Last week I did a promotion for The Blessed Man and the Witch, making it free on Amazon for three days: June 2 through June 4. To support it, I paid for ads through Book Barbarian, FreeBooksy, and Manybooks. In addition, I set up Project Wonderful ads on sites I had decent click-throughs with in the past, plus a few new ones. BookBub didn’t accept my bid, which was disappointing but not unexpected.
In free advertising, I mentioned the giveaway on my social sites and used places like Indie Book of the Day and Digital Book Today.
I set my goals low, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. I figured I’d give away 100 copies, maybe more, maybe fewer. What’s considered a successful ad campaign when you’re giving away free books? Sales of the sequel, yes, but even that’s difficult to gauge as a hard-and-fast measure of success. Plenty of people will download books just because they’re free and never read them.
As it turned out, I gave away over 3,200 copies of The Blessed Man and the Witch. In Amazon rankings, Blessed Man made it to #4 in Dystopian fiction and #5 in Horror fiction.
I set the paid advertisements to drop on Friday, June 3; unsurprisingly, that’s when most of the downloads occurred.
One thing I noticed is that the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section of the book’s product page is markedly different from what it was before, likely reflecting books that had also been given away during that time period. Pleasantly, Blessed Man’s sequel, The Nephilim and the False Prophet, is numbered among them, even though I kept it at full price.
Lacking anything else to measure it against, I think the giveaway was a success. Three thousand more people have the first novel in my Armageddon series on their e-readers than before, and while they didn’t have to pay for the pleasure, they’re now aware of the book, and it’s possible that some of them will read it and be enticed into buying the sequel. Between cover, blurb, and price, The Blessed Man and the Witch was an attractive product (for a short while).
I don’t log into Facebook anymore, so I don’t know if anyone there shared the link to the sale. I’m reasonably sure some of my friends did, and I very much appreciate their efforts.
Several of my Twitter buddies shared the sales link, and I would like to thank them by name: Sean @OddNMacabre (amazing, disturbing artwork), janniegirl g (I don’t know you, but it was kind of you to retweet), Andres Grau (who apparently likes the Target dog), Paul Fairbairn (a new acquaintance), Iain Rob Wright (thank you, sir), Myk Saiten (one of the 10 people on Twitter worth following, other than the people on this list), and Adam Howe (only because I have photos of him in a hot tub filled with creamed corn and a RuPaul lookalike – I’ll get around to deleting those files, buddy, don’t you worry).
Special thanks also to my good friend Holly Evans, who has always been supportive and kind. In publishing, character matters more than you think, and she’s Good People.