News and Book Marketing Blog

This is where we'll be posting articles on the subjects of independent publishing, book marketing and book promotion, as well as providing news updates relating to Readers in the Know.

How to time your book promos to create the perfect campaign

29 Jan 2015

by Simon Denman


Image of hand holding stopwatch to symbolise timing of book promos After the amazing response to my previous post announcing our new book promo submission tool, I decided to contact RITK author and Amazon promo guru, Wayne Stinnett for his thoughts and feedback.

"It's a great tool," he said, "but do you know what what would make it even better? - Timing!"

He then went on to explain how he had recently been attempting to time his promos, not just on a day-to-day basis, but also by the hour.

The logic behind this is simply an extension of our previous deductions about the working of Amazon's algorithms taking into consideration that the sales rank is updated hourly rather than daily. So it makes sense, if you can manage it, to aim for an increased rate of sales not just day upon day, but hour upon hour.

With this goal in mind, Wayne had already started to record the approximate time of day when various promo sites send out their email blasts and so he generously agreed to share these with me for inclusion in the tool.

So, I quickly added a new column to the table to show the approximate hour at which email blasts are sent out, and then added a few more lines of code to allow you to select the time zone (since by default, the times shown are GMT).

Luckily, it all seemed to work like a charm and so the update went live this morning.

I don't yet have all the email timings for all sites that do an email blast, but I hope to be able to fill in the gaps over the coming days / weeks, so if you already have any of this missing info, please let me know.

For a more complete explanation of how to use this new data in the planning of your promos, I refer you to Wayne's post in the Kboards Writer's Cafe, What would a perfect five day discount promo look like?


Christa Polkinhorn commented at 08:01 29 Jan 2015:

"Thanks, Simon, always helpful. I think I'm probably not the only one who struggles with picking the right promo sites and then there is timing... Live and learn.

p.d.r. lindsay commented at 08:01 30 Jan 2015:

"Brilliant and so useful to us Indies!
Thank you."

Simon Denman commented at 11:01 30 Jan 2015:

"I have to admit, until now, I hadn't really considered the time of day that these sites send out their mails. Since most sites are purely US oriented, they tend to send out at the beginning of the day US time which is already towards the end of the day here in the UK.

At Readers in the Know, I chose 10am UK time (2am in Seattle) - partly so UK members (which currently make up about 40%) have a full day to purchase your books, and partly because it gives me time to check the validity of each promo before the emails go out. Also, KDP select Free promos kick in a short while after midnight Seattle time which is 8am here and so it wouldn't make sense to run it before then."

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