Results of KDP Select Promotion: Yseult #20 in Historical Fantasy

… and that’s PAID for Kindle. 🙂

I am stunned and amazed at how well my first freebie promotion worked. I can’t say exactly how many free downloads Yseult got, but when I first checked after the promotion, it was at over 8600 units. Now it’s at over 8700, with 31 units borrowed (for which Amazon pays authors a per unit price, depending on the funds in the Kindle Prime borrowing pot). So no matter how you look at it, it’s a couple hundred dollars in a couple of days. The price for the cover art is already paid for. (Plug: Derek is great to work with, and provided several initial designs before I narrowed it down by asking readers here and on Facebook and Twitter. Check him out!)

Unfortunately, I have not been as successful at getting back to working on original fiction again. My brain seems to function in gears, and now it’s in marketing gear, which makes it very hard for me to shift back into creation gear. I have started work on a new story story collaboration, and I’ve gotten Shadow of Stone into Scrivener for editing purposes, but that’s not new stuff. At least it’s fiction again. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m bad at balancing. But if I want to make a career as an indie author, something I really have to learn is going back and forth between making new words and promoting my work.

If anyone has any tips on how to strike a balance between marketing and creation, please share!

18 thoughts on “Results of KDP Select Promotion: Yseult #20 in Historical Fantasy”

  1. Ruth, just checking in from ROW80, and would like to say congratulations on the success of your KDP Select title! Based on the letter I got from Amazon this week, “borrows” from the KDP Lending Library paid $1.70 in December – and they’ve just added another $200,000 to the “pot” for January, so I would guess we’d see something similar.

    Curious to know if you ran your “free” promotion using all 5 days in a row, or split it up into several 2-3 day promotions. I used the “all at once” format for my first KDP release, and will be writing up an assessment of that method once January is over and the final numbers are in.

    Am feeling the pain in the “marketing vs. creation” arena myself, but have found that putting down very specific goals toward writing may encourage the latter above the former… Hence the participation in ROW80 this time around.

    Best of luck in both sides of the business!

  2. Unfortunately Ruth, I don’t have great advice for balancing marketing & creating. Just some of the usual stuff. So my apologies if you’ve heard this before!

    Give yourself a minute (or hour) amount for marketing. Set it kind of low at first to err on the side of writing. Try to fit marketing in after you’ve spent some time creating. Don’t do marketing as the first thing of the day (because once your brain is switched onto guest posting / Twitter / answering emails / etc, it’s hard to switch out). And if your brain is absolutely unable to switch between these tasks, you may try designating “marketing free” days where it’s just you, a cup of your writing beverage of choice (mine is water) and freewriting/brainstorming.

    My preferred balance is this: wake up in the morning, take a quick survey of email & social media tasks that I’ll need to do for the day. Then I’ll sit down for a small block to write to get up to speed (for me, this is journaling. Non-pressure-y writing that won’t see the light of day). Depending on how long I have to write, this can be anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Then when I feel loose–or even if I think everything I write will be terrible–I dive into the meat of writing. I take breaks at hour-marks to do a little bit of social media fiddling and to let my brain relax at little. But These breaks are 5 or 10 minutes. Then it’s back into writing.

    Basically, it is as you imagine. Prioritize creating. Experiment with different marketing tacts, and then see if the decrease in marketing time actually harms sales trends. There may also be some marketing / automation tools that help out like Triberr or the like, but I’m not very savvy with them. Hopefully someone with better experience than me can chime in.

    1. Those are *great* tips, Tracy! I think I need to get into the habit of using a timer and give them a shot. 🙂 Watching the numbers too, to see what affect a change in habit on my part will have on sales is something I definitely have to keep in mind! Thank you very, very much!

  3. That’s great news! I am a firm believer that (as hard as it is) giving your work away for free pays off in the long run. It gives you a chance to get reviews and get your book out there.

    Here’s a bad example: I worked at Starbucks for 2 years (hated it) and we were constantly cutting up pastries and making samples of drinks. They know if you give people a taste that they’re more likely to buy in the future. And it works.

    Books are the same. There are many authors that I will try for 99 cents or free and then proceed to buy everything they’ve written (if I like). It’s really bad for my wallet. I will have books on hold at the library (4 blocks away) and buy the book because I can’t wait.

    My suggestion on balance- hire an assistant! That’s kind of a joke. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an assistant? I sure need one.

    Have a lovely week, Ruth!

    1. Thanks, Heather! What I really need to do now is get *more* stuff up so I can offer things alternately — but I also want to write some new material. 🙂 Part of the balancing, I guess.

  4. Hi Ruth,
    I’m too much of a newbie to offer advice, but I wanted to congratulate you on the KDP results. That’s just terrific! Hmmm…maybe since it’s ROW80 you set some very, very tiny fiction goals, e.g., 5 minutes of brainstorming, 100 words a day – I don’t know – but something very small. It’s like those Starbucks’s samples Heather mentioned – sometimes when you get a little sample of writing, it ignites the engine and you’re ready for more. (I think I have just murdered two metaphors so I’ll stop now.) Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Maidrya! I’m definitely going to work on switching over from marketing to writing this week. I’ll post how it goes.

      BTW, I couldn’t find your blog on the linky list — I wanted to return the favor and give you a little encouragement too. But your link only took me to a blog that hasn’t been updated since April 2011. 😦

  5. difficult one that but I think I agree with write first in a daybefore marketing – apart from reason given above time runs away on the networks and research

    well done on kindle stuff – must say I havent decided yet on it – I hate being told I cant do anything and to give anyone exclusive rights well – but looks like I may be wrong!!

    all the best for coming week

  6. Ruth, this is fantastic news! I’m so happy to hear that the KDP experiment went so well. I’ve been following other writing friends who are doing similar things, and it seems that they all have had great success.

    Have a wonderful week!

  7. Thanks for the feedback 🙂 But I understand how you feel about switching gears. I have a hard time with that myself! Good luck on getting into the groove.

  8. I’d say it was Fate, Ruth, having me find your blog today, as I was looking for some modern fairy tales to add to my reading for The Telling Tales 2012 challenge. Yseult (based along the Tristan and Isolde story?) looks to be perfect for me. Thanks. And you are right, Derek’s artwork is wonderful.

    I can’t offer any advice on marketing except you seem to be doing something right. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Eden! Yseult is a big fat fantasy, but I hope you enjoy it! I’ll have to google the Telling Tales challenge — sounds fun!

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