Thursday, February 16, 2012

Amazon: Making Dreams Come True for a Week.

This is my souvenir. I'm keeping it forever.
A couple of weeks ago I did a big free promo for Vallar on Feb 4th and 5th. I had Vallar featured as free at Pixil of Ink and Ereader News Today. There were some others sites, but those two were the big ones. There was a surge of downloads when the features went live from those two sites. Overall over 6,000+ free downloads.

When it went back to paid, I got a lot of real sales for the rest of the week. Some authors like to give out the sales figures. There’s no point in that. But I will tell you that the authors who aren’t writing SF get triple the sales after going back to paid status.
After about a week, Vallar went back to selling what it usually does 1 to 5 or so copies a day. This is only because I did a free promo Dec 30th.  Before then it was only selling 1 to 6 copies a month.

I was a little disappointed, but I knew it would happen. With other books going free all the time, it was bound to get buried again.
The Science Fiction books listed on Amazon’s main Kindle page is based on a combination of free or real sales. It doesn’t matter, and yes, it’s like cheating. However, there are other lists (that don’t count free sales) and at its peak, Vallar was #33 in science adventure and #23 in war. This lasted about five days. So don’t be impressed. So no, Vallar is not a bestseller and I am not a bestselling author.

I mean seriously, how could it ever last? I’m competing with traditional publishers, Amazon imprints and Indies who have multiple published books.
If it wasn’t for the opportunity to go free on Amazon, I would be selling 1 to 6 copies a month (rather than a day) because that’s what I was selling before. So I am grateful for that. Going free has made my books link with other books, which is all I ever wanted in the first place. Every now and then someone buys TransShifter too.

However, there are some drawbacks. Going free has a tendency to lead to bad reviews and comments like “It’s a good thing it was free because I hated it.” In general, some readers tend to think it’s terrible because it’s free, so they start reading it with that assumption, which is never a good way to start reading something. They tend to download it without much thought. Then they don’t like it and blame the author when the book was never something they would like in the first place. Indie books will always have more negative reviews than traditionally published books because we are always selling them cheap and giving them away.
Anyway, it was fun to give away that many books, but I will probably not do anymore free promos until the sequel is out. Then it might be worth it.


Grumpy Bulldog, Media Mogul said...

That's a lot of free books! I suppose it's better to give it away than for people to pirate it.

Annalisa Crawford said...

What a great screen shot! A brilliant sounvenir.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Somebody wrote "It's a good thing it was free because I hated it?" What assholes. That's just rude. I can't believe some people.

Congratulations on the success that you have had in marketing your book, Cindy. I'm very excited for the sequel that I know will be amazing. I will be one of the first to blaze through it and give you a review.

Ciao for now :)

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats on your success!

Cindy said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Mike, I think I would like you to beta read before it's published..if you're available.

Rusty Webb said...

I'd be pretty darn proud of that myself. Maybe print and frame that screenshot.

If I ever have multiple titles available I'll probably do some finagling to try to drum up some sales, but we'll just have to see. I do have another story I may put up soon. It's a start I suppose.

Anyway, good job.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's a lot of downloads!
I'm in a Yahoo group with a mixture of authors. Some of the self-published ones have tried the Kindle Select program and the results seem to vary. It seems to benefit those with multiple books best, because the ones that aren't free really pick up in sales. (My publisher has already stated they have no interest in the program at this time though.)