Self-publishing has been home to much innovation since the digital market opened. Authors have been on the cutting edge of new formats, marketing tactics and delivery methods. And we’ve been grateful to learn from this incredible, creative community over the years.
One thing that always surprises and delights us is when authors find ways of using our services that we did not initially see or intend. In this post we’ll run down five creative ways authors have ‘hacked’ our products to maximize their return.
1. Double Targeting Similar Genres
Written Word Media promos are targeted by genre. This makes our promos effective because readers only get books that are in their favorite genres, and authors only pay to reach readers that are most likely to enjoy their book.
But what do you do if your book straddles multiple genres? Not every book fits neatly into a single genre, and not every reader exclusively reads in their ‘favorite’ genres.
Most authors simply pick a single genre that their book fits into, and promote to that audience. But this can leave sales on the table.
So, how are authors getting around this and hitting every reader who may like their book? By booking multiple promos on a single day in different genres and ‘double targeting’ the reader audience.
For example, an author could book a paranormal romance promo and fantasy promo on Bargain Booksy for the same book on the same day. By doing so, they are reaching more readers and expanding the reach of their promo. They also get around our requirement that a book can only be advertised on the same site in the same genre once every 30 days.
Does your book straddle genres? Review our promos to see if there is a combo that could work for you.
2. Back to Back Reader Reach Ad Campaigns
Reader Reach Ad Campaigns run for 5 days whether you choose Facebook or Amazon for your ads. This run period was determined after extensive testing and because having a set period of days makes it easier for authors to effectively plan. A set period of days for the campaign also reduces cost as it is less work for our team if they know exactly how long each campaign will be.
But, some authors want longer campaigns, and they’ve found a way to do it.
On our other brands, a book must wait 30 days after a promo before it can be promoted again in the same genre. This allows us to add new readers to the list, and keeps readers from seeing the same books too often.
But, with Reader Reach Ads, there is no such restriction. So, to extend campaign length, we see authors book back-to-back Reader Reach Campaigns for run periods anywhere from 10 to 30 days.
When this happens, our team will keep the same campaign running and continue to tweak and optimize over the course of the full run period. This longer run time both extends the time period that the book is advertised, but also gives our team even more time to tweak and optimize for the best results.
3. The Ultimate Romance Promo Stack
Romance books are popular. Like really popular. And because of the high demand from readers, romance is the only category that we have a specialized site for, Red Feather Romance.
Because we have more romance audiences, romance authors have the opportunity to build a major promo stack using Written Word Media promos.
We see authors scheduling Bargain Booksy, Freebooksy and Red Feather Romance promos on back to back days. For example, a pattern we’ve noticed is:
Day 1: An author makes their book free and runs a Freebooksy promo.
Day 2: the author reverts the book to the original price of $2.99 for a Bargain Booksy promo
Day 3-4: The author runs a Red Feather Romance promo and an Audio Thicket promo for the audiobook version.
Some authors will even run a Reader Reach Ads campaign at the same time for even more exposure or to extend the tail of their stack.
While authors of most genres can run Freebooksy and Bargain Booksy promos at a short interval, Romance authors have an opportunity to reach an additional audience with Red Feather Romance.
This is helpful both for exposure and because Red Feather Romance allows both free and paid books, it can be helpful for authors that don’t want to make a book free, or have a high original price after running a free day with Amazon.
4. Promoting books in a series sequentially
Another common promo strategy we see is promoting books in a series sequentially so every month readers see the next book in a series.
This strategy makes sure that readers who are less tech savvy or who ignore backmatter are aware of the next book in a series. And, if readers see book two or three and like the look of it, they may go back and buy book one to get started.
We also see authors who have multiple standalone titles increasing their promo cadence to keep their name top of mind for readers.
5. New Release Blitz
Getting a new book off to a good start is a great way to set your title up for success, and we’ve immediately seen authors take advantage of our new Limelight promo to do just that.
Limelight puts your book front and center and offers an exclusive showcase to our reader audience. This powerful promo is designed to build your author brand and generate sales. And authors have been pairing it with another email promo to launch their books with a bang.
New releases offer a compelling proposition to readers of new, exciting content. And Limelight offers authors a great way to showcase this proposition.
So, while not exclusively a new release promo, authors have quickly seen the opportunity Limelight offers to highlight new releases. Of course we also offer our book launch package with NewInBooks, which can build a promo stack for a new release. Contact us if you would like to discuss pairing a NewInBooks book launch with Limelight.
Bonus: Upload titles to account for faster checkout
Not a hack per say, but we do see that authors who frequently schedule promos use their author account to upload their titles and avoid inputting book info every time they schedule a promo.
The account also helps these authors keep track of when they have promos scheduled and when they last promoted a book.
If you have ever gotten tired of entering book descriptions or links while booking a promo, your Written Word Media account can make your life easier.