Sunday, January 22, 2012

Select Promo

I was going to wait for a little more feedback and the gather my thoughts on this but I'll start the discussion today.

I understand that some people get good results.  Let's ignore them, we could even call them outliers.  Konrath is an outlier.  You can't duplicate what he does.  There are so many moving parts to Konrath's success that there's no point in trying to rebuild it.  What the takeaway from Joe is very much try anything.

So far I don't see that this 5 freebie days thing works to sell books.  I've downloaded a few books.  Generally, I don't read them immediately.  Everyone likes something for free, I do, too.  But to me this is something for later.  When I don't have anything else to read.  Unless it really strikes me as wonderful, then I open it.  The  University of Chicago Press gives away a free ebook a month.  I think I've gotten 3 and haven't read any of them, altho I looked at one and wasn't compelled to read it.  It wouldn't move me to spend money on anything else they offer.

I've been fortunate.  My freebies haven't been downloaded in great quantities.  Why do I say fortunate?  Because if you give away 5000 books, that's 5000 sales you will never have.  And if those people don't read the book immediately, or soonish or ever, you are nowhere, worse than where you started.  If you gave away 5000 freebies and there was some record of that, so that new customers looked at your page and saw "Wow 5000 people downloaded this book, I'll give it a try!" that would make it worth giving it away.  But it's like throwing a rock into a pond.  There's a ripple and then the surface returns to normal.

Some people claim to get sales from this.  Someone explain how that works.  Did people see your name and remember it, then go to buy the book, or your other books?

Bad Apple 1 was downloaded 600 times.  Bad Apple 2 has sold 5 copies this month.  Bad Apple 3 has sold 4.  So because all those people were introduced to the series, it had no effect whatsoever on sales. Schtupid Cupid was downloaded a couple hundred times.  No sales after that.  Not a 1.  The verrine book is different.  That was downloaded 100+ times and there have been about 4 sales after. But it was already ranked in cookbooks where it could be found.  I can't attribute the sales to the freebie.

We can't make a business plan based on Dec.  Christmas only comes once a year.    Now we're in January.  Are you better off shooting your 5 at once or spreading it out over the 90 days?  If there was a record, a tally, for customers to see, yeah, I could believe that running 5 days and building up numbers in a lump would be good.  There is no tally.  The downside to running the 5 is that you have 11 weeks where you're paralyzed, you can't do anything.  There are no "Amazon tools" to help you.  Play with price all you want, knock yourself out. 

My conclusion is that for most of us this model is not going to work.

There is something that might.  It involves even more work.  Sorry.  Let me think a little bit more about it.

A treat from Porgy & Bess

George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, Ira Gershwin

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