To date, I've had three experiences with free books. Some were offered multiple times, but my figures reflect the best results for each. They vary widely, as you'll see. For each of these promotional efforts, I used the same tactics. I blogged all over the place. I plagued my Facebook friends and posted about my free book on various FB sites designed for this purpose. I tweeted my brains out and begged my author buddies in several support groups to do the same. Most importantly, I submitted my books to all the free listing sites out there. A lot of the results had to do with which books were featured, and that's kind of a crap shoot. However, I think there's one other important element. The cover.
All that squawking and shouting about your book drives initial downloads and moves you up in those oh so mysterious and important Amazon rankings. If you can tip your book into the top #100, you stand a chance of success. In this case, success being thousands of downloads. The key at that point is to stay in the top #100. By the time you get there, everyone on social media is tired of hearing from you. Basically, your book cover now has to do the work for you. Readers actually look at those free books in the top 100, and yours has to catch their eye for them to download it. I have to say, covers do matter. The hotter the better!
My second foray was with the first book in my indie series. We'll Never Tell came in at just under 12,000 downloads. The results were an upsurge in sales for the whole series that lasted well into the month. I was pretty darned happy about this one!
And finally, Asking For Trouble, which had it's free day a week ago. Downloads almost hit the 17,000 mark! I was pretty impressed. The results have been steady sales but not what I'd hoped for in the way of numbers. This book has a prequel, and it has also had some new traffic. My conclusion is book #1 in a series will generate the most sales over all after the free days are over.
But what about that hot factor? Check out my covers. Lonely Road To You is pleasant but not spectacular. We'll Never Tell is eye catching but not really hot. I wasn't quite ready to go bare-chested with that one. Asking For Trouble has a hot cowboy splashed across the front. What do you think? 5,000 more downloads for Mr. Sexy. I have a feeling there may be more bare chested covers in my future!
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