Being an author is filled with ups and downs, thrills and disappointments, wins and a lot of misses. Expectations are constantly in need of being analyzed and reset, and yet we obstinately continue, in spite of what might otherwise appear as commonsense.
So today, I’m celebrating an accomplishment. My novella, In The Beginning, reached its 200th review on Amazon. Over 100 of those reviews are 5 stars. As a lead-in to my series The Creation, it’s a great start to something that will hopefully continue to grow and expand.
For those interested in the numbers and details of how these things work, read on. I know I rely on the expertise of many other giving authors and – while I’m no expert – I can at least share what’s worked and how I’ve promoted this series to date.
In the Beginning is a perma-free novella on Amazon so, yes, while I’m moving quite a few copies of the book, I’m not making a dime on any of them. The goal, as the start to a series, is to get people hooked and hope that they in turn continue the journey through the next books to come. Amazon doesn’t give you the option to price a book as free. In fact, the lowest you can price something is .99 cents. However, Amazon will match the pricing of a competitor who is selling your book for less, so I put my novella out on Kobo as a free giveaway, then went through the process of letting Amazon know it was being offered for free elsewhere. Within a few days, they had matched the price.
As soon as the novella hit my targeted price-point, I did a blast on several sites with large email lists to promote the series. Author Marketing Club has created a fantastic page where you can find a lot of the sites that promote free or discounted books. Some of these have costs associated with them while others provide their services at no charge. I spent a few bucks, nothing outlandish, and signed up everywhere else I could for free.
The results? Over 1500 downloads of my novella in a single day. I even broke into the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, which then helped carry over many more downloads in the days immediately after.
Excluding the large jumps in numbers which occasionally occur, (yesterday, for some unknown reason, I had over 300 downloads of the book), I typically average 10-40 downloads per day. While some of these go on to purchase the next book in the series and some will sign up for my newsletter, its by no means a way of “beating the system” or instant success. But again, I’m looking for the small “wins,” and I feel I’m getting them.
Being an author means being willing to experiment. Not only with your work, but the means of getting that work out to an audience. So far I’ve dabbled with Kindle Scout – which has turned out to be a fantastic experiment – and now, with the ‘perma-free’ lead-in to an established series. I’ll be looking for more ways to experiment in the future, to continue to grow my readership and lay my claim to (an analyzed and revised outlook of) success.