As I gear up for another giveaway for Battle Axe--this time for three consecutive days--I wanted to share the results of my previous giveaway, which was two non-consecutive days over Easter weekend.
I spent a lot of time in the preceding months reading blog posts and advice from other KDP participants. I boiled their tips down to a "best of" and that was the extent of my plan. Here's a rundown of the "marketing" I did to announce the giveaway:
1. Posted on my own Facebook page
2. Sent out periodic tweets from my Twitter account
3. Sent an email blast to relevant people in my address book
4. Created an event on Goodreads and invited my friends
5. Sent a note to the following free websites:
6. Posted to the following free Facebook pages:
- Free Book Reviews
- Authors on the Cheap
- Kindle Promo
- Indie Book Collective
- Digital Ink Spot
- Ebooks FreeFreeFree
- Awesome Gang
- Indie Books List
- Digital Ink Today
- Cents-ible Ereads
- Reading Kindle
- Indie Kindle
- eReader1 US
- eReader1 UK
- Kindle Finds
- Amazon Kindle
7. Tweeted a note to the following:
8. Paid a nominal amount to be listed on these paid websites:
I started my activity around 7:30am EST, and the promo is on PST, so I think that gave me an advantage. It took a couple hours just to do all of the above, then I re-hit some of the contacts throughout the day (mostly Twitter, as redundancy is more accepted/expected there). So what did it get me?
- March 30: Topped out at #617 in free Kindle store, #11 in free humor, #2 in free comic fiction, #26 in free suspense. 429 downloads total.
- April 1: Topped out at #729 in free Kindle store, #2 in free comic fiction, #18 in free humor, #23 in free suspense, and #19 in PAID comic fiction. 281 downloads total.
- The few days after the giveaway, Battle Axe ranked as high as #51,062 in paid store and #35 in paid comic fiction. My other book, Ring of Fire (not part of the giveaway), "rose" to #263,393 in paid store, #93 in comic fiction. These rankings are well above anything I'd achieved previously.
- In the six weeks since the giveaway, Battle Axe and Ring of Fire have picked up one (favorable) review each on Amazon.
My total downloads were well beneath what I was expecting--I'd read fairly common accounts of authors with downloads in the thousands and tens of thousands, so that part was surprising. And as I'd only been selling around a half dozen books or more per month up until the giveaway, selling that many in the week following should be considered a boost in sales. But we're back to nothing for the first two weeks in May. And that accounts for dropping the price of Ring of Fire from $2.99 to 99 cents.
Once I complete the second giveaway, I'll take Battle Axe out of KDP Select and consider trying it with Ring of Fire (depending on how the giveaway fares). But at the moment, it doesn't seem to have had a huge impact.
My personal feeling is that the market has gotten entirely too crowded and it's getting harder and harder for readers to pick and choose. It's overwhelming for both authors and readers at this point. I've downloaded quite a few free books myself, both indie and "legit," and some have been worth it and some I couldn't finish--or even get past Chapter 1.
Wish I had more answers, or had more encouraging advice, but that's the state of fiction these days. It's anyone's guess where things are headed, but I'd like to think that those of us with patience will be rewarded as the wanna-bes crowding the market will get discouraged from their meager sales, shake out and move onto other pursuits.