One Soul, Cheap, Barely Used

With Deep Shell now on amazon and not exactly selling in droves, I decided to pull my sleeves up and throw some money at the problem.

Wait, you may ask, is there a problem? Well, yeah. People aren’t buying my excellent novella in the numbers I desire. And how many do I desire, you might wonder? Seven billion copies. After that I’m happy.

Ebook advertising is hard. You can only bug your friends and online acquaintances so much and after a while the only avenue left open is filthy, dirty advertising. So I bit the nipple and went with a couple of options.

The first was Amazon. They work hard to inform authors of Amazon Marketing Services, which places a tiny banner for your book in front of prospective buyers. And it does. The problem being the next step.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 18.49.40Here’s the latest data for my amazon campaign. As you can see, of the 1671 people who saw the ad, 1670 of them didn’t click on it. Which isn’t great, as stats go. I don’t think I’ll get very far with that one.

Another option is Book Daily, suggested to me by the nice people at Space Opera: Writers group on Facebook. Here you pay the site fifty dollars a month and they send your book out in their newsletter to all the people who signed up, plus promote it on their site. The problem being the people who signed up are probably also self-published authors who want people to buy their books but aren’t necessarily ready to shell out for someone else’s.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 19.01.04So what’s left? No idea. Short of shoving leaflets through my neighbours’ doors and accosting strangers on the street while holding a sweaty clipboard, I can’t think of another good way to market a rather good kindle short. You got ideas, you let me hear them. And the cheaper the better.

/ paddy


  1. The trick is to get it in front of lots of people who buy books, along with a recommendation (d’oh). Do you know anyone famous with a twitter account? Have you considered sending it to SF Signal or another Speculative Fiction podcast or fanzine? I read lots of books they talk about on SFS 🙂

    I also read yours, and like it. It’s really actually very good, and i want the sequel. I even paid for it on Amazon, even though I got a fe test copy 🙂

    1. Thanks! I guess I could try a cast or fanzine. Although I assume they get lots of submissions. But definitely worth a shot.

  2. Hm… first of all, I have ZERO experience with this, but:

    Are you at all interested in reading excerpts at groovy coffee shop/bar/bookstore events/local theater/school or some such? Really have no idea if you’d be into this, but some way for folks to get a sample that is, in and of itself, interesting and entertaining might be nice.

    Know any podcasts looking for a fun interview? That might be relatively easy & pleasant, if it’s a show you like.

    Just a few ideas, free of charge. BTW, your chart of the data w/the “Clicks” at 1 is SO funny/poignant. I appreciate the bravery re: putting that pup up there. =)

    1. Interesting idea although might be hard to arrange as an unknown writer. Guess I could always stand at a street corner and just talk.

  3. One course of action that’s been around for a LONG time is sending out free copies to reviewers, in exchange for a completely honest review. If you get a few reviewers who have a good following to review your book/novella, chances are your sales will rise. 😉

    Book marketing is all about people, so think outside the marketing ‘box’ and think inside the ‘people’ box. 😉

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