I tried out a giveaway in November and learnt through the exposure to one ebook in order that successful methods could be used on another giveaway. The ebook went viral on Amazon in the UK. By this I mean there are downloads every second regardless of whether we did nothing to promote it.
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I should let you know, in answer to some queries, that I don’t count this as ‘viral’ because we gave away a great deal of ebooks. It went viral in that we didn’t should do anything as well as the downloads were continuous. As professional publishers we can’t nag visitors to take a free ebook to support us – individuals who will then allow the freebie languish on his or her ereader or computer. We require a meaningful giveaway that we promote as professionally and discreetly once we would any other book launch. We have to let people go for themselves whether they want the novel.
Even in case you aren’t thinking of a giveaway, several of these tips might be used to acquire a ‘paid for’ book high in the Amazon rankings, and becoming loaded with the rankings is the vital thing to going viral because potential readers and buyers find your book easily when browsing their favourite genres. I’ll cover the topic of ‘paid for’ books’ in another article, and you desire a reduced amount of daily downloads to ensure success with paid books (that is still difficult to sustain).
To help authors and publishers perform the same thing I’m going to explain the ways used. But first I’m going to answer a question I’ve been asked by other publishers through the giveaways. They want to determine if giveaways devalue all books because people might start to expect ebooks to become free.
The answer we’ve got found could be that the opposite is valid. During and after the giveaways we sell more ebooks and much more print books. This lasted throughout December after the try out our first novel giveaway.
December is really a slow month for small publishers inside the UK as buyers tend to obtain the books major publishers are putting huge promotional budgets into for your Christmas market, and bookshops actually return a lot of books to publishers to pay off the shelves of those bestselling books. They won’t accept any new books until January.
Like other small publishers we give special festive purports to attract visitors to buy direct from website but the giveaway would have been a much bigger help as opposed to runners traditional promotions. We had one of our best months so far for both print books and ebooks and I’m sure the giveaway helped with this. So my conclusion is a giveaway doesn’t devalue print books and also brings about more sales.
The book distributed likewise helps get the author’s name very reputed and may reach an international market in the event the promotion is completed well, and this contributes to much more of their other books offered. After the giveaway the novel that has been given away also continued to trade, as reviews did start to make their way onto the internet later. With the other book, the sales following the giveaway were high enough to hold mcdougal for the most visited page inside the ‘paid book’ rankings for Thrillers, so the book continues to be selling itself.
We also have decided which it works to maintain ebook prices lower, since this not merely brings about more ebook sales, but additionally contributes to more print book sales, within our royalty for any traditionally published author while on an ebook an inexpensive price is pretty close to the royalty of your paperback (the place that the royalty is 10% of cover price as a result of our higher production costs) and this computes well for authors. Even at our lower ebook tariff of about A�1.50 the article author receives a royalty around 50p as Amazon and also other costs require a third, and the rest is divided 50/50 between the article author and publisher underneath the relation to its our contract.
So, what are techniques for getting an ebook to go viral on Amazon? First of all it has to be an excellent book as people won’t support a giveaway otherwise. I believe people know they can trust certain publishers to be producing good books, so you might have to develop that reputation, and in addition they trust authors who may have endorsements from magazines and known authors around the front cover, if that is possible. These endorsements may be removed from reviews, and it also helps if you will find good reviews and ratings for the Amazon page, so do optimise that page by encouraging reviews, ‘Likes’, and star ratings.
So the first tip is just not to give away low quality books in order to advertise your other books. If a novel is excellent people installing may also download other books by the same author, or same publishing company, particularly if there’s another book inside same series. They are also buying more ebooks from across our list since they such as this one. Don’t provide anything lower than your very best self writing. It’s your showcase to everyone. If the sunday paper had been outside in paperback (or as a book) for more than the usual year, it’s worth carrying out a giveaway since it has received time for it to prove itself. I have seen publishers and authors launch a new book using a giveaway but this isn’t our approach.
We learnt from the first giveaway which it’s vital to set the lowest price for that ebook, so that as soon as the giveaway it’ll revert to the price and also this will help keep it an excellent source of the ‘paid’ Kindle rankings, as people that have just missed the giveaway it’s still tempted in the event the price isn’t too high. The Amazon servers update slowly, so a magazine seems to stay high in the free Kindle rankings for about per day even when it provides a price.
We also learnt the value of being within the right categories. Amazon allows two categories for any Kindle book so we put this book in Crime and Thrillers. In fact we have now learnt you could put a magazine in a very subcategory and it’s also in all the higher categories.
There are thrillers in Action and Adventure and it is easier to obtain a ranking inside the Adventure subcategories, so in case you have this sort of book you should consider it like a step into the rankings. The same applies of other genres and categories – research into books like yours can show what sort of successful authors and publishers are receiving high rankings. Which categories is it in? You can find this should they be an excellent source of the rankings because the various categories they are in will likely be listed on their book pages, just underneath the more information on the book (publisher, ISBN etc). If they aren’t selling enough to acquire in to the rankings you will not be able to see their categories.
You can alter the categories within a giveaway and worth accomplishing this should you should while you really must end up in the top 20 ranking for a category. Our first giveaway novel got an excellent source of Literary Fiction, whilst the second got an excellent source of Thrillers. Some categories are easier to obtain an excellent source of, and worth choosing an easy-to-get-into category to help you increase the downloads by making it highly visible to folks searching for books inside their favourite genre.
Thrillers can be a difficult category to achieve success in – it took 400 downloads a day inside the UK alone to get Joe into the superior 10. But you can aim for a subcategory in certain genres and progress up. 50 downloads a day could get a top 10 ranking inside the lower subcategories. (20 downloads each day can conserve a ranking once the novel reverts to ‘paid’ status). Research has shown the top three bestselling genres are Crime (48%) followed by sci fi and literary fiction (both inside lower 20% bracket). Romance and erotica also sell well but, surprisingly for a lot of, are lower than the others other genres. We only needed 50 downloads in a very day to become in the top 15 for Literary Fiction, so it was harder with Crime and Thrillers compared to other genres, even if you might have a greater potential audience.
Sorry if this sounds complicated however it is sensible when you’re starting your Kindle book. When choosing a category you’re given a directory of possibilities and when you decide on fiction, nonfiction etc you happen to be given every one of the subcategories. Click on them to find the subcategories of subcategories. When potential customers look for books on Amazon they do the same thing, trying to find fiction/nonfiction and after that being offered subcategories. Amazon actually has the most effective ways of helping buyers seek out books of their favourite genres.
The next thing we took ended up being to possess a Facebook event for the launch with the giveaway (and now we also had a Facebook event for the final day), with links to the book on Amazon sites as well as a reminder that people don’t desire a Kindle. They can download the free Kindle reading app from Amazon. It’s also important to let people know they need to make use of the Amazon site for own country, or many get confused that they’re able to’t see the offer whenever they click on a hyperlink towards the wrong site. You do need to build a large Facebook group to have an event to help get a giveaway started, and you do need to become patient as many people do want their hands to become held. The clearer your messages the greater the pick-up rate of the giveaway will likely be as well as the fewer requests for help you can get.
We then sent a note to nearly 500 members of the Written Word social media and notices to about 2,000 writers and book lovers inside virtual realm of Second Life. People on Second Life are extremely supportive and thinking about technologies, such as latest experiments with ebooks, as well as the two bloggers who helped by currently talking about the giveaway were both after that. So it may help to be involved in various internet sites for writers to build more of a following, or contacts list.
For the 2nd giveaway we added Goodreads to the social support systems for writers and readers we used. If you join a amount of groups on Goodreads you will notice that each group has one forum to allow author/publisher promotions, and also you can put news of the giveaway in those. It definitely made a difference on our second day, when downloads were starting to slow. At that point the ebook was nearly within the top ten ranking for all books on Kindle however, not quite.
You could also Google websites that allow you to list free Kindle books and you also will find a number of in the honest ones listed. Some of those sites will advertise your giveaway, but do be aware of them as a lot of them would love you to notify them monthly in advance.
You can also list your giveaway in a very daily thread around the Kindle forums for the country’s Amazon website. They like individuals to put all the giveaways inside same thread for each day, this also does also help keep the thread being saw beginning inside the forum as new posts are added.
By putting the notices on Goodreads as well as getting some support from two bloggers, inside UK and US, we managed to obtain our book into the top 100 ranking for those Kindle books on Amazon UK. Once the book was in this top 10 the downloads begun to roll in most second, at which I think we can say it went viral.
Another approach that helped us was that the giveaway was listed for the Hot UK Deals site. We didn’t list this ourselves: somebody found the offer and listed it there and I was told regarding it. It’s important not to use this site to self-promote the slightest bit as that is not permitted, and also the site lets members list discounted prices they find yet others can rate the deal as cold or hot. The site is loaded with wonderful freebies and discounts so that it’s popular, and our book became popular as being a ‘hot’ deal due to member voting. I’m sure this has helped because offer stayed around the ‘Hot’ page for around a week. It had a huge number of views. I linked on the offer in each and every way I could (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc), while being careful, as self-promotion can lead on the offer being disassembled, so you’ve to become sure to not cross that line.
When you post news of your personal books on Goodreads and other forums, it’s worth keeping track of the number of views you get. Some groups on Goodreads are larger plus more active than the others. The main response we get is produced by another and intensely popular website – Kindle Boards – but in the event you use them, do make sure only to use their Book Bazaar forum, as self-promotion isn’t allowed anywhere else. The Mobile Reads forum can be good, nevertheless it’s important only to post where author self-promotions are allowed since the admins of those sites are incredibly quick to get rid of people otherwise.
You do need to become prepared to put effort and time to the initial promotion to ensure that a novel will go viral, and I find it’s best to possess a 5-day giveaway, the absolute maximum Amazon allows in a season. This gives enough time to progress within the rankings, and as some books are saved to shorter giveaways they’ll vanish from above you. Of course you need to do need to maintain an increased variety of downloads every day to keep up your position. Groups on LinkedIn present an extra place where you might be getting involved in discussions about ebooks and speaking about your giveaway or promotion.
The much more of these approaches you should use within the first day, greater chance you have to get an increased ranking all night viral so the book begins to do the work itself. It’s a lot to complete all on your own, so careful planning while others allocated to perform various tasks would help. But for many of us it really can be a go-it-alone process, or an author-and-publisher process.
Authors can help by building an excellent email circular list, and this could work even for authors who aren’t good at being self-promotional. Your optin list is exceedingly important, especially in the event you are an author, as you can encourage friends to compliment you. Just sharing the giveaway on the Facebook wall, tweeting about it, or mentioning it with a blog, is likely to make an important contribution.
In fact, seeing it getting higher did get people looking forward to helping, and quite often being given the sunday paper encourages visitors to enjoy the fun of this challenge and also the thrill as a magazine moves up in the top ten. People who have received the giveaway can seem to be dedication to helping it succeed in the event you rally the crooks to your side.
One final tip I would give is always that authors do should ask visitors to help you using a blog or possibly a share on Facebook and Twitter etc, and I do the same on the behalf. We do have to become careful to never nag and spam people so I don’t push anybody. But it seems support isn’t given unless you ask. People need to become invited to consider books, or buy books, or to help which has a blog. Even if you ask, you’re unlikely to have more than the usual few shares and retweets, and just several blogs. But they can make that difference and push you up into a ranking which enables you go viral.