Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Ten Guilty Men Launch Marketing Plan

Back in 2012 Dan and I launched Dead on Demand free for 5 days, and every step of the way we told you what we were booking in terms of adverts, when and how much it cost.

We then shared the results.

At the time we were aiming for 10,000 downloads.
We managed 55,500. Happy days.

This time around, we’re going for a triple whammy of deals:
  • Dead on Demand for free.
  • Cleaver Square on Countdown for a week
  • Ten Guilty Men for £1.99/ $2.99 (launch price).
This makes the whole DCI Morton series incredibly good value – and no part works, no samples pretending to be books, no hooking you in then jacking up the price. What we’re aiming for is everyday good value, and a risk free sample so you can try before you buy.

I want you to keep us to that. If you ever think we’re being unfair, tell us. Let us know if we’re not delivering the value you deserve, and we’ll see what we can do. We got asked about Kindle Unlimited a while back – and we’ve delivered. Front and backlist, books new and old, are all free for subscribers. If you’ve got Kindle Unlimited (or take out a free 30 day trial) then you don’t have to pay a penny to read our books legally.

So onto the marketing plan. We don’t like spending oodles on adverts. Realistically a big spend will result in big sales – but it won’t necessarily result in a positive return on investment, and someone has to pay for advertising (either by cutting our already-slim profits, or by increasing the price), which means sensible investment is the order of the day: we need to get back more in sales than we put in.

This isn’t long term brand building. It isn’t throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks. In a market with razor thin margins, that sort of thing would be reckless. Our brand building comes from our books. If you enjoy them and think the price is fair, then you’ll come back.

We hope.

So far readers have returned. Most of those we’ve spoken to have said Cleaver Square is vastly better than Dead on Demand (we think so too), but Ten Guilty Men is at least as good if not better.

I’m hoping for a strong launch. We’ve had a fairly good preorder run, especially in the UK, but we think once we’ve got a sample up, reviews flowing in, and the instant gratification via kindle, that Ten Guilty Men should do reasonably well.

Here’s how we’re going to do it:

Firstly, we’re promoting Dead on Demand at the end of August and the start of September. Free books are easier to sell to people who haven’t heard of you. That hasn’t changed since last time. The big risk is that we might suffer some list fatigue as Dead on Demand has been downloaded so many times, and we’ve used all the major advertising venues before.

Secondly, we’re going to 99c/99p for Cleaver Square for one week from August 31st til September 6th. That’s all of next week. That means new readers can have two full length novels for under a dollar.

Third, we’re promoting Ten Guilty Men. It’s hard to advertise new eBooks, but we’ve got a few adverts booked. By the time we get to the TGM adverts, we should have some early reviews up (both as a result of preorders and because we’ve been sending free review copies to anyone that would take one!).

So without further ado, our draft advertising schedule. We’ll be adding more to this as we go, so come back and check it out in a week or two. If you want to see how successful this run is, feel free to track our book rankings.

Aug 25th:
Flurries of Words (Dead on Demand)

August 28th:
BKnights free book promotion (Dead on Demand)
Kathleen Ball Blog Feature (Dead on Demand)

August 29th:
KUForum Ad Day 1 (Cleaver Square)

Aug 30th:
Kindle Nation Daily free eBook highlighter (Dead on Demand)
KUForum Ad Day 2 (Cleaver Square)
BookButterfly (Dead on Demand)
Mailshot goes out to my mailing list: combining New Release notification with Countdown announcement plus a reminder that DoD is free (Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, Ten Guilty Men)
KUForum announcement post

Aug 31st:
BargainBooksy (Cleaver Square)
DigitalBookSpot/BKnights (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Ad Day 3 (Cleaver Square)
GenrePulse (Cleaver Square)
Kboards 'Bargain Book Promo' (Cleaver Square)
Kboards announcement post
BookHippo.co.uk (Cleaver Square)

September 1st:
Flurries of Words (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Ad Day 4 (Cleaver Square)
FKbooksandTips (Dead on Demand)
Booksends (Cleaver Square)
Pixel of Ink (Cleaver Square)
eReaderIQ (Cleaver Square)
eReaderNewsToday (Cleaver Square)
Amazon 'Share With Followers' email blast (appear to go out in batches over time)

September 2nd:
Fussy Librarian (Cleaver Square)
KUForum Banner Day 5 (Cleaver Square)
Dailyfreebooks.co.uk (Dead on Demand)
BookButterfly (Cleaver Square)
Cintascorner.com (Ten Guilty Men)

September 3rd:
KUForum Ad Day 6 (Cleaver Square)

September 4th:
KUForum Ad Day  7 (Cleaver Square)
BookBub (Dead on Demand; UK, USA, Canada, India)
http://authorsyouwanttoread.com/ (Dead on Demand, Cleaver Square, Ten Guilty Men)

NB - The Spanish version of Cleaver Square goes free on the 4th for 5 days.

September 5th:
Flurries of Words (Ten Guilty Men)
KUForum Ad ends (Cleaver Square)

September 6th:
FKBooksandTips Deal of the Day (Cleaver Square)
FKBooksandTips New Release (Ten Guilty Men)

September 12th:
Robin Reads (Ten Guilty Men)

September 13th:
Kindle Nation Daily Book of the Day (Ten Guilty Men)
BookGorilla (Ten Guilty Men)


  1. Thanks for sharing. Hope all three zip up to the top.

    1. Thanks, Anna. Me too. I'll post an update next week when the first few adverts have gone out. September 1st should be a good day for us so maybe I should aim to report back on the 2nd.