The use of price promotions has become an established practice for many authors looking to achieve a variety of goals. In fact they’ve become so popular that many of the sites that offer promotions or ‘ebook deals’ now have very limited availability.
As one of those sites, Riffle Select must balance the needs of Authors with the demands of the readers who are downloading books. Keeping the readers happy keeps the platform stable for authors to launch their titles with success. To that end, there are some guidelines that keep things as transparent as possible with respect to how books are selected for promotions.
The selection process is based on a combination of elements, but is focused on providing the maximum benefit for both authors and readers.
Some basic criteria include that the books must be:
- Well-edited, well-formatted and have a professional looking book cover.
- Of standard length. Your book should be at least 150 pages or roughly 50,000 words, and children’s picture books should be at least 32 pages.
- Reviewed by customers on the ebook retailers where the deal will run.
- Described by a great one sentence pitch.
If your book is not selected for a deals feature, this is by no means a comment on the quality of your work. Most of the promotions sites simply receive many more submissions than there is room for in an email blast.
While price promotions do work for all books, they are especially useful in certain cases. Some of the best uses of price promotions are in the following cases:
An author runs a FREE offer on the first book in a series, which can then seed their audience. Many authors do this to contribute to downstream sales of the subsequent books.
Similarly, an author uses a FREE offer to grow their readership and audience that then translates to sales of other titles in the author’s repertoire.
An author has a new title being published in the coming months and would like to gain some attention just in time for the new book release. Running price promotion gets an author’s name and title in front of a large audience immediately.
A benchmark across many sites is that a $2.99 price promotion will deliver about 1/50th the number of downloads as a FREE price promotion. This does not mean that you should give your book away, but taking into account the 3 cases above, this approach has worked for many authors. We’ve included some tips here.
Readers are faced with a significant amount to choose from in the book marketplace. Beyond the blockbusters, you are competing with more than 400K books published every year. Price promotions offer one approach to stand out among the competition. Riffle offers a book community where authors can engage as readers first, and soon be able to take part in some targeted advertising opportunities.[sc:ingram]