I tried out a giveaway in November and learnt in the knowledge about one ebook so that successful methods could possibly be applied to an extra giveaway. The ebook went viral on Amazon in the UK. By this I mean there was downloads every second even though we did nothing to market it.
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I should make it clear, in reply to some queries, that I don’t count this as ‘viral’ because we gave away lots of ebooks. It went viral because we didn’t want to do anything and the downloads were continuous. As professional publishers we can’t nag website visitors to have a free ebook to aid us – individuals who might allow the freebie languish on his or her ereader or computer. We desire a meaningful giveaway that people promote as professionally and discreetly even as we would some other book launch. We have to let people go for themselves whether they want the novel.
Even should you aren’t considering a giveaway, several tips might be used to have a ‘paid for’ book high in the Amazon rankings, and becoming full of the rankings is key to going viral because potential readers and buyers find your book easily when browsing their favourite genres. I’ll cover the subject of ‘paid for’ books’ in another article, so you have to have a reduced quantity of daily downloads to have success with paid books (which is still hard to sustain).
To help authors and publishers do the same thing I’m going to explain the ways used. But first I’m going to answer an issue I’ve been asked by other publishers in the giveaways. They want to know if giveaways devalue all books because individuals might learn to expect ebooks to be free.
The answer we now have found is the opposite applies. During and following the giveaways we sell more ebooks and more print books. This lasted throughout December following your try out our first novel giveaway.
December is often a slow month for small publishers within the UK as buyers tend to get the books major publishers are putting huge promotional budgets into to the Christmas market, and bookshops actually return a great deal of books to publishers to clear the shelves of these bestselling books. They won’t accept any new books until January.
Like other small publishers we give special festive proposes to attract individuals to buy direct from website though the giveaway would have been a much bigger help than the others traditional promotions. We had a best months up to now 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 brings about more sales.
The book given away for free likewise helps get the author’s name very well known and will reach a major international market in the event the promotion is conducted well, and also this results in much more of their other books on the market. After the giveaway it that’s given away for free also continued to trade, as reviews begun to make their way onto the internet later. With the other book, the sales after the giveaway were high enough to maintain the writer for the first page within the ‘paid book’ rankings for Thrillers, so it remains to be selling itself.
We have also decided which it works to hold ebook prices lower, since this not merely contributes to more ebook sales, but additionally leads to more print book sales, in your royalty to get a traditionally published author on an ebook an inexpensive price is pretty towards the royalty of an paperback (where the royalty is 10% of cover price due to our higher production costs) which means this works out well for authors. Even at our lower ebook tariff of about A�1.50 mcdougal gets a royalty around 50p as Amazon along with other costs have a third, as well as the rest is divided 50/50 between the writer and publisher under the relation to its our contract.
So, what are techniques for getting an e-book to travel viral on Amazon? First of all it has to get an excellent book as people won’t support a giveaway otherwise. I believe people know they could trust certain publishers to get producing good books, so you have to develop that reputation, additionally they trust authors who may have endorsements from magazines and known authors about the front cover, if that’s possible. These endorsements could be extracted from reviews, and it likewise helps if you will find good reviews and ratings around the Amazon page, so optimise that page by encouraging reviews, ‘Likes’, and star ratings.
So the very first tip just isn’t to hand out low quality books in order to promote your other books. If a novel is excellent people getting it will likely download other books through the same author, or the same publishing company, particularly when there’s another book in the same series. They are also buying more ebooks from across our list because they like this one. Don’t provide anything less than your very best self writing. It’s your showcase around the globe. If a book was already in paperback (or as an e-book) for more than a year, it’s worth performing a giveaway mainly because it has had time for it to prove itself. I have seen publishers and authors launch a fresh book using a giveaway but it is not our approach.
We learnt from the first giveaway that it’s vital to create a decreased price for that ebook, in order that after the giveaway it’ll revert for this price and this will help keep it high in the ‘paid’ Kindle rankings, as individuals who have just missed the giveaway will still be tempted when the price isn’t too high. The Amazon servers update slowly, so a novel seems to stay loaded with the free Kindle rankings approximately per day even when it possesses a price.
We also learnt the importance of being inside right categories. Amazon allows two categories for any Kindle book and we all put this book in Crime and Thrillers. In fact we’ve now learnt that you can put the sunday paper inside a subcategory also it’s in the higher categories.
There are thrillers in Action and Adventure and it’s easier to have a ranking inside Adventure subcategories, so should you have this kind of book you might like to consider it as a take on the rankings. The same is true of other genres and categories – research into books like yours can present what sort of successful authors and publishers are getting high rankings. Which categories is it in? You can find this when they are an excellent source of the rankings because the various categories these are in will likely be listed on the book pages, just underneath the detailed information on the book (publisher, ISBN etc). If they aren’t selling enough to get to the rankings you won’t be capable of see their categories.
You can transform the categories within a giveaway and worth doing this if you need to when you really must end up in the superior 20 ranking for the category. Our first giveaway novel got full of Literary Fiction, even though the second got an excellent source of Thrillers. Some categories are easier to get full of, and it’s worth choosing an easy-to-get-into category to assist increase the downloads by looking into making it highly visible to the people searching for books inside their favourite genre.
Thrillers is often a difficult category to have success in – it took 400 downloads a day inside UK alone to have Joe into the very best 10. But you can aim for the subcategory in some genres and move up. 50 downloads per day may get you a best ranking inside lower subcategories. (20 downloads every day can keep a ranking once it reverts to ‘paid’ status). Research has shown the most notable three bestselling genres are Crime (48%) then sci fi and literary fiction (both in the lower 20% bracket). Romance and erotica also sell well but, surprisingly for a few, are lower than these other genres. We only needed 50 downloads in a day to be inside the top 15 for Literary Fiction, so it was harder with Crime and Thrillers as compared to other genres, while you would’ve a bigger potential marketplace.
Sorry if it sounds complicated but it makes sense when you’re establishing your Kindle book. When choosing a category you happen to be given a summary of possibilities then when you decide on fiction, nonfiction etc you happen to be given every one of the subcategories. Click on the crooks to find the subcategories of subcategories. When audience try to find books on Amazon they perform the same, seeking fiction/nonfiction then to be had subcategories. Amazon actually has one of the better strategies to helping buyers look for books within their favourite genres.
The second step we took would have been to have a Facebook event to the launch from the giveaway (and now we also had a Facebook event for that final day), with links to it on Amazon sites along with a reminder that people don’t require a Kindle. They can download the free Kindle reading app from Amazon. It’s also important to let people know they must utilize the Amazon site for own country, or many get confused that they are able to’t start to see the offer should they select a hyperlink towards the wrong site. You do need to create a large Facebook group on an event to help get yourself a giveaway started, and also you do need being patient numerous people do want their hands being held. The clearer your messages the greater the pick-up rate with the giveaway will probably be as well as the fewer requests for assist you to can get.
We then sent a message to almost 500 members in the Written Word social network and notices to about 2,000 writers and book lovers inside the virtual realm of Second Life. People on Second Life are extremely supportive and thinking about new technologies, including the latest experiments with ebooks, and the two bloggers who helped by writing about the giveaway were both from there. So it may help to become involved in various internet sites for writers to build a greater portion of a following, or contacts list.
For the other giveaway we added Goodreads into the social networking sites for writers and readers we used. If you join a quantity of groups on Goodreads you will notice that each group has one forum to allow for author/publisher promotions, so you can put news of the giveaway in those. It definitely made a difference on our second day, when downloads were beginning to slow down. At that point the ebook was nearly in the top ranking for many books on Kindle but not quite.
You could also Google websites that permit you to list free Kindle books and also you will find many of the good ones listed. Some of those sites will promote your giveaway, but do be aware of them as a lot of them would love you to notify them per month ahead of time.
You can also list your giveaway in the daily thread on the Kindle forums for the country’s Amazon website. They like people to put every one of the giveaways inside the same thread for each and every day, and this does also help keep the thread being bumped into first instance within the forum as new posts are added.
By putting the notices on Goodreads and also getting some support from two bloggers, in the UK and US, we managed to obtain our book into the top 100 ranking for all those Kindle books on Amazon UK. Once it is at this best the downloads begun to roll in each and every second, at which point I think we can 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 over it. It’s important to not employ this site to self-promote by any means as that is not permitted, and also the site lets members list good deals they find while others can rate the deal as cold and hot. The site is filled with wonderful freebies and discounts therefore it’s extremely popular, and our book became popular like a ‘hot’ deal on account of member voting. I’m sure it has helped since the offer stayed on the ‘Hot’ page approximately weekly. It had 1000s of views. I linked for the offer in most way I could (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc), while fostering, as self-promotion can lead to the offer being removed, so you might have to get sure to never cross that line.
When you post news of your own books on Goodreads and other forums, it’s worth maintaining a tally of how many views you get. Some groups on Goodreads are larger plus more active than the others. The main response we have is produced by some other and very popular website – Kindle Boards – but in the event you use them, do make sure just to use their Book Bazaar forum, as self-promotion isn’t allowed elsewhere. The Mobile Reads forum is additionally good, but again it is vital simply to post where author self-promotions are allowed because admins of those sites have become quick to remove people otherwise.
You do need to be prepared to put commitment into the initial promotion in order that a book will go viral, and I find it is best to use a 5-day giveaway, the utmost Amazon allows in the season. This gives enough time for you to move up inside rankings, so that as some books take presctiption shorter giveaways they are going to vanish from above you. Of course you need to do need to keep a top number of downloads daily to keep up your posture. Groups on LinkedIn provide an extra place where you could be getting involved in discussions about ebooks and referring to your giveaway or promotion.
The more of these approaches you may use within the first day, the harder chance you might have of having a top ranking all night viral so the ebook begins to perform 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 most of us it really is really a go-it-alone process, or perhaps an author-and-publisher process.
Authors might help by building a fantastic email circular list, and also this can work even for authors who aren’t efficient at being self-promotional. Your optin list is exceedingly important, especially in the event you are an author, while you can encourage relatives and buddies to aid you. Just sharing the giveaway on his or her Facebook wall, tweeting regarding it, or mentioning it on the blog, is likely to make a crucial contribution.
In fact, seeing the ebook getting higher did get people looking forward to helping, and quite often being given a magazine encourages people to benefit from the fun on this challenge and also the thrill as a book moves up within the top. People who’ve received the giveaway can seem to be dedication to helping the ebook succeed in the event you rally the crooks to your side.
One final tip I would give is authors do should ask website visitors to help out with a blog or a share on Facebook and Twitter and so on, 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 look at books, in order to buy books, or to aid having a blog. Even if you ask, you’re unlikely to get more than a few shares and retweets, and simply a couple of blogs. But they could make that difference and push you up in a ranking which enables you go viral.