Riding the freebie wave

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

Thanks to those who downloaded Solstice over the freebie weekend. Everyone was so awesome, sharing links and Tweeting about the book. I can’t say enough about the support and the generosity of the writing (& reading) community.

I was hesitant to go free after reading the results of other recent giveaway campaigns. Plus, having previously done a couple of free campaigns with minimal results, I assumed the only thing I would ultimately gain from this one is a few reviews (you know, the ones that say, “It was okay…for a freebie”).

But after reading Ed Robertson’s (I’m a new fan, BTW) terrific blog, I thought I would give “going free” another shot. Now, my results were not as stellar as Breakers, but I do believe the post-free kick does work. The real question is how long will the surge last?

Solstice peeked out with about 7575 downloads in the US and it did reach #60 in the free store and #1 in both horror and science fiction. I attribute that success to appearances on ENT, KFD, and a handful of other freebie alert sites.

I’d considered extending the promo, but once I saw the numbers start to slide in the wrong direction, I thought it was best to end the campaign and see if I could catch the wave.

I’m hardly setting the world on fire with my post-free numbers, but I am happy with the results. Rankings as of this morning:

Darklands: A Vampire’s Tale did peak out at about 1700 in the paid store last spring, following a sponsorship at Kindle Nation Daily. I would love to say once a book achieves rankings in the 5000′s it becomes “sticky,” as Ed Robertson say. I do know Darklands did hang in there for quite a while before seeing the inevitable decline, but the vampire craze was in full-swing at that point.

The rocky terrain of digital publishing is constantly shifting. Darklands was priced at 99 cents and still is for a limited time (sales pitch), but that price point now screams “self-published.” There are many more ebooks on Amazon now than last spring, so the competition to draw attention to your book is tougher. And of course, there are the changes in algorithms–something I don’t even pretend to understand.

Whether Solstice hangs in the upper area of the Amazon jungle or not, remains to be seen. However, I think the freebie weekend was a success. I got the enjoyment of seeing my book climb the charts and, hopefully, gained some new readers who’ll enjoy the book for reasons other than the price.

Now, off to do more promo (a blog tour schedule for next month) and of course, more writing.

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