Adventures in Marketing

Well, I took the plunge. I started a five-day promotion giving away the Kindle version of Star Riders for free. Why? Why would I give away this thing I worked so hard on?

Well, as I explained in my last post, I need exposure. Star Riders has done fine, sold about 100 copies and gathered 11 reviews with a 4-star average. To go much further, I need more reviews.

And I also ask myself: why am I doing this? Am I trying to make a lot of money? Not really. So if it’s more about getting more people to read my book, and if more people will get it if I make it free, then isn’t that good?

Sure. But I also think people assign more value to things they have to work for than the things they’re just given, and I think Star Riders is worth something to a reader. For a while, though, I can give it away for free.

So in the last post, I mentioned a few services that help promote discounted books by emailing their lists of readers to inform them of your sale. I set up a promotion on one of them, Freebooksy, as well as another one I learned about since then.

TheFussyLibrarian will announce a book’s sale to their members. They have 96,000 sci-fi readers in their list, and will send them an email for $25. They only require your book have 10 reviews, but at least a 4-star average (check!).

(And yeah, I realize I’m paying $95 for the pleasure of giving my book away. Yeah.)

Here’s what Freebooksy’s email looked like this morning:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 5.07.42 PM

And here’s the email from TheFussyLibrarian:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 5.08.09 PM

They each had one or two additional sci-fi books for free, but somehow I managed to get first place (I probably reserved the day before the others).

So the promotion started this morning, February 5, and will run through Saturday (five days). And so far, the results have been amazing.  As of 4:30 today, there have been 1,571 downloads. To put that in perspective, when I launched back in June, I set it at free for three days, and had 311 downloads.

Another indicator is that Star Riders has shot to the top of the Free store. You can see any book’s ranking on its Amazon page, which is done both overall and within its applicable categories. And they keep separate rankings for free and paid books. In my case, here’s what it looks like right now:

Screen Shot 2019-02-05 at 4.52.43 PM

So yeah, I’d say those services were pretty effective. #70 across all categories. Especially since that can help gain Kindle Unlimited readers, who don’t have to pay specifically for the book, but I’ll still get paid if they read my book.

And let’s not forget that the original intent was to increase the number of reviews. So I’ve heard many people say the rule of thumb is one review for every hundred readers. so at this point, I should expect to get about 15 new reviews. Or even more if the downloads keep flowing.

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ll try to write the next one soon. It will be about my new plan to increase my email list, and what I’m writing now.  Stay tuned!

Author: RickAAllenSF

Semi-retired engineer, now a SF author. Recently moved to Colorado Springs, where I work in front of a window looking out at Pikes Peak.

2 thoughts on “Adventures in Marketing”

    1. Thanks! I get their daily email, and they seem awesome, but a much higher price tag ($519 for my genre for free books, and over $1K if a discount). I’m also thinking they want to see more than 11 reviews, so that’s not for me right now. But maybe someday…

      Liked by 1 person

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