On Free Advertising, update 1

A week or so ago I did a 1-day, snap promo of my novel, Equivocal Destines. I then wrote this blog post detailing what I did.

https://raymondclarkeauthor.wordpress.com/2015/04/05/on-free-advertising/

It was a quick decision. I did it with about 2 days prep time (during which I was working in my real job so didn’t even have much time to set anything up. I was a bit late with what I did too. It was still a modest success though, and achieved its goal. If you’re wondering what the useful results are a week on, here it is.

Sales

Flat. As in, no change, up or down. Not good. It’s what I expected though.

Rentals

My book’s available under Kindle Unlimited for people to rent if they subscribe. I get paid if they read at least 10% and by coincidence, the amount I get paid’s really close to what I earn on a sale of a Kindle edition in a 70% zone.

Rentals are up almost 300%. Excellent news. Well, not really. See below.

Amazon ranking

I said above that my sales are flat (i.e. not going down) but that’s an average over the week. I had my sales earlier in the week and the rentals later in the week. This has basically proven to me that rentals don’t count towards your Amazon ranking (which is logical since Amazon doesn’t know yet if they’ll read 10% so they don’t know if I’ll get paid) so my Amazon ranking is slipping slower even while I’m making more money than I did before my flash promo. I’ve slipped from about 120k to 362k as I write this. Both of those numbers aren’t good (neither are my total sales) but I haven’t done any real/paid advertising at ll yet, so I’m not surprised. It’s also not relevant to this post.

My thoughts

@MichaelBacera on Twitter (who has a really interesting book coming out soon BTW, follow him) said something really important (and in hindsight, obvious) to me a while ago, which I hadn’t considered at all.

If you do a free book giveaway it gives you  good Amazon ranking in the Free Kindle section.

This doesn’t affect your ranking in the main Kindle store at all.

This is very important, and from now on I think I won’t do any free giveaways. They get the word out, but don’t actually lead to sales, so it’s  waste of time. Paid advertising will more likely lead to sales (off topic) but even that won’t affect your Amazon ranking, which is more important for future growth than a few extra sales anyway.

Give up on the free promos. Do 99c promos instead, and give up on the notion that you can get way with only free advertising. The market’s probably just too saturated, but that’s only speculation. My numbers though show that free promos haven’t helped me much.

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