Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Aftermath of the Fated Encounters 'Golden Hour'

Well, one word really; disappointing.

It achieved the aim of getting into the top 100, therefore can be classed as an Amazon Best Seller but really I am more than a little disappointed. So, now I have to do the post mortem and find out why it failed to get into the top 10.

A couple of points to note that I'm told I need to factor in:

1. It is an entirely different genre to Russian Redemption.
2. It is a short story.
3. My first book was only published in September 2013 so, in Author terms, I'm still unknown.

I can get most of that but they just sound like excuses. I spent more time promoting the launch than I ever did for Russian Redemption. It was supported by this blog site, an email campaign, the web site and numerous other ways, so why didn't it achieve it's goal?

The obvious answer is that not enough people were interested enough to download a free Romance short story by an unknown Author, I refuse to believe that not enough people saw it.

This whole thing has got me thinking, or rethinking I should say, about my strategies. Is there really any value in the 'promo days'? Some authors believe these to be critical to the early success of a book, but I'm wondering if 'give aways' do more harm than good. Many decades ago a company I worked for carried out an experiment in two seperate (but demographically similar) neighbourhoods. They were a cable tv/ telephone company. In one neighbourhood (A) they offered free install where as in the other (B) the installation was charged at 100 pounds (UK). After three months the findings were as follows

Take up of services

A) - 76%
B) - 28%

Still using the service(s) after three months

A) 31%
B) 26%

Still using the service after six months

A) 18%
B) 23%

Churned off the services with bad debt

A) 64%
B) 1%

In a nutshell, those that had enjoyed the free installation abused the product, didn't pay the monthly bills and were happy to be disconnected for non payment. The 'product' had no value to them. Where as those that had paid for the installation placed a value on the service and therefore paid the bills. To transpose this into launch terms; give it away, it has no value. I suppose this is a question that each author needs to ask themselves very early on in their author life - do I want to play in the same play ground as the masses or not?

I understand the argument of free promo's being the best way to get a name out there, but I'm now thinking that my preference would be to reward those readers and blog site visitors that already have an interest in my books as opposed to throwing it open to just anybody. 'Selective freebies'. I don't really want my books downloaded to sit on a kindle and never be read, I want them to be read and enjoyed by people that want to read them. There is a bit of a caveat here, I have no illusions (or delusions) of becoming a famous Author, I honestly write because I absolutely love to write, it's an experience that I continue to be completely enthralled by, and one that continues to cost me money. Make no mistake, I look forward to the day when I can say that they (my books) pay for themselves, but that's quite probably a long way in the future. For someone that lacks patience this is a big commitment but I do believe that it is realistic.

So, are these 'freebies' becoming more trouble than they're worth?!

I can see the merits of both sides of this argument, but experience leads me to believe that 'free' is not a good price IF you want your story/novel/novella to have a value. The long slow path carries no guarantees but I do believe that if a book is good enough it will be found eventually, and then it will have a worth.

Just my thoughts - happy to hear yours.


  1. I have yet to give away freebies and I find the sales are slow. However, I do hear from people who purchase and they enjoy what they've read. I, like you, look forward to the day when the expenses are covered by book sales. In the meantime, I write and publish for the love of sharing my stories with others. Thanks for the post.

  2. Hi Cassandra - thanks for leaving a comment. It seems that we have similar motivation. Best of luck with your writing, I truly hope you achieve your goals.