Tuesday, July 28, 2015

S.D. Skye's Hell or High Water 365-Day Blog-athon -- Day 44 -- Ad Talk Tuesday -- Free book promotion tips

Marketing -- Free Book Giveaways

So, here's what happened. 
I developed a marketing plan  and just released my latest romance novel. Because I haven't written in this genre in three years I fully knew underst
ood that I was basically starting over from the beginning. My audiences for my romances vs spy thrillers are very different. So, I was treating the marketing for this book exactly like I did with my first.

A lot really depends on FIRST getting reviews. And then once you get a few solid reviews and promote those reviews, more readers come, book promotions are more effective so you can do more promotions, etc. 

With that said, I do have two pretty good books in the genre, but I wasn't going to really do anything with them until this happened...

I just happened to check the book that is still listed with Simon & Schuster (my second book) and on the day I released my romance, they lowered the cost of that book from $10+ to 1.99. I was so elated! Part of the reason I haven't even attempted to traditionally publish is because I believe the book prices for MY books were too high to really build an audience. Other authors can command those prices and good for them. I'm not one of those authors right now (or then) and I'm okay with that! 

Well, since S&S lowered the price of my book and the sales of my very first book (6 years old now) were minimal, I decided to do a free promotion with my free book to help generate interest in the second and third books--both books are advertised at the end of the first book (book covers and back cover blurbs). Also, I felt like I needed to get my name back out there and give myself a little exposure.

Given that the book is romance, chick lit no less, and OLD, I thought I MIGHT give away a few hundred copies. I think the most success I've had with a Free promotion is maybe 1,000 books over a 2-3 day period. That was for The Seven Year Itch. I don't think I've had that level of success since. Usually I can only giveaway a few hundred at a time. But even with a few hundred copies,  a fraction of those people might read the first and buy the second and third. My goal is loyal readers who will stick with me no matter what. And from the very beginning of my career, my goal has been to win readers over one at time. If I get more I'm certainly grateful but if I get one that's enough to keep me going.

So, I put the book out there for free, last minute, no real promotion, and don't really think much of it. The first day I gave away almost 4,000 copies. The second and third days almost 4,000 more. I reached the top 5 in Romance and Romantic Comedy, and the Top 100 Free Books at #30. I'm still  in the Top 100 but lower as the clicks begin to fade. But sales for my second book always went up. From the last rating I saw before the giveaway which was 931,789 (no, really) to 52,653 (or in that neighborhood) for four days in a row.

It's safe to say I would call this giveaway a success. What did I do to make it successful? I really just posted on Facebook and Tweeted the news twice a day. 

What SHOULD I have done? Well, that's my marketing tip. 

Had I really known S&S was going to drop the price of my book and I could've planned the giveaway sooner, what I would have done is use the Author Marketing Club's Free E-Book Submission tools.

There are a TON of sites out there to which readers subscribe to get Free or Bargain books. A lot of these sites will promote your book for FREE or at a very low cost. If you scroll to the bottom of the page, you can submit your book to these sites (some have certain criteria such as the number of reviews, etc). The forms are generally short and there are quite a few of them but they will give you a lot of excellent, free promotion. 

For those who want to shell out the $15.00, you can also use the Book Marketing Tool  which allows you to fill out 1 page and it will submit your Free book deal to 30+. 

The key to exploiting any of these opportunities is LEAD TIME -- schedule your free giveaway at least 14 days ahead of time and you will get maximum exposure. I did mine very last minute SO I got what I got. Which is 8,000+ so it's still not bad. 

So if you want to run a successful promotion -- my suggestions are to  have at least 5 - 10 great reviews (my book at 75), a great cover, catchy title, and plan your promotion at least 3 weeks in advance so you can use these marketing tools. There is one other major tool that I will talk about at a later date AFTER I attempt to use it on my latest romance. 

Anwway, that's it for Ad Talk Tuesday. 

Tomorrow and Thursday I will be posting some writing tips because I'm going to my first concert in ages. And I will probably be tired as heck for the next couple of days. I'll be back with Fiction Friday!  

And NEXT Friday I've line up an interview with a pretty darn special thriller writer for Fiction Friday -- Stay Tuned  this Friday to find out! 

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