Okay, this is good, as a result of this promotion I’ve sold enough books to buy a new car! Yup, a new Corvette…and here it is:
So lets look at the final results. First, we need to understand the distribution. BIL is currently exclusively listed by Amazon, both in softcover and, via Kindle, as an ebook. (The Collingwood Legacy is not. Hence, it is available via Smashword, Kobo, Barns and Noble, etc. Someday, when I’ve figured it out I’ll make an educated guess: exclusive to Amazon or not.) Anyway, back to the grist of this. There are eleven Amazon sites, e.g. Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, etc. They are as follows:
• UK Kindle Store: United Kingdom (including Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey)
• DE Kinde Store: Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, and Switzerland
• FR Kindle Store: France, Monaco, Belgium, Switzerland, and Luxembourg
• ES Kindle Store: Andorra, Spain
• IT Kindle Store: Italy, San Marino, Vatican City, and Switzerland
• Japan Kindle Store: Japan
• BR Kindle Store: Brazil
• MX Kindle Store: Mexico
• CA Kindle Store: Canada
• India Kindle Store on www.amazon.com: India
I’m prohibited from telling you the numbers downloaded at each site. However, I will say that I was a bit surprised by the results. By the end of the promotion Betrayal in the Louvre was ranked #102 on the list of Free Amazon Kindle books and #3 in Historical fiction! (See attached)
Now, at the risk of Amazon being upset, well north of two thousand downloads were made in the USA alone. So the question becomes “How did that translate to sales?”
Honestly, I don’t know if I have a good answer. Certainly some sales of the book have occurred, witness my new car above! 🙂 But not a great number. Interestingly, nearly as many sales (as opposed to free downloads) have occurred in France than even here in the USA since the promotion. I find that interesting because the book is in English, about a couple of Americans and not advertised there a great deal. So, thanks to the French! There have been a few sales of the next book, The Collingwood Legacy. And, that was really the goal wasn’t it? The people who enjoy reading an indie author tend to get their books from giveaways. I would to, its the way the industry is right now.
Lets face it, an indie author doesn’t have a lot of cash to spend on advertising. The only mass outlet is a free giveaway. Paid advertisements, even if the author makes the decision to spend the coin, are expensive. Until that author has a substantial following, and I believe, a substantial number of books to sell I really don’t see the return on investment. I’m setting a goal of four books listed on line before I start spending any money on advertisements. Lets keep in mind the original goals: 1) Tell a good story for the family; 2) This is just for fun, not for profit; 3) Learn a little bit about the indie world and share it with others.
So, here’s the most important thing. On the three nights of the give away Eve and I checked the Amazon site every couple of hours. We were nuts, absolutely caught up in the excitement of watching the book rise in the rankings. It was fun. Mission accomplished.
Two other amazing things happened. One lady posted a review on the Amazon site saying that she would rank the book 5 stars because my bio sounded like I’m a guy it would be fun to sit and talk with. How cool is that!? What a nice person to write that. Some may question her ranking a book before reading it to which I reply, “C’mon, let’s not get too serious over a free ebook.”
The second amazing thing was a note I received via this web site from a lady in England. She was a bit miffed about some misspelled words. I’m truly sorry those mistakes caused irritation. I wrote her back and told her how embarrassed I was, how much her feedback was valued and hoped she would forgive me. Guess what…she wrote back, said she enjoyed the story and after she’d received my reply any additional mistakes she made simply made her smile. So, I had two takeaways on that, first and most important, I made someone smile (mostly by looking like an idiot that can’t spell but hey, a smile is a smile) and two, I’ve got to go back and reread the book, correct any misspellings and replace it on Amazon.
One word about editing. When a book is written it is read and reread a dozen times. Misspellings are difficult to catch after the second or third time through because the mind knows what the word is before the eyes finish seeing all the letters. Take this sentence for for example. Did you catch that? I’ll bet you missed the second ‘for’ didn’t you? Enough said. I’ll work harder. (Oh, and remember, no paid editors, this is for fun and I’m cheap.)