Marketing gimmick #2, in which I slash prices and @&# everyone.

Shizzle, Inc is $0.99 for a limited time!

Did any of that get your attention? Hope so, cause my gimmick #2 got me no results whatsoever. Or maybe it did, if you consider negative a result. The rankings added zeroes – and of course, that means the sales didn’t. The stats went south and someone blocked me…

Before I continue with this pity party, I do have some amazing news to report. Shizzle, Inc now got six reviews on Amazon, all 5-star! This may not seem like much, compared to proper bestsellers, but from reading other people’s blogs, I gather that it is quite an achievement for the first three weeks of a self-published title. I have read each one at least a dozen times, and it sounds like there will be a few more within a week – people have messaged me to say that they are reading it and laughing. Sweeter words have not been written…

So, back to my gimmick #2, what was it? As the title says, I’ve spent last week #-tagging and sending @ messages to reviewers on Twitter. It was suggested in one of the comments, and as soon as I read it, I was overwhelmed with a vision that it would work. After all, I’ve seen celebrities madly hashtagging their every sneeze, and if celebrities do it, it must be working for them, right?

My plan was simple:

  1. Add hashtags to my quote+link tweets sent out four times a day via Buffer. I’ve used some of the ones from 44 essential hashtags for writers. I have personally used #comedy, #humor, #Kindle, #ebook, and #chicklit.
  2. Send @ messages to 20 Twitter reviewers. I sent quotes+link tweets to all reviewers still active on this Best Twitter Reviewers list.
  3. Refresh stats at least once a minute.

A week has passed. Stats have been refreshed at least ten thousand times, and the results are in. So, how did I do, and what have I learned?

  1. Hashtags seemed to reduce the number of link clicks for the week! Here are the last two weeks worth of engagements and link clicks:

Link clicks

The week before, I got 285 link clicks. This week it’s back down to the usual 131. Is that the hashtag’s fault? Or is everyone seek of seeing my quotes? Is there a “quote fatique” going on?

In addition, the number of profile visits went down, even though the number of engagements is way up (for the last 28 days):

Tweet impressions vs profile visits

When things are not working, one must change, and pronto. For this current week, I have stopped hashtagging and even including links, and the stats have actually improved! So far, I am getting a lot more retweets on my quotes, which may mean that people automatically hate hashtags or links – they know you’re trying to sell them something…I will provide a full update in a week.

2.  Sending @ messages resulted in zero responses from the reviewers, it’s like they didn’t even see it. Oh, wait, one did – I got blocked in a hurry! I kind of understand, because nobody has the time to respond to every single message, and maybe mine were properly spammy. I then tried again, sending more personal messages to those who did not block me and actually asking to review the book, rather than passively-aggressively sending a quote and a link. So far I got one polite “sorry, I’m too busy” and no other blocks. But no interest, either.

There you go, not all marketing ideas are good. For my next trick, I have reduced the price of Shizzle, Inc to 99 cents! get it quick, before I decide to test what a $9.99 will do to my royalty figures!

In my next gimmick reveal I pinky-promise to tell you:

  1. How many sales it took to get to #72 on the PAID Amazon Humor Bestseller list.
  2. Sales figures before and after the free ebook giveaway a couple of weeks ago.
  3. The impact of this latest $0.99 sale on the sales figures.

If you have any particular questions about marketing of a freshly-self-published novel, ask away and I will answer them in the next post.


Filed under Self-publishing and marketing, Shizzle, Inc.

40 responses to “Marketing gimmick #2, in which I slash prices and @&# everyone.

  1. Rose F

    Re: Hashtags. Too many hashtags at once can lower your views. You might get better results aiming for one popular/widely used hashtag at a time and tie it to another, smaller hashtag specific to blogging or your genre. Then change hashtags and retweet.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! I had no idea that links and too many hashtags mean a big drop in views! I can’t wait to see what happens in terms of sales for the $0.99 trial. I realized that I love reading these Marketing Gimmicks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you thought about trying to set up a blogging tour with reviewers? Also, I’m sorry to hear things didn’t work out as well as you hoped. I did pick up your book, but I haven’t had a chance to read it. But I will try to add it to my list ASAP. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s interesting about the hashtags. I just did a tweet today with three. I usually just use one. I wonder if it does worse. I think too many hashtags does somehow look desperate even though it isn’t. We’re just trying to do what we’re supposed to do. Oh, good luck! Keep the faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There was a post a while back about the use of hashtags that concluded that 2 was a optimal number. [Or so I hazily remember.]

    Also, there is a wordpress Book Review Directory that many indie writers are using to get reviewers.

    Also, i wonder if doing a Goodreads First Reads giveaway would attract readers since it encourages them to read the blurb and current reviews.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. That sucks that it didn’t work.
    I will admit to getting tired of seeing hashtags on just about everything some days; I think the most I use is usually 3 or 4, then again my writing is restricted to the realm of fanfiction so I tag for extremely specific audiences.
    Ohhhh, another thing I do: I have actual authors on my fList! I only remember how one of them came about though, lol. I gave her first 5 star review so she sent me a request :). Reading through some of their posts I see the things they do to bring attention to what they are doing or to make themselves better authors. Workshops on writing in general or a specific area like dialogue is high on the that list of how to.
    Perhaps check into NetGalley. It’s a site which caters to those who do review books and some best selling authors use them (R. A. Salvatore is the one I can remember off the top of my head) and I KNOW there are lesser known authors there.
    Your commentary makes me wonder though. I am on some email lists which offer free and reduced price books. Some of them say things like 1500 5 star reviews on Amazon. I wonder just how long it took to get that many high rated reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, TJ, you’re a wealth of information 🙂 I will definitely check NetGalley. I’m really enjoying the type of blogs I’m posting now, which are written from a first-timer’s point of view – I will leave “comprehensive” and educational writing to mature authors. For my next trick, I will be doing some paid advertising (not paid reviews, though), so I will post about that experience, too. I think that’s how people get thousands of reviews, you can’t do that with just a social media platform.


    • Had a look at NetGalley, have you used it yourself? To be honest, $599 to list and have one promo event seems steep for an unknown. I am thinking of throwing some money at BookBub and BookGorilla, what do you think?


      • I use it to review, for which there is no fee. Sorry, I didn’t realize, although I should have, that there was a fee attached for authors.
        I use BookBub, FreeBooksy and a couple of others; that’s how I get the majority of the books I read, lol, for free :D.
        Some are ARCs (War Lord’s Queen was an ARC).
        Some I actually paid full price for :D. Like The Shadows, waiting for Anne Rice’s newest in the Lestat saga, Terry Brooks…yeah, I have a long list of authors I read as soon as they come out (depending on the series). is a FB group for writers where they can get encouragement, garner information, etc.
        Stacy McKitrick started it (My Sunny Vampire, Bite Me I’m Yours, Blind Temptation and Ghostly Liaisons) and there are quite a few writers on there. You might also check out Google+ since I find it easier (even though I don’t use it often) to find what I’m looking for there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so awesome, thank you for all the resources, TJ! I’m not on Facebook, but I plan to try out a few distribution sites and see what impact it makes on sales – will be good material for future blogs, too.


      • It’s easy to find fodder for a post :), it’s translating life into the written word for sale that confounds most of us.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. These are really interesting stats. I look forward to your updates. Also just bought your book and look forward to reading that too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ana, I am laughing out loud, and blown away by your book – you are an inspiration to all inspiring writers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Meghan

    New follower and am buying your book today. Price slash works and a $0.99 book is a steal


  10. I’m still trying to figure out social media promotion myself. I’ve recently expanded to Tumblr and Instagram, and am finally taking Twitter seriously after ignoring my account for a good while. I started testing out advertising on Facebook and am looking into Amazon, but so far, the results haven’t been very encouraging. For the first attempt I paid just under $100 to advertise a week on FB and according to their metrics, I reached over 62K people and had around 240 clicks on my URL, which resulted in one sale. Next I narrowed the audience to the age and gender who most responded to the previous ad, plus combined it with a Kindle countdown offer on Amazon starting at $0.99 and increasing a dollar each day. This time the metrics say I reached around 29K, but had around 460 clicks, which resulted in one sale while the title was still at $0.99. However, I did learn where most of the clicks were coming from, so I’ll be able to narrow the marketing more on the next go around. Overall, I’m trying a multi-pronged approach, trying to increase hits on my blog, garner attention on Instagram, and my author page on Facebook. I seem to be getting more attention, but so far, not many sales.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. miladyronel

    Hi, Ana. I don’t know much about reviews, but I read about how to get a bigger readership by having your book translated. I posted the URL below. All the best with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like Book Bub as a reader and another author,
    did a series of blogs on how to use them for promotion. You might find his blogs on this useful. I hope so.
    I’m going to have to check out the 99cent promo on your book, I want to read it, but I think your freebie was only in Kindle format and since I have a Nook, it didn’t work for me. If need be, I have a Kindle app on my computer and I could read it on here.

    Good Luck! I’m excited to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Jude! Thank you so much for the link, I will definitely check it out – I’m in a process of putting together an enormous resource list of ad sites. I will be trying them out/blogging about my results. My next $0.99 promo is on 10 October, and I will expand to other platforms in December.


  13. hello ana spoke its dennis the vizsla dog hay my dada did the price slash to ninetynine scents thing wunse!!! but then he forgot to ever chayndj it bak!!! if the price never goze up agin then its not reely a sale price is it??? ha ha ok bye


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