BTS055, My Experiment with Tempting Readers to Impulse Buy the Second Book in a Series. Did It Work?

by | Author Platform, Authorpreneur Podcast, BTS Podcast Diary, business, Marketing, Season 3: How to Outline a Story, Self-Publishing

Hello, Writers!

 

So, I have a confession to make. Actually, I’ve been struggling to sell paid books. Sure, I can give them away for free, but paid is a different problem altogether. I’ve been struggling to sell Duplicity, the second book in my James Lalonde Amateur Sleuth Mystery Series. A few days before my forty-second birthday, I realised that FreeBooksy had a spot open on my birthday, the 29th of May. In this episode, I’m going to share with you the results of that experiment and my attempts to re-create the results with a Fussy Librarian Promotion, which I scheduled for the 8th of June.

 

Without further ado, let’s get into the show.

 

Previous Sales Stats

But before I get into the book marketing experiment, below is a list of the previous month’s sales.

Duplicity
The Lawn
The Locked Room
Suspicion
February
1
0
0
0
March
8
2
0
0
April
14
2
2
1
May
2
0
2
0

About the Episode

Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Thursday, the 6th of July, so this show is primarily me looking back at a book marketing experiment that I conducted in May and June. And, if you’re new to this podcast, I want to say a huge thank you for stopping by and trying out my show. To those of you who have been faithfully listening, thank you for regularly listening in and supporting me; your support means more to me than you know.

 

The What, Where, and How Much

The initial impulse buying of book two book marketing experiment was conducted by scheduling a free book promotion on Suspicion, the first novella in my series, on Free Booksy on Monday, the 29th of May. Just to give you a bit of background information on Suspicion, which I believe will be relevant to this experiment—the story is 42,771 words in length. So, technically, it’s a short novel, but I’m advertising it as a novella because I want to over-deliver on the novella than leave readers feeling ripped off. And it cost one hundred US Dollars or eighty British Pounds.

 

Why Am I Doing This?

Back in April, I changed the price of Duplicity from US$3.99 to 99¢. During the start of April and the 29th of May, I sold eleven copies of Duplicity organically without paid advertising of any kind. As in, I did nothing, and people brought this book. So, I was curious about what the results would be if I promoted Suspicion.

 

Would readers feel tempted to impulse by my book two?

 

What Did I Expect?

Honestly, I expected a failed result. Because I’m a full-fledged pessimist, I expected most people to just to download the freebie and maybe one or two people would go on to purchase Duplicity at 99¢. I changed this price at a last effort because I decided that this series was never going to sell. But that’s a very flawed point of view because in order to get discoverability, I need to keep publishing more books.

 

So, I was expecting too much?

 

The Sales Stats

Now, it’s time for the sales statistics. These figures are far from glamorous, but I’m beyond happy with the results, possibly because I set the bar so low. So, keep that in mind. 

Amazon

Suspicion
Duplicity (99¢)
The Candidate (99¢)
29th
1,327
29
1
30th
170
14
0
31st
50
1
0

Apple

Suspicion
Duplicity (99¢)
The Candidate (99¢)
29th
91
0
0
30th
23
0
0
31st
11
0
0

Barnes & Noble

Suspicion
Duplicity (99¢)
The Candidate (99¢)
29th
77
0
0
30th
11
0
0
31st
7
0
0

Kobo

Suspicion
Duplicity (99¢)
The Candidate (99¢)
29th
52
1
1
30th
24
0
0
31st
8
0
0

What Does This Mean?

In a nutshell, two point nine percent of readers who downloaded Suspicion chose to impulse buy book two on Amazon. These readers most likely came from FreeBooksy. Honestly, this was better than I expected. I was only expecting a one or zero percent—basically a fail. And I didn’t expect to get any sales in the other stores. Considering these readers are yet to read Suspicion and are buying based on a bargain, I’m happy with these results.

 

Other Interesting Side Effects

My Follower count on Amazon changed from eighty-five to ninety-eight—an extra thirteen followers. Over on BookBub, I had an extra two followers, taking my count from eight to ten. Even though for me this is exciting, I’m aware that BookBub will only send out new release notifications to those of my followers who live in the United States. On Amazon, I reached the number two position of the private investigator mysteries on the free Kindle store. But I didn’t keep track of Suspicion’s status on the top 100 free Kindle books for that category. That wasn’t the point for me.

 

Will I Keep My Book Two Priced at 99¢?

Yes, I think the impulse buy temptation for some readers is worth it because while my book was set at the full price of US$3.99, there was no impulse buy, people just downloaded the free book, and that’s it. Because I foolishly had no hook to the second book in the epilogue of book one, there was no reason for the reader to be interested in the second book. But there is a hook in the epilogue of book three, so I’m hoping that in the future, once book three is published, there will be a read-through from book two to book three.

 

Doing It All Again

Can I replicate these results again, or was this a once-off thing? I’m so glad you asked. Sitting in my inbox for a long time was a twenty-five percent off The Fussy Librarian coupon, and the last day for purchasing was the 8th; after discovering it, I knew what I had to do. So, on the 8th of June 2023, I purchased another Free Book newsletter promotion on The Fussy Librarian. Because I previously used this company to promote Suspicion after the launch of the third edition, and I was happy with the results and was keen to use this company again. With the discount, the price of the promotion was US$59.25 or £47.85.

 

Suspicion
Duplicity (99¢)
The Candidate ($2.99)
The Locked Room ($2.99)
The Lawn (99¢)
Amazon
440
12
0
0
0
Apple
39
0
0
0
0
B&N
20
0
0
0
0
Kobo
38
0
1
1
1
Google
2
0
0
0
0

Did I See the Two Percent Impulse Buy?

Even though these figures are tiny, there is evidence of the two precent impulse buy on Amazon that was present with the Free Booksy Promotion. So, that two percent seems to be a pattern at this stage, although seeing results twice are not a pattern, technically. Maybe, take this with a grain of salt. But I am a cynic by nature. And I have a need to poo-poo on my own success.

 

Unexpected Results on Kobo

Now the results on Kobo were surprising. The data can be looked at in several ways. The first is one person purchased my entire backlist but not Duplicity. Or, three people purchased one other book from my backlist. On top of this, I received my first review from a reader on Kobo, and it’s five stars, and it’s one of those reviews that you can use in a promotion on social media. At this time, I cannot see the Kobo Plus minutes read for May and June, so I’ll have to wait until those details are available.

 

Concluding Thoughts

So, that concludes the results of my book marketing experiment. If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please share your thoughts in the comments section below. In the next episode of the podcast, I will finally share the long-awaited episode on the anatomy of a scene.

 

Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.

 

With love,

Amelia xx

 

* DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains products created and sold by me or affiliate links to products (marked with an *), which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. The commission helps support the blog and allows us to continue to make content like this. Thank you for your support. 🙂

 

Have you found the blog and podcast useful? Wish you could buy the host, Amelia D. Hay, a cup of coffee. Now, thanks to Buy Me a Coffee, you can!

Amelia D. Hay

Written by Amelia D. Hay

I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.

On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.

Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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