A few weeks ago, I got up on my soap box (man, that thing gets used A LOT) and preached about why I still do blog tours even though they are getting less and less popular. You can read that article here. Just to be contrary, I’m now going to discuss why a blog tour isn’t always the best option for a ‘new’ release.
Let me first explain what I mean by a marketing push because there are a gazillion different ways to market your book. In this case, I’m referring to discounting your release and signing up for a newsletter service that sends news of your discounted book out to its email subscribers. And, before you ask, I don’t use BookBub. Not that I don’t want to. I’d loooove to use BookBub and I continue to try and use BookBub, but they don’t like me. *Sticks out bottom lip in pout*
As I explained in my earlier blog, I use blog tours for four main reasons: gaining a social media following, increasing the amount of Goodreads readers who add my book to their TBR, increasing the number Amazon followers, and reviews. That sounds pretty good. Why wouldn’t I always want to do that? Boxed sets, that’s why.
I recently released the three books in my Death by Cupcake series as a boxed set. This release came fairly quickly on the heels of the release of the final book in the series. For that reason, I didn’t want to do a blog tour. I didn’t want to bore book bloggers and readers with material that wasn’t new. I also didn’t want to ask for reviews of the series as that’s a HUGE ask. Instead, I’ll ask those reviewers who have been kind enough to read and review all three books separately to write a review for the series.
So, how did it go? I released the Death by Cupcake series at the discounted price of 99 cents (regular price $3.50) on Amazon as a part of the Kindle Unlimited program. The marketing push was over 6 days (I usually do a 3-day weekend marketing push, but I had some issues finding enough newsletters in which to include my set). I sold 587 books and there were 11,669 pages read. Not bad, if I do say so myself.
To compare, I did a blog tour for the release of Bring Your Own Baker in June and only garnered 31 sales during the first week of release. Obviously, this comparison is somewhat flawed as a set of novels that have been previously released and have several reviews as well as being deeply discounted can’t really be compared with a brand-spanking-new release with no reviews. But it does give an idea as to what you can expect from sales during a blog tour as opposed to a marketing push.
Why was my marketing push successful in sales compared to a blog tour? First of all, the price is sharply discounted – 70% instead of my usual 50%. Secondly, although the set is new and doesn’t have reviews, readers can take a look at reviews of each individual book. And don’t forget – the purpose of a blog tour is not to make sales. That’s just a lucky byproduct.
Should you do a marketing push instead of a blog tour? Based on the above, I’d definitely recommend it for a boxed set. I also believe a marketing push can be helpful for re-releases of previously published material. It can also be an alternative when you just don’t have the time to prepare the materials for the blog tour, although you may have to search for newsletter services that don’t require a minimum number of reviews.