Ebook Promotion – Are You A Minimalist?

Are You A Minimalist

Having been around the ebook promotion block more than a few times, I’m starting to believe that minimalism may be a good strategy.

For the last six months or more, I’ve had a bit on my plate outside of my books and writing.

It meant that I had very little time to devote to promoting my backlist or to new writing.

However, during this time, my monthly ebook sales have not fallen, as I would have expected.

No, in fact, they have risen. Now, I’m not talking about my sales being at the level to afford me a new house, but overall, it has seen around a 25% increase.

It is a little difficult to measure ebook sales now, though, with Kindle Unlimited KENP page reads, making it hard to calculate what defines a sale.

All I can say is that my ebook sales and KENP page reads are up by about the same amount.


Check your author rank

But the measure that I take the most notice of is my author ranking on Amazon because I believe this gives me a better overall idea of how my ebooks are doing.

If I can keep my ranking in the top 100,000, I’m happy because, from that position, sales usually happen. Sure, in the top 1,000 would be very helpful, but I’m not aiming at stardom, only a monthly side income.

Of course, my ranking goes up and down considerably, but this is the nature of Kindle rankings. A few sales or lack of them can make a huge difference.

Anyway, I just checked, and my author ranking is 72,000, and I have three titles ranking better than 200,000. So my minimalist approach still seems to be doing fine.


So what ebook promotion have I done, or not done, during the last six months?

1. The most powerful ebook promotion in my mind is my five KDP Select free ebook days.

Every time I reach a new ninety-day rollover, I set up the five free days for the coming ninety days. I always split the days into 2-2-1 for every thirty days.

2. I never promote my free ebook days, but after every promotion, I sell ebooks, so I know it works.

3. I use auto-posting of my books to Twitter and Facebook. This is set to post on a schedule of about once every thirty-six hours. I don’t know if this sells any ebooks. But I get Likes, Retweets, and Favourites, so people see them and interact positively, so it must be beneficial.

4. I have my own book promotion site, Whizbuzz Books. So naturally, I promote my books there from time to time.

5. Nothing else.

It may not be for every author, but one thing is certain. I do not spend much time on ebook promotion.

It has probably taken me longer to write this post than what I have spent in total on book promotion in the last three months.

All I can say is that it works for me.

How much time do you spend promoting your book? More importantly, does your time invested equate to increased sales?


More reading: How To Pick A Title To Help Your Book Discovery Online

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

10 thoughts on “Ebook Promotion – Are You A Minimalist?

  • December 12, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Just checked my rating – one million, four thousand, two hundred and something. Not good! Then again, for a while back in 2012 I managed sales of over half a million for my Race Against Time archaological adventure. Hey ho….

  • July 23, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    It’s fascinating to read your experience here – and heartening in a way, since you suggest that authors don’t need to agonise every waking moment about lack of active promotion. Yet I’m slightly puzzled by some of the experiences recounted in your post and its responses.

    When I run a free week on Amazon (I usually take all five days together), I find that unless I pay substantially for promotion on sites like Freebooksy, I get almost zero downloads. Even at the end of a free week, if I don’t promote on the free last day, my downloads on that day slump from hundreds (even thousands) to a tiny trickle.

    However, what I do see is an ongoing wave of KU reads after each free week. Usually they go on for a month or six weeks after the promotion. I also see a flurry of actual sales, though in my case they die away much sooner than the KU reads, and never amount to more than a few dozen at the best of times.

    If you see a big hike in downloads during your free days, yet you don’t spend anything on promoting them, clearly some of your other marketing measures must be kicking in, giving the free days visibility, Do you have any idea which, and how this happens? It seems hard to believe that setting the books to free in itself somehow garners downloads.

    For the sake of context, the first book in my series of three mysteries has been out for a couple of years now, and has picked up over 50 good Amazon US reviews, but its ranking has never risen above the level of the embarrassing!

  • March 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    You never know if the ebook promotion you are performing is enough or not. You tend to think that is never enough, but this post is supporting that spending less time on book promotion, results in more ebook sales, so I think I will try, and let´s see…
    Thanks at any case por a good post.

  • February 10, 2016 at 5:27 am

    Well, I spent a chunk of time and money on promoting my ebook on Amazon when it was a free download. After that the ebook actually FELL in ratings. While there were many downloads during the FREE cycle, they did not translate into ANY book sales after it ended. I’ll try it again next wee, but I’m not really thrilled with the results at all.

    Anyone else find that the FREE promotion may have actually HURT them?

    • February 10, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I’ve had some books remain static, Morgan, but I can’t recall a book losing ranking after a free promotion.

    • July 5, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      This happened to me actually. I followed the advice here and put it on for a two day free promo and it sold well for those two days. The sakes fell to zero once the promo finished. Not even a review out of it. It’s my first book and I’ve been really disheartened by it.

  • January 30, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Like you, in my case book promotion has been relegated to the back burner, until I finish writing my latest. Also like you, I checked where I stood in the pecking order on Amazon.com’s Author Central – 225,000th, which is better than nothing. However, when I went to check on Amazon.co.uk, they don’t bother wih author ranking, only our books…

    • January 30, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Amazon UK are hopeless, Jack. And UK Author Central is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle.


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