As the author and (self)publisher of all four of my books, I can do whatever I want when it comes to sales, promotions, giveaways, etc. on Amazon and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). So, seeing how I hadn’t done much in the way of any of those three forms of promotion in some time, I decided to drop the prices for all four Kindle versions to $0.00 as part of a limited, four-day, ‘giveaway’ promotion.
Honestly, I thought I’d give away a couple hundred free downloads at most.
What I didn’t know, or realize, at the time of the giveaway was the sheer extent of Amazon’s reach. Somehow, some way, a company named eBook Daily found Part I of my fictional series and publicized my giveaway in their newsletter to over 23,000 recipients.
Unexpected… but I’ll roll with it.
In the end, I wound up giving away over 2,100 free downloads, total, for all four books!
Needless to say I was pretty pleased with myself… until I realized the breadth of what I had just done. By giving away all those free downloads, I was also giving away the royalties associated with each downloaded copy.
Here’s how the four-day giveaway shook out for a ‘sales’ perspective… let’s call this the short game:
As expected, Day 1 was pretty much the heaviest day for traffic with a steady decline until the end of Day 4.
What’s the adage… you gotta spend money to make money? Boy, I sure hope that’s true.
If you add up all of the sales (downloads) for each book and then multiply by the royalty generated for each download ($0.35 for each of the $0.99 books and $2.03 for each download of Part III)… man, that adds up fast… especially the royalties for Part III.
A giveaway where I thought I’d forego maybe $50-$100 in royalties ballooned to $1500 reeaall quick…
The good news, or saving grace, is that this is only one of the two ways royalties work with ebooks. I still get paid for each ‘page turned’ on the device used to read the books. This royalty stream pays considerably more than the download royalty. This is the long game…
What I’m hedging, hopefully, is that those 2100+ downloads turn into page views ($$$ royalty) and solid comments and reviews (4-5 Stars) on Amazon.
Or…. It could all blow up in my face… and I paid over $1500 for the experience.
Time will tell.