New Tricks

In a constantly changing market, there are always new marketing methods to explore. Some work, some don’t. Most work for some authors and genres, and not so well for others. There’s really only one way to find out for sure – experimentation. This week, we’re not only having Wild West Thursday on Wednesday, but we’re taking a look at my newest experiments.

The Beauty Bride, first book in the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixThe first one isn’t that new. I tried out a couple of multi-author promotions last summer and found them to be a both fun and effective. Free books have lots of downloads in these promotions, probably because they’re exposed to a lot of readers who don’t already know your work. I think these promotions are a good way to get more exposure for a free title that introduces readers to an author’s work and/or a specific series. I’ve signed up for a few more of them for November, for The Beauty Bride and Double Trouble.

One of the terms for participating in these promotions is always that each author shares the promotion with his or her followers, in order to spread the word. That’s the point, really, to expose the landing page to more people. So, you’ll be seeing more of these promotions posted here and will receive notices of them if you subscribe to my newsletter. I’m booked into four this month, although news of two of them will ride in the already scheduled newsletters for my November releases. Some of them are sorted by genre or sub-genre, and I’m curious to see how that affects results.

Wyvern's Prince, #2 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeMy second experiment is a new thing: I’m trying out a service called Instafreebie, which delivers free books to readers. You can find The Beauty Bride and Double Trouble there, at least until November 20. (The titles are linked to the IF giveaway page.)

At first glance, this service wouldn’t seem to add anything beyond having the book free in my online store or at various portals, but IF gives people the option of opting into the author’s newsletter. My online store does that, but the various portals don’t.

Simply Irresistible, a contemporary romance by Deborah Cooke and first in the Flatiron Five series.IF also offers the option of offering a free read to specific readers – to set up advance reading copies, for example, or to reward regular readers and newsletter subscribers with a bonus read free. This offers more control over pricing and the availability of a free read. I noticed authors using it for sneak peeks and samples of upcoming books, too. IF has a special category for excerpts, which should help to avoid any confusion for readers. I’ve added my medieval romance sampler, Knights & Rogues, to IF as well as the sample file of the first chapter of Simply Irresistible, the sample files of the first chapter of Wyvern’s Mate and Wyvern’s Prince.

The third bonus of IF is that they feature books and promotions on their own site and blog, and there are many, many (MANY) multi-author promotions that are set up to feature IF titles. Several of the promotions I’m participating in during the month of November are of this type. I like when authors work together for everyone’s advantage, so am excited about these promos.

Finally, my theory is that IF will offer the opportunity to get new visibility for a free title on an ongoing basis. In the past, a free title might stick on the bestseller list for a particular genre or sub-genre at any given portal, which would provide visibility for it. As more and more books enter the marketplace and more authors use a free series opener to find new readers, this is a less reliable strategy. Free books spike and drop on the lists, just like paid books do, and once the free book drops below a certain point, it’s not achieving the goal of aiding in discovery. I’m curious to see whether this works better.

If you’re an author and would like to try Instafreebie, you can follow this referral link to sign up and put a little $ in my budget for telling you about it. 🙂

Knights Dragons and Heroes, Welcome to Deborah Cooke (and Claire Delacroix)'s newsletter.
My third experiment is one that I find geeky but cool. I set up an onboarding sequence for my newsletter, using the automation feature at my newsletter service provider. An onboarding sequence is a series of emails that welcomes new subscribers to the list, orients them with regard to the product or service (in this case, my book series and author brands) and engages with them. The idea is that they’ll be more likely to remain subscribers with this kind of a welcome transition. Does that work? I have no idea but am intrigued.

I set up a sequence of four emails (actually there are several series of four emails, which vary based upon how the person subscribed to the newsletter). It’s set up to give them an overview of my books and series, as well my social media, but divided into stages. Even better, the newsletter service offers many nifty stats and graphs of who’s opening what and which links are being clicked. It’s just a trickle of activity now, which is how I wanted to start, but will start to cast more results as these promotions run and more readers step into the stream. The sequence began to run on the 29th of October, so if you subscribed after that date, you’ll receive the emails. You could also subscribe to my newsletter right now if you haven’t already. As a side bonus of doing this, I found a new template in my newsletter service which I like better than the one I was using, so my newsletter has also gotten a fresh new look.

There are the new tricks and some treats from my end for November. Do you subscribe to any newsletters with onboarding sequences? Do you like them? Do you find new authors with free reads? Where do you find free reads?

3 thoughts on “New Tricks

  1. I use Pixel of Ink, BookBub, BookShout, and various blogs which do the same thing — discounted books and freebies. This also allows me to add some books to my list on Amazon — which interest me, but not buyable at the time. I’m also a reviewer with NetGalley, a wonderful way to continue with already known authors who keep pumping them out, or a debut novel I should read. I participate on a few street teams, and few is the important word. The author has got to be one that I can’t live without reading her books.

    Most definitely, I find new authors through free reads. I also am introduced to new authors by winning a giveaway at an event or a request from an author for me to review her work. I wouldn’t be able to read as much as I do, if it weren’t for these means of acquiring books.

    Lastly, I always do a review–whether it’s free or bought. This is the very least I should do.

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  2. I read free reads found on newsletters with multiple book discounts and giveaways. I like the fact that the authors all pitch in together to promote their work and expose the readers like me to new treasures. I’ve discovered 8 new authors that I can’t believe I’ve never read before. That’s not including your work, which I’m ashamed to admit I hadn’t read until this year. While collecting the free books, downloaded mostly on IF, I’ve only seen a book description if it’s to state the book is a novella, sample or short story. I haven’t seen anything regarding the plot of the books from IF until I read it for the first time. Basically I look really hard at the cover and see what it says combined with the title and throw the dice on whether to read it or not. I haven’t had that issue with bookfunnel because they have blurbs, so it can be frustrating. However, i receive many newsletters from the authors that use IF. So you’re right on the money about that. I’ve gotten newsletters for books I don’t remember downloading, or haven’t read yet, and read on the newsletter about the authors additional books and their giveaways. This is great news for authors. This is why I found my new treasures. Once I had a free book and a newsletter I could decide whether or not to continue reading them. I’ve found that I didn’t care for the free books at times, but the author gave away a freebie of theirs in their newsletter that I did like. I can always unsubscribe from the newsletter if I’m unsatisfIed. I’ve included 6 authors this year in my list of top quality work. I’ve joined 4 ARC teams and become a beta reader for one more. Having someone provide you with a good book and ask you to read it and tell them what you think is the best way to spend the remainder of my life. I wouldn’t be on the ARC team if they weren’t writing what I love.

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