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promo stacking

Many thanks to Written Word Media, Friend of the Women in Publishing Summit, for this guest post on promo stacking. Never heard of it before? Read on!  Be sure to visit Written Word Media to learn more about their author marketing services! 

What is promo stacking?

Promo stacking refers to running, or “stacking”, multiple promotions on a single title or series in a short period of time. It might consist of running a promotion with a company like Written Word Media, running ads on platforms like Bookbub and Facebook, and sending emails to your mailing list. Generally a promo stack takes place over 4 -7 days.

Promo stacking is an effective technique for authors as they not only get direct sales from their promotions, but the increase in downloads boosts the book’s rank on retailers like Amazon. This leads to even more downloads.

Most authors will run a promo stack in combination with a price promotion where they drop the price of their book for a short period.

What makes up the promo stack?

Authors have different options available to them when it comes to promoting. Below are some common ones, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box or add in a technique that works well for you.

  1. Your reader email list
  2. Social media
  3. Reader email list swaps with other authors
  4. Book Promotion Sites (Bookbub, Bargain Booksy, Freebooksy, etc.)
  5. Facebook Ads
  6. Bookbub Ads
  7. Amazon Ads (AMS)

The cost of these tools varies, as does the time investment required. It’s a good idea to mix high-cost low effort options with high effort low-cost ones so avoid getting overwhelmed.

Here are your tools with their associated time and money cost:

Our 4 Promo Stacking Strategies

So now that you know your promotional options, what now? It’s time to decide how you are going to use them. Below, we have outlined 4 different strategies designed to meet the needs of different authors. Take a look and see which one will work the best for you.

Strategy #1: For authors with 1 book and no reviews:

Make your book free for one day and immediately follow with 3-4 days at $0.99

Day Pricing Tactic
Day 1 Book is Free Freebooksy + Bookbub Ads
Day 2 Book is $0.99 Email to Author Mailing List + Social Media + Bookbub Ads
Day 3 Book is $0.99 Bargain Booksy (or other promo site that does not have minimum review requirements)  + Bookbub Ads
Day 4 Book is $0.99 Newsletter Swap + Bookbub Ads

This is the most restricted promo stacking strategy as many promo sites require reviews in order to accept a book. The good news, there are several sites that don’t have a review requirement, and after running this stack you should have some reviews!

 

Stacking Strategy 2: For authors with 1 book and over 25 reviews

Make your book $0.99 for 3-5 days

Day Pricing Tactics Time Cost
Day 1 Book is $0.99 2-3 Small Promo Sites Medium
Amazon Ads Medium
Bookbub Ads High
Day 2 Book is $0.99 Promo Site Low
Social Media Medium
Amazon Ads Medium
Bookbub Ads High
Day 3 Book is $0.99 Promo Site Low
Newsletter Swap Medium
Amazon Ads Medium
Bookbub Ads High
Day 4 Book is $0.99 Bargain Booksy Promo Low
Email to Author Mailing List Medium
Amazon Ads Medium
Bookbub Ads High

The goal here is to simply sell as many copies as possible at $0.99. With this many reviews, you’ll be able to feature your book on more promotion sites, so that is a heavier focus in this promo stacking strategy. The tactics in bold are our “must haves” and the smaller font are good add-ons if you have the budget and time. For a list of recommended book promo sites,  check out the Tier I and II sites in Reedsy’s directory at Reedsy.com

Stacking Strategy 3: For authors with at least 3 books in a series

Make book 1 free, make book 2 $0.99, make book 3 $1.99

Day Pricing Tactics Time Cost
Day 1
  • Book 1 is free
  • Book 2 is $0.99
  • Book 3 is $1.99
Freebooksy on book 1 Low
Email to Author Mailing List (highlighting all 3 books) Medium
AMS Ads Medium
Bookbub Ads High
Facebook Carousel Ads (highlighting all 3 books) High
Day 2
  • Book 1 is free
  • Book 2 is $0.99
  • Book 3 is $1.99
Promo site on book 2 Low
Social Media Medium
AMS Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Facebook Carousel Ads (highlighting all 3 books) High
Day 3
  • Book 1 is free
  • Book 2 is $0.99
  • Book 3 is $1.99
Promo site on book 2 Low
Newsletter swap Medium
AMS Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Facebook Carousel Ads (highlighting all 3 books) High
Day 4
  • Book 1 is free
  • Book 2 is $0.99
  • Book 3 is $1.99
Bargain Booksy promo on book 2 Low
AMS Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Facebook Carousel Ads (highlighting all 3 books) High

This is all about read-through. Get new readers hooked with book 1 for free, and then encourage them to snap up 2 and 3 while they are on sale.

Stacking Strategy 4: For authors without a series but other books in a similar genre

Make a new release $0.99 or $1.99, make the best-reviewed book in your catalog $.099

Day Pricing Tactics Time cost
Day 1 Newest release is $0.99, best reviewed book is $0.99 NewInBooks promo on newest release Low
Promo site on best reviewed book Low
Email to Author Mailing List (highlighting both books) Medium
Amazon Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Day 2 Newest release is $0.99, best-reviewed book is $0.99 Promo Site on Newest Release Low
Social Media Medium
Amazon Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Day 3 Newest release is $0.99, best-reviewed book is $0.99 Promo site on newest release Low
Promo site on best-reviewed book Low
Newsletter swap Medium
Amazon Ads High
Bookbub Ads High
Day 4 Newest release is $0.99, best-reviewed book is $0.99 Promo site on newest release Low
Promo site on best-reviewed book Low
Amazon Ads High
Bookbub Ads High

This all about making the most of publishing a new book. New releases are often more appealing to readers, and they generally see generous rankings on Amazon. You’re already getting a boost, time to double down. Promo stacking your best reviewed book at the same time as your release can have a powerful cross-over impact.

In Conclusion

Promo stacking is an effective strategy for almost every author, and you can personalize your stacking strategy to maximize results for your situation.

  • Promo stacking is when you run multiple promotions in a short period of time to achieve results greater than the sum of the individual promotions.
  • When running a price promotion, a promo stack is a great way to get the word out, but is not necessarily needed.
  • Authors can vary their promo stacking make-up depending on how many books or reviews they have, if they have a series, or if they have a new release.
  • Deploying a successful promo stacking campaign will cost time and money. The number of marketing tactics you stack will depend on your budget and resources.

Head on over to Written Word Media for more information on self-publishing, marketing and writing.