Tuesday, 10 May 2016

More Honest Numbers from a Kindle Giveaway

Back in March I blogged my numbers for an Amazon free promotion of my post-apocalyptic novel Radio Hope. Click the link to see the data. I just finished another giveaway, this time for The Scavenger, a 10,000 word short set in the same world. It also includes the first three chapters of Radio Hope as a teaser.

As usual when I do a promo, I tweeted and blogged about it, and I bought an ad in Book Barbarian, a newsletter catering to fantasy and science fiction fans. It goes out to more than 12,000 subscribers and my ad was posted on their Facebook page, which has 12,867 fans. The ad cost $25 and ran on May 6. Here are my numbers broken down by country:

Thursday, May 5: US (47), UK (3), Germany (1), Spain (1)

Friday, May 6 (Book Barbarian ad): US (616), UK (1), Germany (1), Netherlands (1), Canada (1), Australia (1)

Saturday, May 7: US (118), UK (2), Germany (1), Canada (1)

Sunday, May 8: US (52), UK (1)

Monday, May 9: US (29), UK (1), Canada (1)

TOTAL: US (862), UK (8), Germany (3), Spain (1), Netherlands (1), Canada (3), Australia (1)

GRAND TOTAL: 879 downloads

As you can see, there was a major spike on the day of my ad, and a sizeable tail for the following day. That launched me into the top five in two categories, where I remained for the next couple of days.

Otherwise the giveaway was rather lackluster. I have a couple of explanations for this. First off, this was the fourth time I've done a giveaway for this title, meaning quite a few people who search for this genre have already downloaded it (or decided they're not interested!). Second, note that my categories are in Kindle Short Reads. When Radio Hope got in the top ten for post-apocalyptic novels, that led to a lot more downloads than I'm seeing this time. It's been shown time and again, with my data and others, that readers prefer full novels to shorts. It appears that considerably more people are checking the top free books in novels than in Kindle Short Reads. I'm one of those people!

It's also interesting to note how few downloads I had outside the US. Normally about 15% of my sales on any given month are to the UK, with another 5% to the rest of the world combined. But for this giveaway non-US downloads accounted for only a little more than 2% of the total. The Radio Hope giveaway also didn't do so well beyond the US. I have no idea why this is the case, although part of it certainly is that low initial downloads kept me from getting into the top ten of these markets, hurting visibility and stifling downloads.

So was it worth the $25 I paid for the ad? Yes. Getting my book on 879 devices will lead to a lot more readers, some of whom will go on to buy the other books in my series. These giveaways are part of an ongoing process to raise the profile of my writing. There won't be any overnight successes, but a gradual climb upwards. It's already been heading that way thanks to my previous giveaway.

I hope this helps some of my fellow writers out there!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Interesting more Americans downloaded it this time. That was quite a spike the day of the ad.

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for the information. I'll be adding a short to my books this June.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.