Archive for January 14th, 2012

January 14, 2012

Free Book Giveaway Result

Last Saturday, for five days, The Long Second was available for free download from Amazon. As promised, here’s what happened.

The giveaway started at midnight PST – that’s 8am UK time. As is normal for a Saturday, I wasn’t up then – in fact I had an usually long lie-in and didn’t surface until nearly 11. I don’t take my iPhone to bed, so had no sneaky peaks before I got up.

The first thing I saw when I did finally switch on the phone were 2 Twitter Direct Messages from my online friend Joanna. The first told me she’d finished reading The Long Second, had hugeky enjoyed it and wanted to tell everybody but had noticed that the book was free, and did I want her to hold back? The second, about an hour later, stated that she couldn’t hold back and had already started telling people.

At this point, I checked the Kindle Downloads page and, to my surprise, saw that the book had already been downloaded 200 times – without me having to mention it.

Over the next few days I posted prompts on Twitter – hopefully not alienating my friends along the way – as well as Facebook, and watched as the downloads grew beyond belief.

I make no bones about it. I’m small-fry, an unknown. While I’ve seen authors claiming to ave given away 30,000 copies, I was never going to anywhere near that. Catherine Ryan Howard gave away 3,000 copies of her book. That was a more sensible figure but still, I thought, unlikely for me. In set a target of 1,000.

Let’s put that into perspective. The Long Second was published on 1 June 2011. In seven months I sold a grand total of 100 copies (on Amazon). Not terribly impressive, though still more than many achieve. In less than four hours I had given away double that. By Sunday morning, 500. By midday Monday I had reached my target of 1,000 with over 2 days remaining.

In the end, a total of 1,621 were downloaded; at one point The Long second reached number 134 in the UK free download chart and number 745 in the US chart. I would have loved to have hit the top 100, but it wasn’t to be.

As an added bonus, sales of Broken have increased by a small but significant amount. Since the end of the promotion, sales of The Long Second have been steady (though obviously much smaller).

I’ve no idea, at this stage, what longer term impact this will have. Will it have been enough to begin building the momentum, or is this destined to be the highest point for this book? Only time will tell.