So, I gave away a total of 703 copies of my ebook, The Geek’s Guide to Indianapolis, over the last five days, Friday through Tuesday. That’s considerably more than the 200 or so I gave away the last time I made it free, over just a Saturday and Sunday. What did I discover over the course of this giveaway?
For one thing, giving your ebook away only over the weekend might be a mistake; my two busiest days, in which I gave away nearly 200 copies each, were Friday and Monday. Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday all hovered around the 100 mark.
Out of the giveaway, I picked up seven more five-star reviews, for a grand total of ten. It’s really rather impressive. I’m surprised i haven’t picked up any one-star “spoilers” yet, from people who weren’t as impressed—especially after I was fairly blatant in promoting it some places, such as Reddit. (But please don’t consider this an invitation!)
Some people say that not having a perfect five-star rating makes their reviews look more “realistic,” and less like someone faked the rating by getting a bunch of friends to chime in…but that seems like “sour grapes” to me. I’m perfectly happy to keep a five-star average for however long it lasts! I have to say it’s good for my ego to read them, and undoubtedly they’ll help make the book more attractive to people who run across it this weekend and might pay money for it. I only wish there were more of them!
And the promotion has had some other rewards as well. For one thing, I did pick up 1,353 total Kindle Unlimited page views over the weekend. Part of the reason I’d put the book up for free was that I’d heard that might happen. The only thing is, I’m not sure how much actual cash those reads are likely to translate into. How can I tell?
That’s not the only reward, either. A bit of an unexpected one is that I picked up $58.50 in Amazon Affiliate referral fees over the last week. That’s about half of what I’ve made from the book itself since first publishing it. A few of those are recognizably from Teleread articles I’ve done, such as Ready Player One or a SanDisk 32 GB SD card, but most of them are completely unfamiliar. I can only imagine that a lot of the people who followed the link to my book—which had my affiliate code built in—ended up making other purchases while they were there.
$21 of that came from seven sign-ups for Amazon services—one for Amazon Channels (which I think came from an unrelated comment I made on someone’s Facebook post) and six for Kindle Unlimited. I can only hope that those signups came from people who actually wanted the service, and not who were tricked into it by Amazon’s confusing buy buttons.
Another one I feel a little guilty over is that I sold 13 copies of the book between when I announced it a few hours early and Amazon started giving it away, for $28.18 in royalties altogether. I do hope those people did actually mean to buy it.
In any case, between those fees and my take from the book sales, this free promotion has earned me $86.68 so far, and I wasn’t even half trying. I’m sure people who earn their whole living this way can do even better. Now I just need to see how many copies I can sell this weekend.
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“And the promotion has had some other rewards as well. For one thing, I did pick up 1,353 total Kindle Unlimited page views over the weekend. Part of the reason I’d put the book up for free was that I’d heard that might happen. The only thing is, I’m not sure how much actual cash those reads are likely to translate into. How can I tell?”
The Amazon page read rate has run between $0.005 (half a cent) and $0.004 (4/10 of a cent) for the past few months, so you can figure on your 1353 page reads (not views–page reads is the term Amazon itself uses) will get you somewhere around 6 bucks. An easy rule of thumb is to divide by 200 and round down, as dividing by 200 is the same as half a cent per page.