I’ve done a few free book promos with them and have a couple more to go. Overall, I’m pleased with the results as I’ve been averaging somewhere between 1500-1600 books given away on each book. I think there might have been one book where it was more like 1100-1200. Still, I’ve never been able to hit these numbers or come anywhere close to it on my own, so I’m sold. I’ll be using them well into the future.
What’s cool is each time I usually get at least one review for the books and some ratings. Social proof seems invaluable. Customers have a lot of options so before they buy your book, they want to see the reviews.
The frustrating part is giving away 1500 books and then only getting like 1 or 2 reviews. I figure a lot of people just pick up the book for free because it was free then never read it. More still will leave it on their virtual shelf for awhile then dust it off and read it later.
Overall, the numbers game is staggering. How many books do I have to give away to get like, 5 reviews? How many do I have to give away before I make actual moolah? Does anyone ever make actual moolah?
I have been focusing on short stories as of late because, short as they are, they get done. I’ve spent years focusing on full length novels that always need another revision, another tweak, another problem where I write myself into a corner and have to start all over again. Short stories are easier, take less time, cost less to get edited and formatted….but ultimately they cost less. I’ve generally found no one will pay more than .99 cents for a short story, which is understandable.
Sometimes I think about getting back to my novels. On the other hand, the short stories are actually getting done and it is hard to argue with a process that is getting something done.
3.5 readers, my prices are so low that a rattle snake could shimmy right underneath them. Boy howdy, let me tell you, if I lower these prices any lower, I’d have to get my head examined. Heck, come to think of it, you can’t do better on a price that’s free, can you? I’d have to start paying people to read my books, which I mean, if Amazon ever allows it, I wouldn’t be against it but I digress.
Hoo dawgies! Are y’all into dystopian fiction? Well, you’re in luck. The One That Got Away is FREE this weekend! That means, right now! Why are you still here? Click above and get your free gosh darn copy! It’s about a miserable drunk whose wish that his long lost love hadn’t dumped him was granted, only to wake up in a world where he’s married…and the father of the most evil dictator in world history. Not exactly the feel good story of the year, but totes worth a perusal.
The Second Death! Yeah, I know. This probably isn’t going to be the feel good book of the summer either, but it’ll be FREE Feb 12 – 16, right on Valentine’s Day weekend, so if you’re a big cheap skinflint, you can get your Smoochy Poo a copy of this free book, though I advise against it because it isn’t easy being single. At least get her a diamond bracelet and some flowers too or something.
What’s it about? A fame obsessed wacko concocts a cacophony of outrageous schemes, each more twisted than the last, all designed to attract the media attention he so desperately desires. It all adds up to the day from hell for FBI agents Rick Nash and Ramona Cruz.
Alien invasions! Sasquatch assassins! Poisonous Pomeranians! Lizard people attacks! There’s no conspiracy theory too wacky for goofy old Harry Blanding to peddle from his post at the Broad Street subway stop. Some commuters think he is nutso. Others think he is hilarious…but one government agency that may or may not exist isn’t laughing.
Get your FREE copy of The End is Nigh February 19-23.
Ninja bunnies! Professional shark punchers! Rude unicorns! This ain’t your grandma’s writing prompt book. Get your free copy Feb 26 – March 2 and maybe one day you’ll start a blog read by only 3.5 readers like BQB.
Go on over to Amazon and get this FREE BOOK for FREE which means you don’t have to pay for it because it is FREE.
What if the worst thing that ever happened to you was the best thing for the world? When a mysterious stranger gives down on his luck drunk Evan Brooks a trial run of the world in which his long lost love never left, he discovers that by sticking together, they had a son who ended up as the worst dictator in history. Will Evan be able to put his own selfish desires aside to save the world?
My twisted short, “When Superheroes Quit” is totally FREE! That’s right! It’s FREE! You pay zilch, zero, nada!
Just mosey on over to Amazon and grab your FREE copy which you won’t have to pay for because it’s FREE!
Horrendous City is under attack! Will the Righteous Champion save the day? No, for he has retired. He is moving to California to chase his dream of becoming a pop star. Somehow the city will have to figure out how to fight evil on its own.
I bought a Freebooksy promotion, which ran yesterday, and wanted to tell you all about it, seeing as how it was a good experience.
It was for Freefall, my short story about a man who goes on a skydiving trip, only to jump out of the plane and find that his parachute has been sabotaged:
In the past, I have had moderate success with Facebook ads. Sometimes they would translate to 10 or 20 free copies. At times, I have given away approximately 100. That was the highest and I thought that was something.
Yesterday, thanks to Freebooksy, I gave away a mind boggling 1,337 copies in one day!!! Ergo, I am sold on their services. When you buy a promotion, you can plan it for a specific day. They will list your book as free on their website for the day and will send it in their email to their subscribers for that day.
Makes sense, right? If you use Facebook ads, you might reach a lot of people, but out of those, maybe a handful will actually click on the link, and an even smaller amount will actually bother to get a free copy.
Meanwhile, Freebooksy subscribers are serious readers with a passion for the written word. They have signed up for these emails so they can be notified when it is time to snatch up free books. Thus, unless something changes, I foresee myself focusing on Freebooksy in the future as my go to site for advertising when one of my books is free.
Of course, we want to transition to the point where we actually get paid. Rarely happens to me, but I am still relatively new to self-publishing. Part of the problem is you have to collect the so-called “social proof” i.e. you have to rack up positive reviews. I did receive one positive review yesterday thanks to Freebooksy. I thought maybe I’d receive more but one thing I have noticed is sometimes people will get a free copy and then they’ll come back a week, or two or a month later and buy a book or leave a review or a rating. It takes time for people to read your book. They grab your book when it is free but then it might sit on their virtual shelf for awhile before they find time to read it.
I did notice a number of people on Goodreads listed it as a book they have or have read or want to read, etc.
Overall, a positive experience so far. As of this morning, the free copies have tapered off to 48 for today as of the time of this post, but that’s still a lot more in one day that I am used to.
Oh! Freefall also ended up being ranked #2 in 90 minute Literature and Short Fiction reads, #2 in Single Author Short Stories and #2 in 90 Minute Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Short Reads. It is now #131 in the Free Kindle store.
That last one? I have to assume if you can make it into the Top 100 Free, you’d get a lot of free book grabs, so if you 3.5 readers want to grab your free copy and put me over the top, I would appreciate it.
Seriously, what else were you going to do today? Cut your toenails? Wash your hair? Mow your lawn? You can take less than one minute to grab a free copy and be able to go to bed tonight secure in the knowledge that you actually achieved something awesome, i.e. you helped Bookshelf Q Battler inch his way toward the Top 100 Free on Amazon.
Thanks for listening, 3.5 readers. Oh and if you are a self-publisher and were wondering about the cost, it cost me $90 and I consider it $90 well spent. You can go to Freebooksy.com and see the prices for various genres, some of which are lower. It’s a good deal. If you want to do it for one of your books, I’d recommend going to their site to make sure the day you want isn’t already sold out, and then pick a day and set your book to be free on that day and voila, free books.
Will you have similar results? Eh, I can’t say for sure. I mean, look at that cover. It is pretty awesome. And the story is pretty great too, if I do say so myself. You still need to bring your A game to your writing and book production but I would assume you’ll still see an uptick in free copies.
Thank you, Freebooksy.
One more note – Freebooksy also offers Bargainbooksy, where if your book is priced low enough (I forget how low it has to be) then you can also buy a promotion on that. I haven’t tried that yet. I generally find it is like pulling teeth to get people to actually buy books, though I heard a rumor it does happen if you keep putting the time and effort in. Maybe I’ll try that someday. If you have tried Bargainbooksy and want to share your experience, please do so in the comments.