Self-Publishing Data: Free Promotion Results

For the past ten days I put my book up for free on as many retailers as I could in celebration of my new cover designed by Emma Wakeling:

the-black-swan-inheritance-final-cover

I really wanted to see if I could shift 100 copies, and thanks to everyone who helped publicise it, 120 copies were picked up!

What’s interesting about these results is when I compare them to Charlotte Cyprus’ results. Charlotte Cyprus is also a self-published author, but she is enrolled in KDP Select, and it definitely seems (just by comparing our two sets of data) that KDP Select does help new authors promote books. Having shifted 5x the number of copies as me, that data doesn’t lie!

Of course, her book could just be appealing to more people than mine. Our books have more differences than similarities, I think.

The other downside to being non-exclusive to Amazon is that Amazon doesn’t allow free ebooks on its site UNLESS you’re KDP Select, and then you have five days every month or something where you can elect to put your book up for free. So no free sales via Amazon for me.

Having said that, I’m still content to not be Amazon-exclusive. It’s just what I feel more comfortable about. I’m a little attached to Smashwords, because it is a bit of a ‘free-for-all’ environment, and I know if I want to push some boundaries with my stories, there will always be someone else on there who has gone further than me. That reassures me, in a weird sort of way.

I also like the reporting Smashwords does, and how it gathers data from the other major retailers under their premium service plan:

Smashwordsresults

The only downside is that Kobo doesn’t report it’s free book sales to smashwords, but I also have an account with Kobo so I can check those numbers (I only sold 5 books through Kobo).

I was surprised about Barnes and Noble. Being Australian, I was only vaguely aware of it, but I guess there are quite a few people out there with Nooks.

So I learnt some things with this experiment. As always, I am willing to provide a free ecopy of my book in exchange for an honest review. For now though, the price is going back up, and then some. Comparing the length of my book to other books of my length, my book was very cheap, but it wasn’t garnering any sales. Maybe $0.99 gave the impression a 75k word book wasn’t going to be any good? Regardless, I have decided to increase the price to be on par with other similar books, so The Black Swan Inheritance is now $2.99 at all major retailers…

Although with some retailers the price change is taking a while to kick in. Barnes and Noble, for instance, is still selling my book for free. Give it a day. *shrug*

At least now with the price increase I have other options when I decide to next put my book on sale. I can do half-price, drop it to 99cents, or go for free again.

As a footnote, a few other people have added my book to their TBR on goodreads, and I now have 10 ratings and 7 reviews on the site! Amazon has 7 reviews up (with some reviewers different to the goodreads’ reviewers), and 1 review on Barnes and Noble 🙂 All up, 10 different people have written reviews on my book across the different sites (and some blogs!)!

Sequel status: 67k words out of approx 80k. Downhill run!

So that’s been my experience of my first sale. I think I’ve waffled enough now.

MdD

 

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6 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Data: Free Promotion Results

    • Thanks Susan! I really appreciate all the help you’ve given me. Yeah, I like what Smashwords’ goal is, and the premium service is just amazing, especially considering it’s free! So I don’t want to be amazon exclusive.

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  1. When I did the giveaway for my book, it was only on Amazon (though I did email some people free copies when they complained that they didn’t have a Kindle or an Amazon account). Not only could I advertise that my book was free and send people there for the purpose of finding my book, but people could also look for free romance books and download it with other Kindle books. I do this quite often, just shift through all the free promotions and download 20 books at a time.

    A possible route would be to go Amazon exclusive just for the 90 days and do a giveaway then, preferably after your sequel comes out to direct buyers right to the next book.

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  2. Congrats. All large numbers have to start off as small numbers. I would say you need to be where you feel comfortable having your work sold. Amazon isn’t the be all and end all of the ebook world, there are always people who love other options.
    Sounds like your second book is nearing the end of your fingers typing 🙂

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