Here is my latest update on the various promotional activities I have undertaken to try to spread the word about my self-published books, and how successful or otherwise these activities have been.
1. Social Media
I continued to promote Red Rock and The Arid Lands on Twitter/X, IG, my Facebook/Meta page, Threads and Discord. I did pick up sales of The Arid Lands on preorder and downloads of Red Rock from my free promotions, as well as the occasional sale of both outside of promotion.
2. Red Rock free kindle deals
The first free deal which ran for 3 days to coincide with the ten-year anniversary of Red Rock first being published resulted in a modest number of downloads but at least I was reaching potential new readers. I will have to wait and see how many of these translate into reviews.
The second 2 day free deal for Red Rock was run to coincide with the launch of The Arid Lands and produced a similar result.
This contest (The Self Published SF Competition) will run for a year and the first phase, where I fully expect to get culled judging by the quality of some of the other contestants in my group, will run for 5 months. Initially there was no uptick in sales but it is likely that this is where my new downloads during the free offers came from. However, the contest did enable me to gain more visibility for my writing, which is always a good thing, and may well have contributed to those sales I did gain.
4. Review bloggers
I started approaching reviewers with The Arid Lands as soon as it was live for preorder on Amazon and I had set it up on Goodreads. My first observation was how many are asking for money for reviews. I’m not interested in paying but it’s clearly a lucrative industry. I passed over these guys and pitched the book to anyone who looked as if it would be a good fit. It takes a long time to thoroughly check out each review site so I sent these out in dribs and drabs throughout the preorder period. At launch date I had pitched/submitted to 20 reviewers. It is impossible to tell how many, if any, will result in reviews at this stage.
So in conclusion, of all the activities so far, it looks like free deals and participation in SPSFC3 have been the most worthwhile. I will have to look out for more opportunities like this.