Book Launch [Case Study]

 3rd August 2022

Hey,

Happy Wednesday! Hope you are having an amazing week so far.


Quick note: This newsletter is going to be slightly longer than usual – about a 5 minute read rather than a 3 minute read – it will be a valuable 5 minutes though, I promise.


Now, yes, this is a newsletter all about Amazon Ads, but as I talk about a lot, you should never be looking at Amazon Ads inside of a vacuum; always look at the big picture.


This is particularly true for book launches.


In my experience, yes Amazon Ads play a role with launching a book, but it's a small role compared to all the other avenues you should be exploring, such as:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Email List
  • Promo Sites

Amazon Ads are far better for long-term, evergreen, sustained sales of your books, rather than short, quick-fire launches; but that's just my experience.


Yes, they can sell a lot of books, providing you have optimized the campaigns over at least 1-2 weeks before a launch. Setting up a new Amazon Ads campaign on launch day won't do a huge amount for you, because they don't get going too quickly, in most cases.


Whereas, with a tool such as Facebook Ads, they can get you out of the gate very quickly.


Anyway, with that pre-amble out of the way...


The book I recently launched was Book 4 of my wife's series, The Last Kamaali.


Here are the overall stats for the launch, which ran from 26th July - 1st August:

  • Book Sales: 2,481
  • Page Reads: 526,862
  • Royalties: $5730.75
Units ordered 2,481
Pages read 526,862
Estimated royalties $5,730.75

There were a couple of issues that came up during the launch, however, that hindered performance somewhat:

  • Pre-order of Book 4 was cancelled (due to Amazon not reviewing the manuscript in time, despite being uploaded well before the deadline) and we lost 2,500 pre-orders.
  • The Amazon Bestsellers Rank system froze for around 72 hours, which prevented us from reaching Number 1 in a lot of categories, although we did achieve Number 1 in a couple of categories for the new release.

Despite these issues, it wasn't a bad launch per-se, and I believe that the strength of any launch is always shown in the tail of that launch (i.e. the following weeks after the launch has ended), when the Page Reads and sell-through/read-through really start to show.


The way we priced the books for the launch was as follows:

  • Book 1: 99¢ (Kindle Countdown Deal)
  • Book 2: 99¢ (Kindle Countdown Deal)
  • Book 3: 99¢ (Kindle Countdown Deal)
  • Companion Novel: 99¢ (Kindle Countdown Deal)
  • Book 4: $2.99 (Special Launch Price)

The new release, Book 4, performed the best in terms of ranking (once Amazon's Bestsellers Rank system sorted itself out!) and it reached 665 in the Amazon.com Kindle Store on day 5 of the launch.

 

I was surprised at the poor performance of the Promo Sites for this launch. We booked a total of 25 Promo Sites spread out over the 7 days, with the majority of them booked for days 6 and 7 of the launch.

 

Each Promo Site was advertising Book 1 of the series and these usually push the book into the Top 1,000 on Amazon.com. Not this time though. The highest rank Book 1 achieved during this launch was 1,640 on Amazon.com (something we've achieved without Promo Sites and a Kindle Countdown Deal).

 

Yes, this could have been due to the issues with the Amazon Bestsellers Rank, or, it could be that Promo Sites just aren't as effective as they once were; something I've heard talked about a lot in the Author community recently. It could also be the time of year and other economic factors playing a role.

 

Finally, coming onto the Amazon Ads and their performance during the launch week. They sold 59 books (with 56 of those being Paperbacks) and generated 4,600 Page Reads.

 

As you can see, the role the Amazon Ads played in the launch was very small and minor. It was the other activities I was employing that really drove the results.

 

Here are some financial stats for the launch week to share with you:

  • Royalties: $5730.75
  • Spend: $2923.73 (Facebook Ads, Amazon Ads and Promo Sites)
  • Profit: $2807.02

As I mentioned earlier though, it's not the launch that counts; it's the tail and the long-term effects of the launch that really matter.


Now the books are back up to full price ($2.99 or $3.99) and the rankings are still doing relatively well, we are benefiting from those full price sales and the enhanced visibility, as well as people starting to read the books they picked up during launch week with their Kindle Unlimited subscription.


So, that is going to wrap up today's email. A little longer than usual, but hopefully you found some key takeaways from it that you can implement into your own book launches.


And always remember, as I keep banging on about, never look at Amazon Ads inside of a vacuum; always look at the big picture.



To Your Success
- Matt



Whenever you're ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:

  1. Receive The Morning ACOS For Authors (almost) every day directly into your inbox
  2. Learn and develop your Amazon Ads skills with Amazon Ads Academy For Authors
  3. Join other authors on a monthly Amazon Ads Group Coaching Call with me, as well as access to a private community to be part of the conversation, ask questions, help others, as we discuss all things Amazon Ads for Authors
  4. Read The 7 Day Authors Guide To Amazon Ads, a comprehensive book on my Amazon Ads Strategy (it's free to download to your Kindle on Amazon and also available in Hardback and Paperback formats)