Get How Deep Lies the Shadow for FREE on the Kindle March 6, 2012
A little over a week ago, I gave away more than 2,400 Kindle copies of How Deep Lies the Shadow to celebrate the four year anniversary of publishing my first novel. In addition to the US version, I gave away more than 300 copies in the UK and 8 copies in Germany. During the giveaway, How Deep Lies the Shadow reached the #2 seller in contemporary fantasy and #5 in science fiction.
Once the free offer stopped, HDLTS continued to sell, but at a much lower volume. Still, in one day, I sold more copies of HDLTS than I did in all of 2011. And in the four days following the promotion, I sold more copies than the previous four years.
Here are a few takeaways for consideration.
1. Get the word out before hand. I threw this promotion together at the last minute. I realized that I was going to lose my five promotion days if I didn’t use them, so I quickly set up the promotion and began bombarding my Facebook and Twitter friends and followers with offers of a free book. The one smart thing I did was post a promotion on the Book Junkies page of Facebook. I also tweeted @KindlePromos, who retweeted my offer to their thousands of followers.
2. Don’t overextend your welcome. By the end of the second day, I had reached my saturation point and exhausted my own connections. The last four hundred giveaways took place on the last two days. And that decline in downloads probably hurt my ranking when the promotion ended. During the first two days, I had come very close to being in the top 100 free books list. But by the end the promotion my ranking had slipped significantly. I ended up ranked 5 and 7 among the contemporary fantasy and science fiction genres respectively.
I did not see the miraculous results I had read about in blogs by other authors. But I have made a few hundred bucks that I wouldn’t have made without the promotion. So was it worth it?
To begin with, it didn’t cost me anything. So, financially, it’s one of the best ROIs I’ve discovered to date. I put some time into it and got some money out of it. So, although, I didn’t make a ton of money, it was nice to see the numbers adding up for the first time in a long time.
To me the really great part is that my book is in the hands of thousands of people now. Sure, for some people it’s probably on a long list of free books that they may or may not read. But for others, it’s exactly what they’re looking for. Here’s where the patience of a gardener comes in handy. From scattering seeds, I hope that some will take root and grow. In other words, some of those who downloaded the book will read it. Some who read it will like it. Some who like it will post glowing reviews and share it with their friends. Some of those people who read the reviews and recommendations will buy it.
So, would I do it again? As a matter of fact yes. Each time I will fine tune how I run the campaign, adjusting the duration and who I target. My next promotion happens to be running today for one day only. So if you missed my last giveaway, now’s your chance to get your own copy of How Deep Lies the Shadow at no cost to you.