Assessing my promo

I’ve done an Amazon free day many times over the years. They used to work pretty well, then stopped being productive.

Back in the day, when Panama was a fairly new publication, I managed to hand out over 400 copies. After that, they seemed to taper off. Future attempts even had me paying for a bit of advertising and boosting posts on Facebook to help things along. Those netted me numbers around 40 – not 400.

I gave up on free days because of this. Any I held after that were more in support of something else I had going on. Meaning if I had a Halloween tour happening, I might have a free-day for The Playground, something along those lines.

I’ve been pretty “In your face” about my interview on Blog Talk Radio this week. I decided to set up my free days based upon my historic experience. Something to reward those who tuned in, maybe give away a dozen books. I never did a lick of promo other than a mention on this site.

I was kind of blown away by the result this time. I chose to have free days for Grinders, because I think it’s one of my best and deserved a bit more love. I also went with Serang. It’s a good story, and it’s also a stepping stone into The Lanternfish Trilogy. This idea stemmed from the idea that the final Lanternfish book will come out this year.

Now that it’s all over, I want to share the results with you. Maybe this is an anomaly, and maybe things have changed on the promo front. If you have deeper knowledge of this, I’d like to hear from you. Any readers might be interested in your comments, too.

The promo ran for three days. This was to take advantage of Fresh Ink Group’s advance promotion of the show, and to gather those who might have tuned-in the day after.

I managed to give away 1,646 books. Now that’s two titles combined, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. If I had sold that many it would cover the mortgage and Old What’s Her Face’s car payment this month.

The dream with freebies is that people will read them. I’ve found that comes to about 10% or even less. Even so, 165 readers can do nothing but help me. Of those I might net a dozen reviews. The other dream is that people enjoyed the stories and take a chance on additional titles.

Keep in mind that Amazon has a bestseller list for free titles. It probably doesn’t mean as much as the paid lists, but it always feels good to see your name on there. Serang peaked at #2 on two different lists.

Grinders actually hit number one for a while yesterday. Here’s the proof.

Okay, Urban Fiction is an odd place to put it. It hit #2 in cyberpunk. Still, we authors tend to work alone and haunt these sites looking for good news. Some days, even I get lucky.

You can still read them for free with Amazon Prime.

Rumor is, this kind of thing will spill over into sales. That remains to be seen. The giveaway ended a few hours ago, but I’ve already sold three copies of Grinders. (One of which immediately returned it for a refund.) I have no idea how to take that one.

Still, I’m happy. I failed to do anything productive yesterday and just allowed myself to enjoy it. I’m also motivated to keep going, and maybe one day I’ll see one of my titles take the top slot on the paid lists.

I’m a firm believer that the indie author group should share. I’ve shared results from almost everything I’ve done on the promo front. That includes some less successful pushes. Maybe someone out there can strike while the iron is hot. Maybe one of you holds some great secret you can share in the comments. We’d all like to know, and maybe we can all benefit.


Filed under Writing

58 responses to “Assessing my promo

  1. 1646, that’s pretty impressive. Fingers crossed that it turns into lots of reads then lots of sales!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agreed. That’s impressive. Congrats on this amazing promo! I’ve no great secret to share so I’ll read comments for someone who does. Although, reading your posts usually helps. 🙂 Here’s to future sales from this win!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations, Craig! You deserve it. Love your books. I find I do well after podcasts and/or Zoom events, too. Readers love getting to know authors. In person appearances are even better. And so much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations!! I made one of my Lux mysteries free earlier this year and it lifted the sales of all my mysteries, even the anthology. I think FREE works if you use it sparingly when you have a new book coming out in a similar genre. It’s even better with a series. Sometimes I have success with a 99 cent promo and sometimes it bombs. I hope your free brings you lots of sales!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Victoria Zigler

    WOW! That’s amazing. Hope it does generate sales of other titles afterwards. Like you said, if even 10% of those read it, you’re on to a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not biting my nails over the next step. I rarely take time to enjoy things, and I’m going to bask in this for a while. If it leads to bigger things, I think up a way to nudge that along, that’s great, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations, that’s amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on so many ebooks being picked up! Goes to show you the reach of the podcast where you were interviewed. And since the podcast is always available, here’s hoping other people come across it, give it a listen, then go check out your books. And here’s hoping a bunch of people leave reviews for you. I paid for promotions this past month for ebook giveaways on Amazon, and I was puzzled about the varying results. The cheapest promotion ($18) resulted in the most freebies (267), while the most expensive ($59) resulted in 39 freebies. These were different books, so I suppose the different book covers and blurbs were influences on those numbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. There are a lot of moving parts. It might depend upon the genre. These both have great covers, so that helps. I don’t know that the paid ads work all that well these days. I have another service I might try this Fall, but I’m still formulating it in my head.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s great to hear that it went so well. Sounds like good planning that paid off.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Some impressive numbers! They must have a strong following on the podcast. Hope you get tons of reviews for them!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Nice numbers. I wish I had some secrets to share.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Congratulations on the results. A lot of free books should lead to more sales elsewhere. Thanks for the information.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. That’s fantastic, Craig. Hope it turns into more fans and reviews for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. That is amazing, Craig!! Congratulations on this success!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Bravo! I love your books! Why wouldn’t other readers? I wish you all the best! Let us know is a couple of weeks how this proceeds. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  15. That’s an awesome promo run you had, Craig! Those freebies can turn into a plethora of reviews and many new fans for your paid work. Enjoy the wave and I hope it carries over into a sea of new sales!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. alexcraigie

    Congratulations – and many thanks for sharing the information!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Congrats on the successful promos. That’s an amazing number.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Great news about your self-promo. You put enough thought into its timing, that could explain the success. Over 1600 books! That’s impressive.

    I did a freebie of Book 1 in my trilogy to launch Book 2. Other than the out-of-the-blue 888 free sales one day, it did nominally well. Since I usually sell less than a hundred a day (with all my books), that 888 blew up my dashboard and makes it almost impossible to see current sales. Sigh.

    Keep sharing your efforts!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Congratulations! Well done! Bravo! Etc! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  20. D.L. Finn, Author

    That’s an amazing amount of books given, Craig. I have never tried this through Amazon. I hope you’ve found many new readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Really great news, Craig. You rock in writing great books and promoting them — congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow, this is impressive! Hope it results in sales

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for sharing, Craig. Promos are so hard to make money on, and for years, I just went with the mindset that I was simply investing in growing my readership. The exception was a Bookbub promo, which despite its high cost, actually paid for itself. The only one to do so in over a decade. I haven’t given up on giveaways, but I’m not doing nearly as many as I used to.

    Liked by 1 person


    Many many congratulations!!

    Liked by 1 person

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