If you’ve never heard of Fiverr here’s a very brief explanation! For just $5 you can get all manner of services done including book promotion. As $5 is about the cost of tea and cake I thought it worth testing to see how effective these services are, i.e. driving traffic to your site or Amazon book pages.
What You Get
This obviously varies with your supplier, but is usually based on utilising a huge social media network on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and blogs. In my case this included:
- A blog post, (supplied by me) on the front page of a Google rank 4 book blog
- Posting to supplier’s Facebook accounts
- Two tweets to supplier’s Twitter accounts
- Pins to supplier’s Pinterest Boards
- A free tips sheet explaining how to maximise supply’s social media postings
I have three kindle books with Amazon, none of which has been promoted for several months so I reasoned my results would not be muddied by any additional promotional tactics that could be going on.
I chose my non-fiction recipe book, How To Boil An Egg, Egg Recipes For Breakfast, Dinner & Tea for the experiment.
Without me doing anything, this Kindle book typically sells one or two copies per month. At the time the promotion started it had an Amazon rank of 653,883 in the paid Amazon UK store. (It was even higher in the US store!)
As many of you will know, just one sale has a dramatic effect on this ranking, bringing it down anywhere between 20,000 – 70,000.
Since Amazon has stopped the use of graphics through the KDP dashboard and I’ve always struggled with Author Central, I had to rely on using Bitly.com links to measure results.
On the advice of the supplier, I supplied links to Amazon US and to Amazon UK. The reason being, my supplier’s social media network was largely made up of Canadian and US readers. As I wanted to collect stats I used Bitly as it lets you customise the urls so here are the ones I created:
If you click on these links you’ll be taken to the country appropriate Amazon page for my book.
The supplier ran the promotion over two days and fulfilled all services offered in the gig description and more. The book blog was nicely ordered and my blog post was well displayed.
The post appeared on the front page of the blog as a thumb nail and teaser description. Clicking on the more link took you to the full blog post.
How To Boil An Egg is displayed in fourth position and appeared about the fold. It moved up to third position a couple of days later, no idea why!
The supplier used Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest to publicise the post. By the way, I was sent a proof of the post before it went live to check that everything was as I wished, so excellent service there.
I was also told when the post went live. It was a couple of hours before I could check the stats, but according to Bitly the UK site had received one hit and the US site 7. An encouraging start I thought! Unfortunately two days later, the US site only rose to 8 and the UK remained static!
These hits came from the blog post, (6), Fiverr (2) and other which I presume was mobile or email (1).
Considering the Fiverr supplier I chose had a huge following of many thousands on all the major social media platforms, my results were pretty disappointing in terms of traffic generation. The few hits I received could well have been contributed by the supplier testing out the links so real traffic may have been even smaller!
I must stress I have no quibble with the service I received. The supplier was very professional, did everything listed and in fact over delivered by including a useful marketing tips sheet.
I should also point out that my book was not free! It was priced at 99p. I’ve already tested out Kindle Select and have finally settled against it. It involved far too much work for the return in sales.
If you are interested you can see my results here:
Having said that, if you are hooked on Kindle Select, you may find that a free promotion would work better, especially if your book is US based rather than UK.
Running this experiment did clarify something for me. I realise the few sales I am making with How To Boil An Egg, Egg Recipes For Breakfast, Dinner & Tea are coming from people searching Amazon itself.
They have gone there directly, not through Twitter, Facebook or some blog post and are specifically looking for this type of book and are ready to buy. I can now see my promotional efforts need to go into raising its Amazon rank so the book appears on the first page listings.
Sales will obviously do this, but I won’t be wasting any time with social media. Time to think outside the box!
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