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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest Post by Christine DeMaio-Rice

For all those authors and would-be authors, we all know how important it is to advertise. If people don't know about your book then how are they supposed to buy it? Pixel of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily are two of the most popular ways independent authors advertise. Below is the story from one of my Indie Chicks, Christine DeMaio-Rice and her journey with her new book, Dead is the New Black



My Pixel of Ink (POI) Story



On November 21st I got my first ever Pixels of Ink ad.

12pm
Ok so, I've been up for half an hour and haven't gotten a sale. And I'm wondering, am I going to be the only person in the history of POI ads that won't make a sale? Will I be the freak that no one wants to emulate? Will people throw eggs and if they do, can I catch 179 dollars worth of them before they break?

I am going to lunch now. When I come back I am going to check. I fully expect not one sale, because it's just the way things go. If everyone else has a fun, easy way to do something, I will try it and fail.


1:09pm
Back from lunch.

I have sold 5 copies after an hour and a half. So I guess I can count on another five or six hours of fun? No one was ever very clear about how many hours this whole bonanza lasts. But let's say six hours. So, at this rate I'll have sold 20 copies. That's not disgusting. It's not a complete waste of time. It's something else entirely that I can't put a name on right now. 

This "I know the word but can't put my finger on it" thing happens a lot. I blame a massive vocabulary, but the confusion is probably attributed to age and honestly, the inability to use the right word in the right place is probably why I only sold 5 books in 90 minutes. I'll make a note to work on that.

In the time it took me to write this email I haven't sold any books.

Let me check again.

Nope. Nada.

2 pm
I've been up for 2 1/2 hours and I've sold 18 books.
The odd thing is my ranking was about 48,000 at 11am, and it's 54,000 now. Does that mean that everyone above me is selling more? How can my ranking go DOWN.

2:45pm
Dead Is the New Black is still the top post on page one of POI. That's three hours and change. 

Things are happening. Now, I do my job for a little -- measure an armhole or complain about a seam or whatever -- then check KDP. The number of sales has been rising each time I check. I've sold 32 copies today. Not bad. Just the pleasure of seeing the sales happen is enough for me right now, after the disappointment of hours one and two. Ranking hasn't changed, but I hear that takes a few hours.

I'm wondering if the number of reviews has anything to do with the success of the ad. I only have 7, most of which are quite detailed. I will do this again, someday, and I'm wondering if I'll do better with more reviews. (my status as a “Red Adept Select” means I don’t need to meet the 10 review requirement).

I'm chalking that up and in the meantime, I've come up with a motto to remember -- "It ain't over until you're off page 1"

I made another sale in the time it took to write this email. Things are looking up.

5:30pm
Ad still on top of first page. SIX HOURS! What wonderful thing did I do in a past life to deserve such a showing?
And I've sold 68 books today. My ranking changed at about 3:30 to 6,010, which is like wow. Four digits. Not shabby. We'll see how that progresses over the next few hours, but I'm pretty sure people aren't going to throw eggs at me.

9pm
So, I've put the children to bed and I am now sitting down to write my NaNoWriMo word balance. And I am almost passing out, one from exhaustion and second, from my POI results.

I've sold 95 copies so far. I only needed 90 to make my money back from the ad. And here's my ranking....


I think the one I'm most excited about is "Woman Sleuths". Competition is fierce in that genre, and I hope I can stick some of the ranking there. Because that's what it was about for me. Just getting that little bump to increase visibility, and hanging on to some of the ranking so I search better. 

This was an incredibly exciting day. Beats looking at my sales and seeing the same sad number day after day. 

Was it worth it? Well, it paid for itself, so there's certainly no downside for me. Right now I'd do it again. We'll see if my KND ad on the 26th of December pans out.

10:30pm

I think there comes a point where the progress on rankings becomes exponentially slower. Like I'm going to have to sell twice as many to break the top 500. It's like how rich you have to get to be in the top 30% richest people as opposed to how rich you have to get to break into the top 10%.

Conclusion:

By the time the ad went down the next morning, I’d sold 120 copies or so. At $2.99 each, that put me at paying for the ad, plus another sixty bucks for my trouble.

A week later, my ranking is down in the 7000’s. We’ll see if it dips much more, but this is so much better than the 60K I started with. I’m selling a couple a day. This is superfantastic, and give me a good starting point for not only Christmas, but any other promotion I try.


Post Script by yours truly: If you would like to read this riveting story about the fashion industry and a murder, look to your right! Click on the photo and buy it!

It's support Small Business Owners' Saturday and you can't get much smaller than us independent authors!




3 comments:

Christine DeMaio-Rice said...

Thanks so much for the post Danielle. It was quite an emotional ride for me!

Danielle Blanchard Benson said...

My pleasure, Christine. It helps up all to know whether or not POI does work and in your case it did. Congratulations and here's to many more sales!

larry said...

Great information, Christine. Thanks for sharing your success with us.