Saturday, July 14, 2012

Letting it ride - another free day for Huntress Moon

I decided to leave Huntress Moon up for free today, following some recent advice from Joe Konrath that you should do all five promo days in a row.   Other authors who have had good results with Select promotions say that you shouldn't do more than three days in a row because your rankings will start to drop, but I'm excited to find the book is higher today than yesterday:

#3 in all Free e books
# 1 in Thrillers
# 1 in Suspense Thrillers
# 1 in Police Procedurals
# 2 in Mysteries and Thrillers
# 2 in Genre Fiction
# 3 in Fiction

And that's a LOT of exposure the book is getting, up there with Gillian Flynn,  Karin Slaughter and  Lee Child, exactly the books and authors I want the book to be associated with.  I've already given away 33,000 books. That's a wonderful number of potential readers - even though I know not all those people will actually read the book! But it's thrilling.

I truly want to thank the people who read the book so quickly and have posted reviews already.  The book's five-star rating I'm certain really helped it climb the charts, and I am thrilled that people are responding to the book so exactly as I'd hoped.  (The reviews are also giving me some much appreciated guidance for book two, which I'm in the middle of right now.)

At this point, the promo becomes a little like gambling. Maybe not "like" at all.  Do I let it ride through tomorrow and give away every book I can possibly give?  That would be my inclination. but there's also the chance the book will drop off and not be so high on the paid charts when it goes off free.  There's no yes or no answer, here, it's just hard to know.  There really are so many intangibles, too - for three days Huntress was kind of blocked from several of top spots by a group of romance writers who were doing a huge group promo. Not that Huntress really competes with those books, or vice-versa - personally I would have scrolled right by the group of them for something more to my own genre tastes.  But it was interesting to watch - obviously the pooled resources is an effective promotional strategy.  I may have maneuvered around them by changing one of Huntress's categories mid-stream - I dropped the hard-boiled mystery category  in favor of Suspense Thriller,  and that put me at the top of Thrillers.  It freaked me out to do it, too, because I'm only just learning about categories and how they work in the rankings and I was afraid I'd lose the momentum. But again, I was taking a page from Joe Konrath - who is always saying "Experiment!"  And it seems to have worked.   (Again, I'll do a whole post on Categories soon, but I need to see what happens over the next few days first so I'll have more to report on.)

You can take your book out of Free in the middle of a promotion, by the way, although it may take several hours for the book to go back to paid status.

So that's always good to know.

It's a funny thing, I am cleaning out my house to sell it and oh my God, the BOXES of promo material I have accumulated over the last few years.  Most of it going straight into recycling.  And it really is such a contrast to what promotion is now (wonderful to have everything virtual, for one thing. It completely eliminates the clutter.  At least, the visual clutter; my computer files are not for the faint of heart.

In sorting through all this STUFF, I am reminded in living color of the days that I used to race around the country to launch a book, the bookstore signings (and will I miss those?  HAH!!!!), the frantic drivebys, the blog tours, the mailings, the bookmarks, the conferences. So much running around, and how much did it help, really?  It's unquantifiable, but it feels about a million times less effective than what I'm doing today.

Okay, I'll still go to conferences.  In fact, it's weird and a little sad not to be at Thrillerfest this weekend, even though I know I'm doing much more for my career being right here doing just exactly what I've been doing over the last few days.  And besides, RWA Nationals are in my backyard next week,  and that plus TFest would have been WAY too much partying.  I mean, networking.

But throwing out all the maps and the flyers and the addresses and the tour schedules is being amazingly liberating, a great symbolic gesture that I'm entering a brand new phase of my career.

It feels good.

So, anyone out there have any advice for me on staying in or letting it ride?  Some of you have done a lot more of this than I have!

- Alex

And if you haven't grabbed your copy of Huntress yet, well, I can't promise it will still be free tomorrow... download it here.

Related marketing posts:

The Madness of Marketing
Letting it Ride (Kindle Select promotion)
Bestseller lists and Tag lists
Liking, Sharing and Tagging 
My e publishing decision 
To Nook or Not to Nook? 
Giving it Away (Kindle Select promotion)


Sarah W said...

I'm not qualified to give advice, but I wanted to let you know that I'm halfway through the book and love it.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Oh, yay! Such a relief, too! It's funny, I write suspense and then I go through all this suspense myself hoping that people will respond.

Ellen said...

I agree with Sarah W! Grabbed it the minute you said "free for your Kindle" and read 15 chapters in what felt like no time. Now I'm starting to try to pace myself . . . (that's hard because Ch 15 is particularly good)

Liked and Tagged as well. The least we can do for such a good read!

Virginia said...

Wow, this sounds like a great success! Congratulation Alex! Im following your process real closer because I'm going to try to do the same here in Italy. Maybe next week I'll be able to put the book on Amazon. Of course we are two different reality, living in America get you lots of opportunity that we don't have. First of all the language, English is spoken everywhere. I was impressed from the success reached from Amanda Hocking, I think she's been very smart. Even if I don't know the quality of her books. They're translated in Italian too! I wish you the same success and I'll bother you again to see how this project will develop. :)

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Ellen, especially glad you like that chapter! Was hoping I'd get it in the ballpark, anyway...

Can't wait to hear what you think.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Thanks, Hevonie! Yes, you have a bigger challenge because of the smaller market. But e reader and e book sales are picking up all over the world. You're starting just when you should be. Please report on your progress!

Susan said...

Hi Alexandra :)I can't comment much on the promo side of leaving the book in for another day (I'm still trying to figure out promo myself), but I wanted to say I LOVE the cover!

Ellen said...

Alex, on top of all you do for writers, you're helping this writer in yet another way: Huntress Moon is such a pleasure that I am using it as the reward for hitting my word count. I meet my goals for the day and then get to read a chapter (OK, sometimes three chapters). Thanks!

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Ellen, that just makes me giddy! I'm SO GLAD you're liking it. I would totally be doing something wrong if you didn't.

Alexandra Sokoloff said...

Thank you, Susan! I do, too.