Following the success of my free Golden Key promotion (A Totally Free Promo) I decided to repeat the same promo for Dragon Hoard, now that I was armed with better information about what the individual promoters could reasonably achieve.
This one went a little better, technically speaking, but I still made some mistakes. Sometimes, really, I despair over this stuff. I mean, this is as easy as promotion gets: you line up the newsletters, you wait, you record results. No generating a thousand keywords to test and track for your Amazon ads. No watching your money melt away like water if you take your eyes off it for a few days, which can happen with sponsored ads for BookBub or Facebook. These promos don’t even cost anything. It should be easy-peasy.
Of all my books, Dragon Hoard is the only one that has an Amazon free ranking that really matters. It’s permafree. For Golden Key and Twelve Tales, I’m putting them back to paid after the holiday season, so their free ranks will go away. For GK and 12T, all that ultimately counts are the number of books downloaded. The rest of this exercise is mostly data gathering and practice for when I try promoting with paid newsletters again. But since DH is going to stay free, I wanted two things: to hit a #1 category rank, but not to do it as the result of a one-day blast. Those rankings don’t tend to “stick.”
So I embarked on a quest for the perfect rising crescendo, but I hit a few snags. I was testing a few new-to-me sites that The Golden Key didn’t qualify for, due to length, so I didn’t have any idea how they’d do going in. And even more than that, Dragon Hoard was a re-run promo. I’d already used all these sites for DH back in April of 2018. But since they’d featured me before, Free Kindle Books decided not to this time—and that left me a hole right in the middle of my line-up, from Nov. 15-20. Also, Awesome Gang didn’t feature me, either, and I’d planned on them taking up some slack for day four of the AskDavid promotion, which had been pretty flat with GK. Since I didn’t have much else to fill that hole, that day didn’t do much better for DH, although fortunately I’d also scheduled Contentmo, which helped a little.
So, one of the most important things I learned from this promo is who features you only once, and who’s willing to give you another shot six months later. Both Reading Deals and Choosy Bookworm chose not to feature DH this time, which meant my finale was weak. (At least Bookzio came through.)
I’ve color-coded how I scheduled. Tier 1 (best)–brown, Tier 2—purple, Tier 3—green, Tier 4—gray.
Nov.1-5—Read Freely, My Book Place Nov.1, Ereader Café Nov 3-4
Nov. 6-10—Digital Books Today
Nov 14—Pretty Hot
Nov. 15-20 Free Kindle Books, not featured
Nov. 21-25, my finale: Ask David—all five days, but no Choosy Bookworm on day 5
Nov. 24–Awesome Gang, not featured; Contentmo
Nov. 25–Reading Deals, not featured, and Bookzio
And the list by promoters, with notes on who wouldn’t repeat.
AskDavid (https://askdavid.com/)—greatly diminished results on day 5 for second promo run, probably because Choosy Bookworm didn’t pick me up
Reading Deals—no second promo run
Book Praiser (https://bookpraiser.com/promotion/)
Awesome Gang—no second run
Free Kindle Books—no second run
Pretty Hot (https://pretty-hot.com/)
My Book Place (http://mybookplace.net/submit-your-book/)
Discount Book Man (https://discountbookman.com/book-promotion/)
Ereader Café (https://theereadercafe.com/promote-your-books/)
Read Freely (http://www.readfree.ly/newsletter-promotion/)
For all the links and notes on individual promoters, please see A Totally Free Promo for Little Fish.
I stretched this thing over the course of a month because that best mimics a gradual increase of readers, which is supposed to make your new ranking “stick” better. The value of sticking is more Amazon algorithm recommendations, but my second goal, hitting a #1 free category rank, is mostly for me. I know it’s not that big a deal—people did it so often, in paid rankings (which is probably harder) on the old kboards that there was a running thread for it. But for me it’s the kind of thing that does matter if you haven’t done it yet.
I really want to hit a #1 category rank. 🙂
Here’s the raw data for the Dragon Hoard promo run:
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (drum roll, please)…
(Here you’ll have to imagine the sound of the drummer dropping a stick, which then smacks a cymbal half-heartedly on its way down, before rolling under an amp.)
At least partly due to the unexpected holes in my line-up, my quest for a rising crescendo is still just that. And I have yet to hit a #1 category rating—the best I did was #4 in Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Folklore.
But the news isn’t all bad. I gave away 389 books during this run, which was better than my previous attempt in April of this year, which netted me 295. So, even though some sites didn’t feature me a second time, my downloads were higher overall. My guess at the greater volume for this run is the slight overlap between the Golden Key and Dragon Hoard promos. I think some of the readers scooped up both books. This is backed by my also-boughts and also-viewed on DH’s Amazon book page.
So the whole point of this post is that had I known all this stuff going in, I might have nailed my ranking quest. Now that you are smarter than I was when I started, you can probably do a better job yourself.