Welcome to the third week of my facts and figures for the launch of my new book, Silence at the Lock. (You can read the first post – about the costs for producing and marketing the book here, the second post about the first round of ROI on the paid promos I did here.)

This week, I’m doing some number crunching on ROI related to the paid promos I did last week.  I have to admit I had hoped for higher returns, but I’ll go into a couple reasons why I think they didn’t come below.  But first, “let’s do the numbers” (I’m channeling my inner Kai Ryssdal for all you NPR listeners out there.)

The Numbers

Income Source# of Books SoldDatesTitlePrice Per BookTotal Income
Amazon97 ebook/2 printMarch 4-8SS0.99/9.9937.14
Amazon7 ebookMarch 4-8C123.9927.06
Amazon1 ebookMarch 4-8SatL3.992.79
Draft2Digital3 ebookMarch 4-8SS0.991.76

So here’s how the ROI breaks down:

I spent $118 for the promos, which pushed Steele Secrets (SS) only. I made just under $69. So my ROI is -41.7%.  

I have to say I had hoped to make all my money back there, but I’m still not completing disappointed in that return.

  • I made more than half of my money back;
  • I had more than 100 people buy my books, and many of them were probably readers who had never seen my work;
  • and I have three books in this series so I may, indeed, get that money back through sales of the next two books.

Also, I’ve had lingering sales on Steele Secrets throughout the last few days, so the promos may still be pushing a few new readers to the book.

Other Measures

I’m also growing my magical realism email list, and last week alone, it grew to 169 subscribers, and right now, it’s at a very strong 25% click rate.

Plus, my mailing list for my writing stuff (including these blog posts and my newsletter) grew by almost 1,000 people in the last month along, the largest burst of growth I’ve ever had.

So overall, things are on a very strong upswing for me.

Analysis – I’m Pleased

Overall, I’m thrilled with how the business side of my writing life is going.  Do I wish the book sales had paid for the book promos? Of course, but I’m confident they will in time.

One thing that didn’t go as well as I wanted was that one of the promos put my book in the wrong category, listing is at nonfiction rather than fiction. That’s a big error on one of my biggest promos, so that alone could account for the lack of sales that day.  (I”m pursuing a refund or another ad opportunity because of their mistake.)

One final measure that did make me happy was that my rankings on Amazon were pretty high for most of last week:

  • For Steele Secrets, I sat at #2 in one category for the whole week, and I was in the top 20 or 25 for the other categories during that same time. Even a week out, it’s still in the top 15 for two categories.
  • For  Charlotte and the Twelve, I hit top 25 for several categories, too, so that’s a win.

Those rankings show me I’m probably in good categories and that I’m writing in genres that I can compete in.  That’s huge. (Listen to the Sell More Books Show or look at K-Lytics, and you’ll see what I mean.)

Next Steps

I have some options here.

  • I could try taking out some ads on Amazon or FB to boost sales, and while I want to do that and will do that in the future, I simply don’t have the skill with those yet to make it a viable or wise option for me at the moment.
  • I could do more promos, and again, I will, but not right now – not until I release the ebook box set in the summer (probably.)
  • I will, however, continue to grow my magical realism newsletter list because that’s a long-term audience for these books AND the other magical realism novels I have in mind. (I just got my next idea started, so stay tuned.)
  • I will keep working with my incredible launch team to spread the word on social media and on their newsletter lists.
  • I will do a few newsletter swaps – weighing heavily toward sharing other people’s work, per the wise advice of Kirsten Oliphant at first – in order to get my books in front of new potential readers.

Next week, I’ll be doing the full breakdown on sales figures, dollars spent, and ROI on the book as a whole and sharing updates on sales figures, marketing that worked (or didn’t), and much more.

If you’re interested in checking out the book that is the basis for all these numbers, you can get all the details, links to purchase, and information on the great pre-order bonuses here.