At the end of two days, GROWING UP COUNTRY-Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl had been downloaded 7,173 times, landing me at #52 on the Kindle Top 100 Best Seller list as well as at #1 or #2 on various non-fiction history and biography lists.
My #1 goal for the promotion was to expand awareness for my book and that happened.
But, even as I was reveling in the child-like wonder of watching my book rise in the ranks, I was already hearing my public relations counselor self whisper in my ear--What did we learn? What worked? What didn't? What will we do differently next time?
Now that I've had a few minutes to take a breath, here's what I learned.
It takes a village
In 48 hours, you have to get the word about your free book out to as many people as possible. You can't do this alone. I signed up for the World Literary Cafe 15th of the month Free For All. The $10 investment was well worth it. WLC featured my book along with others on their website and their Tweet teams went into overdrive to promote.
I engaged my friends in the Facebook and Twitter worlds to help spread the news. Since most authors are going to be doing the same themselves someday, everyone plays. More on that below.
Next time -- I'll also join some of the WLC Tweet Teams (free) and add WLC Social Media Mania (paid) to the mix to extend the goodness beyond the Free days.
If you ask, someone will answer - but make it easy
The indie author world is a caring, sharing group. If you ask, someone has done it before and will readily share their learning. I participate in several Facebook indie author groups and several Kindle Free promo groups. I posted my Free Day promo on all pages each day and I was bold in asking people to share the news with their friends. To make it easy to share, I made sure my posts were Tweetable length and already included hashtags. So anyone who chose to, could just cut and paste to Twitter.
Here are links to a few of my favorite Facebook indie author groups -
- Indie Authors Promo https://www.facebook.com/groups/279403915471105/
- Memoirs-R-Us https://www.facebook.com/groups/166765903397390/
- The Heard - An Author's Voice https://www.facebook.com/groups/358463560861573/
- WLC Book Marketing & Branding https://www.facebook.com/groups/265856476824177/ (only for people who have taken a WLC Book Branding workshop led by best selling author Melissa Foster)
Next time -- There are a long list of sites that list free books and many list for free. I knew of only a few going into my promotion. Now I know of many more, and I'll post to every one.
A BIG shout out to Clare Ayala for sharing her experience with Kindle Select promos on her blog. In another post, she provides a long list of promo sites. While you're there, check out her novel - Michal's Window. If you like historical fiction and romance, you can't go wrong with this one.
Social Media is Full Time WORK
Now I have firsthand experience with why companies hire people to manage their social media presence. It's work. The advice from experts in doing a Free Day promotion is to 'Tweet like crazy.' Even with a Tweet scheduling platform like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, tweeting, responding, adapting kept me at my computer all day.
Next Time -- I'll do more of what I did this time. I wrote pages of Tweets out in advance so all I had to do was cut and paste. I'll still be at the computer responding to messages and thanking people over and over for helping spread the word. And I'll collapse in exhaustion - but happy - at the end.
The bottom line to my experience is that next time I'll do the same and more. Part of the problem with experiences like this, is you don't know what you don't know until it's over. But from my perspective, it's fun. I'm learning, so it's all good. As I learn more, I'll share. It's what social media is all about.
Note-Image from squidoo.com