The final tally is in and 365 people took advantage of the chance to get the Kindle version of my paranormal/mystery novel “THE BRIDGE” for free. Hey, a reader for every day of the year… chuckle.
I’ve never done a free-book promo on Amazon before, so anyone with experience please let me know if this is a good number. I think so, but I like to hear other people’s thoughts.
Now I’m sure one of the big questions on the minds of some of you is, “Why did you give your book away for free? Don’t you want to make some money?”
The answer is simple. I wanted to increase my sales. Now I know this sounds like a contradiction, but hear me out. To date, only 100 copies of my novel had sold before this giveaway. And about 1/2 of those were actual sales over six months. I’ve had 10 reviews on Amazon and about 15 on Smashwords. Not bad numbers, but certainly not earth-shattering. I’ve had family and friends helping promote the book throughout their social networks. I’ve done press releases, sent out free copies to newspapers and radio stations. My sales ranking on Smashwords was impressive, but the sales were still not coming as strongly as I’d like. Why?
Not many people have ever heard of me. I’ve got ONE book to my name out there, just one. I’m still building my reputation and a following. In this day and age, a lot of people are very choosy about what they buy, even in e-books. So those who sell their works for .99 cents or less have a better chance at being grabbed up. Especially if you have a good tagline and cover. But sometimes even that’s not enough. Word of mouth is truly the biggest and greatest weapons we have to get our names out there. And that only happens if we get our work into the hands of more readers.
Now, I’ve read (in a number of places) that authors who’ve done the free e-book promos see increases in sales within the weeks/months that follow. Readers get hooked on what they’ve read and tell family, friends, and people in their social networks about it and get them excited enough to get their own copies. In turn they may fall in love with the book and tell even more people about it, thus perpetuating sales and building the author’s reputation.
So now I’ve taken the plunge. Now all I can do is wait and see what kind of results happen. I’ve already heard from one or two people who took advantage of the giveaway and was delighted to hear them say, “I don’t usually read this genre but the story has already sucked me in. I’m going to want to read the next one…” I’ve been told this before by other reviewers as well, which gives me hope for the future of my books. But more importantly, I’m hoping they will spread the word and get others to check it out.
I’ll keep you all posted on what happens next. As I said way back when I first started this blog, I’m going to share this journey with you all. My ups and downs, so hopefully you can avoid some of the pitfalls I landed up in. Success or failure, we learn from them. Hopefully, you can learn from mine.
In the meantime, the price has gone back to $1.49 which is still 1/2 off the usual price for the book. So if you haven’t gotten a copy yet or want to get one for someone else there’s still time to get it at 50% off. Have a great day…