In my last post, I discussed the Kindle Free Promotion days for my first novel, Eyelash. I had studied several accounts by other authors about the pros and cons of participating in this type of promotion, and I have to be perfectly honest here—this experience seriously generated very high and equally low emotions.
Best Advice-When you read the information on enrolling a book in KDP Select, digest it carefully. Review the FAQ section and then decide whether or not you really want to travel down this road. Don’t be confused by the sample numbers given. It is questionable whether or not this experience will be a big money-maker for you unless tons of people borrow your book on Amazon Prime.
The Results-I set my free promotion for Eyelash to run on Kindle on 8/15 and 8/16/12. In advance, I sent the information out to every site that I could access to help promote the free days. I was astounded as I saw the download numbers rolling in during the first day. After 2,000 free downloads, I asked my husband if he thought the total would reach 2,500. He was certain that it would.
By the end of the promotion, there were 13,181 downloads! Eyelash was #14 on the Kindle Best Seller List for Overall Fiction (free) at 9:21 p.m. on 8/16/12, #14 for all Kindle e-books (free) at 10:29 p.m., and #4 in Religious Fiction-Romance (free) at 5:45 p.m. I snapped screen shots from the Kindle Best Seller list so I could always look back and see what my eyes could hardly believe!
The good, the bad and the ugly:
The Good-Obviously, I was thrilled because of the great response and tremendous exposure to new readers. It absolutely translated into additional sales and interest in Never Say Perfect, my second novel. Sales for Eyelash dramatically increased once the promo period ended and the book was no longer free.
I had read that it was good to choose an older title to offer for the free promo days because it would lead to sales of one’s newer publications. This is definitely true. I'd like to offer a gigantic thank you to those who were nice enough to download during the promotion and also to help spread the word to others.
The Bad-Eyelash was my very first novel—my kindergarten-like literary experiment and a project I had published for the pure fun of it. I simply wrote it and had a blast without really knowing and understanding certain necessary pointers. We live in an age of desire for instant gratification, and when I wrote Eyelash, I seriously didn’t understand the importance of grabbing the reader on the first page or chapter or two. I was an advocate of the slow buildup, but have since learned that this approach generally will not keep the reader interested.
In writing my second novel, I studied from many resources that one must seize the reader and keep them spellbound to the end. Great improvements in this area were achieved in Never Say Perfect. As I write Never Say Hopeless, I am concentrating on this same aspect and also in remembering that the reader doesn’t want to be inundated with information that doesn’t aid the story in its progress. What I may see as entertaining little vignettes within the main story could also be viewed as useless drivel to some readers. There is a learning curve involved in most new endeavors--a painful fact.
The Ugly-I thought I was prepared for reading negative reviews from people who may be anti-Christian fiction or perhaps just didn’t “get” my humor or my first attempt at writing. Part of my problem is that I don’t have a mean bone in my body. If I don’t like something but, with a gun held to my head, am forced to comment, I try to find a polite way of expressing my thoughts. This is not the case with some folks out there in Readerland.
I am fully cognizant of the fact that one book does not generally please every reader. We all have different tastes, likes, dislikes and preferences in how a book progresses. As writers, we eventually have to face the fact that some people will simply hate our work; however, it’s nice if they keep that thought to themselves and don’t attempt to malign the book and author to others via nasty Amazon reviews. It takes solid, impenetrable skin to read those reviews and not feel sadness. We just want everyone to like the products that we have slaved over, even if we know this is asking the impossible.
Conclusion-Will I enroll Never Say Perfect on Kindle Select and run a free promotion in the future? It is, after all, a better book in every way, but I’m not sure. The jury is still out on this. Perhaps when Never Say Hopeless is published, I’ll be brave enough to cast NSP out into the waters of scrutiny to the critical masses for free for a couple of days. I’ll have to evaluate the thickness of my skin at that time. In the interim, I’m making Never Say Hopeless the most amazing story it can possibly be! With God’s help, we press forward and strive to learn new ways to excel and to glorify Him. Although I know I can't please every reader with every book, my goal is to continue producing material to which many people (probably baby boomer generation women) can relate in some way, to offer hope and inspiration and a temporary escape from any difficulties that may be dampening their spirits. I am thankful for those who loved Eyelash, and I am also overwhelmed by the amazing response to 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, a book that helps in memoir writing, based on wearing my Certified Lifewriting Instructor hat. Thank you to everyone who has responded so positively to this publication and shared it with others. You are awesome readers!
Great News-Watch for new, exciting blog posts featuring Anne Holmes of the National Association of Baby Boomer Women and Bob Soukup, a Florida senior citizen whose legs display his family history in the form of tattoos. There will be several fascinating interviews posted in the near future. Stop by and see us soon, and may God bless you as you travel life’s roller coaster paths!