I attempted a giveaway in November and learnt in the exposure to one ebook so that successful methods could be put on an additional giveaway. The ebook went viral on Amazon within the UK. By this I mean there was downloads every second even when we did nothing to advertise it.
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I should let you know, in reply to some queries, that I don’t count this as ‘viral’ because we gave away a great deal of ebooks. It went viral because we didn’t have to do anything and also the downloads were continuous. As professional publishers we can not nag individuals to have a free ebook to guide us – people that may then allow the freebie languish on their ereader or computer. We have to have a meaningful giveaway that individuals promote as professionally and discreetly even as would some other book launch. We have to let people decide for themselves whether or not they want the ebook.
Even in case you aren’t considering a giveaway, several of these tips can be used to obtain a ‘paid for’ book loaded with the Amazon rankings, and achieving loaded with the rankings is the key to going viral because potential readers and buyers find your book easily when browsing their favourite genres. I’ll cover the main topic of ‘paid for’ books’ in another article, and also you have to have a dramatically reduced quantity of daily downloads to achieve success with paid books (that’s still tough to sustain).
To help authors and publishers do the same I’m going to explain the strategy used. But first I’m going to answer a question I’ve been asked by other publishers through the giveaways. They want to determine giveaways devalue all books because those might begin to expect ebooks to become free.
The answer we now have found is that the opposite is valid. During and after the giveaways we sell more ebooks and much more print books. This lasted throughout December following your test out our first novel giveaway.
December is a slow month for small publishers inside the UK as buyers tend to get the books major publishers are putting huge promotional budgets into for the Christmas market, and bookshops actually return a lot of books to publishers to clear the shelves because of these bestselling books. They won’t accept any new books until January.
Like other small publishers we give special festive offers to attract visitors to buy direct from website but the giveaway was obviously a much larger help than the others traditional promotions. We had a 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 in actual fact leads to more sales.
The book given away likewise helps have the author’s name very well regarded and can reach an international market in the event the promotion is completed well, which leads to more of their other books for sale. After the giveaway it that’s distributed also continued to trade, as reviews did start to make their way onto the internet later. With the other book, the sales as soon as the giveaway were high enough to keep the author for the top of the page within the ‘paid book’ rankings for Thrillers, so the book remains to be selling itself.
We in addition have decided that it works to maintain ebook prices lower, since this not simply contributes to more ebook sales, but also results in more print book sales, in our royalty for a traditionally published author by using an ebook at a low price is pretty towards the royalty of the paperback (in which the royalty is 10% of cover price as a result of our higher production costs) which means this calculates well for authors. Even at our lower ebook cost of about A�1.50 the article author receives a royalty of about 50p as Amazon and also other costs require a third, and the rest is divided 50/50 between the author and publisher within the relation to our contract.
So, what are the techniques for getting a guide to travel viral on Amazon? First of all it has to become an outstanding 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 build that reputation, additionally they trust authors who may have endorsements from magazines and known authors around the front cover, if that is possible. These endorsements could be removed from reviews, and it also helps if there are good reviews and ratings for the Amazon page, so do optimise that page by encouraging reviews, ‘Likes’, and star ratings.
So the first tip just isn’t to hand out bad quality books in order in promoting your other books. If a book is very useful people getting it may also download other books from the same author, or even the same publishing company, particularly if there’s another book in the same series. They are also buying more ebooks from across our list because they such as this one. Don’t share anything less than your better writing. It’s your showcase to the world. If a novel is out in paperback (or as a guide) for more when compared to a year, it’s worth doing a giveaway because it has already established time and energy to prove itself. I have seen publishers and authors launch a new book with a giveaway but it is not our approach.
We learnt through the first giveaway which it’s vital to create a minimal price for that ebook, to ensure after the giveaway it will revert for this price this also will help in keeping it full of the ‘paid’ Kindle rankings, as people that have just missed the giveaway will still be tempted if your price isn’t too much. The Amazon servers update slowly, so a book is able to stay high in the free Kindle rankings for around each day even though it possesses a price.
We also learnt the value of being in the right categories. Amazon allows two categories to get a Kindle book and then we put this book in Crime and Thrillers. In fact we’ve got now learnt that one could put a magazine in a subcategory and it’s also in the higher categories.
There are thrillers in Action and Adventure and easier to acquire a ranking inside the Adventure subcategories, so in case you have this kind of book you may want to ponder over it as being 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 getting high rankings. Which categories could they be in? You can find this should they be an excellent source of the rankings as the various categories they’re in will likely be listed on his or her book pages, just underneath the more information on it (publisher, ISBN etc). If they aren’t selling enough to get in to the rankings you won’t be able to see their categories.
You can transform the categories during a giveaway and it is worth accomplishing this in the event you should because you really must enter the most notable 20 ranking for the category. Our first giveaway novel got an excellent source of Literary Fiction, even though the second got high in Thrillers. Some categories are easier to acquire loaded with, and it’s really worth choosing an easy-to-get-into category to assist increase the downloads by looking into making it highly visible to people looking for books within their favourite genre.
Thrillers is a difficult category to have success in – it took 400 downloads a day inside the UK alone to acquire Joe into the very best 10. But you can aim for the subcategory in most genres and move up. 50 downloads every day might get you a top ranking within the lower subcategories. (20 downloads per day can conserve a ranking once the book reverts to ‘paid’ status). Research has shown the most notable three bestselling genres are Crime (48%) accompanied by sci fi and literary fiction (both inside the lower 20% bracket). Romance and erotica also sell well but, surprisingly for a few, are lower than the others other genres. We only needed 50 downloads in the day to become within the top 15 for Literary Fiction, in order that it was harder with Crime and Thrillers than with other genres, even if you would’ve a more substantial potential target market.
Sorry if this sounds complicated however it is sensible when you’re establishing your Kindle book. When choosing a category you happen to be given a list of possibilities when you choose fiction, nonfiction etc you might be given all the subcategories. Click on the crooks to find the subcategories of subcategories. When audience seek out books on Amazon they do the same task, searching for fiction/nonfiction then to be had subcategories. Amazon actually has the most effective ways of helping buyers seek out books inside their favourite genres.
The next thing we took ended up being to possess a Facebook event for that launch of the giveaway (and that we also were built with a Facebook event for that final day), with links to the book on Amazon sites plus a reminder that folks don’t desire a Kindle. They can download the free Kindle reading app from Amazon. It’s also important to let people know they have to utilize Amazon site for their own country, or many get confused that they’re able to’t start to see the offer when they select a web link on the wrong site. You do need to create a large Facebook group to have an event to help get a giveaway started, and you also do need to become patient numerous people do want their hands to get held. The clearer your messages the better the pick-up rate in the giveaway will likely be and the fewer requests for allow you to are certain to get.
We then sent a message to just about 500 members from the Written Word social media and notices to about 2,000 writers and book lovers inside virtual arena of Second Life. People on Second Life are incredibly supportive and thinking about technology, like the 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 being involved in various internet sites for writers to create more of a following, or contacts list.
For the 2nd giveaway we added Goodreads in to the social networks for writers and readers we used. If you join a amount of groups on Goodreads you will find that each group has one forum to permit author/publisher promotions, and also you can put news of your giveaway in those. It definitely designed a difference on our second day, when downloads were beginning slow. At that point the ebook was nearly inside the top ranking for those books on Kindle but not quite.
You may also Google websites that let you list free Kindle books and also you will find many in the high quality ones listed. Some of these sites will promote your giveaway, but do pay attention to them as a number of them would like you to notify them 30 days in advance.
You can also list your giveaway in the daily thread around the Kindle forums to your country’s Amazon website. They like visitors to put every one of the giveaways inside the same thread for every day, which does also help to keep the thread being noticed to begin with in the forum as new posts are added.
By putting the notices on Goodreads and also getting some support from two bloggers, inside the UK and US, we managed to get our book into the superior 100 ranking for all those Kindle books on Amazon UK. Once the novel was in this top 10 the downloads started to roll in most second, after which I think we are able to say it went viral.
Another approach that helped us was that the giveaway was listed on 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 to not make use of this site to self-promote by any means as that’s not permitted, along with the site lets members list great deals they find while others can rate the sale as hot or cold. The site is stuffed with wonderful freebies and discounts therefore it’s very well liked, and our book shot to popularity being a ‘hot’ deal due to member voting. I’m sure it has helped as the offer stayed around the ‘Hot’ page approximately per 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 fostering, as self-promotion can lead on the offer being disassembled, so you might have to be sure not to cross that line.
When you post news of your family books on Goodreads and other forums, it’s worth maintaining a tally of the amount of views your posts get. Some groups on Goodreads are larger and more active than these. The main response we have is produced by a different and extremely popular website – Kindle Boards – but in case you use them, do be certain and then use their Book Bazaar forum, as self-promotion isn’t allowed elsewhere. The Mobile Reads forum is also good, but again it is vital simply to post where author self-promotions are allowed because the admins of these sites are extremely quick to remove people otherwise.
You do need being prepared to put time and effort into the initial promotion to ensure the sunday paper can be viral, and I find you need to have a very 5-day giveaway, the utmost Amazon allows in a very season. This gives enough time to move up inside the rankings, so when some books take presctiption shorter giveaways they’ll vanish from above you. Of course you need to do need to keep a higher amount of downloads daily to keep your situation. Groups on LinkedIn offer an extra place where you might be involved in discussions about ebooks and speaking about your giveaway or promotion.
The really these approaches you may use in the first day, the harder chance you’ve got to getting a top ranking and going viral so the novel actually starts to do the work itself. It’s a lot to accomplish yourself, so careful planning yet others allocated to complete various tasks would help. But for many of us it really is a go-it-alone process, or even an author-and-publisher process.
Authors might help by building a fantastic email circular list, which can function even for authors who aren’t good at being self-promotional. Your list is exceedingly important, especially should you are an author, because you can encourage friends to guide 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 the ebook getting higher did get people pumped up about helping, and sometimes being given a magazine encourages people to enjoy the fun on this challenge and the thrill as a book moves up within the top. People that have received the giveaway can seem to be dedication to helping the novel succeed in the event you rally these phones your side.
One final tip I would give is authors do have to ask individuals to help having a blog or possibly a share on Facebook and Twitter and so on, and I perform same on their behalf. We do have being careful to not nag and spam people so I don’t push anybody. But it seems support isn’t given until you ask. People need to get invited to look at books, in order to buy books, or to assist which has a blog. Even in case you ask, you’re unlikely to get more than a few shares and retweets, and simply a number of blogs. But they’re able to make that difference and push you up into a ranking that assists you decide to go viral.