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Is it worth paying to promote your ebook?

June 3, 2013

Well I suppose it depends on one or two variables.

Some of us have the luxury of being able to devote all of our waking hours to writing (and by writing I mean the big picture – publicity, marketing, promotional activity – the works) while others need to earn a crust some other way while they wait for their writing career to mature. Failing that, some are just plain impatient.

We all know that developing yourself as a successful (i.e. paid) author is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s been said so many times right? But what if you can sprint the marathon? I know, it sounds a bit like taking performance enhancing drugs, but really, why not pay someone to push your next free ebook promo?

Well, maybe because you’re wasting the hard-earned money that you haven’t yet been paid because you’re not yet successful enough as an author. It’s like a big circle of evolution come to think of it, and who knows where it begins.

I have debated the matter of promotional assistance for some few weeks now (internally, with myself) and come to the conclusion that it’s a worth-while risk. 

I don’t have a marketing budget. I don’t even have very much money. But the $30 I’ve just shelled out (about £20 in sterling for you fellow brits) isn’t going to break even my bank and there’s a good chance I’ll get some return from it.

So what do I hope to achieve?

Well, my crime thriller Pursuit is available on Kindle for free this week, Thursday 6th June to Monday 10th June. Hopefully just by clicking that promo button on Kindle Select I’ll generate a good few downloads, and just maybe, from there, some sales will come my way through word of mouth. It worked with my first publication, a short story thriller called The Villager. Sales were fairly low, then I offered it for free and managed around 80 sales a month. I know, not exactly earth-shattering but for a début writer with precious little marketing going on, it wasn’t bad.

So I’m hoping to boost the sales of Pursuit in the same fashion. Only this time I’m going to put my free promo on steroids, and pay the good Faydra Deon at ebookblitz.com to shout about it for me.

Sure, I will still use my own tools like Twitter and Goodreads and various other forums I frequent, but can I get bigger downloads by announcing my promotion to a bigger crowd? Logically, you would think so. And logically, the more free downloads I get, the more word of mouth sales will follow.

Logically.

The thing is, logic tends not to follow me, so who knows what will happen.

In any case though, I’ll be back here to update on the results at the end of the week. Let the experiment commence..

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