Before I scampered off on an Alaskan cruise at the beginning of June (yes! I was in Alaska! It was cold! But awesome!), I ran a 5-day free promotion on Quartz.
And along the way I learned some things (as I always do).
I decided to run this promotion on a whim. Quartz’s term in Kindle Select was coming to an end, and I hadn’t used any of my promotional days. I decided on the free days over the Kindle Countdown Deal because I’ve never done a free promo before. I figured, eh, why not?
So I picked my five days to end just before I left on vacation. Since I was throwing this together quickly, I opted not to put any money into paid advertising. Instead I relied on a combination of my social media reach, Facebook groups, and free services to get the word out.
It worked pretty well. Quartz was able to get to #2 on the Free Steampunk list on Amazon and as high as #22 on the Free Epic Fantasy list. That meant it stayed on the first page of one sub-category and the second of another for most of the promotion.
Partial proof below:
So, what did I learn from this?
A promotion does not have a natural downward trend like I assumed. I had booked the majority of the promotional sites for the first three days (though some ran for all five). The first day had a lot of downloads, the next day fewer, the third fewer still. I expected Days 4 and 5 to drop even lower, but to my surprise both exceeded Day 2’s downloads.
Takeaway is to expect the middle of the promotion will have the biggest slump. The sooner a deal is going away, the more likely people are to jump on it.
Facebook is actually a pretty good promotional tool. Yes, I know Facebook ads are a big thing, but since I was doing this with a budget of $0, all I did was post about the deal to relevant FB book groups. I’ll be upfront and say that I was skeptical that this would have any effect whatsoever, but tracking my links showed that many more clicks originated from FB than Twitter.
I should really look into FB ads some day.
The more I market, the easier it gets. You don’t get good at marketing unless you actually get out there and do it. The more I post about my books, the easier it gets to come up with taglines and catchy blurbs. After running a promotion, I feel like I have a better handle on what makes my book appealing and how to convey it succinctly.
And that, to me, is just as valuable as ranking high on an Amazon list, because it’s something I can put to use again.
What are the best no-cost promotional tools and strategies you’ve found?
D J Mills says
Best free promo/adverts?
In order, eye catching Cover & Blurb, good story leaving readers wanting more, Back Matter list of books, signup link & newsletter announcements to list, blog posts, and most importantly, write the next book. 🙂
I want to try free & paid promos and adverts in the future, but I don’t use facebook at all. 🙁
Thanks for commenting, DJ! By blog posts, do you mean guest blogs? I don’t do much blogging at all these days. The return on my time investment has always seemed low. I am doing a cover reveal soon, so perhaps it will make me change my mind!
There are free promo sites that are not associated with FB. This list is a good start: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com/2015/10/free-promo-sites-for-free-books.html