I’m in the middle of a free promotion for Flames Over Frosthelm, running September 5th to 9th. It’s been a success so far, if giving away thousands of copies of your book free is successful. I ran a number of announcements on free book sites on Thursday when it started, and I ran a Freebooksy announcement today. Both of those seemed to produce a bigger response than Friday, when I had no announcements. Here’s how it looked:
That’s a total of 3172 copies downloaded so far. This was enough to get me well up into the rankings on Amazon for free books:
I actually hit #1 in Sword and Sorcery on Thursday. I’m sure this is completely ephemeral, and it will fade as soon as the free promotion ends, so it doesn’t really have any meaning, although it’s fun to ride this roller coaster for a while. What I’ve read is that
this kind of thing doesn’t do much for sales after it’s done
many of the free downloaders never read the book
you don’t see many new reviews after one of these
you do have the potential to see more Kindle Unlimited activity after this kind of promotion
One other immediate effect is that I had 13 people add the book as “reading” or “to read” on Goodreads in the past three days, so there’s a chance that I’ll get some more ratings from people there.
One of my goals since the release has been to increase my exposure and introduce the book to a bunch of new folks, and this seems to be working as a route toward that end. I’ll see if it has any lasting effects after another couple of weeks, but it’s been interesting and fun.
I am so honored to have had my book reviewed by the award winning author Mylène Dressler. She’s a friend and colleague at Guilford College, and she’s achieved much, much more in the world of fiction than I have, but she was still willing and excited to help me with my writing and encourage me to persevere. Such a wonderful person.
I highly recommend her most recent book, The Last to See Me, a haunting tale of spirits, anger, and loss set on the rocky coast of northern California. I’ve loved everything of hers I’ve read, but this one is definitely something special. I reviewed it when it came out on Goodreads here.
The book has received two new Amazon reviews – one from a user who doesn’t post too many reviews:
And another from a user who posts a lot:
I’m starting to get reviews like these organically, from people I’ve never met who’ve found the book in other ways. Some I’m guessing are from recommendations, others from my advertising, maybe others just from searches or random discovery. It’s still a slow process getting press (seven reviews on Amazon, ten ratings on GoodReads, one review on BookBub), but it’s moving along. These are very encouraging – I’ve been happy all day.
So, I’ve been playing around with advertising on several platforms. I’ve figured I probably need some more reviews and buzz before this will work, but I figured it was fine to experiment. Although I’m reported to be generating clicks on Facebook, Google, and Amazon, I have not yet generated a confirmed sale.
Yes, as of today I have officially paid $25 to Amazon to sell $5 worth of books, for which I’ll receive $3 and they’ll receive $2. Clearly, this business model is not yet working, but this is the first inkling that it might work eventually. Pretty cool.
This showed up on my Kindle Unlimited feed today. The Unlimited version of the book has exactly 587 pages, so it looks like somebody just destroyed the book in one sitting. Even funnier, this showed up a little after noon, so it must have been an all-morning kind of thing.
The past two days were the first tim in the month or so since the release of Flames Over Frosthelm that I’ve had Kindle Unlimited readers read more pages than the book is long. They report 746 pages on Friday and 718 on Thursday, both more than the 587 length of the book in Kindle’s page equivalents, which are a little smaller than regular book pages.
That’s really neat! It’s possible somebody read it all in one day, but it’s more likely that a few people read parts of it. I suppose it’s even technically possible that 746 people read one page each, but that would be silly.
Readers in the past two days were from Canada, the U.K., and the United States, but I had some pages read in India earlier this week, nearly enough for the whole book. I feel a little weird spying on the reading habits of others, but it’s pretty fascinating.
As I’ve been working on the sequel to Flames Over Frosthelm, I’ve realized I really need a better idea of how the guild headquaters is laid out. I made up the attached maps of the Guild Hall to contain the parts referenced in the books.
Obviously, though, it doesn’t have to be this way – it can be however you imagined it. Enjoy.
One of the neat things about GoodReads is that you can see actual people you’ve never met reading your book (with names and pictures). Just got the first indication (only a few days into this process) that somebody I have never met is reading. A very nice feeling. Thanks, Gerry! I hope you enjoy it.
From the start, the humorful characters and suspense keep you reading and reading. Humourful, if you’re English. Dobson has created a smart fantasy world that’s just right, creative but not overwhelmingly abstract or strange. I hope he writes another!