Wow, this week leading up to the release of The Oaf Prince has been a whirlwind. Along with the giveaway that I held on twitter, I also gave regular tweets to promote the sale of my book, which as you may remember is being sold for .99 cents until the release date, (tomorrow, oh my goodness) September 23rd.
I was hoping to send copies of my novel to book reviewers and bloggers as well, but unfortunately as soon as I had the completely edited copy ready and uploaded to kindle direct publishing, my sister arrived in Vancouver for a visit. I hadn’t seen her in a year and she is a complete firecracker. She’s only 22 and honestly, I don’t know how she has so much energy but I slept for about twelve hours this entire weekend, Sunday night included.
I’ll be honest, that did put a slight damper on my book promotion but I don’t regret that in any way. I was delighted to see her again. But, it did inadvertently make for an interesting experiment. The entirety of my book promotions leading up to the release has been done through twitter.
What I did…
I ended up retweeting the giveaway three times in total.
The image above is of my first post.
Following that, I retweeted the same thing, slightly altering the tags twice. For my last giveaway post, I simply retweeted someones retweet of my original. For me, the most successful tags seemed to be the ones used in my first post; #ebook #giveaway #ebookgiveaway #gayfiction #booksale
I also kept my twitter busy with links and updates on my sale. For a day, my ranking in Gay Fantasy was #85 in the kindle store. For me, that was simply amazing! To be in the top 100 books on amazon in my category! I couldn’t believe it, so of course, I shared that, as well as thank you’s.
My initial fear was that I was spamming the people who follow me, but then I realized that when I log into my twitter, there are so many tweets flying about that I rarely see the same person’s tweets in a day.
The first giveaway tweet generated 23 retweets. The second, very closely followed with 20 retweets. The third one, which I simply retweeted, only managed 2 retweets.
That’s pretty self explanatory and its great for future reference. If you are doing a giveaway, I would definitely recommend a fresh post each day with your giveaway. I would do that in the future, if I chose to do a giveaway.
If, being the key word there.
I have heard people warn about this very thing, though I didn’t expect it to be so black and white. The truth seems to be that if you are doing a giveaway, the people who will take part, may only be on the hunt for anything free.
The rules were simple; follow and retweet. Of the 47 people who entered, only 21 followed. That’s fine, the rest couldn’t be that interested in reading the book. They probably just retweeted whatever came up in #giveaways to get something for free.
This was partially an experiment for me, so of the people who entered properly, I went into every single person’s twitter to see what type of things they post.
Of the 21 people who entered properly, only one shares their own tweets.
You read that right. 20 of 21 people share literally only giveaway tweets. They have hundreds of giveaways retweeted on their pages. Some of them don’t even have bio’s written. It seems like they have their twitter accounts just to get free things.
THE REASON THIS IS TROUBLING…
Well, for one, I spent a lot of hard work writing this book. It took me a year and don’t even get me started on the editing process…
While I don’t expect it to be everyone’s cup of tea-it is about a gay ogre, after all-I do at least want the winners to be interested in the book.
Let’s get real here, giveaways are meant to build hype and publicity. Did that happen for me?
I don’t know how much correlation there is between sales and tweets, but judging by the reports on amazon kindle, my regular tweets were generating as much, if not more sales than my giveaway did. To start with, before I launched the giveaway, I was selling at least two books per day. Since then my sales have slowed considerably. Did my giveaway discourage people from buying what they could have had for free?
I ended up getting 47 people to show some mild interest. That’s amazing, please don’t get me wrong, but I could have spent that time and energy on a different avenue where readers are actually seeking out something like this. I could have gotten some of those blog posts, at the very least. Now here I am, hoping that at least one of the people who won the book will actually read it. Maybe they’ll share it and one of their followers will buy it. Fingers crossed that they even review it… maybe?
As it currently stands, I have already sold 16 copies of The Oaf Prince and it has dropped to #396 in gay fantasy. Sales definitely slowed down over the weekend and I am trying to identify exactly what caused that as I move on in my marketing.
My next avenue of attack will be mailing lists, blog reviews and of course, friends!
The Oaf Prince will be released! Please follow and keep an eye out for more updates on book marketing, publishing and writing.