Notes from the Self-Pubbed #7 (addendum)

Addendum! Fancy, right? I’m all about the class and the sophistication stuff. But why the addendum? Well, I just got the sales report from Apple and Kobo from my February 6th BookBub promotion of the Grant Scotland omnibus and I’m happy to report they held mother’s milk. I sold enough to recoup expenses and even make a small profit! Read on for numbers! Numbers for the Number God!

 

 

APPLE: (as reported through Smashwords)

Apple sales are reported in a monthly dump, so no per-day sale info available.

44 Units sold during February at $1.99 each (so we can surmise all sales were during promo period).

60% royalty to author yields $1.20 each less Value Added Tax (VAT) on applicable sales. I think this is about 15% before royalty is figured, but it only applies to select overseas sales. So, to err on the safe side, we’ll call it a buck a book.

44 Units @ $1.00 = $44

KOBO: (as reported through Smashwords)

Kobo sales are reported on a monthly basis with day-by-day break down, but all the days were within the promo period.

67 Units sold during February at $1.99.

60% royalty to author yields $1.20 each. No VAT with Kobo, so we get the full $1.20.

67 Units @ $1.20 = $80

REVISED BOOKBUB PROMO NUMBERS:

Expense of Promo: $261

Total royalties from Promo: $283

Profit: $22

 

 

How do you like that?

 

“You might not be as useless as you were before. But you’re still a long way from an invite to Mar-a-Lago”

 

Now, I know these numbers combined with the Amazon numbers result in a quantity and profit margin that is extremely small in comparison with the sales of most other authors, but that’s how it starts.

 

“But that’s how it always begins. Very small.”

 

Additionally, I’m not including sales beyond the promo period which have been not insubstantial and at full price. So, if you throw those in, the profit margin is quite a bit wider. But now this leaves me in a quandary. Sales of Greedy Villain (the only book NOT in the omnibus) have been slow but steady on Amazon since the promotion, but the book is only available on Amazon right now because I wanted to keep it in Kindle Unlimited library to get the sweet, sweet borrowed page reads. However, those haven’t been that impressive and I’d hate to lose the opportunity to get some Kobo/Apple sales on it. I guess I just decided, didn’t I? Greedy Villain is up for renewal in KU in early April. I’ll decline renewal and see if I can get some follow up sales on Kobo and Apple. I can always put it back on KU later.

As for BookBub, my faith has been restored. I can now confidently tell you that if you’re looking to promote a book it is the best advertising option out there. And their follow-up survey is great! I shared my data with them and I’m hoping since my ROI was pretty low it will encourage them to lower their entrance fee a bit. Regardless, I’m looking forward to trying to get the omnibus on a domestic (U.S. only) BookBub promotion in the near future.

I’m in a good mood!

 

Have a drink? ‘Cause I’m having a drink.

 

Oh, and I’ve started receiving my rejection letters from the short stories I’ve sent out! They’re great! Can you tell I’m in a good mood? No, seriously! I feel even more like an “official” author now. My self-published books are making money and my short stories are being turned down by magazines. This is a very exciting time!

Cheers!

 

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Holy crap! This whole thing might actually pan out! Can you believe that? No, don’t answer that. It’s the suspense that’s delicious, isn’t it?

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

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Notes from the Self-Pubbed (Issue #4)

Well, the holiday season is in full swing and all of us here at Grant Scotland Enterprises are full of good cheer, not to mention copious amounts of scotch! But we’re not just celebrating the annual month-long feeding frenzy of consumerism nor the yearly visit of a conspicuously overweight Aelfan man of notoriously unstable temperament and questionable judgement nor even the secret pagan rites of the Winter Solstice festival.

No!

I mean, yes. All of that, of course. But also, no!

We are chiefly celebrating – and we’re really excited about this – our first Grant Scotland T-Shirt recipient! That’s right, ladies and gents! We have a winner! A verified winner! Someone who has actually succeeded at something! Right here in our very presence! Can you believe it?

But let me back up a second, if you don’t mind. We’ll bring our lucky contestant out later so we can gaze in admiration and swoon with adoration. First things first, though. Let’s talk business.

I just recently finished my first promotion of the holiday season and I wish I could say that everything went super terrific. In fact, it was just the opposite of that. What would that be, anyway? Unexceptionally inferior? Insignificantly awful? Ordinarily bad?

Ordinarily bad sounds about right. It has a certain sad-sack tone to it.

 

What is the sound of one clown crying?

What is the sound of one clown crying?

 

Anyway, I had decided on marching my promotion efforts sequentially through each Grant Scotland novel as the holiday season progresses, so I began with Spy for a Dead Empire. I bought advertising space on two ebook advertiser’s websites and newsletters during the first two days of a Kindle Countdown Deal. For those who aren’t familiar, a Kindle Countdown deal is a week long period of price-reduction (either graduated or not) where the publisher (me, in this case) signs his book up for participation in the 90-day Kindle Select program (which means Kindle Unlimited subscribers can borrow it and I get a little bit of money from borrowed pages read) and Amazon allows some additional internal promotional options. That may be a little much to take in all at once, but essentially it’s a deal with Amazon where I publish with them exclusively for a time and in exchange they help promote my book.

So, my Countdown Deal days were from November 23rd to the 30th. I tapped Booksends to run an ad on 11/23 and Booktastic on the 24th. Concurrently, I gave Amazon a budget of $100 to run pay-per-click ads on their site (you may have heard of it) for the period of 11/23 to 12/7. Let’s see the breakdown and the results:

Countdown Deal: Discount Spy for a Dead Empire @ $0.99 from 11/23 up to 11/27 and @$1.99 from 11/27 to 11/30.

Booksends newsletter ad space for 11/23 – $25 + $10 for EReader IQ partner newsletter

Booktastik newsletter ad space for 11/24 – $10

Facebook community page promotional post boost for two days starting 11/23 – $5

Amazon pay-per-click ad campaign 11/22 – 12/7 – $0 to $100 depending on results. Actual result was $75.56

Total marketing expense: $125.56

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And lets take a look at those sales from 11/23 to 12/7:

Spy for a Dead Empire Amazon sales: 12 copies @ $0.99, 2 @ $1.99

Spy for a Troubled King sales: 0 copies @$3.99

Spy for a Wayward Daughter: 0 copies @$3.99

Spy for a Dead Empire borrowed pages read: 882

Spy for a Troubled King borrowed pages read: 271

Spy for a Wayward Daughter borrowed pages read: 1 (for real?)

Total Sales: $16

Royalties from borrowed pages read: (roughly one-half cent per page)  $5.77

Amazon pay-per-click stats:

Impressions: 104,519

Clicks: 95

Average Cost Per Click (aPCC): $0.80

Detail Page View: 103

Estimated Total Sales: (Resulting from same user clicking the ad and then buying) $7.96

Gross income (not adjusted for Amazon’s 30% cut on sales): $21.77

Net: -$103.79

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YIKES! That’s awful! And highly unsustainable. What really did me in was the pay-per-click. I definitely was too competitive on that. An $0.80 cost-per-click is ridiculous. Maybe I’ll tone that down for Troubled King’s holiday promo. We’ll see.

The sales were so dismal that I don’t feel like including the daily counts. Most happened on the first day and then the rest happened sporadically, probably mostly attributed to Amazon’s click ad. Booktastic was notably horrible. Maybe resulted in one sale. Maybe.

Well, I don’t have to guess what my financial adviser has to say about this…

 

"When I'm president, remind me to deport you. Now, show me this winner you mentioned. I only want to talk to winners."

“When I’m president, remind me to deport you. Now, show me this winner you mentioned. I only want to talk to winners.”

 

Ah, yes! To the good news! The first week of our Grant Scotland T-Shirt giveaway is completed and the winner is….

JOSH PHELAN! That’s right! Josh Phelan is a WINNER!

 

He's actually wearing a Grant Scotland T-Shirt underneath his suit.

He’s actually wearing a Grant Scotland T-Shirt underneath his suit.

 

Congratulations, Josh!

I’ll shortly be contacting Josh via my fancy-shmancy newsletter (Sign up now and don’t miss next week’s giveaway!) to get his size and address. Soon he will be receiving his short-sleeved shirt just in time for winter.

I know, I know. Someday I’ll figure out how to schedule things appropriately… but it is not this day!!!

So long everyone! Tip your driver and review a book! Alternatively, you could tip a writer and review a driver, but we’re not equipped for that here.

 

Adventures of Grant Scotland T-Shirt Giveaway!

‘Tis the season, everyone! ‘Tis the season of buying and selling, giving and taking, eating and drinking, sneezing and blessing, caroling and drinking, wrapping and decorating, arguing and drinking, throwing and dodging, weeping and drinking… and… what else? Oh yeah, drinking. But it is also the season of Grant Scotland! In fact, it is the very first season of Grant Scotland merchandise! The inaugural season. Season One – with deleted scenes and a blooper reel!

That’s right! Sweet Grant Scotland loot is now available! Feast your eyes upon the glory that is the Official Adventures of Grant Scotland T-Shirt (TM)!

 

actual_T3

Pictured sizes are 2XL and Small for reference. Other sizes include, XL, Large and Medium.

 

actual_T19

This is what I had written on the back, because when you’re wearing this thing, you’re wearing Grant Scotland.

 

“Oh sweet merriment above the firmament!” you may cry out in glee. And who could blame you?

“I am unworthy to even gaze upon such gifts of grace!” you may exclaim tearfully. And who wouldn’t think that? Except maybe not quite with such hyperbole.

“But how might I lay my unworthy hands upon such gleaming bounty, even if only to pass it on to one more worthy than myself?” you may ask on your knees and with hands upraised beseechingly. And again, who could blame you? Although, really, you’re starting to get a little weird about the whole thing.

Well, you’re in luck! Every week during the holidays (and perhaps even some weeks after the holidays) I’ll be giving these T-Shirts away FREE! Yes, FREE meaning including shipping. Not, FREE, but you have to give me thirty bucks, first. No! FREE, like for real FREE. FREE as a newly born infant! FREE as a lucky penny! FREE as that pack of gum you stole when you thought no one was watching! (People were watching, it’s just that no one cared.) FREE, I say! FREE as only a man writing with no pants on can describe it!

“What’s the catch?” you ask, suddenly cagey and on guard. And why shouldn’t you be? There’s nothing in life for free!

And you’d be right. I do require one small favor. Sign up for my mailing list. In exchange, you become a permanent entrant to every weekly giveaway I hold this season (and possibly later).

That’s it. That’s all. No money involved. I promise not to email you anything but blog updates and alerts for book releases and major promotions. That will be at most once a week. Additionally, the mailing list stays with me, obviously. Your email address goes nowhere but into my Mailchimp account.

I’ll make sure nobody gonna get it. Know why? ‘Cause we tight, yo. *FIST BUMP*

So, every week for the next… mmm… call it five or so, I guess… I’ll draw a winning email address out of a virtual hat and announce the winner and ask that person where he or she would like me to send the shirt! It’s that simple! I’ll announce the first winner around this time next week, so sign up now!

Oh. What’s a virtual hat you ask? Well, it looks a little like this:

 

actual_T17

Photo touch-up courtesy of my lovely goofball of a wife.

 

I’m reasonably certain you’d look way better in my t-shirt than I do. It’s really not that hard, as you can plainly see. You’ll draw a lot of attention. No need to thank me. And when people stop you on the street and say “I like your t-shirt,” you can reply with a wink: “Grant Scotland lives.”

Or you can smile awkwardly and look away and pretend to be interested in the cars and the buildings and the lack of anything interesting to look at while you wait for the crossing light to change. That’s pretty much what I do, because I suck at self-promotion. But it won’t be self-promotion if you do it!

But however and wherever you wear your Grant Scotland T-Shirt, you’ll be happy that you got it for FREE! So sign up now! Don’t miss your opportunity to be dressed in the next big thing in serial adventure, fantasy, mystery, action, espionage, suspense and… what else… oh yeah, drinking.

 

"Ahem. There is also a cat of plainly superior quality, breeding and temperament."

“Ahem. There is also a cat of plainly superior quality, breeding and temperament.”

 

Hope you’ll sign up! Good luck! In the meantime, don’t forget to tip your driver and review a book!