of author-in-the-loop, and there many points of possible failure).

Authors are also using the comments section to mention author rank changes, what they received on the tail, and whether they saw an increase in KENP.

 

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A sample of the real-time feedback received by authors on Indie Lister.

 

6. Author Tactics

Are authors going Amazon only, or are they going wide with Apple, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, Wattled, and GooglePlay?

Not only will you see how other authors are selling their books, you’ll get a feel for their experience and platform by looking at other data such as which professional services they used, how many books they’ve published, how many promos they’ve run for that book, and if they’re a best-selling author on Amazon, USA Today, or the New York Times.

 

7. Preview Author Platforms

IndieListers gives you the option of listing your Twitter username and author website. This allows you to take a look at how other authors are operating online, as well as connect with other authors in your genre.

In a guest post on Indies Unlimited, I talk about how my promotion results improved after browsing information provided by the database.

It wasn’t easy, but the results were good. My goal is to help make it just a little easier for you.

Whether your promotion is good or bad, sharing your results makes you part of a solution for the Indie community. I hope your promos are successful, but if they’re not, IndieListers could be your silver lining!

 

 

About the Author:

Jason B. Ladd is an award-winning author and veteran. He has flown the F/A-18 “Hornet” and the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” as an instructor pilot. He and his wife Karry are the parents of seven children.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

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