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.
The Monday shuffle
I got up early this morning. My main plan was simply to read, and not much more. I started my day off with blogs. I follow hundreds of blogs these days, and I've gotten better at browsing them. I also have some I never miss, no matter what. This lasted until my daughter got out of bed.
We had a nice talk, and I vowed long ago that the world could take a backseat to my discussions with her. She's 21 now, and Dad isn't as big a part of her life these days. When I get the chances, I don't pass them up.
When she headed for work, I tore into the novel I'm reading. I'm past the half way mark right now, and excited to see where it's going. Yes, I could have done more, but my daughter intervened.
Critique group went well tonight. I knew where I was going to get called out, and this excites me. It means I'm capable of spotting my own weak spots, now I have to figure out how to wear that hat when I need it.
I checked my Amazon progress tonight. There haven't been any recent sales, but there are a lot of pages being read via Amazon Prime, or the lending library. I think that's pretty cool.
Now might be a good time to mention that all of my titles are available for free as part of your Amazon Prime subscription. It's all the same to me, and if borrowing the books works for you go for it. Even my 99¢ Notebook has been read this way. I wonder if it pays more on a paid-per-page basis than the 99¢ I'm asking. I'm happy in either case.
There were some great comments on the post about stakes in fiction. This is what blogging is all about for me. Thanks for weighing in everyone.
Right now, I'm enjoying an Elysian Brewing Punkuccino. It's a pumpkin beer with coffee, and it's very good. I'll probably spend a bit of time with a paper magazine I'm almost finished with, then it's back to the paycheck job tomorrow.
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Tagged as Amazon lending library, Amazon Prime, comments, parenting, pumpkin beer, reading