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.


5 Comments to “Free Book Giveaway Result”

  1. Hmmm… O think I’ll do the same to celebrate the release of my new title in October… We’ll see!

  2. I downloaded the free Kindle version of The Long Second and enjoyed it. As soon as I’d finished TLS, I bought Broken which I am also enjoying and have nearly finished.

    Good reads, both of them, and although I sometimes found Tony exasperating in that he couldn’t see what was in front of him, it was interesting to have a “hero” who was very much human and wasn’t always the “brightest bulb in the light store”. Thanks.

    I’m looking forward to the final book in the trilogy. Please don’t keep us waiting too long.

  3. Carla
    Thanks so much for you kind words. It really does mean a lot to know people are enjoying the books.
    I hope to have the final part completed by summer this year.

    Do! I think its been very worthwhile – sales have remained steady at a higher rate than previously since the promotion ended.

  4. I’ve just read “the Long Second” which I downloaded for free from Amazon a dew months ago. The good news is that I enjoyed it and it has inspired me to buy Broken – but I do hope the proof reading is a bit better. There were almost enough silly mistakes to stop me reading, some typos, some research errors (how could Alice have flown British Airways in 1968 when they were founded in 1974?).

    • Oh, now that is embarrassing… though nobody else has mentioned it so I guess it’s not something than most people actually know.
      If you have other examples I’d be very happy to hear them.

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