Posts Tagged ‘free ebooks’

On June 4, 2012, I wrote a blog entitled “Going Free as a Group–Does it Still Work?”  I published the blog right before I banded together with seven other great authors to gain maximum exposure for our two free days (June 4th and 5th).  The event was called #Reads4Free.

Quite honestly, I was a bit skeptical regarding what type of results we would get.  After all, none of us had ever organized an event of that magnitude before.  Right as the event was getting ready to start, I had resigned myself to the possibility that the countless hours we had poured into preparation would not yield the results we wanted.  Results that were intimately tied to the excitement we all felt about the event.

FORTUNATELY, THE DOUBTS WERE ILL-FOUNDED

What occurred June 4th and 5th was actually a bit startling.  Let’s start with some of the stats.  Seven of the eight books involved hit the top 100  free books on Amazon.  Doug Dorow’s “The Ninth District” topped out at #5 overall.  Rob Guthrie’s “Black Beast” topped out at #9 overall.  My second thriller, “Allegiance,” reached #15.  Elise Stokes’ second YA adventure book, “Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula,” reached the top 35.  The only book not to reach the top 100 still performed extremely well for its genre–anthologies–which generally do not climb as high as individual novels.

IN ALL, WE SURPASSED 75K DOWNLOADS IN THIS SINGLE EVENT

Gulp.  Yeah.  Over 75k books downloaded in the first #Reads4Free event.  A first event where we undoubtedly had hiccups and mistakes.  A first event where kinks will be ironed out for #Reads4Free redux.

Climbing the free charts is exciting and worthwhile in its own respect.  It means you got exposure.  People have your book in their reading device, and setting aside debates as to whether they will read it, the first step in doing so is owning it.  However, we’re in this profession for another reason, as well.  To make some money.  Especially as indie authors, we are juggling a job (or multiple jobs), families, marketing, promoting, networking, events, etc., so more than anyone else, we are relentless about the pursuit of our singular dream–making writing our full-time and only job.

So, it was important to track books after the free event, and how they performed once they went paid.  It was painfully obvious that the heyday of KDPS had passed.  With the numbers of downloads each of our books received, some of those books should have gotten into the top 50 paid books as well.  In the US at least, Doug Dorow’s book was the only one to reach that level.  However, fear not (at least, not yet) because there was a positive impact on most of our books.  Specifically, all of us had a nice bump in paid sales that we were able to maintain with other methods such as pricing and advertising.

Here are the things I took away from the event:

  1. Going free on your own and doing no pre-free preparation is absolutely off the table.  Won’t work, and in fact, could hurt your rankings.
  2. Going free as a group that works hard and works together is still viable.
  3. Going back to paid is a rough ride, but through pricing and particularly, with some well placed ads, you can mitigate that transition.

That’s dem apples.  If you’re interested in being a part of a future event, email me at publisher@rogue-books.com.

You know what I love about being indie?  My world isn’t a cloistered cave of writing and talking to just my editor and/or agent.  My world is literally full of thousands of other indie authors that brighten up everyday for me with their generosity.

GROUP FRIGGIN’ HUG

Okay, that bit of sentimentality aside, I’ve actually got a point here.  Let’s start with Kindle Direct Publishing Select.  When it started out, you could go free on your own and get thousands of downloads.  But, like anything else in this (insert expletive) world, there’s no free pass to success.  Honestly, some days I wish I would wake up with two things: (1) perfect vision, dammit, and (2) about 50 million dollars.  I digress.  So, no free pass to success.  What does that mean several months after KDPS started?  Going free and doing it solo–not so successful anymore.  And you’ve heard it from a whole bunch of people who continue to do the same thing and expect the same results.  Bottom line, those results ain’t there, so we’ve got to adapt.

What’s a way to deal with this?  Think like an indie my friend.  Going “solo free” (I’ll coin that term right here) is so freaking traditional author.  Going free with a group of great indie authors?  Now you’re thinking.

Let’s get one thing straight.  Going free as a group is nothing novel.  There are other groups that do free events.  However, there’s no way any one organization can provide all of your promo needs.  For one, it makes sense to diversify your advertising dollars.  For two (can you say “for two”?), if you have multiple books, then a single organization may not have enough free events for you.  That’s kinda where I was, which is why I did the following.

Through my publishing arm (haha, always wanted to say that.  My publishing arm are these two hands, and when I can get his lazy ass going, one of my dogs), I have organized eight of the most excellent indie authors I know to go free as a group.  Of course, I know more than eight excellent indie authors, but there will be more events.  The point?  We have worked our tails off to put this event together (another reason to pay the IBC their entry fee and sit back while their staff run the promo for you!)  We have canvassed the entire world of indie publishing and advertising, or so it seems.  The bigger point.  THERE’S NO WAY YOU COULD DO THIS AS A SOLO FREE.

This world of publishing changes so damn quickly, so who knows how long going free as a group will be successful.  However, we indie authors are the small tribe that can adapt to change on a dime.  Let the bureaucracy of the traditional publishing world die.  In the meantime, we’ll evolve, come together, and take advantage of whatever we can to sell more books.

With that being said, here are the awesome authors involved in the group event, appropriately titled #Reads4Free.  You, my dear indie authors, owe it to them to go download their free books.  Just as we will owe it to you when you go free.

FREE ON JUNE 4TH AND 5TH  ONLY

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Oh GOODNASS, don’t those books look sexy?  Check them out on the webpage we built.  Seriously, they look dead sexy there, and you can find out more info about what you’re downloading.  Click on any cover to be transported (the click comes with a drop of acid).  Or, just click on this hyperlink: http://www.rogue-books.com/#!Reads4Free/cj6w

Over and out my friends.  If you’re interested in being part of an Indie Book Collective event, or another of my #Reads4Free events through Rogue Books, then just send me an email at enemyinblue@gmail.com.