by Angela Breidenbach
Learning about new release marketing is a bit like standing under a pounding waterfall. The deluge can push an author off the ledge and into a deep pool of churning chaos as she tries to keep up with all the demands. How can an author begin to make sense of it all?
One thing that helps me manage it all is to learn one thing at a time. As a learner (one of my Top 5 Strengths from the Strengths Finder 2.0 testing) digging in and absorbing new information is fun to me. I want to learn everything I can until my curiosity is satisfied. I’ve tried to learn one new thing until I know it well rather than scatter myself over the surface of everything. But a few weeks ago I stumbled on something from Amazon I hadn’t heard of in new release marketing. The huge behemoth sells pre-order books at nearly 50% off the retail cover price. Barnes & Noble and Christianbook.com follow with pre-order sale specials. Whoa! I had no idea about this practice.
I didn’t know about this regular marketing event until I accidentally hit a link while writing a blog post. The link shot me over to my book page. Stunned, I saw the major discount. Excited, I tweeted it and began asking friends to tweet for me too. Something amazing happened. The Amazon algorithm shot up. But I wasn’t sure if it was my social media or a fluke. So I repeated it and could pin point each time the spike happened. My book’s rating went from the millions to as high as 37K and change.
I contacted my publisher, Abingdon Press, and asked if they had any knowledge of the length of the promotion. My marketing director, Cat Hoort, said it was an Amazon choice. My editor, Ramona Richards, found the rating movement interesting as well.
Another interesting thing happened. My Amazon author rating spiked. But again, I wondered if it was a fluke that my pre-order book was scaling the Amazon ratings on a book that hadn’t even released yet. I stopped tweeting. Partially because I had a speaking event over a weekend and partially because I wanted to know if I did nothing, what would happen? The numbers dropped significantly. I began tweeting again, the numbers moved upward exponentially. It’s been a very fun roller coaster experiment.
I didn’t want to only promote one seller. I checked as many online retailers as I knew and found two others marketing pre-order specials. Barnes and Noble copied the exact 46% discount while Christianbook.com set their price about $1 above, but still on a major discount. It’s not as easy to watch response on the other retailers, but I felt sharing options for readers would benefit people who preferred one retailer over another.
One more surprise waited for me. Two weeks before my new release date, I found the Kindle version on sale as well. I’ve started tweeting—and the same results. I’m delighted and looking forward to how these specials affect A Healing Heart long-term.
So how do you manage it all? Are you supposed to get obsessive over the Amazon ratings? Not at all. With advance knowledge about pre-order specials, it’s easier to pre-plan a social media campaign by scheduling tweets through hootsuite. Put a reminder in your calendar. Watch your book starting at a month out for the pre-order special sale. When it happens, copy the link into your social media scheduling program like hootsuite.com. Weave the tweets through the month in varying times between other reader friendly tweets so you’re not perceived as hard sell. Notify friends to tweet and retweet with you. Use hook lines and hashtags to market the specials. Here’s a sample of one I used:
Remember by letting your readers know about the pre-order specials, you’re really offering a great savings and a service. The blessing for you as the author is excitement over your new release in the month prior.
Another tip for pre-planning a new release? As you write guest posts and interviews, pre-load those links into hootsuite (or your favorite scheduling tool) to save the frazzled stress as the guest posts and interviews go live.
How would I encourage an author going into the hectic time of a new release? Preplan instead of standing under the waterfall drowning. With a little warning, you can enjoy the time and the results.
Meet the Author:
Angela Breidenbach is a speaker, coach, and author of A Healing Heart, April 2013 from Abingdon Press in the Quilts of Love series. Her family tradition is to create the life story on a photo memory quilt for each graduating senior. She is certified in mentor/peer counseling as a CTA life coach, as a Stephen Minister, and a weight loss/nutrition coach. Angela serves as an assisting minister (worship/prayer leader) for her congregation in Missoula, MT.
Click the pic below for info on buying Angela’s latest novel.
Workaholic, Mara Keegan, must heal her heart from loss and a heart attack before she can love again. But she has to trust her business to the one man that tried to destroy it.
A heart attack has stopped Mara Keegan in her tracks, leaving her daughter’s unfinished photo memory quilt hanging by a thread. Little does Mara know, this quilt—and the memories it bolsters—are the key to her rehabilitation. But Mara’s heart needs to be healed in more ways than one. And Joel Ryan is fraying her last nerve. With her daughter’s graduation fast approaching, even Mara starts to wonder if she—and her faith—can mend in time. Will Joel’s photo find a place on the quilt… and in Mara’s heart?
A Healing Heart, Abingdon Press releases April 1, 2013 as #6 in the Quilts of Love Books series.Where can you buy it? Your local book store or online at many of these retailers: Christianbook.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon