My experiment is more than halfway over, and I have come to the conclusion that perhaps a full five days of freeness might be too much.
I wanted to reach the largest audience I could, so I figured the longest available free promotion would be best. It’s looking to be an error in judgment right now. Though the book did quite well the first day and somewhat well the second day, yesterday (day 3) was something of a bomb in comparison:
The first day saw 227 copies sold, the second 144, but yesterday only 42 copies were sold. Granted, 413 copies is vastly more than any number I had reached prior (I think my previous record was six in one day, just after the launch), but how many will read it? I myself have gotten free books before and not read them. I have probably at least a dozen on my Kindle app waiting to be read, maybe even two dozen.
I’m not drawing any definitive conclusions until the five-day promotional period is done, but I’m thinking that five days is too long. Free for a weekend? Yeah, that’s a possibility. But free for five days? It’s not looking like there’s much interest anymore.
Today (day 4) there has only been one copy sold, but given that it’s only 1:15 in the morning we’ll just ignore that little tidbit and wait for more solid results later in the day.
As far as predictions for tomorrow go, it’s hard to say. Have all the people who were interested in the book gotten it already? Will some people see that “last day to get it free” tweet and scramble to pick it up while the deal is still going on? Who knows.
The second day of my free promotional period on Whispers of Death is over, and the numbers are about 100 less than they were on Day 1. I ended the day with almost 400 total with the two days combined, and so far today only 9 units have “sold.”
I’m debating on tweeting about it again, but I feel that’s part of my problem when it comes to marketing: I don’t know how much is too much. I feel like I’m annoying and/or bothering people with the tweets and Instagram photos and the like. Buuuuuut…I still want to get my book’s name out there. If people download it and read it and tell their friends how much they like it (hopefully they like it), then maybe after the promotion is over people will be more inclined to buy it.
Also, I’m hoping reviews start to come in. I’m sure having only four reviews so far isn’t helping me any. Well, I guess it’s helping a little. Even with the “decline” in units sold between Day 1 and Day 2, I’m still in the top 10 in the Occult genre on Kindle and hovering around 20 in the Paranormal & Urban Fantasy genre. Not too bad for someone who is almost a complete unknown.
Which type of fiction is most difficult to write, I wonder? Historical fiction? It certainly has its challenges. Researching for accuracy while trying to put your own unique spin on things. Trying to keep the nitpickers from tearing apart the tiniest anachronism. Taking what was and turning it into what might have been.
But what about urban fantasy? How would modern characters react to the magical and supernatural existing side-by-side with cars and cell phones and airplanes? How would the magical and supernatural beings react to existing side-by-side with these things? Did they always exist together? Were they recently introduced?
Okay, those are both tough subjects to write. But I’m not done yet. Futuristic sci-fi and dystopia? You’d have to take current events and let them play out in your mind, marching forward into a time that has not yet happened. Do those cars and cell phones and airplanes still exist? What, if anything, has taken their place?
Yeah, yeah, that’s all well and good–but high fantasy? World-building? I don’t know if I could even attempt that. Creating an entire world, sometimes an entire universe, from scratch. Sure, you can take bits and pieces of the past and present of our reality and combine them with the realities in your head to make a quilt that blankets your stage, but where to start? What do you use and what do you toss aside? How do you stitch the pieces together into a cohesive picture?
So what’s next for me? I’ve tried my hand at urban fantasy already. I’m too lazy to do the research for historical fiction. And I’ve already said that high fantasy is beyond me … so sci-fi it is!
So the final tally for the first day of my novel being free on Amazon Kindle is 227 copies sold (well, given away…details, details).
I don’t even know 227 people. Given that when I initially published this book I was afraid that no one other than friends and family would ever read it, I’m extremely proud. Yeah, I know, the vast majority only picked up the book because it is free, but with that many people downloading it there must be some interest in the book itself. Maybe they won’t get around to reading for a month or a year (like I have with some of the free eBooks I’ve downloaded in the past), but they’ll have the book to read.
I’m interested to see how today and the following three days go. Will most of the people who are going to see the tweets and such that I’ve posted have already gotten it? Did I peak already? Will there be more downloads? The same? Who knows.
There have been about 19 sales since midnight and it’s 4am here now. Yesterday it took roughly the same amount of time to get 7 sales. No new reviews yet, but let’s give people time to read the book. There might be some crappy reviews, but there also could be some good ones.
I could become known for being a terrible writer…but you know what that means?
So, as I’ve established before (or at least I think I’ve established it here before), I suck at marketing for my book. I’m trying something a little different now, though.
I’ve actually set up a temporary free promotion through Amazon KDP for a few days, starting tomorrow. I’m trying to see if this generates any “sales” (yeah, they’ll be unpaid sales, but sales nonetheless) and if it gets the word out more about the book.
I don’t know how well this will work. I don’t know if there will be ANY sales during my promotion, but I figure since it’s not selling now, what am I really missing? At least this has the potential to get more reads, reviews, etc. Maybe some of my friends & coworkers who have said they’ll read the book will actually “buy” it? 😉
But what’s this? I’ve also put my poetry anthology & collection of horror flash fiction/short stories on a free promotional period as well? I must be crazy!!!
Or….I’m just lost.
We’ll see what the next 5 days brings.
By the way, here’s a link for my Amazon author page (where you can find all three books):
It’s already showing Whispers of Death as available free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers…I don’t know if I did something wrong (the promotion is supposed to start tomorrow), but what the heck. Here I go!
I’ve been staring at my unchanging computer screen for about half an hour. Before that, I was flipping through Facebook pages and Twitter feeds for about an hour. Actually, every time I’ve had any free time in the past month or two–which isn’t always often–I’ve reverted to blind Internet-wandering to the point of large blocks of time spent unaware of what I’m looking at. Why am I numbing my mind? Because I have a job to do, and it’s a doozy.
I have to review a book for Talk Nerdy With Us, and–spoiler alert!–it’s terrible. I’m having a very difficult time sludging through it.
The thing is, I can’t decide which I’m dreading more: actually reading the rest of the book, or figuring out how to write the review without using the words “painful,” “excruciating,” or “unfinishable.” Is unfinishable a word? It should be. I don’t want to have to use it, but it should still be a word.
I think I’m going to ask how far I have to get into the book before I can give up on it and just grit my teeth through the writing of the review. As a lover of the well-written word and a fan of grammar and consistent formatting, I just don’t think I can go on much further.
Well, it’s Monday–that dreaded day when you can’t seem to decide whether you want to get out of bed, let alone what you want to do with your time before work once you get up.
I kind of want to write, but I’m not really “feeling” it right now. I know I need to sew, but I’m a little burned out on that one after a busy weekend working on cosplay.
Or, there’s a third option: I could just dick around on the Internet until it’s time to get ready for work. Not exactly productive (okay, not at all productive), but maybe that’s what I need…to not be productive for a little while. To just lie here with my laptop and breathe.
Or maybe sit here and breathe. Damn sunburned back. Ouch.
Well, I made it through a long, tiring work day. My back is sore, my legs are sore, my arms are sore … in fact, not too many places on me aren’t sore. Still, I made it through, and I got rare praise from the surgeon.
Tomorrow is an off day, and though it’s my anniversary (yay!–three years strong), my husband will be working until 1pm, giving me plenty of time to write. I also plan on writing some more tonight. If I keep it up, I’ll break 20k before the weekend. Pretty amazing, considering the first draft of Whispers of Death was not even 40k words long, and this book is in its infancy still.
I probably should exercise tomorrow, too. I have got to get back into exercising. Just because work gave me a workout today is no excuse to not get back into the swing of things exercise-wise. I have the day off, my husband will be occupied with work, and I can try one of the workout DVDs I have in the living room while he works from the bedroom. I get so self-conscious when anyone sees me working out, even my husband, so this should be interesting … he’d better not laugh. 😉
Well, thanks to the advice of an author friend of mine, I think I’m slowly getting back on track with the manuscript. It’s still slow going, but it’s picking up speed and I think I’m going to have a better time of it … for the time being.
Writing is so hard to predict. I don’t know how full-time authors do it. I would be staring at the screen for half the time. I guess it comes down to focus and practice and developing a routine, but even with my routine of writing (or trying to write) every morning before work and every weekend when I have time, I still hit blocks.
This week I have Wednesday off (which, though it’s my anniversary, should give me time to write since my husband will be at work for half the day), so my plan is to write as much as I can.
Will I reach my goal of a completed first draft by the end of the year? It’s looking less and less likely as I get more and more stuck, but I still hold out hope. Whispers of Death was going slowly at first as well, but I blew through the ending once I had a good momentum going. This book will be interesting, because I sort of wrote a scene in the sixth or seventh chapter that belongs more like 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through the book. So I have to keep the scene and just write the parts in between. Which will be tricky, given the way I normally write. I like to write in order, but I hadn’t planned on the scene being as integral to the plot, and I surely hadn’t planned on it spawning a new plotline of its own.
I love it when a story takes on a life of its own–probably why I enjoy pantsing more than planning–but this one is really challenging me. Political plots and intrigue aren’t my thing, but apparently they’re the thing this book wants to have.
Thank the Gods for the “Find” feature in Word.
So, let me give you some backstory here: Every Wednesday, Twitter has a trending hashtag called #1linewed where there is a theme set and writers can post a line or two from one of their works that fits that theme. For example, today’s theme is “eyebrows.”
Dear Gods, I never realized how many times people raised their eyebrows in my current manuscript!
Being the obsessive-compulsive person that I am, I can’t just let it go until it comes time for edits and whatnot. I have to fix it now. That has been the majority of my writing this morning–taking out a multitude of eyebrow raising and finding other ways for the characters to express emotion.
It happens. Writers get their little quirks or favorite phrases and they don’t even realize until revision/edits that they’re doing it. Well, apparently I’m an eyebrow-raiser. I don’t remember doing it in my last novel, but I think I’m trying too hard to “show don’t tell.” I know there are other facial expressions/body language-type things I can use, but I guess my go-to is the eyebrows.
I suppose I should thank whoever picked today’s theme. Now I can go through and fix this before it gets out of hand, and be wary of it as I write further.