Wednesday, December 3, 2014

IWSG: Merry Christmas (IWSG Book Present!), and Giveaway Ideas for Marketing



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!)
Thank you!

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.)

28 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Previously seen in awesome magazine - that made me chuckle!
I wonder if previously seen in awesome anthology is close enough?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks for sharing all these ideas! :)

S.K. Anthony said...

These are great tips, I haven't done any marketing in a long time, but then again it feels like time is slipping away from me. Cool post! :)

cleemckenzie said...

NIce idea to give this anthology as a Christmas gift to a writer friend! Great marketing tips, Tyrean. If you're slow, I'm right behind you.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm glad I made you chuckle! And yes, previously seen in awesome anthology would be great too! :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome, Madeline!

Tyrean Martinson said...

S.K. - glad you liked them. Thanks!

Tyrean Martinson said...

C.Lee - I think it makes a great gift . . .and you are way ahead of me at commenting, marketing, and writing. You are amazing!

Morgan said...

I'm scared for when I have to market… it seems… impossible… loved reading what you've learned though, Tyrean. So helpful!

Sarah Ahiers said...

I haven't tried any marketing yet, but I HAVE started to freak out about how soon Xmas is...

Sarah Foster said...

I don't have to worry about marketing *yet* but I love your tips! Thanks for sharing!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks for sharing your tips and examples of success and not so much. I haven't tried anything new lately.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we have to learn the hard way. When I first began, someone told me that not only did I hit every wall and pothole, I made up a few along the way, just to make it interesting.

Stephanie Faris said...

I do Goodreads giveaways for my books--one book is all that's necessary to get a lot of adds to people's to-read lists. For e-books, I worked with a guy who read a free e-book that ended with a cliffhanger. You had to buy Book 2. I always thought that sounded brilliant--make the first book free and end it in a way that compels people to buy Book 2!

Maurice Mitchell said...

"Re-pubbing" sounds like a great way to freshen up content Tyrean. Good tip for my brother

Feather Stone said...

We should compare marketing mistakes one of these days. LOL.

Tyrean Martinson said...

It is scary, but you can do it, Morgan!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, it is close!

Tyrean Martinson said...

You're welcome!

Tyrean Martinson said...

It's tough to figure out where to try something new . . . or, at least it is for me.

Tyrean Martinson said...

LOL - that's what I feel like. I found new potholes and rode through them.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great ideas! I might try the cliff-hanger idea sometime next year, but I want to make sure that book 2 comes quick after book 1.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Maurice - I think your brother has done some of this . . . or at least, he's one author that I noticed has some short story content which I think is a great way to introduce ourselves to new readers.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Yes, maybe we need a blog fest on "Worst Marketing Mistakes" or "Biggest Potholes" . . .

LOL

LD Masterson said...

Great tips. I love learning from the experience of others so I don't have to make ALL the mistakes myself.

Nick Wilford said...

This sounds like a great idea. I might just try it. Everyone loves a freebie!

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic tips! Thanks for sharing. Marketing is always so difficult. I think it does help to have a few shorter, perma-free works out there to garner interest in the longer ones.

lilicasplace.com said...

This was a great post Tyrean, thanks for sharing. Wishing you an amazing holiday season too. Eva