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Promo stacking is the strategy of booking multiple promotions for one book in a limited time period, usually 5–7 days, with the goal of achieving a certain ranking on retailers (like hitting a bestsellers list) and selling more books, even after the promotion period ends.
How Does Promo Stacking Work?
Let’s take a look at Amazon for an example of how promo stacking can work. When you achieve enough sales over a long enough period, Amazon’s algorithm will start recommending your book to Amazon users. Amazon looks at both sales volume and sales consistency, as well as who is buying your book. The goal with promo stacking with your Kindle book is to get Amazon’s algorithms to notice your book and basically start promoting it for you. This means that the bulk of your profit actually won’t appear until after you’ve finished a successful promo stacking; once your book goes back to full price, Amazon will still be recommending it to a wider audience than you were able to reach by yourself, and you can usually make more sales.
When to Promo Stack?
- To revive a book that isn’t making much money
- To launch a newly released book
- To promote the first book in a series and lead to series sales
Remember that promotion is never a one-time fix. You can increase sales by doing a successful promo stack, but eventually sales will drop, and you’ll need to run another promotion. However, the goal is that you gain more fans and newsletter subscribers each promotion, as well as reviews, plus you’re publishing more books, so even with the sales drop between promotions, you’re farther ahead than where you started. Eventually, the goal is to reach a critical mass where you don’t have to spend much time on promotion because your fans are doing the promotion for you.
Promo Stacking Tips
Promo stacking is an effective way to get word about your book out there. If you’re thinking of promo stacking, here are 9 tips to help you out.
- Choose a 5–7 day period to promo stack your book
- Coordinate a temporary price drop with your promo stacking to boost sales
- Choose at least 3 book promotion sites, like Book Cave, to feature your book (how many you choose depends on your budget), and submit your book early to be sure you’ll get the dates you want (at least a month in advance is prudent). Be sure to check review requirements on these sites if your book has fewer than 10 reviews.
- When booking with promotion sites, try to leave your book on the site for at least two days. Because these sites work largely by emailing their subscribers, that extra day helps because many people don’t check their email until the following day.
- Look at other ways to promote your book during this time, such as Facebook ads and Amazon ads. These take a lot more work to create, and you’ll want to check them daily to see if you should make any adjustments to the audience, so be aware of the extra time commitment.
- Don’t forget to email your author newsletter list to let them know about the promotion.
- Also post about your promotions on social media.
- Spread out the promotions services and tasks you’ve selected during your chosen dates. This is where the stacking part comes in. The goal is to steadily increase your sales over the promo stacking period.
- End your promotion stacking on an upswing: do this by booking the promotion sites with larger lists toward the end of your promotion dates, rather than at the beginning. Most of your promotion sites should be booked on day three and later, while your newsletter and then ads start the promotion stacking.
What about Pricing?
If your book doesn’t have any reviews, but it’s your only book, you may want to start with pricing it at $0.00 the first day or two in the hopes of getting some reviews and to jumpstart sales. Then bring it up to $0.99.
If your book doesn’t have any reviews, but you’ve got other books with great reviews, keeping it at $0.99 for the entire period is very effective. A new release, which of course has good reason to not have reviews, can even be priced at $1.99 for the promo stacking period.
If the book you’re promoting is the first in a series, leaving it at $0.00 for the promo stacking period is a great way to drive series sales. You could even discount the second book to $1.99 or $0.99 at the same time to encourage more sales—this is a great way to help launch, say, the third book in the series. Be sure to check the guidelines of promo sites you use, though, as many have restrictions on how close they’ll promote books by the same author. At Book Cave, we prefer 7 days between books by the same author, but for series, we’ll schedule books as close as 3 days apart. Be sure to take these sort of guidelines into account when planning your promo stacking. However, even promoting book one with one promotion site, and book two with a different promotion site, and book three with yet another site, will drive sales of the other books in the series.
Keep in mind that you’ll get more sales on book promotion sites that have never promoted your book before. So for example, if you’ve promoted book one with one site within the past six months, try promoting book two with that same site and choose a different site to promote book one, if possible. Then after more months go by, you can switch books on the sites again as companies like Book Cave gain more subscribers and clean out addresses that become inactive.
Have you used promo stacking? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!