Amazon, Post Publishing

Promo Stacking

Let’s break it down into parts.

What is promo stacking?

Promo stacking is when you use newsletter swaps, paid advertisements (FB ads, ENT, Robin Reads, Pretty Hot, etc), and other means of marketing around a specific time period.

What’s the point of promo stacking?

Promo stacking is used to increase your readership through exposure and rank manipulation—though we aren’t manipulating the rank as much as we’re making the ranking system work for us.

How does promo stacking help?

Whether it’s a new release, an older work, a holiday-themed piece, or you’re just experimenting, promo stacking is about getting readers to download your eBooks.

On systems like Amazon, as the number of copies move go up, your rank rises, and more people see your books leading to potentially more readers, and the ranking can linger a few days after your promos leading to more readers.

Does this work only on free books?

Free works the best, you might get thousands of downloads. Those readers can turn into a fan base that reads the rest of your works, talk to their friends, etc.

The downside of freebie runs are freebie hunters who download books and those books can sit on their e-reader for years. That’s not to mean those same freebie hunters won’t eventually read it, but they are such a small part of downloads, it’s a risk we have to take.

You can do the same with on sale books—99¢ books vs $2.99. You won’t see the massive surge of downloads like you could with free, but the readers who purchase tend to give books a chance and if your book has a great cover and excellent blurb, they may read your book sooner than later.

New Releases benefit from promo stacking, and it’s what most authors do with newsletter swaps—we’ve just put a name to the action.

Where do I start?

If your book is in Kindle Select (Kindle Unlimited) look at your budget. Pick a spot at least 30 days out and use the Free Promo Days provided by Amazon. Use all 5 days at one time. Now begin looking for newsletter swaps, find promo places within your budget, booking the smaller ones first and the biggest ones in the middle of the 5 days.

This is where networking with similar authors is beneficial. You can ask them if they’ve had good success with “xyz” promo place or if they have recommendations of where to look. Those same authors are also the ones that you can ask them to put your book in their newsletters—just make sure you return the favor.

Read each sites guidelines. Some focus on specific genres, exclude certain genres, or want certain lengths. Be careful using Fiverr services like BKnight—they can move free books well, but it pollutes your Also Bought on Amazon which isn’t good for long-term stability. Your Also Bought is how your target readership finds you.

Useful promo site list—

What if my book isn’t in Kindle Select?

You can still do a promo. While Kobo, Google Play, etc allow promo planning weeks in advance where you can set it and forget it or within a couple of days of your decision to make it free, Amazon takes a little longer.

If you’re wanting to do a freebie run on Amazon, set the book free on other platforms about a week before you need it to and then contact Amazon. They sometimes implement free within 48 hours of an email or they can drag their feet for weeks. Don’t let Amazon be the reason you lose momentum.

Some promo places check in the morning, and if your book isn’t free on the date you’ve scheduled, they remove your book from their announcement, ruining your plan. Plan ahead when it comes to promo stacking and plan with Amazon being difficult—hence the bigger promos in the middle of your dates where they are less likely to be affected by Amazon lagging in price matching.

99¢ promos are easier when it comes to Amazon. You can go into your dashboard and change the price manually. You can do those about 48 hours before you need your promo to start and double check that it takes effect on all the Amazon’s you’re targeting.

Readers want deals, and if you stack your promos right, you could see a bump in sales that can linger for a few days or take your royalty from single digits to an ever-growing stream through exposure. It takes practice to find the perfect combo of marketing spots for your genre and platform.

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This post was edited/proofed by ProWritingAid.


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