UPDATE: Last June, shortly after my books were published on Kindle, I wrote the spot that begins mid page: How Many Stars on Goodreads and Amazon? Since then, I no longer do book giveaways. Why? I did not experience residual sales after promos ended, nor did I receive ANY reviews. In contrast, when I do 99 cent sales along with inexpensive ads here and there, I sell as many books as when they were free: from a couple of hundred to over one thousand. Residual sales at full price also occur, though not at the same pace as when the books are 99 cents. Equally important: I get reviews!
Why don’t giveaways work? I don’t know. I suspect people don’t value free stuff. They wonder why no one is willing to pay for it. After I downloaded several free books, I understood why. There may be some gems out there — I’m positive there are — but I haven’t found any. Many of the ones I read had clearly not been edited, formatted, or even properly proofread. Again — before I get a bunch of outraged comments — I’m sure there are some great free books, and I’ve read the Amazon newsletters describing indie success using the giveaway strategy. It just didn’t work for me nor a couple of other traditionally published authors with whom I share war stories.
Here’s What I Wrote Last June:
How Many Stars on Goodreads and Amazon?
I offered free Kindle versions of both my novels in the past month, and about 2,000 customers downloaded them. My novels only cost $3.99, so I don’t think price is why I had such a spike on free days; I think it’s the free advertising you get on sites that follow free book deals.
The dilemma for the author: why offer something for free when your object is to sell books? The answer is, to get your name out there, make Amazon aware of you, make readers aware of you and, hopefully, get some good customer reviews.
So far on Amazon, I have received mostly five-star customer reviews. In case you were wondering, there is no way for the author to manipulate or add reviews. Friends who bought your book can add reviews, but all my reviews, except one, are from strangers. I am honored that people gave me such raves.
On Goodreads, I don’t have many reviews, but they are all over the place. To be honest, I consider PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, GONE WITH THE WIND, DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH, and other classics to be five-star books. While I am happy to receive good ratings, I’m not stupid enough to think my books are on a par with Jane Austen’s or Edith Wharton’s. THEY are 5-star writers.
So for those people who downloaded my books for free, the hope is that you will provide a review, and a nice one. Please know, however, that no offense is taken if the ratings aren’t five stars. I’m no Hemingway and I don’t expect to be treated as one. I’m just grateful that people take the time to read my books.
REGRET NOT A MOMENT amzn.com/B00C3PAR1W
NO MORE LONELY NIGHTS amzn.com/B00CJYQB5S