Monday, February 27, 2017

GoodReads Giveaway Versus KDO Select FREE Days Promotion

I just finished a three day FREE campaign on Amazon KDP Select for my novel The Predator and The Prey. Despite advertising and promoting the campaign, I only had 475 downloads. The book managed to climb as high as Number Three in the Top 100 Free for Noir Crime.

The Predator and The Prey climbed to Number Six in the Top 100 Free in Science Fiction Adventure.

It could be argued I should have used all five days to let the campaign gain momentum. Looking at my data you can see that was not a likely outcome.


February 24 was the best day with 229 downloads. February 25 saw a total of 162 downloads with a total of 84 downloads on the final day, February 26, for a total of 475 copies downloaded. 

I'm not sure what my results were supposed to have been. For the categories my book belongs to this might an excellent result. I've also read a good campaign should result in around 5,000 downloads. With that as a standard, my novel didn't do so well.

Without something to compare to, I have no idea, beyond the comment made by a blogger I cannot remember, to determine if this was a decent result.

Any reader who has data on their novel's FREE KDP Select campaign and is willing to share, I would love to hear how your book did and how you organized your campaign.

There has been no uptick in sales and it will be awhile before any reviews might be forthcoming.

My next campaign to promote The Predator and The Prey will be a GoodReads Giveaway promotion. Starting March 6 and running till March 24, I will be offering three signed copies of The Predator and The Prey in the Giveaway Promotion.

For those not familiar with this promotional tactic, and I wasn't until recently, it might be an effective way to promote your book, fiction or non-fiction, all at a very low cost.

To participate in the program as an author or a reader, you must have a GoodReads account. 

The image above shows the left portion of the GoodReads toolbar at the top of the page. Click on browse and you will see a listing of a variety of possible choices in the drop down menu, one of which will be Giveaways.

The image show above shows the options you will see when you click on Giveaways. Books can be found in any of the four possible categories. If you look at the far right of the image you will see the options you have to choose from, one of which is to list a Giveaway. Click on this and you will see the form below appear.

You will need to read the rules, terms, etc, of the agreement. GoodReads uses an algorithm to determine the winner or winners. You will be notified who the winners are and have three weeks to deliver the prize, the print copy of your book.

If you will note, there is an option that is already checked below the box requiring the reader to acknowledge they have read the terms of the giveaway. That little box will add your book to every participating reader's To Read Bookshelf.

Readers like to see what their friends on GoodReads are reading. Like reviews on Amazon, being displayed on a To Read shelf is social affirmation the book is worth checking out. Data provided to me by GoodReads when I created my first campaign for The Predator and The Prey stated the average number of reviews garnered from a Giveway is 60%. In other words, give away ten copies and you should receive six reviews. 

Before I run another campaign on KDP Select, I plan to collect the data from my March Giveaway program to compare.

I can run as many campaigns for my book as I want so long as they are not simultaneous. This will allow me to generate data I can compare on length of campaign, how I promoted it, the number of readers who signed up for the promotion. Based on the norm, I will also pick up reviews.

Lately I have been reading the FREE campaign on KDP Select has lost a lot of its effectiveness. I can speculate as to why. Kindle Unlimited is how Amazon wants readers to read free books, not downloading my FREE promotional copies. So Amazon just changes its algorithm to reflect that desired change.

GoodReads on the other hand lets me run a promotion that only involves giving away a few paperback copies (as low as one and as high as I want. The supposed best number of copies to offer, signed of course, is ten). I then get the benefit of reviews and social affirmation of having my book, with its cover image, listed on as many readers To Read Bookshelves as signed up for the giveaway promotion.

As far as I am concerned, the only real advantage of having a book listed in KDP Select is the ability to have five FREE days of giveaways. If GoodReads has a better promotion than KDP Select, it opens up the possibility of listing the book on Draft2Digital for sale on other retail platforms (I prefer to use a distributor than to go to the trouble of uploading the file individually to each platform).
Again, if any author has had experience with a GoodReads Giveaway promotion and is willing to share their thoughts about the program, positive or negative, please share in the comments.