Sunday, July 27, 2014

Are there benefits?

Some people question the wisdom in the amazon Kindle give-aways.  Is there a benefit to giving away your work for three days?  Is there a benefit to giving away your work for three days once those three days have ended?

Well, truth be told - I don't know.

I've done the give-aways before, but I've never really tracked what it does other than in the "Top Free Kindle" section of amazon.

This time, I watched it a little differently to see what it was doing elsewhere.

At first I watched only the Free rankings and "Whimsey: A Novel" did consistently well in the Free Contemporary Women's Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Southern Fiction, Girlfriends Fiction, Lowcountry Fiction, and Magical Realism novels.  Its ranking in the "Top Free Kindle" section surprised me by breaking the Top 100 for a while, and then hanging in the 100-120 range.

How did I come up with those particular categories to search?

Well, they're the categories I search fairly often at when I'm looking for something new to read.  I guess it only makes sense that because those are books I enjoy, that that's the kind of book I wrote.  

Yes, I love mysteries and thrillers and suspense and gothic and young adult and some westerns, but one book at a time . . . .  Whimsey has already drawn some criticism for not having a hard and fast niche, can you imagine this newbie writer attempting to force even more elements into a debut novel?  Pfft.  Readers would throw it against a wall.  Deservedly so.

Anyhoooo -

So this morning I carried my search for my Whimsey: A Novel into some of these same categories to see how it's doing now that the give-away is finished.  Remember now - these rankings are updated hourly, so they're very fluid.

Here's what I found:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,764,087 in Books

Searching in the KINDLE STORE:

Southern Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #47  (Behind Dorothea Benton Frank's THE HURRICANE SISTERS at #33, ahead of Mary Alice Monroe's THE SUMMER WIND at #48 - two of my favorite writers).

Southern Women's Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #2

Lowcountry Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #1

Girlfriend's Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #6

Magical Realism Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #3

Searching in BOOKS (rather than just in the KINDLE STORE):

Southern Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #70  

Southern Women's Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #6

Lowcountry Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #3

Girlfriend's Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #8

Magical Realism Fiction:  WHIMSEY is #5

Some more information that some of you considering whether to do Kindle give-aways at amazon or not.  

The first Kindle give-away I did was when Whimsey was first published.  There were a few hundred takers.

This time, after Whimsey has been out for over a year, there were over 3,000 takers.  

I didn't do any more promotion for this give-away than I did the first one.  I think the difference in the number of takers comes from the fact that people who have already read Whimsey jumped on the bandwagon and helped promote it by telling their friends, who told their friends, etc.  If you were one of these folks - Mwah!  Thank You!

Some of you may be shaking your head saying, "you GAVE AWAY 3,000 copies of your book?!"  Well, here's the thing - those 3,000 people weren't buying the book on its own, or they would have already bought it.  So now I have 3,000 more people knowing about it than I did 4 days ago.  Hopefully, some of these people will enjoy it enough to pass the word. 

Word of mouth is still the best selling tool for books, in my opinion.  And for an indy author, that's a "for sure."

You notice I said, "Hopefully, some of these people will enjoy it enough to pass the word."

There's always that other side of the coin.  Some people are going to hate it.  And they are not going to hesitate to tell me and the rest of the amazon reading world just how much they hate it.  

And yes, it's gonna hurt.  But, there's not a thing in the world I can do about it.

I mean, I "could."  I could attack right back, and those of you who know me, know just how likely I am to jump back into the fray . . . 

But.  I'm not going to do that.

What confuses me is the number of people who don't like a book, but will still read it till the end.  Why??  Life is too short to read a book you hate.  Isn't it?  It is for me.  

But, anyhoooooo - - - 

I started putting these numbers and rankings together just to see what was what.  

Some of you may be considering whether or not you're going to do a Kindle give-away, and if you want to do it for one day, or five days.  Simultaneously, or broken up day by day.  Maybe this will help you decide what you'd like to do.

Whatever you decide - I wish you luck.

Just as I believe women should stick together, I believe writers should stick together.  Be they traditionally published, indy published, whatever.  Writers of literary fiction, genre fiction, whatever.

And if you're read Whimsey - Thank You!  I hope you enjoyed it!  
If you haven't, I hope you'll give it a try, AND, I hope you enjoy it.

Donald (silly man!) spots Whimsey at Quarter Moon books, Topsail Island, NC
I'll be doing a signing there again this year in September


Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum said...

I've only done one Amazon giveaway. It was for my first Malone Mystery, "Mixed Messages." I don't have the numbers at hand but it did very well when it was FREE and for several days after that. Then, nothing. Still, as you mentioned, it brought attention to the book.
Oh, and did I get a lot of reviews! Unfortunately, several of them were from people - like the ones you mentioned - who evidently hated the book but read it anyway. I agree with you. Life is too short to waste time reading a book you don't like. My opinion: some people are so miserable that they want to bring down the rest of us. The trick is: ignore them!

Libby Dodd said...

People who choose to post nasty "reviews" on amazon puzzle me. So often they are of the "I don't like this kind of story" type. Well, that's your personal liking (or lack thereof). Read something else.
I make it a policy to not post a review if I can't give the book at least 3 stars. This may be exactly the book someone else is looking for, even if it wasn't mine.

Eileen said...

I think that giveaways are a good thing. I have downloaded a lot of first books in series, liked them and bought the next ones. I won a copy of Whimsey in a contest but my daughter downloaded it and also the story about Harley. Sometimes our tastes mesh; sometimes not but she'll try it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, you've got some terrific numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Congrats!!!!!! Thelma in Manhattan