Daily Archives: November 5, 2019

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First Launch in a Year Results

November 5, 2019 by in category Writing

Happy November.

I apologize in advance for the long post.

Last month I shared about my first release in over a year.  I was very nervous.  So much so, I thought I’d broken out with a case of hives on release day. Only to discover it was an infection.  The medical drama is a couple of posts on its own.  Bottom line, I just finished my second round of meds.  Thank God, it wasn’t anything serious, but could have been.  

So how was my release for A Southern Gentleman Vol 2?  AMAZING! Did I hit the numbers I wanted?  No.  But that was okay, because I got something better.  But first let me explain the slight glitch I encountered.

I rarely do pre-order on Amazon.  Committing to a date without the option of last minute changes, isn’t something I like.  However, I thought I’d try it this time.  After all the book had been on pre-order on all of the other platforms, so I thought.  Turns out when I loaded the book to Kobo, it was as a pre-order.  At least looking at the dashboard, it wasn’t.  I’m pretty sure, there was a glitch because every time I made a change, it kept indicating that it was a live book.

Back over at KDP and the pre-order, I loaded a placeholder file…my ARC.  However, I wasn’t familiar with the countdown clock.  I received an email that said “Thank You for the file” or something to that effect.  I misread the email.  I thought it was reminding me, when in fact it was telling me the file was set and no changes could be made until after it was live.  Insert panicked face here.  I freaked out and started praying and searching the blogs for an answer.  I found a post in one of my Facebook groups, that mentioned a window to make changes.  Apparently, there’s a small window before pre-orders are delivered when you might, be able to go in and make changes before the file is delivered.

I was prepping for release day and this little voice said to check the locked file.  I did and it was open.  The pre-orders hadn’t been delivered yet.  I hurried about and got the correct file loaded. Hallelujah!  I also had a problem with how I loaded the file to Apple Books.  The opposite was happening at Apple Books.  I had put the incorrect date in, which meant the file probably never would have dropped.

On to the results.  The Saturday before release[book launch date 10.08.19], my Sweet & Sexy romance was #8 on Amazon.co.uk in African American Fiction.  I was over the moon.  Then on release day in the US, ASGV2 spent it in the top 100 African American Christian Fiction. Both are very good. What really had me bouncing off the walls, was where A Southern Gentleman Vol 2 was it’s first weekend…#21 in African American Christian Fiction [Kindle Store] and #22 African American Christian Fiction [Books] in the US. YEAH!!! I almost passed out.  The book stayed in these spots for a few days.

You may be wondering about the category placement.  I did a little research and found some more books similar to mine and noticed they were positioned in that category.  I have never wanted my books to be pigeon holed as Christian Fiction or Romance.  However, there are enough of those elements to put them in that category.  Last week, I moved ASGV1 to that same category and have notice a big shift.  I also put another couple books in that category as well.  I’m experimenting with category placement, but that’s the subject for a different post.

So what did I do differently this time?

I hired a publicist – It was time to get help.  I used Honey Magnolia PR.  Tia Kelly is amazing.  She helped me formulate a plan that was right for me and this book.  We did a Book Blitz, Blog Tour and Social Media Blast.  I was very hesitant to do a blog tour, because the first and last couple of times I did, I didn’t get very good results.  This time, I saw social media results as well as a bump in my BookBub followers.  I also got an amazing review.

ARC Team – This is an area where I am still having a challenge.  I get people to signup yet they won’t post reviews.  If anyone has tips on how to get your ARC Team to cooperate I’d appreciate it.  However, the reviews I have are great, but I really want to get in the double digits.

Facebook Ads – I did three test ads and eventually nailed it down to one.  It is so true about FB Ads.  For me, as long as I’m running an ad, I see sales.  I started the ads late [a few days before release day and as of the post, I’m still running it.  From the looks of it, the ad is beginning to pay for itself.

BookBub Ads – I can’t say for sure, but I think these are responsible for my amazing sales with Draft Two Digital.

Newsletter Ad – I’m not quite sure of the results and that’s my fault because I should have done a better job of tracking.

Facebook Party – This was a first for me.  I never hosted a FB party.  I have a small reader group, but not enough for a party.  So I asked a friend A M Roak to help me.  She was awesome and connected me with The New Romance Cafe.  This was so much fun.  I put a call out and Christina Alexander, A M Roak, Saharra Sandhu, Kelly Violet, Cass Ford, Naomi Springthorp, and Dee J Holmes, all jumped in and helped me.

There were a few ads I wanted to run, but I let time get away from me.  And I really wanted to give Facebook another shot.  I have spent a lot of money on courses and now need to make them work for me.  

On to phase two of the release.  More Facebook ads and there are a couple of newsletter ads I’d like to try.  I also would love to apply for a BookBub on book one in the duet.  The other thing I’m going to do is a special giveaway for my list.  I did two giveaways at the beginning, one for the Blitz and one for the tour.

So am I excited about this release?  Yes.  I’m also a little sad, because that means I have to put Jeremiah to the side while I give another book boyfriend my attention.  Next up on my computer is Ty from Unexpected Love.  I was inspired during a holiday and re-read my book Unexpected Love.  When I finished I decided it was time to tell the next part of this story.  And to make sure I do, it’s my NANO project.  So far I’m behind, but I’m sure I’ll get my writing wings any day.  As of writing, I’m 3872 words in.  We’ll see what happens.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy NANO to all.

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