Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Using Giveaways for Promotions 3

Two weeks ago, I talked about my experiences with doing a free book giveaway through Amazon’s KDP Select program. Last Wednesday, I quoted M. Louisa Locke, author of the Victorian San Francisco mysteries Maids of Misfortune and Uneasy Spirits, on her views. Other authors have had mixed success with free book giveaways. Here are some of the things that have come up:

One author said when she includes a sample chapter of the next title in the series at the back of a book, sales of that title double or triple in the weeks after the first book is available for free. (On a personal note, I hate thinking I have 10% of the book left and then having the story suddenly end, because the last part of the book is a sample chapter or other promotional material. It might help to have a notice at the front of the book letting the reader know what’s at the back.)

One author said that the book she has put up for free most often is by far her best seller, but the giveaways haven’t made much difference to her other books. However, people may take a few months to get around to reading a free book, so there’s still the possibility of a trickle-down effect.

Several authors have said that they got great results the first couple of times they did free giveaways, with thousands of free downloads and strong sales afterwards. However, the more often they made a book free, the poorer the results. This may indicate that everyone who was interested had already found and downloaded the book. Authors wanting to make the same book free on a regular schedule will need to find new ways to advertise the sale. It’s probably also a good idea to spread out the giveaways instead of having them too close together. (Though from my experience and other anecdotal evidence, having at least two and ideally three days free in a row gives you the best impact in your rankings.)

I'd also like to announce the release of my latest romantic suspense novel, published under the name Kris Bock!

A summer afternoon
A stranger’s body
A life changed forever
And above, a hunter watches....

What We Found:

When Audra stumbles on a murdered woman in the woods, more than one person isn't happy about her bringing the crime to light. She’ll have to stand up for herself in order to stand up for the murder victim. It’s a risk, and so is reaching out to the mysterious young man who works with deadly birds of prey. But with danger all around, some risks are worth taking.

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