The free promotion of Ghost Stories and How to Write Them ended yesterday. For the statistic-loving nerds among you, here’s how it fared. Overall I gave away 421 copies of the book, across 4 continents (don’t you just love the global reach of Amazon?)
I made a little pie chart showing the split:
You can see that more Americans downloaded the book than Brits. The ‘Others section’ is made up of:
- Germany 7
- France 2
- Spain 1
- Italy 3
- India 2
- Canada 9
- Brazil 2
On the UK site, the book quickly went to #1 in the Reference – Writing (free) chart and stayed there for the entire 5-day promotion which was very pleasing. It also got to #3 in the Anthologies (free) chart, and stayed in the top 5. On the US site, it got into the free charts on day 1 of the promotion but then fell out again. I’d have liked it to get into the top 100 overall free books, but the highest it made was about 300.
Here’s another chart showing my overall paid sales of both How To books for comparison:
The ‘Others’ here is made up of Canada 3, Germany 1, France 1. The ‘borrowings’ are to Amazon Prime customers. You get a percentage of the Amazon Prime pot for these, but because my books’ selling price is so cheap, I get as much for a borrowing as I do for a sale.
As I put in my last post, I was hoping the promotion would lead to more reviews and perhaps more sales of my other book, Short Stories and How to Write Them. Did this happen? Well, I got one more review of Ghost Stories during the course of the promotion, and of course, I need to allow time for those people who got it for nothing to read it.
What conclusions can we draw from all this? Well it’s pretty clear the Americans like a freebie, isn’t it? 😀
And I did notice that sales of Short Stories picked up a little. Before the promotion began, it had dropped down out of the charts after its initial sales surge had ended. But as soon as the Ghost Stories promotion began, it climbed back up and stayed in the top 20 Reference – Writing (paid) chart, and also in the top 20 Anthologies (paid). So I think the promotion did have an effect on its sales.
I could probably have worked harder to promote the promotion. Apart from a few Facebook updates and a post on each of my blogs, I didn’t do a lot. Some kind friends tweeted about it and shared Facebook links. But I didn’t want to spend 5 days running around the internet looking for places to spout on about my freebie, so I did a bit and left it at that.
Would I do another free promotion? Well, yes, probably. At some point I might put Short Stories and How to Write Them down to nothing for a day or two. (But if you were thinking of buying it, please go ahead because I have no plans for free promotions at the moment and it would be next year at the earliest!)
Wendy Clarke said:
I purchased this a while back, Katha and have just finished reading it. I’ve had a couple of short stories sold but it has inspired me to have another go following the advice in your book. Hope it keeps on selling.
Thanks Wendy and good luck. Would love a review if you have a moment!
Sally Jenkins said:
Thanks for this, Kath. I’ve found that when I’ve had my e-books on free promotion I also get the most downloads in the US but, disappointingly there’s no spike in sales there following on from the promotion and few reviews too. But maybe you’ll have a different experience!
Two US sales today, so who knows…!
Cara Cooper said:
Thanks for sharing Kath. I have yet to plunge into the shark infested waters of self-publishing – I’m basically too lazy so far to do all the work involved – but am fascinated to hear other people’s experiences. Best of luck with all your books, we look forward to many more.
The hardest part is writing the first draft, the second hardest is editing the book. Both of which you have to do anyway! Publishing on Kindle was easy, fun and fascinating – I do recommend it.
I downloaded the book in the free promotion period – I live in Japan so I’m not sure where I show up on your statistics! I’ve just finished reading it, and have posted a review on Amazon.co.uk (being processed). I’ve had a few stories published by People’s Friend but have yet to have success with Take a Break FF but will definitely try them with some ghostly offerings. Thanks so much for the promotion and all your work on the womag website.
Alyson, thanks so much for your review! Much appreciated . Not sure where your download showed up, but the reports aren’t showing any downloads from Amazon.co.jp. Maybe your account is on the co.uk site?
Yes, probably co.uk. Just thought you might like to know one copy flew to Japan!
Captain Black said:
Are these statistics adjusted for the relative populations of these territories? If not, then they may be less meaningful than you think. Saying something like “more people in America did X” may indicate more about there being more people living in America than in the UK, rather than anything about X.
Good luck with sales. I bought my copy before I knew about the promotion.
Hi Captain Black. No, they’re not adjusted at all, just straight figures. I sell more in the UK than I do in the US by a long way – not surprising I suppose as most of my womagwriter blog readers are UK based; but more people in the US downloaded the book during the promotion.
Thanks for buying the book and sorry you missed out on the promotion. I’ll buy you a beer if we ever meet up.
Alyson – yes, I’m chuffed to bits to think someone in Japan has read my book! Thank you once again.
Alexa Templeton said:
Really interesting to see such a detailed breakdown of figures. Online publishing is unknown territory to me at present, but one I’ll have to battle with in the near future, so any info from the ‘sharp end’ is useful. Love the seascape, by the way!