Right from the beginning, I should make 1 very important thing clear. This promo didn’t go well, but I don’t blame BookBlow for my results. This is a test of the methodology for me, and I think any and all book promotion services that use this methodology will have the same issues as I experienced. I considered leaving BookBlow’s name out of this completely, as I want to look at the methodology, not the service but I’ve included so much detail about BookBlow that anyone could find out who I used in no time, so I’ve added their name anyway.
My BookBlow Tasks
I did nothing. Seriously. Well, I submitted my book using their form – http://bookblow.com/submit-book/ – and paid them the money, but that’s all. My book was already discounted at Amazon.com. No wait, I changed the description to remove the “ENT Promo” text. More on that later. I decided I couldn’t really promote my promo elsewhere because it’s too close in time to my previous promo, so anyone who sees this announcement would probably have seen last week’s announcement and get Equivocal Destines fatigue.
The BookBlow Process
BookBlow uses a very different promotional process to ENT, my previous promo experience, which is why I was keen to try it. The gist of it is as follows:
- Twitter blasts
- Facebook group posts
Here’s what they actually say. I copy-and-pasted this directly from their page above:
– We tweet 3 times to more than 350,000 readers from these accounts- Our Twitter allies
– We post your book as “Book of the Day” on our Facebook page. BOOK OF THE DAY
– We post on Top 50 book promotion groups on Facebook. Check Top 50 Book promotion Facebook groups
Now, I’ve never been highly convinced that either of these tasks will actually result in sales, but it still needs to be tested, so that’s where we find ourselves now. If one of them’s going to be successful, it has to be the Facebook groups, surely? After all, that’s what Facebook groups are for. Let’s look at their process in more detail, and I’ll add what they actually did for me.
My promo was tweeted 3 times, as advertised, by 18 twitter accounts. All 18 Twitter accounts tweeted exactly the same things, at exactly the same times.
- Beautifully written and so easy to become lost inside this amazing world.
@RClarkeAuthor #kindle http://amzn.to/1N1DNZJ
- Exotically-set, full of surprises, and exceptionally well-written,
@RClarkeAuthor #kindle http://amzn.to/1N1DNZJ
- The book reads quite quickly because it’s hard to put down.
@RClarkeAuthor #kindle http://amzn.to/1N1DNZJ
All of the quotes were cribbed directly from my reviews, which I guess is a good way of finding legitimate quotes for the tweets, as long as your reviews are legit (mine all are). I’m very disappointed with the timing of the tweets though. It isn’t difficult to schedule the tweets to go out at randomised times. Hell, I could o that with the free version of Hootsuite in 5 minutes. Blasting out the exact same tweet on 18 accounts at the same time is just spam.
Here’s my next problem with tweet blasts. I’m currently following all 18 of these promo accounts (and more) at the very least so I can see if/when any of them mention my book. How many of the followers of these accounts do you think are actual customers looking for deals and how many are other authors doing the same as me? My main problem with tweet blasting is that I strongly suspect it’s all just spamming to the choir.
Anyway, here’s what happened. I can’t give impression counts as I don’t own these Twitter accounts.
|Twitter Ally||Tweet #1||Tweet #2||Tweeet #3|
|Name||Address||Followers||Listed on Site?||Time||Impressions||Time||Impressions||Time||Impressions|
|AHA Program||@ahapartners||14.4k||6||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:51 PM|
|AHA Program||@Ahaprograms||4.1k||10||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:51 PM|
|AmazingAuthors||@AmazingAuthors||10.5k||4||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1 retweet||1:51 PM|
|Author Giveaway||@Authorgiveaway||2.5k||12||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:51 PM|
|Book of the Day||@BOOKOFTD||43.5k||no||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:51 PM|
|Author RTS||@authorRTS||9.1k||9||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1 favourite||1:51 PM||1 reply|
|Book Blasts||@bookblasts||4.2k||13||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:51 PM||1 favourite|
|Book Blow||@bookblow||54.3k||1||7:50 AM||2 retweets||10:51 AM||1:50 PM||2 retweets|
|Book Tweet Lady||@Booktweetlady||9.1k||11||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:50 PM|
|Free Book of the Day||@FreeBookDeals||7.1k||no||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:50 PM|
|Book Deal||@BookDealsPromo||12.7k||no||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1 retweet (same person)||1:50 PM|
|EBOOK PROMOTER||@ebookpromoters||75.5k||no||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1 retweet (same person)||1:50 PM|
|KINDLE EBOOK REVIEW||@reviewmyebook||63.8k||no||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1 retweet (same person)||1:50 PM|
|Book Tweep||@booktweep||57.1k||3||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:50 PM|
|Book Pluck||@bookpluck||13.6k||7||7:50 AM||10:51 AM||1:50 PM|
Twitter Promo Account Activity
Here’s a thought – if this is MY Book of the Day promo, let’s see what else these Twitter accounts were up to on MY day.
First, I checked @ahapartners, because it was first on my list. It was tweeting 8-12 times an hour, on average. It tweeted 14 times during the hour of my third promo tweet. My BOTD promo was 1 of, what, 100-150?
What about the biggest account on the list? @ebookpromoters was significantly less busy but was still tweeting a few times an hour, including 4 tweets during my third promo tweet.
I found a bigger problem than the frequency of tweeting though. The tweets were most definitely copy-and-pasted from the books’ reviews – typos and spelling mistakes included. This wasn’t true of my promo tweets, but other tweets, for other books, had obvious errors in them. Surely we should expect the promo site we’re paying to polish their output instead of blindly copy-and-pasting the semi-coherent ramblings of our fans!
Facebook – Book of the Day
When I checked, https://www.facebook.com/Mybookoftheday didn’t exist!
Top 50 Facebook Book Promotion Groups
I can’t give you any useful information about BookBlow’s promotion of my pretty, little bridge troll on Facebook. Facebook won’t notify me of anything and goes to great lengths to manipulate what people see on the various timelines. Here’s some important notes on the situation though.
- Most of these groups are 75% full of cookbooks, erotica and zombie novels. Seriously. My book seems a bit out of place.
- I keep seeing the same group of books cross-promoted on all of the Facebook groups that I check, and they’re all being directly posted by the authors.
- I stumbled on an ad (direct from the author) for a book I see spammed all across Twitter every day too so I checked its ranking on Amazon but it’s about 250k, so all of that intrusive, annoying ad-spamming on all of these social media platforms are giving it about as many sales as my book historically got.
- I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through the last 24-hours of the top 5 groups and couldn’t find a single post about my book anywhere in any of them. Now, I’m not implying BookBlow’s done anything wrong (I did see the post about my book yesterday). More likely, it’s just how Facebook reorders the timeline, only shows certain posts in the timeline and a bunch of other guff like that to manipulate what we see. Who knows, maybe Facebook wasn’t showing me the post about my book because it’s worked out it’s about me so assumes I won’t need to see it. The point is, these groups are flooded.
- If these 50 groups are actually “Top” groups, as BookBlow claims, why do most of them not even have dedicated group names? Check my table below. It’s easy to go to https://www.facebook.com/username and assign a name. The group owners who haven’t done it must not take their group too seriously.
- The fact that so many of these groups have approx. the same number of members makes me wonder (like Twitter) if it’s mostly the same 12-13k authors joining all of the groups (like I did) for the purposes of advertising, community-building, etc – ie not buying anything.
So here’s my main problem with Facebook groups. If most of the posts on all of these groups are directly from the authors of the novels being promoted, what do I need BookBlow for?
Here’s the Facebook groups BookBlow uses anyway.
What about my book description?
I mentioned earlier that in preparation for my BookBlow sale, I removed the ENT promo text from my Amazon book description (and Kobo and Smashwords). Here’s the thing – this appears to have actually had a negative impact on my sales. Seriously. You’ll understand more in the next section.
So, after all of that, you have to be desperate to know how many copies of my pretty, little bridge troll I sold, and how much profit I made, through my BookBlow promotion.
Yep, seriously. For the whole 24-hour period after the first tweets of my BookBlow promotion, I sold a grand total of zero copies of my pretty, little bridge troll.
An endless series of “WTF” statements…..
What lessons can we, should we, learn from this complete debacle? My personal choice – what I assumed from the beginning:
- Tweet spamming doesn’t sell books. Everyone knows this, as far as I’m concerned, I just proved it. My Twitter follow list is full of authors, and I assume so are those of the Twitter accounts the advertisers use.
- Facebook was – past-tense – a great place to promote your wares, but this is (apparently) no longer true. The grapevine says Facebook’s no longer a social network, but is now just a sales machine for people who aren’t you or me. Everything’s geared towards Facebook helping people sell things when they pay Facebook, which I didn’t, and I doubt would work anyway. Word is, Google+ is the new place to go. I’ll test that later.