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So, I gave my book away on Kindle for five days, how’d that go?

This is mainly for the edification of other self-publishers, or folks who are just super nosy about my BIZZ.

Big Caveat, right off the top. I am a terrible and slap-dash marketer. There are many, many people on the internet who are much more consistent, pervasive, disciplined…and successful than I am at self promotion. So this was an experiment, with little leadup-or follow through. I knew I was going to attend DragonCon, that place is bursting at the seam with nerds, fish in a barrel, right?

So, here’s what I did to prepare.

  • I went through my Kindle Direct Publishing dashboard, and activated the days I wanted for the Free Promotion.  You are
    Promotional Card in the Wild
    Promotional Card in the Wild

    allowed 5 days per…quarter? I went ahead and set it to run over all of Labor Day Weekend, and then the Tuesday after. The rationale being, that if people find out about the sale, or pick up some of my promotional items, they can download the book when they get home.

  • Talked it up here on my blog, and also on my Facebook fanpage. [Become a fan, if you’re so inclined! There’s all sorts of randomness I drop on the fanpage, that doesn’t merit a full blog post. Button’s on the right hand side of the page.]
  • Made a post in a Free Ebook subreddit, to hopefully attract some folks to my blog.
  • Printed 1000 business cards to pass out at Dragon*Con, each with the cover art on one side, and a quick pithy description of the special and the book on the back, with a QR code that lead directly to Amazon. [This cost me about $50 bucks.]
  • Printed up some special shirts for my local friends who were attending the convention. [And also stuffed a few cards in their hands to pass out themselves.]
  • Quick pact with a lesser demon.

Things I Didn’t Do [and Probably Should Have]

  • There are tons of sites and twitter feeds that advertise Free Ebooks. I researched a few, but it all just seemed so sleazy and mechanical. I’m as desperate for readers as any other Level One Author, but I’m hoping to start this out with something a little more personable than a free Ebook spam. There probably are better venues out there that I didn’t find, but as usual, I ran out of time and decided not to worry about it.
  • Attend Lev Grossman’s panel and denounce him.
  • Throw some cards at Jim Butcher like ninja stars.
  • Make a lengthy pact with a major demon.

So, a fair amount of time invested, and a small amount of cash. How did it turn out!

 

Free Downloads of Spell/Sword: 315

 

315. Copies of my book. Out there in the world. Hopefully 315 copies that will be read and cherished and reviewed on Amazon or Goodreads. Spell/Sword is sold through two services on the Amazon platform, Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace for the paper version. Because of this it’s a little fuzzy on getting exact sales numbers, especially going back all the way to April when the book was released. Prior to this special, my lifetime sales of the book were somewhere between 125-175 copies.  That means in one weekend, I increased the number of copies of my book in the world by easily 200%.

I’m sure other authors have had more success than I, with much better planned promotional strategies. But I’m stoked, regardless! For the amount of time and money required, this thing was an excellent experiment.

As usual, I ramble. Let me know if you have any questions about any of these numbers or details, or about the processes used to make all of this happen.

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