Author Topic: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)  (Read 344 times)

alhawke

I'm very close to running a sales group author promotion through Bookfunnel. I've participated in many but I've never organized one. I'm looking for advice regarding things you loved or hated about author cross-promoting.

It would help me out if you any of you can comment on advice regarding limitations on joining a promo. Do you hate participant requirements (like mailing list size requirements)? Number of book requirements (max of 1 or two books, etc?)? Blocking authors from joining (ugh)? Narrow or broad genre requirements? I'm erring on the side of being pretty open. Too open brings in possible freeloaders and many books, perhaps too many. Too stringent could lead me promoting only my books :icon_redface:.

One thing I did was set up a nice creative. The banner is the first thing I look up when joining these things.
 

idontknowyet

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2022, 04:22:15 AM »
I've done one. Overall, it wasn't too bad.

I did require that all books be clean since i wanted to run it within my genre. You would not believe how many people signed up knowing their books were in no way clean.  I ended up booting several people for that reason.

As a participant and a person running the promos i appreciate setting and sticking to a share date. I was flexible about the amount of shares. As long as a person got some clicks i was fine with it. Also didn't allow people that had a ranking of 25/0 and I'm shocked at how many people actually got away with that kind of thing.


I like both targeted and large promos. That's totally your preference.

A good banner alone will get you a ton of sign ups.

On an odd note... the people with the highest ratings (biggest names) brought in the lowest number of clicks. I was shocked, but didn't bother booting them for fear of retaliation.

All you really need to do once you have your banner is send out one or 2 reminders and boot the people that don't share or respond. It's fairly easy.
 
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Wonder

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2022, 07:58:12 AM »
I'm more likely to join a group promo if it's genre or subgenre targeted. I tend to think about "what would readers on my list enjoy" and something specific and quality is more attractive than a big-ass grab bag of random books.
 
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alhawke

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2022, 09:10:55 AM »
All you really need to do once you have your banner is send out one or 2 reminders and boot the people that don't share or respond. It's fairly easy.
Thanks so much for all your input! I'll give it a go.
I'm more likely to join a group promo if it's genre or subgenre targeted.
I'm planning a Halloween promo. As a writer of witch novels, it should work for paranormal and fantasy writers with a witchy theme in October. I usually go the route of specific genres too. Though I must say, I got a lot of views during one of those "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" romance promos where there was like 200 authors a few months ago. I'd gladly join one of those again. Not sure what happened to them.
 

LilyBLily

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2022, 10:05:49 AM »
I stopped joining them because the same books from the same authors kept showing up, and I could not in good conscience keep plugging the same books over and over to my subscribers. Also, BookFunnel's categories are not stringent enough, so finding a "clean, sweet" promo that really was became difficult.

Another issue is promo organizers who make it a visibility contest by giving people who share a lot on social media or who bring in the most clicks visual prominence on the sales page. I did not enjoy the dire threats, either.
 
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Wonder

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2022, 10:53:12 AM »
I'm planning a Halloween promo. As a writer of witch novels, it should work for paranormal and fantasy writers with a witchy theme in October.

That sounds like a fun one! Good luck.
 

alhawke

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2022, 10:59:46 AM »
I stopped joining them because the same books from the same authors kept showing up, and I could not in good conscience keep plugging the same books over and over to my subscribers. Also, BookFunnel's categories are not stringent enough, so finding a "clean, sweet" promo that really was became difficult. Another issue is promo organizers who make it a visibility contest by giving people who share a lot on social media or who bring in the most clicks visual prominence on the sales page. I did not enjoy the dire threats, either.
Many of the authors are the same. You're right. I might lean again towards StoryOrigins because of that. When you look at how many authors there are out there, it's pretty surprising how few run these promos. When I checked StoryOrigins out a couple months ago, there were no promos available. Now there's a handful. So I might pay for membership at StoryOrigin in the future.
I'm planning a Halloween promo. As a writer of witch novels, it should work for paranormal and fantasy writers with a witchy theme in October.
That sounds like a fun one! Good luck.
Thanks! I just finished setting it up for October on Bookfunnel. There's three books up--mine. It looks like an ad for my books.  :doh: Hoping I'll get lots more outside takers.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2022, 11:07:37 AM by alhawke »
 

writeway

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2022, 03:22:08 PM »
I think of myself as a BF group promo expert. I've run tons of them and have been in many as well. What I don't like is MANY authors don't share the promo. Nope. They miss their share dates and don't give a damn. It used to bother me but it doesn't anymore. I realize some people are just moochers. Now, BF has new tools where you can cut out the deadbeats when you organize a promo. You can also automatically block authors from joining any of your other promos if they have a bad reputation. Other than that (which is a big issue since many don't seem to share) the promos can be a good way of getting eyes on new books and backlist books.

Oh, what I dislike also are group organizers with rules that look like a dictionary. Some get on a powertrip with the way they bark instructions. Some are straight rude and wonder why they only have 10 people in the promo. As someone who runs a lot of promos and many have done quite well as well as I've run some with over 100 authors. My advice to organizers is not to be too bossy. it's fine to explain the criteria and expectations but some organizers talk to authors like they are children. These are grownups so they don't need to be "scolded" or preached to like children. The ones who are going to do their parts will do them and the others won't. You can either delete the others or ban them from the next promo.

But, yeah some of these organizers get up there acting like they are someone's supervisor. Also, I hate being in promos where the organizer bothers you every other day. I was in a few promos like that. The organizer emailed almost every darn day to complain about non-shares. No one wants to be bugged every other day.

So in a nutshell here is my advice.

if you join a promo:

Do your part. It's a crappy thing to do for others to take the time to share and help YOU get exposure then you can't even do your part.

Make sure you read and respect the organizer's instructions.

If you have an issue the organizer should know about, then email them. Communication is key.

My advice for organizers:

Don't be a jerk and the power-tripping is not flattering.

Don't belittle what authors write in your promo instructions. If your promo isn't for a certain group of writers, don't be negative, and feel you gotta explain WHY you don't want these books. Just say who the promo is for and go on.

Don't email your participants every darn day or whatever. If you have to contact them, do it only a few times when it is important. People don't wanna be bothered.

Don't try to pick participants' share dates for them. I hate this one. Now you got organizers wanting to tell you when you gotta share. Many authors only send their mailing lists on certain days plus they might wanna send on a specific day because they have a release or something. It's fair to say, "Please pick a share date before the last three days." But I see a lot of stuff like, "You have to share by the 15th." Really? So you wanna make everyone share in the middle of the month when you got two weeks of promo left? Let participants choose THEIR share dates because they have a reason for the date they pick. A lot of authors complain about this and will skip these types of promos. I do.

Oh, but the most important thing is to have fun!

 
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writeway

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2022, 03:28:25 PM »
Oh for requirements, it depends but I tend to like to keep it low to give authors with smaller mailing lists a chance. Just because someone's mailing list is small doesn't mean they aren't an asset. I've seen so many newbies saying they can't get accepted into BF promos due to the requirements and since my main purpose for running promos is to help authors I tend to do 300 for a requirement. Some I do 500 but rarely higher than that. Some I've done 100. But yeah, I always put myself in the newbie's shows. We were all newbies once and probably felt locked out of something. I always say I would love to have an author who has 100 subscribers if she shares when she is supposed to compared to someone with thousands of subscribers who doesn't even share. I've also had some authors ask me if they could join when they were new with no mailing list and I allow them. I don't turn people away if the book fits the promo. I wouldn't be like that, just closing the door on other authors based on something so arbitrary. And the funny thing is, the ones with the bigger mailing lists tend to be the laziest authors when it comes to sharing.

A big advantage of having a low mailing list requirement is you get more authors who can join and I must say, the newbies that join mine always do their part. It's some of the veterans who end up mooching.
 
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alhawke

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2022, 04:08:03 PM »
Very helpful, Writeway. Many thanks. I particularly like the idea of not emailing too much back and forth. 

Interesting you guys say the writers with the largest lists don't share much. I wonder if they're running themselves thin entering too many promotions? I've had less clicks after adding more than one promo in the past. Just a thought.
 

writeway

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2022, 08:32:31 AM »
Very helpful, Writeway. Many thanks. I particularly like the idea of not emailing too much back and forth. 

Interesting you guys say the writers with the largest lists don't share much. I wonder if they're running themselves thin entering too many promotions? I've had less clicks after adding more than one promo in the past. Just a thought.

A.L., the joining too many promos could be it. That's why I have a limit. The most I will do is 3 a month whether I am running them or joining other people's promos. I also think some folks might forget because some promos do start recruiting months away. I recruit a long time for mine to give people time to join. So yes, some might not mean to not share but some are just lazy and trifling. Before BF changed it to where you could have more control over the moochers, it was really bad. It's gotten better but some still don't do their part. Also, those who join too many promos can end up alienating their readers. Your mailing list should not be stuffed with BF promos though I've seen it from many authors.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2022, 12:05:49 AM »
It seems as if "doing their part" may have different definitions.

The strongest push I can give a BF promo is in my newsletter, which goes to several thousand people, all of them interested in romance. That's better targeting than most paid newsletter ads can provide. After I do my newsletter and a Facebook post on my author page (which Facebook of course will suppress), I really don't have any other effective free way to push the promo. 

Yet I've gotten the feeling that some BF promo organizers think doing my part is tweeting the promo on a daily basis--which AFAIK does zip to sell books; or spamming numerous Facebook promo pages--which also is just authors talking to themselves and shoving their book to the top of the posts; or using Instagram or TikTok or the rest. Maybe some BF promo organizers need to limit their promos to people who have very active Twitter accounts or hugely engaged Facebook pages or the like. Make it a requirement.

A number of years ago, it seemed as if all the RWA chapters chat loops were flooded with members begging other members to tweet or FB share their book's launch. Again, AFAIK, this did nothing to actually sell their books.
 

alhawke

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2022, 02:29:51 AM »
Fortunately for me, I haven't had moderators bugging me much in the past. I just send in my newsletter and, after twenty promos, I've never heard from any of them. I think there is an expectation to reach 20 readers and I work hard to get that, even if it means sending the newsletter twice in a given month (I've had to do this a few times, particularly when I'm running more than one promo). I agree that newsletters seem to be the greatest force out there regarding marketing the books (over other social media, Facebook/twitter etc).

I'm happy to report that I have over twenty books so far for the upcoming promo in October.  :icon_cool: Being that this is the first time I'm running a Bookfunnel promo, I had an honest fear that I would look like an idiot promoting only my own books.

Anyway, trudging ahead and getting excited.
 
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idontknowyet

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2022, 09:14:17 AM »
I have not had either spammers or twitter/social requirement groups.

My nl is fairly  uninterested. Sometimes i'm shocked they even open it. Most of them came from a freebie book funnel swap.

It's hard for me to get clicks on my bookfunnel promos so i do two things. first, i hired a pimp (someone that shares a post all around fb). This used to be way more effective than it is now. I probably won't be doing this anymore. Second i started paying for fb ads for the promos. To get an adequate number of clicks for one promo costs me less than $10. If i do 5-6 a month its less than $100 and i know i make several hundred dollars every month from bookfunnel promos. Which for me means its a net profit that is more reliable than fb ads for my own books.
 
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writeway

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2022, 09:28:35 AM »
I have not had either spammers or twitter/social requirement groups.

My nl is fairly  uninterested. Sometimes i'm shocked they even open it. Most of them came from a freebie book funnel swap.

It's hard for me to get clicks on my bookfunnel promos so i do two things. first, i hired a pimp (someone that shares a post all around fb). This used to be way more effective than it is now. I probably won't be doing this anymore. Second i started paying for fb ads for the promos. To get an adequate number of clicks for one promo costs me less than $10. If i do 5-6 a month its less than $100 and i know i make several hundred dollars every month from bookfunnel promos. Which for me means its a net profit that is more reliable than fb ads for my own books.

Me either. I have never had any organizers forcing anyone to do social media. It's always, if you wanna do social media but the ML is a must. For me, when I say people not doing their part I mean those who are too trifling to share the thing on their share date. I don't expect anyone to do anymore than what they promise they will do. If they can't do that they need to drop out or don't sign up.

Also, if an organizer tries to be pushy with social media, just ignore them. How the heck will they know who shared something on social media? I doubt they have the time to go on all these sites and follow authors to see if they shared something or not.

Oh, one thing I forgot, I don't do BF promos where folks are asking for money. Heck no. I am not paying anyone to be in a BF promo.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2022, 09:30:49 AM by writeway »
 
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alhawke

Re: Author cross-promotion tips (Bookfunnel, Prolific Works, StoryOrigin)
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2022, 12:38:37 AM »
I'm trudging ahead with your guys help and happy report over fifty books now entered for my upcoming book fair in October. I've got lots of plans to do some extra marketing pushes for it (cause I'm running the thing, right?). Anyway, super excited.

I'm bumping the thread now, and only this one time, to provide the link if any of you guys have All Hallows' Eve books that would fit for October. If anyone wants to participate through Bookfunnel, this is the link for joining my promo: https://dashboard.bookfunnel.com/bundles/board/gced3yjk9i
 
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