View Full Version : Doing a Kindle giveaway

Dennis E. Taylor
01-15-2015, 07:05 PM
I have put up my novel on a Kindle giveaway. Announcement is here http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9254860#post9254860

I'll be putting up my experiences with this over the next few days, as well as sales results.

To start with, here's the history:

I went live with Outland on Jan 2nd, on Kindle, Createspace, and Draft2Digital. After a couple of days of single-digit sales, I decided to do a giveaway. That's when I discovered that Amazon has carefully wrapped up marketing so that you have to belong to Kindle Select in order to be able to do anything beside just list your book. And in order to belong to Kindle Select, your e-book has to be listed for sale only on Kindle. And no more than 10% of it can be available to read for free anywhere, including Goodreads.

Luckily I hadn't been up on D2D long, so when I unlisted my novel, it came down pretty fast.

Last night, before going to bed, I checked my dashboard. Fourteen (14) sales over 12 days. And one KOLL lend.

This morning, I checked the dashboard. No new sales, not surprisingly :), but 25 downloads.

Rebooted my laptop (stupid Windoze updates), checked again just now, 33 downloads.

I'll update this thread daily with numbers (although I'll check my dashboard every 30 seconds), and I'll update with sales figures after 2 weeks or so.

Dennis E. Taylor
01-16-2015, 07:28 PM
First day of promotion: 143 units. No reviews added yet (probably not surprising).

ETA: I'm #14 on the Top 100 Free (filtered by SF). That puts me on the first page!

:partyguy: :PartySmil:e2cheer::e2teeth:

(that last guy wasn't invited. he crashed)

Dennis E. Taylor
01-17-2015, 08:17 PM
Second day of promotion: 88 free units, no reviews yet, and I'm number 5 on the top 100 list of free SF (as of this writing).

Old Hack
01-17-2015, 11:36 PM
Angry, I wonder: this thread might be better moved to our self publishing room, and added to the index of diary threads. What do you think?

Dennis E. Taylor
01-18-2015, 12:06 AM
Fine with me.

Dennis E. Taylor
01-18-2015, 06:53 PM
Third and final day. 95 free units. And two Lends, which surprised me. But I guess if you have KOLL, you don't check the free list as much?

Also, got 11 downloads today (Sunday) before the promo cut off.

So, in total, 337 free units over a 3-day period.

I also got a second review, which the reviewer specifically stated was on a free unit, so I guess that's a payoff. 4 stars, happy with that.

Now we'll see, over the next week or two, if there's an ongoing uptick in activity.

ETA: Seems to have had an effect on Goodreads as well. I'm on 4 to-read shelves now.

01-19-2015, 06:54 PM
Thanks for sharing this. I've just published my first book, and was wondering if doing a kindle giveaway would be a good idea.

What were your goals going in to the free days, and do you see the experiment as a success?

Are there any stats from Amazon that would show how many people who download free books actually read them? I know I downloaded a bunch last year, intending to get to them eventually, but still haven't even peeked.

Dennis E. Taylor
01-19-2015, 07:35 PM
My goals, more than anything else were to increase exposure. As has been pointed out many times in this forum, the best book in the world won't get bought if no one knows it's there.

I've gotten a couple of reviews out of it (pretty sure), and good ones at that. My "on-shelf" count on goodreads went up, and I haven't done diddly on goodreads except list it. So we'll see over the next couple of weeks if there's any longer term uptick.

I have 2 days left of my allocated 5 days for freebies. I may try again in a month or two. Meanwhile I'm heads-down hammering away at book 2.

Dennis E. Taylor
01-22-2015, 08:09 PM
So a week later, results so far...

No real increase in sales. I average a sale a day. But KOLL lends have picked up since the giveaway. :Huh: Not sure what's the logic behind that, except maybe increased visibility.

Where it has paid off, is in reviews and on goodreads. Three of the four reviews I've gotten are likely as a result of the giveaway, either directly or through exposure on goodreads.

Regarding goodreads, I had big fat goose-eggs there until the giveaway, then overnight I was on nine shelves.

I'll post again if there's any significant change, but all in all I'd say it's been good for the exposure. Whether any of those 300+ freebies might eventually have bought, who knows?

Dennis E. Taylor
02-05-2015, 08:52 PM
My novel hit the 30-day mark the other day, and sales fell off the end of the table. I'm told that this is because I've disappeared off the "New releases last 30 days" list, which I guess makes sense.

KOLL numbers haven't really dropped, probably because they use a different list to pick from. I'm half-thinking I should join that just so I know what it looks like.

Aaaaaaaanyway, I have 2 giveaway days left, and I see no reason to wait longer before using them. So I've restarted the giveaway effective today.

Dennis E. Taylor
02-06-2015, 08:10 PM

Yeah, that's the right smilie. Don't know what happened, but this time around, I got 309 downloads yesterday. That's more than double the number from the first day of my first giveaway, and almost equal to the 337 total for the full three days the first time around. So far today (8 in the morning. Where's my goddam coffee?), I'm at 113 units, which is higher than either the second or third day last time.

If I had to theorize, I'd suggest that maybe the positive reviews on my novel this time around make people more likely to download it rather than give it a pass. But that much??!

Dennis E. Taylor
02-07-2015, 08:00 PM
Total for two days of giveaway, 648 units. That's just insane!

I've also gotten a sale already this morning, so I guess I'm back on some kind of radar.

06-30-2015, 02:11 AM
I'd love to hear some updates on this! I'm really interested to know how free giveaways ended up working out long term, since it's been a while since you updated!

Dennis E. Taylor
06-30-2015, 04:01 AM
Giveaways definitely work, in that they get you exposure and reviews. If I had the second book out in the series, it probably would have resulted in some sales of that. IIRC, I gave away 700 books the first time and 1000 the second. But the effect is only short-term. As others have said, the best way to get sales is to produce lots of books. A permafree book one in a series seems to be a no-brainer.