…that’s what friends are for, yer Grace, innit?…

ALERT ALERT ALERT —This blog post comes with a ‘look out, he’s getting a bit philosophical’  warning.  My usual feeble attempts at levity in these missives will be marginally subsumed today. My great friend, and unbelievably talented wordsmith, Jay Squires, has posed a question which I think may interest many of our writing fraternity and sorority at large. The conundrum of free promotions on the KINDLE SELECT PROGRAM. Are they worth doing? Should we give away freebies? Do money sales increase as a result? Here’s my ‘umble take on it to date, and I emphasise, this is only MY personal experience .. it may differ from that of others.
Hi Jay
I’ll be glad to share with you (and any of our great writing family friends)  how it’s working for me.
From the outset, and as I continue to hammer on about in my blogs, the promo sequences are just a PART of the overall BUSINESS CAMPAIGN
to get the world to know about the books. The ‘BUILDING THE PLATFORM’ that I screech about constantly, I learned from the great advisory blogs of
Rachel Abbott (worth looking back over her stuff on her website, too).
The key word for me at any rate is ‘awareness’. Giving away books free on Kindle only costs me the potential sale to someone who MAY have paid money for it
(but in reality probably was unlikely to pay).  In effect that costs me nothing.The hope is that FUTURE sales can get generated from the continuing writings
(The third book is now 18,500+ words of Work In Progress).
Now, to facts….numbers of sales…in the four Kindle Select Program promo sequences  I’ve done in the last twelve months, the total FREE downloads between both books was about 21,500+.
Total OVERALL downloads between both books is now 45,000+ , so just better than about 1:1 ratio of  money vs freebies. (and, I dare say, considered ‘best seller’ numbers)
I’m content with that. As for spikes in sales afterwards, in honesty, they’re not spectacular. Some yes, but not greatly significant. I think regular sales
are sourced from getting to be a household name like Child, Macbride, Baldicci, and so on, and we know that takes years to establish, if at all.
As a relative baby in all of this, I believe that my own regular sales are a DIRECT RESULT of two things :
1. REGULAR ‘PAYING IT FORWARD’… doing ReTweets and FaceBook sharing of other people’s efforts, including doing Amazon reviews for them (honest reviews at that,—puff pieces
can ultimately be more harmful if the reviewed work is substandard).. being helpful to others is incredibly fulfilling and in itself generates enormous good will.
2. BEING ACTIVE REGULARLY IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS, (but NOT spamming), to the extent that relationships build up and get sustained. You’ll have seen my weekly
AWARDS lightheartedness. I keep a sheaf of hand-written sheets by my desk and I write down the names of EVERYBODY who has mentioned me in a positive way, or RT’s me etc, and they are on my
TweetDeck filter list as Favourite Guys and Gals. I change the Awards name each week, e.g. ‘Mega Mates Awards’, ‘Best Pals Awards’, ‘Great Buddies Awards’, to try to
keep it fresh. It’s my sincere way of saying THANK YOU to all who’ve been helping me along this fantastic trip. That Awards tweeting exercise I spread out over a day or two, usually Thursdays and Fridays.
These are not done automatically. I type out every name, every week, and that keeps my relationships fresh in my head. (That special list exceeds 300 names now!)
It takes the place of the FFs, and people tell me they love it, as it guides them to new worth while followers too.
Ancillary to all of this. I now have agreement from all of the three major book distributors in the United Arab Emirates to carry my books, including at their airport outlets. I hope to see that
expand across other country outlets and airports across the Gulf.
Now that I’ve responded to all of this. It’s gonna be my blog piece today!!
I hope that’s of some help, my friend.
Yours aye,
Seumas Gallacher
Anybody else out there wanna share their experience with this stuff, positive or otherwise, let’s share it, guys and gals ..
Cheers, I’ve gotta get back into bed before Matron brings the syringe …



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

12 responses to “…that’s what friends are for, yer Grace, innit?…

  1. Andy

    I’m very new to all this and envious of those figures. I agree that for most of us, the road is a long one. I had a 3 day giveaway of a book and noticed an increase in sales of that and the then other one. I have a couple of short stories I’m about to give away, so let’s see what that does. Your airport thing sounds great.


    • I’m possibly only very marginally less new, Andy,..a year of scaling the steep learning curve is what it’s been… but instinctively i’m of the belief now, that like anything else worth while, it’s a case of slogging at it, ….the old Churchill, NEVER EVER GIVE UP approach..and plenty of the social chatter, which you’re developing excellently well… here’s my own tuppence worth… the books contain the author’s voice…the social blarney contains the author’s brand… you’ve got both of these already, chief… onwards and inwards ..eh?


  2. Pingback: My kilted brother Seumas, with fresh perspective on Kindle Select and social media…as only Seumas can :) « Thomas Rydder

  3. Aye, my brother, you’re doing a swell job, it seems. Me, I’m a bit skeptical of the worth delved from the KDP…but I guess sometimes you have to give in order to get, eh?


    • I think it’s the whole parcel that works, Thomas,.,, as Mae West used to say, I don’t care what they’re sayin’ about me, so long as they’re sayin’.. to me a free sale to someone who wouldn’t have bought in any case, is a chance of exposure and who knows what domino effect it might have ,… and it’s great marketing to say i’ve done 45,000+ downloads !!


      • Yah, I get that…I’m just not sure I’m sold on the idea of giving away scads of books. In order to get my name out there, I guess it might be worth it…


      • Maybe the way to consider it is “what do i get out of the free promo’? it’s certainly not cash (at least, not directly), but what am I giving away?.. in essence nothing.. these are virtual cyphers in the Kindle cyberspace… and if I wouldn’t have sold them anyway, so nothing lost there either.. the ‘planting seeds’ analogy perhaps works best, or consider it free advertising — free apart from your time spent in generating interest in the promo, of course ) Cheers, that man ..:):)


  4. I have had good success with KDP Select. As a starving writer I don’t have extra cash for all the publicity and promos I need to get my book out there. KDP does some of that for me. My first giveaway went beyond what I expected and my sales did skyrocket. We’ll see how the next one does in comparison. I agree, Seamus, that paying it forward is probably the most lucrative way of self-promotion there is. Although one doesn’t do it for that reason (hopefully) I’ve made many friends who have then helped me. Good post!


  5. Great post, Seumas. I am taking notes on people like yourself that are doing things the right way.

    You’ve graduated to the syringe now? You’re a prodigy, my man. Of course you did use the word subsumed… maybe that explains it. 😉


    • Cheers, that man.. yes .I’ve become a bit of a podgy prodgy thing-y, I’ll have you know in my infancy, my first three words apparently were ‘Mama’, ‘Papa’ and ‘Hexchlorophene’, so that explains some of it … 🙂


  6. Excellent post, Seumas. I commented on your return email to me which resulted in this blog post. Had I known you were going to duplicate the email, I’d have saved my comments for here. I appreciate your tossing my name out to your lake of blog followers anyway. Only one question, friend. You have a lot of respect for Rachel Abbott and I’d like to connect with her website. I tried to do a twitter search, but there are a lot of Rachel Abbotts. Do you know her website?

    Again, congrats on a super post and thanks for mentioning me in it.


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