Amazon Ads: 1-9 September 2019

I’ve gotten 68 pre-orders from 1-9 September, averaging 7 books a day. My pre-order record in a single day is 11. In another lifetime that number was in triple digits but a fresh start requires humble expectations.

Why 11 when you can see 12 right there? Well, one pre-order was returned that same day taking the total down to 11.

I’ve referred to advertising as burning money in the past because it is the way I do it. However, I’ve come to a decision that I’m going to set this book up as a loss-leader in order to get the beginnings of a readership. There isn’t much money to be made when advertising a 99c book unless you get readers hooked and buying the next books in the series. I’m going to treat it as such. This book will be the launchpad of my publishing career and it’s worth spending money on that.

My launch strategy involves increasing the spend on Amazon Ads when the book is live and signing up for newsletter promotions. I think a lot of KU readers hunt for books that way so I believe it would be effective in getting more borrows.

Another method I’m going to use is free author promotions. I’ll discuss that in more detail in the next post.

I’ll share how much money was spent advertising the book if it recoups its losses. Until then, I’ll share how many pre-orders I’m achieving and if I beat the record of 11 per day.

Amazon Pre-order Changes

Amazon changed their pre-order policy a couple of days ago from 90 days to 1 year. In addition, you can now extend your book a month from the pre-order date you’ve set without any penalties (one time exception).

I believe this is going to change the landscape of Amazon. How? I’m not sure yet. I have a couple of theories. I think ad spend will increase and keywords will become more competitive. I also think you’ll be seeing more of the big names at the top of the charts for a longer period of time. Competition is going to get more tough but it won’t be hopeless. There are still plenty of opportunities.

I read someone’s comment on Facebook that authors are limited to 10 pre-orders at a time. I haven’t looked up the veracity of this statement but if it’s true then it should curb the number of titles competing against each other and things won’t get too out-of-hand.

How does this change affect my release schedule? Personally, it’s a relief that I don’t have to release a book within a 90-day window in order to get the pre-order link for my back matter. I do have to restructure my publishing schedule to take into account the changes and I’m debating the merits of having a preorder up so early.

Rapid releases are great, but personally I believe it’s better for a book to build momentum over time and slowly gain a large readership. That’s why I’m in favor of long pre-orders and time in between releases.

I’m going to have a few release experiments in 2020 such as:

  • Rapid releasing 5 books in a series in one month.
  • Releasing 1 book in a series two months apart for the year.
  • Releasing 3 books and 1 volume (3 books in 1) within the same sub-genre on the same date to compare which approach is the best for income.
  • Releasing 3 books on Amazon in a single day without having them on pre-order.

Now that Amazon has extended pre-orders I can start my experiments earlier. Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to finalize my covers and blurbs so that I can start putting up a few of my 2020 releases for pre-order.