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Before & After Series With Ann Charles

August 1, 2011

by Anne Charles

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a published author who sold books to more than just my family and friends. But how was I going to get started? I needed a way to find new readers who didn’t know me and would be willing to take a chance on me. Lucky for me, I had heard about this brilliant new marketing idea—a blog tour put on by the Indie Book Collective (IBC) where readers came to my blog instead of me writing posts for ten, twenty, or even thirty blogs to reach a new audience. The cost to be a part of this innovative marketing opportunity? A free book to each commenter on my blog. The results? Well, see for yourself…

The IBC 1st tour in which I participated was in January 2011 called, “Get Loaded!” At the time of this tour, I had just released my first book, Nearly Departed in Deadwood, as an eBook that very week. With some guidance from the IBC crew, I came up with a fun post meant to entertain readers, as well as inform. Check it out: Here

Here are the results from that 1st tour:

Visits to my site that week: 1119

New newsletter subscribers: 40

Blog post comments (which include my own replies): 234

Free eBooks given during the blog tour: 37

Official reviews received of my book for the blog tour: 1 (Detra Fitch, Huntress Reviews)

My Kindle Sales in January/Feb: 11/34

Now, you may look at this and say, “You gave away almost as many books as you sold on Kindle. How is that a good thing?” And I would argue that you are looking at the numbers wrong. I almost doubled my readership thanks to the tour. But more important, I made new friends and fans and managed to get people to read my book who didn’t know me—my goal was achieved, but I wanted even more readers, which lead to the next tour.

The IBC 2nd tour was in April 2011 called, “Cage Match Edition.” I used the same book, Nearly Departed in Deadwood, for this tour. I wrote another post for this tour with a slightly different spin. See for yourself: Here

Here are the results from the 2nd tour:

Visits to my site that week: 1059

New newsletter subscribers: 17

Blog post comments (which include my own replies): 326

Free eBooks given during the blog tour: 68

Official reviews received of my book for the blog tour: Approx. 10 (I had asked 3 of the reviewers to sponsor me with a review, the rest requested to review my book; plus several more have reviewed it since thanks to the publicity received due to the blog tour)

Kindle Sales in April/May: Approx. 535/1800

Yes, I had fewer newsletter subscribers, but that’s because I didn’t push for newsletter sign-ups as hard. I gave away almost twice as many books in the second tour, which meant even more new readers (I told any returning tour readers to give the free eBook coupon I sent to a friend or family member who they thought would like the book). Where the numbers really get exciting is when you look at how many reviewers I had sponsor me in the second tour. It’s hard to get reviews of new eBook authors these days, and having so many reviews for this tour was wonderful. Most notable, look at my sales growth. Much of the increase in sales is due to publicity and marketing efforts that came from this tour.

I have taken a break from the IBC tours for now partly because I wanted to let others have a chance at this wonderful opportunity, but also because I needed to step back and focus on writing more in my Deadwood Mystery series. Will I request to be a part of a future IBC blog tour? Oh yeah, definitely. I met some very supportive and wonderful authors thanks to both of these tours, and I look forward meeting more in the future.

I can’t thank the IBC enough for allowing me to participate in their tours.

Ann Charles

More about Ann

Ann Charles is an award-winning author who writes romantic mysteries that are splashed with humor. Her debut mystery, Nearly Departed in Deadwood (Released in January 2011) won the 2010 Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and the 2011 Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart contest for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements.
A member of Sisters in Crime, the Guppies, and Romance Writers of America for many moons, she has a B.A. in English with an emphasis on creative writing from the University of Washington.  Visit her at or
You can also find her at, where she and over two dozen other authors, reviewers, and PR consultants have joined together to teach and share (and learn from each other) all sorts of great information about promotion for both unpublished and published authors.
She lives near Seattle with her clever husband, charming children, and one incredibly sassy cat.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 1, 2011 10:51 am

    Very inspiring, Anne. Congratulations to you and to IBC. The “Blog Tour” — Brilliant.

  2. August 1, 2011 7:23 pm

    Whoa! Now those are some good numbers. Congrats!

  3. August 3, 2011 12:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experiences, Anne. All very motivating and encouraging, although you have obviously worked very hard for your achievements. Wishing you continued success with your writing career. I’m off to Amazon now to check out your books – back now, and I’ve just bought Nail It!

  4. August 18, 2011 2:53 am

    I’m really late in replying–Sorry! I was on a 2 week road trip and rarely had an internet connection. Thank you guys for commenting and your kind words. I appreciate you stopping by. And thank you Stephanie for purchasing Nail It!

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