Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can FREE Promotions Help Indie Authors?



A Tale of Two Colonies
October Promotion of A Tale of Two Colonies:

Giant creepy crawlies, including spiders, attack in this adventure and romance story set on The Planet of the Giant Arthropods, aka Delta, after a local airline (excuse my wild imagination). This story seemed suitable for a Halloween promotion.
The eBook is only 99c until November 1st:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MFY8A5Q 

As an Indie author, I appreciate free promotion. But, how well does it work? In September, I ran a small paid promotion on another book and essentially broke even after a week. This month, I tested a different strategy on a stand-alone book.  Using free sites only, I promoted the ebook FREE from Oct 16-20th and then at 99c for the rest of the month.

Crude unscientific summary: 
The book hit #1 FREE in Colonization and Space Exploration subcategories on Amazon and I gained a few sales and kindle unlimited reads over the next week or two. 

Would I do it again? Yes! This free promotion worked better than the paid one I ran in September on another book and the book achieved temporary prominence after weeks of inaction. 
  
Here are the results:

eBook FREE for Oct 16-20 
A total of 1796 copies given away.

Listed on the following sites:





Top rank reached on Oct 19th
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134 Free in Kindle Store
I'm pleased with this rank since I have never achieved a rank of #1 in previous promotions.


eBook discounted to 99c from Oct 21-31
by 29th – 14 sold + a few thousand reads. Not spectacular, but better than the book did in the month before.
Submitted to the following sites:

Top rank on Oct 23th
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,461 Paid in Kindle Store

Secret Weapons
I acknowledge help with tweets and retweets from the members of the eNovelAuthorsatWork group and a catchier book description created with advice from Bryan Cullen’s FB group Selling for Authors.

My thoughts:
Free promotion can work if you have a good “street team” for sharing.
The boost is temporary.
Discounting to 99c helps to track the results and brings in more readers. 
What strategy works for you? 

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, Aurora. And congrats big time on the #1s. :)

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  2. This is a very helpful article, Aurora - it focussed my thoughts very well on how to promote my own novels. Thank you.

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    1. You are welcome! Let me know if it works for your book.

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  3. Congrats - and many thanks for sharing! This kind of information is pure gold :)

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    1. Thanks - I've learned from your posts too.

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  4. Congrats and thanks for sharing, Aurora!

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  5. Aurora: Collecting those stats is excellent data and food for thought. I think you did super in both campaigns. Promotion is to get our books visible, gather new readers and reviews. I like small campaigns. They work our books up the ladder to success and readership and help to prepare it for a larger campaign. Every campaign is a learning experience. It helps us to keep from trying to reinvent the wheel. Loved this post.

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