A few weeks ago I whacked my book, Stealing Mercy, to free. I posted about this decision and you can read about it here.
This is/was an experiment. This summer I lowered Mercy to .99 cents when I participated in a group promotion. It took weeks for it to fall to .99 cents and then after the promo when I tried raising the price, again it took weeks and weeks. I honestly didn’t know if Amazon would ever drop the price to free even though it was free on all the other e-readers. But on Thursday morning when I woke up and checked my Amazon page, Stealing Mercy was not only free, it was also ranked #38 on Amazon’s historical romance list. I watched it throughout the day as it moved from 38 to 30 to 17 to 7 to 5 to 3. Currently, it’s #1 in historical romance and #7 overall.
I am not putting Mercy into the kindle select program, so I don’t know why Amazon would go out of its way to promote me. It had 12 reviews, but one of them disappeared. I don’t know why that particular review went astray, but since I have heard of it happening to other authors, I can only scratch my head in wonderment. I’ve been doing that a lot for the past few days. I now have 13 reviews.
I managed to let a few online promotional sites (like 3) know about Mercy’s freedom, but since we had out of town guests staying with us for the last few days I don’t know how, or if, they have featured Mercy in anyway. What I’m saying is—I really don’t know why Mercy is doing so well. I wish I could point a finger and say, ah-ha—well, no wonder. How did I miss this gem of marketing brilliance before? Now all of my books will sell like hot coals on a cold winter night because I’ve learned the secret.
But I haven’t learned the secret. Here are a few of my marketing attempts:
I have a blog
I participate on a group blog
Occasionally I make comments on the writer’s cafe kindle boards. I usually really enjoy this. I find the writers to be witty, intelligent and for the most part, generous, helpful and kind. To my amazement, I have found that when I start a thread (conversation) my comment will get thousands of views. The first time I commented in the writer’s café, I had over 500 visitors on my blog that day. Go figure.
I belong to several online writers’ groups. I rarely comment on them, but I love to read and learn. I am lucky to “know” them, even if I wouldn’t recognize any of them if I passed them on the street.
I try to take advantage of every free promotional opportunity I stumble across. Today, for example, my novel The Rhyme’s Library is featured on Predatory Ethics. http://mad-gods.com/blog/?p=2101
In short—I’m lucky. I’ve always known this to be true. My husband claims I’m the luckiest person he knows. My three day ‘sales’ was at 9,000 when I left for church. I thought maybe I’ll be over 10,000 by the time I get home. I now have close to 20,000.
Why would I give my book away for free? Because I want readers to love Stealing Mercy so much that they'll rush out and buy my other books. Maybe that won't happen. Maybe there is a group of readers who only read free books. The proof is in the pie. (Mercy, my protagonist in Stealing Mercy, is a pie maker.)
Head scratching continues.