MERRY CHRISTMAS, IWSG!!! Yes, I know it's early, but I also know that as the month progresses, more and more bloggers will disappear into the rounds of merrymaking, Christmas wrapping, and Nativity celebrations. Since I am an incredibly slow comment-returner - sometimes taking between two hours and a month - I might comment on your post and you might not find out until next year! So . . . Merry Christmas, early!
And, because IWSG is so awesome, we get to unwrap our first gift: The Insecure Writer's Support
The awesome Insecure Writer's Support Group, brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh, has blessed my writing and blogging life, and I am thankful for all of the IWSG list and especially, the IWSG teams (blog, facebook, and website!)
Giveaway Ideas for Marketing
Ok, I'm the first one to admit that marketing is an area I struggle with as a writer, but I have discovered a small increase in sales when I do a limited time giveaway.
Once upon a time, I gave away my first novel for free in three to five day swaths of time via the kindle select program. I gave away lots of copies, but did not increase my sales. Of course, this was partly because I was foolishly running these giveaways when I had only one title. So, first lesson learned: Only do giveaways when you have more than one title.
Next, I discovered that when I gave a title away for free for one day, then I had almost as many downloads as I had when I gave a title away for two to three days. Since kindle select only allows five free days in three months, then I was "wasting" my giveaway days in clumps instead of sprinkling them around. So, second lesson learned: Limit the time of the giveaway to one or two days.
Finally, I noticed other authors who had re-published short stories and poetry in their kindle select stores. Hmm. What did this mean? I toyed with the idea and printed a collection of stories and poetry. It did ok. I hadn't learned lesson #2 yet, and some of my giveaways backfired.
Later, I noticed that some authors had stand-alone short stories in their e-stores that they sold for 99 cents or gave away at random times. Hmm - again. (I'm a slow learner.)
In the last three months, I've re-pubbed three stories with a fourth planned to come out on December 10th. Each of these titles is a kindle select title - which means I'm limited to kindle at the moment and I can give each away five days within a three month period. I've experimented with #fridayfreebies - a one day giveaway on Fridays with different titles on different weeks. I've had between 8-57 downloads on those days.
But what did those giveaways really get me? These giveaways gave me a few new readers who liked my work enough to purchase a copy of one of my other, longer titles. Maybe this isn't much, but it is my newest marketing strategy and has gained a few sales.
If you have a few short stories (previously published are best for the "previously seen in MAGAZINE AWESOME effect"), then I highly recommend re-pubbing them as individual e-titles. Just make sure to adhere to the publishing rights signed in any previous published contracts (some free markets never buy the rights, and some markets purchase rights that give them sole publishing rights for 18 months or so).
Next step for me: I'll be turning one or two of my kindle select titles into titles at other ebook stores and then putting them on permafree . . . next year. These titles will be short story titles, so if you see a short story you think you might like in my amazon store, do not purchase them! Wait for a #fridayfreebie or for permafree possibilities. :)
Have you tried any new writing or marketing strategies lately? And, how did they work?
(Note: I also tried a few "paid" marketing places and basically threw my money into the pit of despair that way - not a recommended marketing strategy unless you have the oodles of money needed to use an expensive marketing group.)