Mae Clair and I are doing a blog swap today. She recently did a very successful free promotion for Eclipse Lake. She's here to tell us how she pulled this off.
Strategy, Results and Wrap: Do Free eBooks Pay Off? byMae Clair
When Craig and I talked about doing a blog swap, I wasn’t sure what my topic was going to be. I thought maybe I’d reference several internet sites for writers that have been helpful to me, and then I realized the most useful information I could share was my experience offering a free book on Amazon.
Maybe you’ve already done this. If so, I’d love your take on it. For me, the whole thing was a new experience and I didn’t know what to expect. A lot of authors offer free books when they’re writing a series—offer the first book free and hope the reader will become ensnared enough to purchase the successive books in the series—but in my case, I didn’t have a series to work with. What I had was a brand new romantic suspense/mystery, MYTH AND MAGIC that I wanted to draw attention to.
To give MYTH a boost, I offered one of my previous releases, ECLIPSE LAKE, a stand-alone romantic mystery free for a period of three days. I admit it was exciting to see ECLIPSE soar in the Amazon rankings, eventually topping out at #64 in the Kindle store and #3 in the romantic suspense/mystery category. I was prepared to see it plummet when the freebie deal ended, but a strange thing happened.
No, ECLIPSE LAKE doesn’t rank in the top 100 now, but for nearly three weeks it held steady in the 5K to 10K range which was a big step up from where it had been languishing before. Even now, nearly a month later (as I write this blog) it’s still doing exceptionally well. Hopefully, I’m not jinxing myself by saying that. I did have to work, however, to get the word out.
I had approximately two dozen bloggers lined up during the free period to run my promo with both ECLIPSE LAKE and MYTH AND MAGIC. Of those, about five forgot and didn’t post, but all the remaining blogs gave me a strong push. I also had authors tweeting and posting on Facebook about the promo. For my part, this was just coordination and an investment of time, ensuring everyone got the material they needed when they needed it.
Not everyone wants to invest in paid promos, but they get the job done. I paid for two Facebook boosts (one for Eclipse and one for Myth). I also paid for two reader service ads. These were with The Fussy Librarian and The Choosy Bookworm, two large reader subscription services that send out daily emails with new releases and free books broken down by genre. I had spots ads on the Fussy and Choosy websites, too, as part of the promo package I paid for. In addition, Great Books, Great Deals, included me in their daily email when ECLIPSE LAKE was offered free. That inclusion didn’t cost me anything. All total, I invested close to $60.00 for everything. Was it worth it?
MYTH AND MAGIC did well, better than any of my previous releases, but I would have liked for it to climb higher initially.
ECLIPSE LAKE kicked butt and the freebie offering has breathed new life into it. Even better, I experienced a gooduptick in ALL of my previous releases (SOLSTICE ISLAND, TWELFTH SUN and WEATHERING ROCK) for a full week.
I picked up 25 new fans on my Facebook page. Hmm, maybe I should really think about using it more.
I had several new blog followers join me, and several sign up for my newsletter. Ditto with Twitter and Google+
ECLIPSE LAKE picked up 12 new reviews (eleven 5-star, and one 4-star) in a three week period. I was extremely pleased with those results, and hope there will be more reviews to come.
I’m still not sure I can call the whole experience a success given what I invested. I will, however, chalk it up to another learning curve on my writer’s journey.
Thanks to Craig for allowing me to share my experience on his blog. If you’ve offered a free book, or are considering offering one, I’d love to hear your thoughts, good or bad. I’d also be interested in knowing how many of you have downloaded free books, actually read them and posted reviews. And finally, I invite you to check out ECLIPSE LAKE and MYTH AND MAGIC for yourself. I know I’m partial to them, but I think you’ll find them both an intriguing blend of mystery, suspense and romance.
You can find Mae Clair at the following haunts:
I can personally vouch for for Myth and Magic. I read it recently and gave it five stars.
If you want your Entertaining Stories fix today, you'll have to visit Mae's blog. I took Doubt, the raven, over there to talk about editing, but something went haywire.