Author Topic: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone  (Read 769 times)

LilyBLily

FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« on: May 10, 2023, 11:02:01 AM »
I got the email yesterday. Here's the text:

"All-
 
I started the first iteration of the Free Kindle Books and Tips blog in 2009 when the Kindle was still brand-new and I was using a free Wordpress site to let my friends and family know about the one or two free Kindle books Amazon would periodically make available each day.  I never would have predicted back then how large this site would get and how big of an impact the site would have made on the independent publishing industry – or this would have lasted for almost 15 years.
 
My informal calculations indicate over 15 million free Kindle books have been downloaded over the years just from our posts and many of you have reached new audiences as well as discovered and enjoyed the work of independent authors you never would have heard of otherwise – I certainly have!  I can honestly say I have enjoyed being on this journey with you and it has been fun: I’ve reached a lot of people and, based on various emails and comments received over the years it has touched a lot of people in a positive way.
 
However, as with all good things, it’s time to call it a day and retire: the time commitments in my personal and professional life require me to make some and yesterday had the last “regular” posts to the site.
 
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives over the years!
 
Best regards,
 
Michael Gallagher"

michael@FKBT.com
 
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alhawke

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2023, 02:29:05 PM »
That's too bad. :icon_sad:  FKBT has always been a very good newsletter promotion service for me. And Michael Gallagher always gave it a human touch, occasionally contacting me regarding some promos. I think he worked hard to make it as good as it was.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2023, 11:25:16 PM »
I always had good luck with them as well. Promotional options keep narrowing...


Tickling the imagination one book at a time
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alhawke

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2023, 12:53:30 AM »
Promotional options keep narrowing...
And why is that? I always wonder why it seems that newsletters are working with less and less effectiveness. Is it sheer volume of books? Disinterest in reading? Reason I bring this up is I'm always looking at other ways to market.

In the past few years, I'm seeing my ads work better and better when compared with newsletter emails. It's ironic because the promo groups are asking for more $--cause they have to survive, I suppose. I always like to point out that newsletters used to garner 4x the amount of sales compared with today. Authors reported far higher sales and freebies via FKBT itself in the past. What's happening? Am I missing some other way to advertise? The striking gold with tiktok, and the like, doesn't help us, I think, cause that's a bit like throwing chips down on a roulette table. My hunch is that the market just sucks for Indies and Trads alike at the moment. ??
 

Anarchist

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2023, 02:59:18 AM »
Promotional options keep narrowing...
And why is that?

The longer someone is on a mailing list, the less likely they are to open the emails. This effect is even more pronounced if the list isn't unique.

Moreover, if a list owner isn't aggressively onboarding new subs, the list's response rates (open, read, click, buy, etc.) will decline.

I suspect these two problems are affecting most of the list promo services out there, including Bookbub.
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.” – Thomas Sowell

"The State is an institution run by gangs of murderers, plunderers and thieves, surrounded by willing executioners, propagandists, sycophants, crooks, liars, clowns, charlatans, dupes and useful idiots—an institution that dirties and taints everything it touches.” - Hans Hoppe

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LilyBLily

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2023, 04:32:23 AM »
Promotional options keep narrowing...
And why is that?

The longer someone is on a mailing list, the less likely they are to open the emails. This effect is even more pronounced if the list isn't unique.

Moreover, if a list owner isn't aggressively onboarding new subs, the list's response rates (open, read, click, buy, etc.) will decline.

I suspect these two problems are affecting most of the list promo services out there, including Bookbub.

I settled on receiving marketing emails from a small handful of authors and just two discount newsletters. I buy those authors whenever they release a book, and I buy 99-cents, KU, or free books from the newsletters. Those, and Amazon's constant pressure to look at this!, look at that! provide me with plenty of possible books to read and a look at the books others are reading that I don't want to. I haven't found that subscribing to more discount newsletters is necessary. Probably other people feel the same way, whether they look as readers trolling for new books or authors checking out the competition.

We all need responsive lists, not necessarily new names but new fans.
 

alhawke

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2023, 04:36:58 AM »
Those, and Amazon's constant pressure to look at this!, look at that! provide me with plenty of possible books to read and a look at the books others are reading that I don't want to. I haven't found that subscribing to more discount newsletters is necessary.
That's an interesting theory. Could be. I seem to be getting about 4x the amount of emails that I used to get from retailers directly now. It's like it took retailers years to find out that email advertising works--just in time... for it to to no longer work well anymore. ??
 

writeway

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2023, 08:41:21 AM »
Some paid mailing lists are closing now (and I suspect more will) because authors are no longer using them due to inflation, etc. Some authors no longer have the extra money to spend on these sites like they used to. Add to that, that overall even though some sites are still okay for a few sales or borrows, overall only a few seem to be worth the money. Even Bookbub isn't what it used to be.
 

writeway

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2023, 08:47:57 AM »
Promotional options keep narrowing...
And why is that? I always wonder why it seems that newsletters are working with less and less effectiveness. Is it sheer volume of books? Disinterest in reading? Reason I bring this up is I'm always looking at other ways to market.

In the past few years, I'm seeing my ads work better and better when compared with newsletter emails. It's ironic because the promo groups are asking for more $--cause they have to survive, I suppose. I always like to point out that newsletters used to garner 4x the amount of sales compared with today. Authors reported far higher sales and freebies via FKBT itself in the past. What's happening? Am I missing some other way to advertise? The striking gold with tiktok, and the like, doesn't help us, I think, cause that's a bit like throwing chips down on a roulette table. My hunch is that the market just sucks for Indies and Trads alike at the moment. ??

Just a sign of the times. Nothing works the same forever. Click ads don't even work as well as they used to. Book Funnel is also not as effective as it used to be. Things fade after a while. I believe paid sites will always be around but not as many as there have been. They're probably not worth the time and effort to keep them running especially since many authors have stopped using them for various reasons. I still use them but I pull back now too. I even said before when we touched on this that some of these sites are using inflation as an excuse to raise prices but authors aren't stupid and many just walk away instead of paying more to advertise.

Something else will come along. It always does. In the romance world, for free books, doing group giveaways run by other authors like Zoebub (Zoe York) are what many authors use as well as Round Robins. These have become very popular. That's when a group of authors in the same genre or category commit to sharing each other's freebies in their mailing lists for a specific time to expand readership. Authors are also doing sets together where they put all their permafrees in a set and just promote it so they can all capitalize. I was a part of one of these sets. The entire set was free and had our freebies in it and we all advertised it each time we sent out our mailing lists. The organizer also booked promo sites for us to advertise it.

Authors are taking more of an initiative and being more creative with their promotion these days and turning away from more traditional options. I find that running KU free days and promoting those as well as regular releasing can keep things on track without doing much promo.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2023, 08:53:03 AM by writeway »
 
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LilyBLily

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2023, 12:08:22 AM »
The downside of group promos is a recommendation by an author I follow for a book she has not read. I don't mind putting a large promo grab bag in my newsletter, but actually recommending something I did not read and admire is to my way of thinking not cool. I believe some small press authors are forced into putting other books by their publisher in their newsletters, but they really shouldn't do it if they haven't read those books and can honestly say they are similar to their own books. Because, genre reader that I am, I want more of the same, not something different.
 

PJ Post

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2023, 04:59:16 AM »
To be fair, third party promotion hasn't been working all that great for a while now, well, to be more precise, not since AMS started up. Make of that what you will.
 

Arooooo

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2023, 12:08:22 AM »
One thing that seems popular right now is group giveaways, where the goal isn't to get readers/sales directly through the giveaway - the goal is to get many people to click on the authors' instagram/amazon/twitter/twitch/tiktok/etc. pages. Enough views trick the algorithm into thinking the page is popular, and then it shows the page to people who might actually be into it. Or at least that's how it was explained to me.

The way the giveaway works is that you get sweepstakes tickets for each action - for clicking on each author's insta page, on each author's amazon page, for liking an insta post, for following on twitter etc. It doesn't matter if people are not actually interested or unfollow later - the algorithm boost is the goal.

These giveaways are advertised in various places, often to people who don't even read that genre. Only the prize of the giveaway needs to be something the targeted group is interested in - like a Switch or Playstation if you target gamers, or a voucher for some online clothes shop if you target that demographic. Or cash, or paypal/amazon gift cards.

My sister won a $500 gift card last month and she doesn't even remember whose sweepstakes/giveaway it was. "Some twitch streamer or something" apparently.
 

She-la-te-da

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2023, 11:47:42 PM »
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm just tired of it. Not just stuff about books, but pretty much everything. I get three or more emails everyday from some places. I did a big sweep last month, was going to finish unsubscribing from the others but got sick and wasn't on the web for almost two weeks. Now I have to get around to the last stuff so my inboxes don't look like rush hour at Times Square.
I write various flavors of speculative fiction. This is my main pen name.

 
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LilyBLily

Re: FKBT is closing shop--another decent ad site gone
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2023, 04:21:02 AM »
I feel the same way, and now one of the many self-pub services gurus has the audacity to headline his emails like the veriest clickbait ad: "publishing companies' secret data" and such. Give me a break.

And then there are all the virtual conferences trying to sell us on what to write and how to write and by the way, buy the expensive publishing services we recommend. Yale is having an in-person romance self-pub conference and from the titles of the seminars alone I know it's all going to be the latest fashions in What is Correct (TM). I don't want to hear it, especially since the author presenters all seem to be the ones who write very sexy books. Which I do not, and my audience clearly does not want. I have no interest in writing a Bridgerton knockoff.

But I also received four emails from opera companies today, too; apparently, everybody wants to be in touch.