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December 30, 2012 / benrovik

FREEDOM– The Thrilling Conclusion

There we have it!

The free promo for Aloft has ended, and it’s back up to being a regular ol’ ebook that you can buy on Amazon.

First off, I want to give a huge thank you to everyone who found the book and downloaded it during the three-day promoganza.  It was really exciting to watch Aloft rise up the rankings, and to think that there were people on the other side of each of those transactions who would be reading my stuff and (with any luck) enjoying it.  Thanks for getting curious and snatching up a book by an indie author like me!

Special thanks, too, to all my friends and supporters who took a moment to share the links around and spread the word.

All told, there were just under 400 copies of Aloft downloaded during this period.  The book reached around 1,500 in the overall free rankings, and peaked at #49 on the Romance > Fantasy & Futuristic Top 100 Free list.

I feel great about reaching more readers, and I’m very curious to see how sales of the other three Ben Rovik Books do in the next month, as people finish reading Aloft.  There are links in the ebook itself to Arm’s Length and The Wizard That Wasn’t, and a nice exciting sample from the latter.  If a percentage of the free readers start buying the other books, and reviewing and recommending them, I’ll be delighted.  I’ll keep you updated as the weeks go by.

There are authors who have a bigger impact from their promo days– who give away thousands of books during their promos, not hundreds.  I’d like to shoot for that next time. I have another two free days to use in the next couple months, and I have a few thoughts:

  • Promo sites are telling the truth when they say they might not post your free listing.

Snickslist, Zwoodlebooks, Author Marketing Club, Free Kindle Fiction and Book Deal Hunter are places where I know my entry for Aloft showed up.  There were also a number of other sites where Aloft appeared once it got on a Top 100 romance list.   But as for all the forms I filled in, requesting free publicity? Many wound up not having space, just like they said they would.

This might have been a symptom of doing a promo between huge holidays.  A great idea on paper, since so many people were getting new Kindles after Xmas, but if I had the idea then everyone else did too.  These sites openly declared themselves saturated by promo requests.

  • Paying a little money for guaranteed listings, especially on the bigger sites, might be worth it.

Some of these sites ask only $5 to guarantee that your title shows up, and prominently, with a cover image.  If it’s a site with tons of visitors, that might actually be meaningful.  Jeff Bennington budgets a couple hundred dollars for each of his promos to make them work.  Putting in time to request free listings that don’t happen might not be a good use of resources.

Then again, maybe the free listings were just impossible to come by during the holidays, and in another time of year it would work better.

  • KDP Select isn’t a deux ex machina.

That’s the final takeaway for me.  I wanted to play around with the program, and, again, I’m delighted that it’s helped me reach more people, especially if a few of them leave reviews or buy another book.  But one short promo was never going to be the tipping point that set me up with a full-time income from the things I’ve written.  I’ve got to keep working on my series, and reaching out to readers and peers whenever I can, and keep putting out more good products.  This is a long-term process; my wife says I’m working on our retirement plan with the books here.  There are certainly plenty of cases of great authors whose works took that long to catch on and get noticed.

  • Watching the rankings was super-fun.

Number-obsessed much?  I loved checking how the book was doing, and continued to have fun doing so even after it plateaued.    Now climbing the Top 100 Paid books; that’d be really fun to watch.

Gentle readers, thanks again for checking in during all this promotion, and putting up with seeing this link and this cover for, like, a million posts in a row.  I’m going to put down my entrepreneur’s silk top hat and put on my writer’s tousled hair and stubble now, and get back to work on The Fate of the Faithful: Mech Wiz Book Three.  Writing!  What a ‘novel’ thing for a writer to do!
*snickers, stuffs face with butterscotch pie, clicks ‘publish’*



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