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Does Self-Promotion Really Work? The Results Are In for My Experiment In Self-Promotion

Does self-promotion really work?  What happens when you promote your writing via blog, Facebook and LinkedIn?  Over the past several weeks I’ve done just that.  The results are in.  Check out this post and find out exactly what happened with my experiment in self-promotion...


Let me go back to the beginning and put this into context.

On March 14th I uploaded my eBook entitled "The GOOD Book" to Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing site.  For a period of two and a half months I did absolutely no promotion, nor told anyone about the book.  During that period someone stumbled upon the book while searching Amazon and bought it.  And that was the only copy I sold.

On May 31st, I posted my blog article, "Does Self-Promotion Really Work? Let’s Try It And Find Out", on Animation World Network.  I also posted it on my Facebook page, the Facebook "walls" of roughly 150 friends, about 35 LinkedIn groups, and I sent the link to my contact list.

Over the next 11 days, with no further promotion, I sold 17 copies of my book.  

I also received four reviews on the Amazon site:

This is a fantastic, quick read. I would recommend this be made into books for Children, Adolescents, and Adults as everyone could benefit from it's message. Who knows, maybe Jeffrey has already thought of that! —Christine

Jeffrey, Purchased The GOOD Book on Saturday and keep returning to it. It's a highly motivational and inspirational read and I felt deeply connected to the words written, conveying the infinity of possibility by doing good. I will continue to return to and share The GOOD Book. Thank you. —Jennifer

Jeffrey, I just read your 'Good' book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The more who read it, and live it, the more good there will be in the world hence leaving it a better place. I will be sure to share this with family and friends! Thank you! —The Clayman

I read "The GOOD Book" this morning and felt rejuvenated. It's a succinct reminder of a truth we sometimes forget: if you do good, you will feel good, and everyone and everything around you will be better for it. I think "The GOOD Book" suits the Kindle wonderfully. I downloaded it with no fuss, it's easy to recommend it to friends, and now it'll be in my bag forever, so I have no excuse NOT to do good. Just... do good! Thank you so much for the magical reminder! —Justina

After 11 days, sales dropped to zero again. 

And so the experiment ended.

Although I only netted $5.75 in royalties from these sales, I also received something of much greater value: four terrific reviews which I can use to further promote the book. 

My take away from this is exactly what I had expected: promotion increases sales and cessation of promotion decreases them. 


This may seem like a no-brainer, but remember: I'm not writing these posts to convince myself or others who promote their work; I'm writing them to convince those of you out there who want to improve business, but are hesitant about promoting yourself and your work, to push past your hesitance and start promoting.

Selling a 99 cent eBook is vastly different than selling a screenplay or your services as a writer.  Producers invest a bit more than 99 cents in a screenplay (well, most, anyway), and whereas anyone with a smart phone or computer can buy and read an eBook, there are only a relative handful of producers around the world looking for scripts or writers at any given moment. 

My stated goal was to make my eBook go viral, just as a screenwriter's personal goal might be to sell a spec script for a million bucks.  I didn't reach this goal (nor have I ever sold a million-dollar spec).  These goals are rarely achieved, but should nonetheless be set.  To dream is what a writer does best.

So my evaluation of my self-promotion experiment is that it was a success.  It told me that with the promotion of one blog post I could increase my sales from one book in 11 weeks to 17 books in 11 days.  It also tells me that if I continue to promote my book I will sell more of them.  And with word of mouth from social networking, and more good reviews, sales will increase further.  The harder I promote it the more books I will sell. 

Ergo, the harder you promote yourself and your work the greater your chances of success.

The bottom line is that promoting yourself and your products not only works, it is vital if you want to succeed in today's competitive marketplace.   The one good thing about those who don't promote themselves is that it increases the success ratio for those who do. 

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't practice what I preach and ask one more time for those of you who haven't already done so to click here and purchase my little 99 cent eBook.  Like the four reviewers, above, I think you'll really enjoy it.


©Jeffrey Scott, All Rights Reserved