Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Experience with Giving Away a Book on Kindle

Because I'd been reading so much about the give-aways on Kindle, I decided to try it myself. The theory behind this practice is if you have a series and offer on free, those who like the book will buy others in the series.

I chose Angel Lost which is #7 in the series for a couple of reasons--it is one of my favorites and I love the cover.

I chose the dates for it to be free then submitted it to many sites that promote free Kindle books--many sites were free, some charged a few dollars, and I also used BookBub which is expensive, especially for mysteries. BookBub has thousands of subscribers. One thing I didn't know is that it takes time for them to approve your submission and the date you wanted it to be promoted. I had a bit of a problem with the scheduling. Because of the cost, I probably won't use them again.

The last time I checked with my publisher, nearly 52,000 had been downloaded and 107 were purchased.

What I hoped would happen did, and sales increased with the other books with the first one in the series, Final Respects, selling 92 and all the other titles anywhere from 30 plus to 20 plus. Because I'm with a publisher, of course this will not end up being a whole lot of money. And during this time period, no print books were sold at all.

(And aside: What I'm noticing even at in-person book sales is people are asking if the books are on Kindle and not buying the print books like they used to.)

For two days, the book was #1 in Kindle freebies and #1 in police procedural freebies.

Another plus in many ways is the big increase in reviews for Angel Lost. Fortunately, most of them are positive, but there are some interesting ones.

A couple have given away important plot points. (Probably I'm the only one who will ever bother to read all the reviews.)

Some don't like it because they called it a Christian book. I didn't write it as a Christian book--but there are characters who go to church--a devout Catholic, some who pray. Just like people I know. The fact that there is an angel who appears on a store window seemed to offend a couple.

One criticized me for leaving some plot points hanging. (Did it on purpose.)

Others loved the book for the same reasons that were criticized.

What I've decided is that this proves that readers are all unique in what kind of books they like and dislike.

It took a lot of work to do the necessary promotion.

Will I ever do it again? Not any time soon--but I do hope I've gained more readers for the series.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Marilyn Levinson said...

Thanks so much for this much needed report. I haven't put a book up on KDP Select in a while, and I was wondering what the results are these days. As I thought, there's a burst of sales of your other books, then that dies down. And you have to deduct what you've paid to be on a site like Book Bub,
Still, look at how many people downloaded your book! And it had to be thrilling to see it was #1 and #2 for two days.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

It was an interesting experiment. BookBub is expensive, and not sure I'd use them again though they have the most subscribers.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I haven't offered free e-books as yet. So I find your blog thoughtful and interesting.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Of course I had to do it in partnership with my publisher.

Morgan Mandel said...

I'm doing a romance freebie this weekend and will see what happens. I couldn't use BookBub, because the book is not full length. BookBub is expensive anyway. Last time I lost $100 even with 47,000 downloads. I looked at that experience as spending $100 for publicity. This current freebie is book 1 of a 2 book series. I've heard if you have a series going, BookBub is ideal, but my series is very short.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Yes, I lost money too--but I have some new fans.