According to the global behemoth that is Amazon, it’s still day one of my five day giveaway. For me, it’s Friday morning. Time to take stock of the first day.
My last two giveaways generated 279 downloads for Love, Death and Tea and 247 for Global Domination for Beginners. At the time, I was quite happy with those numbers. Of course you hope for more, but it’s a big tough world out there. It’s a competitive market.
I had two goals when I started the current campaign. As a minimum I was looking for 500 downloads – twice what I achieved last time. But I really was hoping for more than 1,000.
Yesterday starting in a similar way. By lunchtime we had managed 66 downloads. Respectable, but not exactly setting the world on fire.
Over lunch it jumped to 205. Through the afternoon the number rose until just after 6 o’clock when we hit 1,000.
We had our 2,000th download just after midnight. That’s when I went to bed.
I woke up to 2,664 downloads.
On Amazon.com we are #1 in general humour and #66 in free books.
On Amazon.co.uk we are #4 in fantasy/ contemporary
On Amazon.de we are #1 in English books/ komiks
Okay, so it’s not Harry Potter. I haven’t yet earned a single penny piece from all these free downloads. But I am very happy with what we have achieved. And it is still only day one.
What has changed since September 2014 when the first five day giveaway for Love, Death and Tea netted 279 downloads?
Two things – I changed the cover and I am paying for websites to market the book this time.
There are sharks and charlatans out there. The self-publishing industry is full of people who will cheerfully charge you an arm and a leg to edit, prepare and market your books. You could easily spend thousands on fancy editors, PR experts, cover designers, marketing campaigns. Heck, you can even pay for reviews.
That may tempt Johnny NewAuthor to go it alone. To avoid the sharks and charlatans, we do everything ourselves. We design our own covers, edit our own books, do our own marketing. We ask ourselves “how hard can it be?”
But I am coming to realise that there is an inalienable truth hidden in all this. Yes, we can self-publish a book for very little cost. But it would take a huge slice of luck for a wholly self-made book to succeed. And you would need skills in marketing and cover design and editing that I simply don’t have.
In the early days of self-pubbing you might have got away with cheap and cheerful. But not any more. Now this needs to be more of a business.
More updates to come during the day. The next goal is 3,000. And I didn’t think I would ever be saying that.
Update at 7.10 in the evening. It has been a slower day today. We have had 355 downloads. Added to yesterday’s 2,664 and that takes us over the 3,000 mark.