So how did it go? Well, not as well as I would have expected. I gave away 165 copies of The Jongurian Mission, not nearly as many as I thought I would. You often hear people in the forums on Amazon KDP talking about their promos in the thousands of books given away, not a mere hundred or two.
So why didn’t mine reach those high figures? There are probably plenty of reasons, but let’s take a look at a few that are obvious.
I didn’t spend nearly as much time marketing as I could have. I got onto several fantasy forums and put up a post about my book. Most people would just consider that spam, especially since I didn’t have any kind of presence on those forums before.
I submitted the book, or at least the blurb and link, to 20 different Kindle freebie promo sites. I didn’t do that until just a few days before the book was to go free, however, which probably reduced the effectiveness of those sites. Many I couldn’t submit to because I didn’t plan early enough.
By book is long, nearly 150,000 words. Lots of people don’t want to read books which are that long, and perhaps that was a turn off for some, or many. I’d like to think that many people looking for Epic Fantasy, which my book is classified as, would appreciate a longer read, however. Aside from chopping the book up, there’s not much I could do about this.
Were people turned off by my format? I did a pretty good job of making the book look professional, I thought. It had a table of contents, good tab spacing, and clearly headed chapters. There were also maps at the beginning of the book, something I thought would be a huge draw. I had a good looking title page, and an author page at the back. Still, were there more things I could have done?
Now let’s turn our attention to what I hope will happen in the next week or two, or perhaps even longer, because of the promo campaign.
One of my main reasons for putting The Jongurian Mission out for free was to get some reviews. I’ve sold quite a few copies of the book since I first published it in January of 2013, but I’ve never gotten a single review in the four months since then. Perhaps someone will actually read the free download, like it, and give me my first review.
I’ve got two other books in the Jongurian Trilogy, and I’m hoping some people that actually read their free download will go ahead and buy the next two in the series. Perhaps they’ll like my writing so much that they’ll buy a few of the other books I have that aren’t related to the series. This may just be wishful thinking, but what’s wrong with that?
Giving a book away for free should expose you to a lot more people. Amazon has the free charts, and I got up to #30 in Epic Fantasy, which was great. I was also #1 in Arthurian Fantasy for a couple of days, although there were only 4 titles in that category. What surprised me was that my book on writing, Write Now! got up to #28 in Reference for a time. Could that have been from people checking out what else I had written after they looked at the free book? I’d like to think so, and hopefully I can see that book move up further. It was this exposure for my other books that I was really hoping for when I made the Jongurian Mission free for 3 days.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the free promo was seeing my book on the same page as some of my idols. At several points during the weekend I was neck-and-neck with such famed fantasy authors as R.A. Salvatore, Robert Jordan, and others that I’d grown up reading. Of course, they were in the paid categories and I was in the free, but it still made me feel good. Perhaps that’s one of the things that people forget about most when they do a free promo. You’ve actually written a book, and you’re selling it (or giving it away for now), something that many people never do. When you can see your name next to those you look up to, it gives you confidence and the will to keep going. Perhaps that’s the greatest gift of the KDP free promo.
- 12:06 AM – 0 Copies
- 5:10 AM – 9 Copies
- 9:05 AM – 36 Copies - #4 in Arthurian
- 10:51 AM – 53 Copies
- 7:32 PM – 99 Copies - #28 in Epic and #1 in Arthurian
- 9:53 PM – 107 Copies
- 3:00 AM – 112 Copies - #31 in Epic and #1 in Arthurian
- 4:00 AM – 2 Copies of Write Now bumps me to #70 in Reference
- 6:00 AM – 115 Copies
- 8:30 AM – 120 Copies - #29 in Epic
- 11:00 AM – 124 Copies
- 6:00 PM – 136 Copies - #40 in Epic and #1 in Arthurian
- 6:00 PM – Write Now moves up to #29 in Reference
- 9:15 PM – 143 Copies
- 4:30 AM – 147 Copies - #54 in Epic
- 12:30 PM – 153 Copies - #59 in Epic
- 8:00 PM – 162 Copies - #3 in Arthurian
- 8:00 PM – Write Now moves down to #69 in Reference
- 12:45 AM – 165 Copies is the final amount – #656,611 Paid in Kindle Store
By Tuesday I had sold one copy of the book that I’d given so many away of over the weekend. I also saw my new numbers come in. The Jongurian Mission was now listed as #133,913 Paid in Kindle Store. That was a vast improvement from the #600,000 or so that I’d been languishing at.
The book was also now #44 in the paid Arthurian fantasy category. Perhaps my #1 spot in the free section of that category helped bump me up into the top 100. Not bad, and I’ll take it any day of the week.