Aspiring author and random thinker

On Writing: Marketing

As I have mentioned before, I was at a miss about the post-publishing process. I have not invested anything but time in my book and was reluctant to look for an editor, instead improvised based on the few reviews I got. Needless to say, that is not an advisable thing to do. However, there was another reason behind my choice to publish without hiring a professional editor. I wanted – and still want – to see if the story is good enough to be read in spite of its lack of polishing – I know this is an extreme type of experimentation which bears a great deal of risk for future releases.

The one mistake I did was not offering the book for free via one of the many available ebook channels. Due to the Amazon Kindle select program, I don’t think I am allowed to unpublish it within the next three months.

There is one thing, however, which I miraculously discovered, marketing your ebook for free, or at least get people to download it for your initial push. Needless to say, a book without reviews is difficult to sell, simply because you cannot know if you are buying your money’s worth of ‘book’. Exposure is the first step for an unknown author and, I believe, any publicity is good publicity. Others might argue with me and chose to offer a book once it has been made perfect, and I agree 100%, but I am simply trying to test the waters in an unusual way.

The two pictures – which I cannot seem to control – at the end of the post are snapshots of the book’s performance during the free promo day of Friday 21st. Amazon calculates the book rank based on the total number of downloads for the given promo period, regardless of how long it is. In other words, in only one day, I managed to get my book as the 7th most downloaded free book of its genre with a 519 downloads for this day, which totaled to 724 when counting the downloads for promo I scheduled Friday and Saturday of the previous week. Notice that among the viewed list, Book of Kayal: Hands of Fate is the only which had not received any reviews.

How I did it? Is the question that should be on your minds right now. The answer is simple. I announced my free promo day as soon as the book became available for free on the following sites: (1) reddit, (2) goodreads, (3) this blog and (4) facebook.

I am not sure about the source for each download, and I assume that the frequency of interaction was a highly correlated indicator. was the most useful website as it got me a high stream of interaction with 212 up-votes and 56 down-votes across 6 different subreddits (a forum page specific for a certain topic). I posted my book in the following sections: ebooks, fantasy, self-publish, kindle, writers, kindlefreebies. Each post, however, had to be reworded and tailored to the audience – I will not be discussing this.

As for goodreads, I joined a few groups, actively contributing whenever I can, a week before. I spent some time pinpointing relevant groups regarding my genre and interests and stumbled upon a few. Most groups I joined had a section to announce your offered free books. I made my announcements and responded whenever a question was asked, I only received one or two questions thought. The interaction on goodreads was poor, but the community is made in a way to limit promotional interaction, something I do not mind at all considering all the other forums that require diligence in responding to messages.

On facebook, I received a total of 4 likes across 3 different groups, a huge disappointment considering that it is one of the most frequently visited websites which emphasize socializing. This blog had a total of 103 followers at the time of my announcement, and I have not received any interaction regarding my promo posts, making it impossible to judge their impact.

To conclude my experience during my personal marketing efforts discussed in this haphazardly written post, I found that reddit and goodreads were the best two means of marketing your book while keeping an open communication channel. The thing that is most precious about these two sites is the community. A significant amount of them offer you a great deal of help simply in return for being polite and promoting in a friendly non-selfish way. After getting helped by members of these communities several times, I also got myself more involved in them and offered as much help as I can, reflecting in more than simply gratification, but also keeping you active within these communities. While facebook and other social media did not do much to me, the amount of time spent on them was negligible, making them a ‘why not announce’ type of thing since you waste no time making your announcements and interacting with people. Reddit and goodreads, however, bear great reward while requiring a little bit of effort.

Here are the numbers:

Snapshot 1 Snapshot 2


2 responses to “On Writing: Marketing

  1. amberskyef June 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I’m really surprised with Reddit. How did you tailor your posts for each one? I have been so wary about using Reddit as a marketing tool because they apparently don’t like self-promotion. My best marketing tools have been Twitter, Facebook, and my blog. I’ve been trying to crack the Tumblr code, but I give up every time I get excited about using it as a marketing tool because it just doesn’t work for me. I try to make my posts visual, but they never get attention. They love to hear updates about the publishing process my book is currently going through with my publisher, but because publishing is such a waiting game, I don’t always have a whole lot to update on.

    But because I am with a publisher, I can’t take advantage of the free deal thing for the Kindle. I do, however, have 50+ people interested in reading the proof and doing a review, but that is no guarantee that all of them will do it, in spite of being obligated to do so since they are receiving a free book. Of course, I think I will give Reddit a try, and I’m going to pay for an ad on Goodreads since I have plenty of money to spend on marketing now that I’m not going the self-publishing route.


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