Well kiddies, it’s been a fun couple of weeks. The Host Rises has received three bang up reviews, been noted as “visionary” and compared to Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End.
It just doesn’t get much better than that. Now, how do we translate being a critical success into being a financial success… or perhaps even a bestseller?
The first thing I did was to go back to those old standbyes that had performed so well from a “get ’em through the door” perspective; Twitter and Google ads. I’m still just investing $50 per day, split evenly on each platform but my hook is even more powerful.
For Twitter, I created a number of promoted tweets- some mentioning the Kirkus Review and driving clickthroughs directly to the review on the Kirkus site. From there, Kirkus has posted a link to the Amazon POS for the novel. Others have lifted quotes and credited the BlueInk and Clarion reviews but driven traffic directly to the Amazon POS.
For Google Ads, I was able to enlist the help of one of their marketing reps who redesigned some ads and redirected others to the same landing pages as the Twitter ads. What has changed is that we are driving right up to the Amazon POS as opposed to trying to sell the book from my website.
To date, the response has been amazing, especially on the Twitter side. I have so far generated 56,000 impressions and from that 3,100 clickthroughs, a rate over 5% when the average should be 1%. That’s since December 15th. I’m paying roughly 14 cents per clickthrough, which is outstanding.
The Google Ads have been less successful in generating impressions but in its defence, it was a more targeted campaign. I’ve had roughly 10,000 impressions and around 100 clickthroughs. That makes it around 1%, which is about right.
Unfortunately, I won’t know if this great start pays off for around a month. If I was direct selling my book to Amazon, I would be able to get daily sales reports. Since iUniverse is my publisher, I have to wait four to six weeks for it to generate sales reports. For now, on into the great unknown… but the number of people coming through the door bodes well!
On another front, I have begun to seek out a literary agent to represent the book to a traditional (and hopefully major) publisher. I’ve gleaned a list of sixty or so prospects and have initiated contact.
I am taking a bit of a chance with it though. Normally, a query to the LA is a letter of introduction followed by a synopsis of the book and a few sample pages (or chapters, depending upon the agent). In place of the synopsis, I’ve inserted the reviews, or at least the BlueInk in full and links to the other two. I risk being rejected for not following the requested format.
Those guys usually take four to six weeks to respond as well, if they even choose to. It seems the rejection letter is a relic from a lost, golden age. Today, they just ignore you.
So it would seem we have something of a race- do sales pick up first or does the book get picked up by an agent? We shall see.