I recently completed my first Free Book Promotion (as Kindle Direct Publishing calls it) where I made my book available for 1 day (I can do up to 5) for free. I could have simply discounted it to, say, 99c, but I thought “free” was a better test (and polite to my friends and family). I chose my day carefully. I chose a Wednesday. Sure, a Wednesday is a terrible day to have a promotion, but I figured the only people who’ll see it and be interested are the people I can reach directly, or almost directly, anyway.
2 days before my promotion, I initiated my ridiculous advertising blitz. Here’s what I did.
- I put together a snazzy banner ad which I plastered all over Facebook (x4), Twitter, WordPress (sort of) and Google+. Here it is:
- I tweeted my offer out a few times. Enough (I hope) that a bunch of people noticed but not so often that it got annoying.
- I began my new series of #DailyInspirational tweets, which are designed to be funny, in a sort of gutter-trash way. I then shamelessly advertised my book in each.
- I hunted down (stalker-style) everyone I know on Facebook and blatantly told (not asked) them to buy a copy of my book, for free.
That’s it. Not much at all. I could have done a lot more but I’m lazy and cheap. Also, this is my simple a test.
So how well did I do?
Not too bad, actually. My total sales of free copies was a pitiful 99 for 1 day, and I’m convinced if I’d advertised it on all of the possible websites (there are hundreds) I could have given away thousands of copies instead of 100. I have 4 days left though, and my plan is to do exactly this in a month or so. This will allow me to compare strategies.
Now, there’s a lot of websites out there showing 20-40k downloads a day during free promotions, but none of those books are in anything like my category (high fantasy fiction) so I’m not convinced the numbers are transferable. We’ll see later however.
The most unexpected part of this for me is that during the free promotion I also sold my book as a paperback. Apparently some people still prefer paper over a free Kindle edition. Also, I’ve sold the Kindle edition already, within an hour of the free sale ending. Are these good signs? I don’t know. Yet.