Weekly Update: Giving Books away and what I learned.
Last week I did a giveaway on Murdockian Tales (you can still buy a copy for $2.99 or a print copy for $7.99). It’s a short story collection and I’m happy with the stories I chose to put in there. They give a good representation of my work to-date even if I’ve done a lot of writing since these stories were written. Most of those are on submission and therefore not included in the collection.
So the big question I’m sure will be on everyone’s mind will be “So what did you learn through the process?” Well, let me tell you first off that I’ll be learning from this for some time. That’s just the way it goes. But I did learn a lot during the process. Here’s what I learned.
I learned that people like getting things for free. Well, okay, I already knew that, but I didn’t realize just how much. Over the course of the freebie deal I gave away 339 copies of Murdockian Tales making it my most widely distributed book so far.
I learned that free doesn’t always equate to sales. I did, however, sell two copies of V&A Shipping (both people told me they picked it up because they found me from the Free deal. I also sold a print copy of Murdockian Tales. So out of the 339 copies I gave away, I sold 3. I was hoping for a slightly better return, but at least I know people are out there with copies of my short story anthology. If they like what they read, hopefully they’ll be back. At the front and the back of the collection I have my URLs. Hopefully that will drive some traffic to the blog and generate more sales.
I learned that during the giveaway I did not encounter more traffic than normal. I did get one person that found me by doing a google search on Murdockian. I can only assume that person came from the freebie deal.
Now that the free is over, hopefully people will read it. I’m confident that most won’t. Most probably picked it up just because it was free. I did this 100% for exposure. To get my name out there. Nothing more. If I pick up a couple new readers, then it was worth it. If I don’t, it was a learning experience. I’ll learn from it and try again with another title at another time. I’ve got a lot of books to get out into the world and this helped move a lot of books only people’s kindle devices.
I have noticed that Kobo, Smashwords, and Nook result in nearly no sales for me. I find this sad. I like these devices and their reading apps. Well, Kobo and Nook. I cannot get into iBookstore because I don’t have a mac (and won’t be buying one any time soon). I wish Apple would fix that and allow anyone one to upload their books. I won’t see any sales increase in those sites as I released Murdockian Tales through KDP Select (amazon only). But I’m hopeful that my name will start to spread from this.
All in all it was a good experience. I had a lot of people retweet me on twitter, like me on facebook, join me on google plus, and social media really helped propel this book up the charts. Yes, it was a free book, but I was still excited to see it peak out at #5 on SciFi short stories and #55 on Free SciFi. As I said, during the week I gave away 339 copies. I’m astonished. I honestly didn’t expect to give away quite so many copies. I would have been happy with 100. I actually think I would have been happy giving away 50. But 339? I’m overjoyed. I think this is outstanding. I couldn’t ask for more.
I kept a level head through all of this. I understand the ‘Amazon Rush’ concept of having as many people buy your book on release day to try and give it an extra push. I understand getting your name out there and trying to get as many people as possible to buy your book. I also understand the need for social media to accomplish these. I did all of that and wow did it work.
I’ve got a podcast to edit and get produced. I’ve got recording to do. I’ve got words to write (I finished My Teacher is a Vampire and started a giant-robot story that will be set in the V&A Shipping universe). I’ve got editing to do (I’ve got 4 completed books to go through and do rewrites and 2 to apply edits to). I’ve got so many words I want to get done this year and a lot of books I’d like to release this year. It’s an exciting time! Watch for more!
Until Next Time!