Note: Again, I’m using a range instead of exact numbers. I think you’ll get the idea. (see Part One)
For our latest book, You Won’t Remember This by Kate Blackwell, I thought we’d try something a little different.
But let me backtrack. The first few times we did free promotions, we followed all the good advice we could find. We planned a month in advance. Figured out which three days of the week were best. Filled out more than 70 forms. Got up at 5 a.m. to add more sites. Then set the book back to the original price immediately.
It all felt a little frantic.
This time, You Won’t Remember This had 10 excellent reviews. So first up, we tried BookBub. And yes! We got a slot. A month sooner than we had asked for, but that’s because we didn’t know you couldn’t schedule more than a month out.
The last time we were lucky enough to get BookBub, we made the mistake of having it on the last day of our 3-day free promotion. Because of the time differences, the book was no longer free when people on the West Coast wanted to download it. This is frowned upon.
So we knew whatever day BookBub agreed to, we’d add another.
They gave us a Sunday. Was this a good or bad? Do people download books on a summer Sunday? We had no idea. Just to be safe, we set the promotion for four days starting on a Saturday.
We had less than a week to pull together any other sites we wanted to use. We would have added BookGorilla but it turns out they’re filled months in advance. So, once again we went back to eBookBooster for their 45-plus sites; Genre Pulse, because we like it; EReader News Today; Masquerade Crew; EBookHounds; and a few others. As with the last time we used eBookBooster, it’s hard to tell how many of the sites are going to pick up the post if they don’t notify you. Outside of the cost of BookBub, the other sites were in the $10-$40 range.
As long as we were experimenting, we decided to keep the book at 99 cents for two weeks following the free promotion. This worked before and seemed to make sense. We set some of the promotions for those 99 cent days - The Fussy Librarian, Bargain Booksy. We could have done more but we were trying to save time and money.
Bottom line. Between 37,000 - 38,000 downloads and between 220-240 sales. Along with thousands of pages read.
Even though in the past I’ve questioned how many thousands of giveaways is enough, this was definitely a kick. A great, well-written book that deserved to be in the hands of serious readers was reaching some of them. A lot of them. Maybe short story collections are more popular than we thought.
Until we know how the new payment policy for borrowed books is going to play out, it’s hard to tell how much revenue this new strategy generated.
But we do know the reviews are starting to come in.
What we’ve learned from this and the last promotion is that it doesn’t have to be a frantic 3-day dash. You don’t have to do all 100 plus sites that promote free books. You can put together a promotion in less than a week. And. You don’t have to immediately jump back to the book’s original price.
Hope this adds something to the conversation.
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