Free Promos Part 3–The Quest for Rank

Ah…the dream. The captivating thought that you’ll click onto your book listing and discover that you’ve penned a book that shot up to number one. But as time goes on, you discover increments. Maybe not number one in the whole store, but at least #1 in a category. Something to let you know that publishing and promoting your books isn’t a waste of time and energy.

Twelve Tales coverDue in part to my thwarted attempts at hitting a #1 ranking during my Dragon Hoard promo:, I decided to compress my time frame for this promotion, on Twelve Tales of Christmas. I already had a gradually rising crescendo going in, and nine days is still a respectable amount of time, hopefully enough to convince some algorithms to pitch in with the heavy lifting.

This was the first time I’d ever run this book through these promoters, so I had the full list to work with. (For notes on individual promoters, see: In that post I came up with a tier system, with the top tier (best) color-coded here as brown, second tier–purple, third tier–green, and fourth tier gray.

The schedule looked like this:


Dec. 1-5: Read Freely, Book Praiser

Dec. 2: Ereader Love and Free Books

Dec. 4-9: Contentmo

Dec. 5-9: Discount Book Man, Ereader Café, Digital Books Today, Ask David

Dec. 6-9: Bookzio

Dec. 7-9 Reading Deals and Bookorium

Dec. 9: My Book Place, Pretty Hot, Awesome Gang


There’s no point in trying to sort out individual results because every day had multiple promoters. I did my best to set up an upward trend and let it rip. All but four promoters were aimed at the final day.

The results:

Dec. 1st—16 downloads,

Dec. 2nd—20,

Dec. 3rd—12,

Dec. 4th—12,

Dec. 5th—103,

Dec. 6th—55,

Dec. 7th–72,

Dec. 8th—244,

Dec. 9th–91.


Overall, this promo brought in the most downloads, which was nice. But as regards rank, my quest is still an ongoing thing. The best I did was:


Still, that was over 600 books moved in a little over a week. As of writing this post, Twelve Tales is showing a higher download rate than I had pre-promotion, so that bit panned out, but part of that could simply be that this is a Christmas book, and the calendar’s ticking down toward the holiday. Also, I’ve scooped up two new reviews already, which got me off the 29 reviews spot I’d been stuck in for a while.

And it didn’t cost anything. And okay, maybe I would have made a pile of hypothetical money if I’d sold the book instead, but the most likely case is that I’d have spent more than I brought in. My catalog is just too small, and it’s out of the bell curve as regards length (two novella-length collections and two novelettes).

What I really wanted out of this thing was more readers, especially ones who’d read more than one of my books. Unfortunately, getting someone to read one of your books, as hard as that seems, usually isn’t enough. If you want them to remember your name, your chances are better if they read more than one. Three or four is best, and given all the effort that goes into getting them to even crack open a single volume, that’s a daunting goal.

In my case, my also-boughts and also-viewed are showing my other books, so hopefully, I had some success in this area, although there’s no way to back that up with actual numbers.

There’s also no way to tell how many copies were actually read. The old kboards metric was ten percent, but that was based on sell-though in a series. Factoring in an average of one review per thousand copies given away, my guess at reading rate is around 20%, but that’s only a guess. If accurate, that means around 300 people read my work who probably wouldn’t have otherwise, or at least not in this time frame.

So, no money made and no viral internet presence. But still…I believe it was a success, if you’re willing to accept that success can come in increments.

Hope this helps someone else out there. Happy promoting!



Avid writer and reader of Faerie tales and noblebright fantasy.

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9 comments on “Free Promos Part 3–The Quest for Rank
  1. That was very interesting. Kudos on this! I tried a free giveaway but then didn’t track progress. Sigh.

    Good on this, Cathleen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I found that I needed to track results to improve upon it. If I’m short on time, I can still promote–I just leave out the promoters that net me the weakest returns. And I definitely needed to work out which sites won’t promote me more than once. So, I found it worthwhile, and I hope it helps you, too. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing your promo strategy and results, Cathleen. I run free promos for PURE TRASH 3 or 4 times a year and have not had much success, so your post will be very helpful to me in my next effort. Great results on your download downloads! Hope you’ll get wonderful reviews and future sales too. ❤ Wishing you and yours a beautiful and blessed Christmas! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. P.S. Just found Twelve Tales of Christmas on my kindle and will get reading them! ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hope you enjoy the read!

      As regards Pure Trash, all you can do is stay consistent. Your writing is fine–clear and descriptive. It’s just a matter of finding readers, which is getting harder as the field gets more crowded.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Cathleen, I’m very impressed with your promotion strategy and also with your vision that this is a long view of potential success. Thank you for sharing what you’ve learned. And best wishes with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hopefully you get a few nice Amazon reviews and get some word-of-mouth going. It’s word-of-mouth, after all, that ultimately sells books, and that’s the one thing an author has no control over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it’s just getting that started that’s the real trick. How to get your book in front of enough readers who want to read it, and thus create enough happy customers that some of them actually promote for you. Still working on that bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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