To recap, with an aggressive promotion through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and this blog, the story was downloaded 166 times in the US, and hit #6 in its genre. But, I was curious to know how much the hard work of promoting actually helped.
In order to see whether the book would have received almost as many downloads simply by appearing as a free title on Amazon, I set up a "Free for Friday" promotion for last week - when I knew that I'd be in Hong Kong watching a rugby tournament, and as far away from my computer and the temptation to promote the book as possible.
The result? A mere 20 downloads. Promotional efforts, even if they weren't optimal, had generated 8 times the interest in the book as it would receive otherwise.
Or was that actually the case? What if the niche for this book was really saturated, and the low number of downloads only reflected this, not a difference in the value of promotional efforts?
Clearly, it's time for another round of testing!
Thus, in April, I'll run another pair of "Free for Friday" events, with promotional techniques refined based on my learning experiences from the first event.
- Synchronized and relevant "guest blogging" or author interviews.
- Development of a Core Group of readers willing to help with promotion.
- Use of a Facebook post designed to go viral through "shares" vs. "likes."
- Segmented promotional help requests.
If this third event also results in a high number of downloads, it will lend credence to the idea that promotion makes an impact, and may show that some techniques are better than others when it comes to promoting a book.