Well, that was a bit of a flop *laughs*

Experiment #1 in my foray into self-publishing promo results: 0 newsletter signups and 1 confirmed sale

Well, actually, there’s been two paid unit sales since I started this, um, 6 days ago, but since the second unit was sold after I stopped tweeting about the giveaway, I’m not really counting it. Just to be safe.

So, my thoughts on why it was such a flop.

Keeping in mind my variables: 0 people on my newsletter when I started out. 70 followers on my twitter account, a substantial portion of which are other authors. First book. No regular commentators on my blog. Hrm, probably not even any regular readers at the moment.

*laughs* Sounds pretty dismal when laid out like that, doesn’t it?

Anyway, moving on to what I should have done differently in this experiment:

As Laura pointed out, it would have been better if I had set the “free” days to coincide with the beginning of the giveaway. Hook people in with the pretty cover, grab them with the blurb and then try to move some units. None of which I did, by the way, because I can be an awkward bunny. However, I do have useful information right now, which is apparently my sphere of contact doesn’t really go in for KU at this moment. There were zero KU units moved, which is something I had not expected. I was expecting, y’know, maybe one, or two, nothing earth-shattering, but not zero.

Laura‘s awesome, by the way. Wonderful person in addition to being a fantastic writer.

The way to enter the giveaway was by signing up for the newsletter and then emailing me to tell me what book/author they were interested in. Yeah, I know, I made it way too complicated. This would be where over-thinking things does no one credit. Since I’m giving away books by well-known authors with an established fan base, I didn’t want to limit the selection in case I ended up gifting someone a book they already owned or had already read. Yeah, yeah, I was trying too hard in too many directions — I was hoping to introduce new readers to authors I liked too. End result? Nada. *laughs*

Really, the blurred language was also to blame, I think. Also, the too-long post. Also just vagueness in general. I’m not sure people understood what I wanted and what to expect in terms of being chosen for the giveaways.

So next time keep it super simple. Got it.

Then I think I ran into a problem where I just wasn’t comfortable with pushing myself out there. I tried tweeting about the giveaway for the first four days, but after that I just felt uncomfortable about it. Especially since no one seemed to be really excited. AND I was running up into the wall of being uncertain about Twitter etiquette and how best to write tweets that catch interest and make people want to retweet.

Well, again, the lack of enthusiasm might have been because, again, messy language and vague expectations but I think also because I have so few twitter followers and so many of my friends are writers.

So, I wasn’t intending on trying to sell to my fellow writers, but I was hoping to snag the interest of their readers. With the speed at which tweets get thrown around and the ratio of writers to readers and general luck, I’m not sure how much attention I actually caught. How much attention I caught and then lost is another variable that I cannot know without intensive drilling down of statistics that I do not have the setup for at the moment. So my pool was already small to begin with and then it got limited way more by circumstances… not good.

I’m a numbers addict so I might do the whole shebang at some point. Y’know, hosting my own short URLs and then apply analytics to see clicks and then resulting signup/sales. I shouldn’t because I should really be writing, but… delicious numbers.

Okay. So the experiment is still on-going. I’ll probably do another burst of tweets and stuff when the book goes free on the 18th and see how that goes.

For now, however, I’m going to go back to work.

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