Self publishing has become one ongoing experiment. It’s strange to step back from the traditional publishing house and do this all myself, but it’s also a great learning lesson.
I experimented with a few free promotions the past two weeks. I gave free copies of Second Chance away on Friday, September 14th, but I didn’t really publicize it. I just posted a quick comment on Twitter, then I turned off my computer and tried not to think about it. I drove out to Crater Lake, Oregon, where there is zero cell phone service or Internet. Here are a few pictures from the trip. Not a bad getaway destination…
When I got back on Sunday night, I noticed 250 people had downloaded my book during the promotion. I felt pretty good about it, but then I started poking around other sites and realized that number is pathetically low for a free giveaway.
So, I tried it again, and gave away free copies of Second Chance for two days. This time, I publicized the event. I contacted a couple of sites, like Pixel of Ink, Ereader News Today, and Free eBooks Daily (there are a TON of sites out there that do free marketing; I got dizzy just looking at the lists). I contacted about twenty bloggers, my agent, and even Houghton Mifflin Harcourt was kind enough to tweet about it.
In just the first day of this promotion, 4,000 copies were downloaded, it made the top fifty books in Kindle, and made a number one spot in a Kindle category. I stared at the number—4,000 free books! Instead of feeling ecstatic, I wanted to ball my eyes out. Seriously, I’m such a drama queen. It felt so strange to give so many copies of my book away for free, but people keep reminding me it’s great publicity. Well, here’s hoping.
I guess the point of all of this isn’t to hit high rankings or make a bestseller list. I’m just proud of this book and I think it deserves a spot on people’s bookshelves. I’m trying to prove to my publisher that it’s worth picking up. I want to hold this book in my hands, so I hope this will create the buzz I need to make that happen. I also LOVE GRAY AND DYLAN. I have never had so much fun spending time with characters.
If you do download it, tell your friends about it, or write a positive review for me.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you thank you thank you to all of my friends and fans who helped to spread the word about my promotion. I wish I could take every single one of you out for a glass of wine. Maybe someday.