Monthly Archives: March 2012
Okay, so remember how I said free giveaways are not a magic bullet? That point was definitely proven last weekend when I tried a free giveaway for Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down. I knew it wouldn’t do as well as Pretty Witches, since that’s my best seller, but I only gave away about 2500 copies in three days. Dude. Seriously? I can not give this book away. Talk about depressing.
On the plus side, I’ve gotten some very nice reviews and emails from people telling me how much they enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the sequel, so that’s nice to hear. But I can’t say that it really boosted sales all that much.
My numbers are still on their slow decline, but still waaaaay better than they were before the first giveaway, and I’m getting a nice mix of sales across all six books, so that tells me that people are coming back for more, which is nice too.
My 3 month period with KDP select is ending this month, so I’ve got another Pretty Witches free giveaway slated for March 23 and 24th, so we’ll see if that does as well as the first giveaway earlier this month. Hopefully it gives the numbers a little shot in the arm so I can finish out the month a little stronger.
I thought I’d chronicle my hits and misses with trying to figure out this marketing thing. Since publishing my first book last June, I’ve had a slow but steady growth in my sales, averaging 2-3 books sold per day, which is pretty good considering I’m a complete nobody who no one has ever heard of. My marketing strategy was pretty limited to networking on facebook and twitter, blog posts, fanfiction updates and the occasional paid promo. I only have a couple of hundred followers on facebook, so I knew that wouldn’t translate to a cash camel, but I’ve met some really great people so I consider that to be a success.
Paid promotions: I’ve tried advertising on Goodreads.com, with a pay per click set up there ranging from $.20 to $.35 per click. The more people click, the more they show the ad, the more clicks you get to your link… and so on. It’s hard to say if this has had any benefits at all. Some days I’d come home and see I had 11 clicks on a book and no sales. Did that mean they put it into their wish list to buy later? No idea. But I figured any exposure is good exposure, right?
I also advertised through Kindle Nation. This is quite a bit more spendy. It was $150 (now $160) to get an email blast that went out to their Amazon subscribers, pimped on facebook and their own website that is viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. Sounds good, right? For Angel of Mercy, I got about 30 purchases the first day. Pretty awesome when I’d been selling just one or two per day, but not enough to cover the costs of the promo unless you consider that people who read it might read some of my other books. For The Touch, I got about 40 purchases the first day, and it has improved sales somewhat since then, so I consider that to be a success as well. I have one coming up in May for Pretty Witches. It’s my best seller, so I’m interested to see what it does with this type of promo.
The first thing I tried was to offer a giveaway to people who voted on book covers on my website. So far the response from winners has been overwhelmingly positive, but really in such limited numbers, it’s not like it’s really much in the way of a marketing promotion, just more like a little perk to people who regularly vote on my site.
Free Goodreads promotion. This costs nothing, but only works for print copies of the books and so you have to ship the physical book to the winner which costs around $5-6 each. I’ve given away two copies of Angel of Mercy, Wake Me and have one with The Touch ending today. The benefit here is a lot of people who enter to win end up putting it in their “to read” list. Has it translated into any additional sales? Again, it’s hard to tell.
Free Giveaway on Amazon through KDP Select. I’d heard great things about this from other authors and decided to give it a go with Pretty Witches. I’d been leery to list anyting on KDP select, because it forbids you to offer the ebook anywhere else. That means no Barnes & Noble, no smashwords, I can’t even offer a free copy of it to anyone myself. I went into it hoping for maybe a thousand or two free copies to be downloaded. I ran it from March 3rd through the 5th and ended up giving away 22,555 copies!!!
So, what does that break down to in actual numbers?
February was a very slow month for me, I sold 64 copies of my books combined, but my highest two previous months (Nov and Dec) I sold 114 copies each. The first two days of March I sold 3 copies total. The Saturday and Sunday while the free promo ran, I sold 56 copies of my other books combined. So far, so good! But would free copies of Pretty Witches translate into sales after the promo was over? So far this month, I’ve sold 1094 books! Finally, some numbers I can actually see the direct result of, I’d call that a success!
I’ve seen a slow but steady decline in the numbers as we get farther and farther away from the giveaway, so it’s not like this is a magic bullet and I can now retire. But I’m thinking between the six books I have published, and three more due out this year I’ll be able to keep the giveaways going and hopefully generate more interest to keep it somewhat steady. I’ve got Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down on a free promo on Amazon today and tomorrow, I’m interested to see how it compares to Pretty Witches All in a Row.
I haven’t tried out running a free giveaway by dropping the price on smashwords to zero (which the other two sites will price match) yet, but I’ll try that in the coming months.
What did I learn? Free is good! I’m not saying the same will happen for everyone, but hey, apart from listing on Amazon exclusively, what do you have to lose?
The third book of The Fallen series is now available for sale on Amazon.com
and BarnesAndNoble.com! It’s out as an e-book for $3.99 but you don’t have to have a Kindle or Nook to read it, they have free downloadable apps so you can read it on your PC, or even your phone. It’ll be available in print as well in a couple of weeks through Amazon.
Mercy’s saga continues with Mercy for the Damned, Book III of The Fallen. When a new prophecy predicts a great evil if a fallen angel is allowed to remain in Midian, Mercy will move heaven and earth to free Adam from his deal with Raum. The trouble is, it’s far easier to get into Midian than it is to get out, and Adam is perfectly happy to serve out the remainder of his sentence if it keeps Mercy safe from harm. Throw in some pressure from the police who suspect Sam and Mercy of eliminating Ben, and the race is on to rescue both of them before it’s too late.
Now I get to enjoy a four day weekend before getting back to my Push fanfic and then I’ll start working on finishing my outline for Let Sleeping Ghosts Lie, a paranormal/ghost thriller.
The free ebook giveaway ends tonight at midnight PST. I have to say, this experience has far surpassed any hopes I had for it. As of right now I’ve given away over 16,000 in free downloads since Friday! Wow, and I mean WOW! I hoped for maybe 2,000 downloads over the weekend, so this blows those expectations out of the water.
I’ve also seen an increase in sales of other books over the weekend, and that’s exciting to see. I’ve got a free chapter of The Touch at the end of Pretty Witches, so I was hoping for some cross-promotion there, but I’ve also seen a big increase in Angel of Mercy sales as well. I’ll be blogging more on the ongoing benefits of the promo with some exact numbers in the next week or so, and how it translates to sales. I also want to try a giveaway through Smashwords to see how that compares to this free book through KDP Select. I have a paid promotion coming up in May for Pretty Witches through Kindle Nation Daily too. Hopefully through the course of the year I’ll get this promotion thing dialed in and see what nets the biggest success.
For anyone who’s missed it, you can get your free ebook copy here.
Mercy for the Damned has a new cover!
Well, it was neck and neck for a while, but the darker cover edged out to be the winner. I still love both of them, but I agree, the darker cover will likely stand out better on white backgrounds (like on Amazon.com). DeAnna Felthauser is the winner of the free book and I’ll be mailing out her signed copy of Wake Me When the Sun Goes Down today!
Thanks everybody for weighing in with your opinions, I really appreciate it! Mercy for the Damned is in the final editing stages, and I hope to have it out in the next couple of weeks.
Inspired by fellow authors Beth Muscat and Barry Parham’s recent success with free giveaways, I decided to give it a shot and try a short promo for this weekend. The first stumbling block was trying to figure out how to give my books away instead of charging for them. I knew there must be a way to do it, I see free books on both Barnes and Noble and Amazon all the time, but it looked like the minimum I could charge was $.99 unless I dropped it on Smashwords and waited for the other two to detect it and follow. Then Mike Saxton clued me in to the fact that you can have up to 5 free promo days when you’re listed on KDP select.
Since I already have Pretty Witches on KDP Select, it was a simple task to set it up for the free giveaway and the experiment began! First I wanted to let it run on Friday and see if any response was generated without me promoting it at all. Lying in bed this morning, I checked the numbers (gotta love smart phones!) and nearly choked at seeing over four hundred downloads from the US and over a hundred in the UK, even thirteen in Germany! Just in the time it’s taken me to get up and get ready for work, it’s gone up to over 860 downloads combined!
Pretty Witches All in a Row is currently ranked #382 in the free kindle books section, #1 for Police Procedurals and #7 for Occult. Holy crapweasels! And this is without any promotion and it only being eight a.m. on the west coast!
I know it’s free and I’m not earning anything, but honestly, at this point in my writing career it’s more about getting the books out there to the people than making much money on it and I’m excited by the response.
So, if any of you have been thinking about reading one of my books, Pretty Witches All in a Row will be free through Amazon through the end of this Sunday March 4th. Here’s the premise, check it out!
Someone is picking off a coven of witches one by one. Can Sgt. Nick Gibson and his team of detectives catch the killer before he loses the pretty witch who’s got him under her spell?
Nick must cast aside his disbelief and delve into the world of the supernatural to solve the case. On hand to help is Annaliese, a member of the coven who claims to have had a prophetic dream at the exact time of each victim’s death, offering clues to the identity of the killer. Can he accept the ‘proof’ offered by unconventional means or is she deliberately leading him astray to hide her own secrets? To cloud the issue, a local evangelist is telling anyone who asks that the victims had it coming. Is religious mania the motive for murder, or is it something more personal?
Find it here on Amazon to get your free copy!