Author Topic: FreeBookService (FBS) Update ,  (Read 70528 times)  

Offline Hudson Owen

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #425 on: December 06, 2013, 02:00:53 PM »
I'm rather partial to this lesser know work of the master.



Starry Night

Then, by Gogh, the swirly stars were begat,
Appointed by the Dutchman's sturdy strokes.
Set large like that, they'd scorch the village flat,
Had night not room for fireworks, rough jokes.

Rooms where artists lose all hope and work on,
Mental wards where a man moves with a brush.
The stars cry out, the stricken self is drawn.
Dealers with gold now notice, smart and flush.

Real gold, not the daubs he did leave there,
Swirling at auction like a calm cracked head.
The cypress will ever burn, ever scare.
"Ah, there's nothing against it," Vincent said.

(Apropos of a rainy afternoon in NYC.)






Offline SBJones

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #426 on: December 06, 2013, 02:00:59 PM »
So a potential 3,000,000 downloads from this service could potentially cost amazon $210,000 dollars. I'm sure Amazon won't mind that. At all.

Do you really think it costs 15c to send a meg of data?  We as authors are totally getting ripped off on data fees.  Your $10 a month Netflix streaming subscription would get you a whopping 67 megs at 15c a meg.  That's maybe 3 or 4 minutes of streaming.

If you think they need 15c a meg per book sold to float the data storage, energy costs and all that jazz, your still mistaken.  It's total bs to take 30% to 65% of the list price and tack this on as well.
   

Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #427 on: December 06, 2013, 02:16:42 PM »
Do you really think it costs 15c to send a meg of data?  We as authors are totally getting ripped off on data fees.  Your $10 a month Netflix streaming subscription would get you a whopping 67 megs at 15c a meg.  That's maybe 3 or 4 minutes of streaming.

If you think they need 15c a meg per book sold to float the data storage, energy costs and all that jazz, your still mistaken.  It's total bs to take 30% to 65% of the list price and tack this on as well.

Okay then. My math was off but a loss of revenue is a loss of revenue. They're not getting that 7 cents when somebody downloads a free book. Whether or not they are justified in charging those costs is a different conversation. I'm sure they let the permafrees continue on because they bring in sales. There is no evidence that this 'service' brings those readers in.

Offline Hudson Owen

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #428 on: December 06, 2013, 02:38:20 PM »
Maybe I'll try FBS.  Freebooksy is supposed to be legit, right?  OK, so I did a $50 promo with them a month ago. The stats say that ad generated 688 downloads, not thousands, mind you, but still you would think something would happen.  The odometer would roll over one mile.  Someone might hate the book enough to give it a 1-star dismissal.  Nope.  Not a sale, not a review.  Not a footprint; not a wisp of gun smoke.  Makes me wonder if the stats are real.  Is there any record of someone hacking your account and wiping off stats?

Offline Kat Lilynette

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #429 on: December 06, 2013, 02:42:08 PM »
It hasn't been proven that the manipulation is artificial. Only subject to critical speculation. Some of the results and the response by amazon to someone's query tend to indicate otherwise.

But because we can't figure out how the magician pulls a rabbit out of an empty hat, that doesn't make it magic. Once you know how the trick is done, it becomes obvious.

And it p***es all us smart people off that we can't figure the trick out.  >:(



It has been proven. Just look at the data from download to conversions on the 10,000 that have been posted in this thread (particularly Emily's drop from near 100% conversion to .04%). No one's data seems to indicate anything other than real readers only being acquired through the improved visibility, not the 10k itself. Math doesn't lie. Whether it's 10,000 hamsters downloading books they can't read or 10k people being paid to download, they aren't readers and it's artificial manipulation that games the marketplace rankings, which the email I posted from KDP says they do not approve of.

Offline JRHenderson

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #430 on: December 06, 2013, 02:53:36 PM »
On the Street Where You Die (#1 in the series, the featured book, and perma-free): 6 sales in that period. Where did they buy it, and how much did they pay? Do KDP Reports include Createspace paperback sales? I might send KDP customer support an inquiry on this one.

Al, when I click the thumbnail of OTSWYD in your sig, my browser goes through to the sales page on Amazon.com and offers me the book for $1.25. I'm in the UK. Don't know if that's any help...


Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #431 on: December 06, 2013, 06:17:34 PM »
It has been proven. Just look at the data from download to conversions on the 10,000 that have been posted in this thread (particularly Emily's drop from near 100% conversion to .04%). No one's data seems to indicate anything other than real readers only being acquired through the improved visibility, not the 10k itself. Math doesn't lie. Whether it's 10,000 hamsters downloading books they can't read or 10k people being paid to download, they aren't readers and it's artificial manipulation that games the marketplace rankings, which the email I posted from KDP says they do not approve of.
That's not proof. But it would lead one to surmise...
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 06:19:58 PM by Al Stevens »

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #432 on: December 06, 2013, 06:22:46 PM »
Al, when I click the thumbnail of OTSWYD in your sig, my browser goes through to the sales page on Amazon.com and offers me the book for $1.25. I'm in the UK. Don't know if that's any help...
That would explain it. So you have to pay a buck twenty five for a ninety-nine cent book now discounted to zero? Hardly seems right.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #433 on: December 06, 2013, 09:47:28 PM »
Folks, this thread is locked while we review and discuss....

EDIT:  OK, I've removed a post and am going to reopen the thread.  However, at some point today, I'm going to review the entire thread.

Let me be clear:  if you have specific, personal experience with this service, by all means post about your experience.  However, third party information or posts that consists of attacks, innuendo or fall under WHOA (what happens on another site) will not be allowed.  As I say, I'm going to be reviewing the entire thread.

Thanks,

Betsy
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 04:46:57 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Lisa Grace

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #434 on: December 07, 2013, 08:14:26 AM »
It hasn't been proven that the manipulation is artificial. Only subject to critical speculation. Some of the results and the response by amazon to someone's query tend to indicate otherwise.

But because we can't figure out how the magician pulls a rabbit out of an empty hat, that doesn't make it magic. Once you know how the trick is done, it becomes obvious.

And it p***es all us smart people off that we can't figure the trick out.  >:(



You're not reading the thread or ignoring responses, because I know of several authors, including Shelley Hitz, who have emailed Amazon with their concerns, and in every case, Amazon has said these are legitimate Kindle owners and Kindle ap owners doing the dls. This means that yes, they are potential readers.

There are several ways you can hit groups without resorting to mailing lists of individuals, and many marketers prefer to buy list of these people and market to them.

This is no different than Bookbub or any other service out there. They're targeting potential readers, and some target better than others.

I'm still at #32 and having higher dls on the rest in my series.

 
 
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Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #435 on: December 07, 2013, 09:33:37 AM »
You're not reading the thread or ignoring responses, because I know of several authors, including Shelley Hitz, who have emailed Amazon with their concerns, and in every case, Amazon has said these are legitimate Kindle owners and Kindle ap owners doing the dls. This means that yes, they are potential readers.

There are several ways you can hit groups without resorting to mailing lists of individuals, and many marketers prefer to buy list of these people and market to them.

This is no different than Bookbub or any other service out there. They're targeting potential readers, and some target better than others.

I'm still at #32 and having higher dls on the rest in my series.

 
Are you sure you're responding to the right message? You seem to be agreeing with me.  :D

Offline djv1120

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #436 on: December 07, 2013, 09:45:34 AM »
Ok, I am new to K Boards and publishing.  My first book was published on Wednesday.  I am doing a free promo through Kindle Select and 36 hours in, I have barely cleared 100 downloads.  My wife has been published for over a year and she used to routinely pull 1000+ downloads on a 2 day promo, but it sounds like those days are gone.

I am looking at this thread analytically.  I don't care about sales of related books during the period.  I simply care about rankings.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what the real purpose of this service is?  Drive your book rankings higher so they get in front of more regular readers.  Any sales that happen during the promotion is icing on the cake.  The way I look at it is that I am paying $300 to put my book at the top of the rankings for a particular genre or niche.  If that doesn't translate into $300 in sales, I think I need to get out of this business.

The only downside would be if Amazon yanked my book.  Has anybody had that happen?  Has anybody heard that could happen?  

As I mentioned above, I am a newbie and could be looking at things the wrong way.  I definitely want to learn how to be successful so somebody please tell me where I am off base here.

Thanks,
Dave
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Offline Quiss

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #437 on: December 07, 2013, 09:54:47 AM »
Ok, I am new to K Boards and publishing.  My first book was published on Wednesday.  I am doing a free promo through Kindle Select and 36 hours in, I have barely cleared 100 downloads.  My wife has been published for over a year and she used to routinely pull 1000+ downloads on a 2 day promo, but it sounds like those days are gone.

Neither of these figures will help you with rankings if you have only one book out.
Having free downloads helps to push a book up on the FREE list, which often means that those who download the book will also grab titles of your others, especially if they appear on the book page's "also bought" list.  After that, those who downloaded the free book may also go on to then purchase the other books after they finished reading it, which is what is meant by conversion. So the more people who read your free book and like it, the more chances you have to sell other books.

If you have just the one title, offering a free promotion, these days against thousands of other titles, is not very effective any more.  It may get you some sign-ups for your mail list (you do have one, right?) which is valuable. Or a review or two, which is also good.
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Offline SBJones

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #438 on: December 07, 2013, 10:16:19 AM »
Ok, I am new to K Boards and publishing.  My first book was published on Wednesday.  I am doing a free promo through Kindle Select and 36 hours in, I have barely cleared 100 downloads.  My wife has been published for over a year and she used to routinely pull 1000+ downloads on a 2 day promo, but it sounds like those days are gone.

I am looking at this thread analytically.  I don't care about sales of related books during the period.  I simply care about rankings.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what the real purpose of this service is?  Drive your book rankings higher so they get in front of more regular readers.  Any sales that happen during the promotion is icing on the cake.  The way I look at it is that I am paying $300 to put my book at the top of the rankings for a particular genre or niche.  If that doesn't translate into $300 in sales, I think I need to get out of this business.

The only downside would be if Amazon yanked my book.  Has anybody had that happen?  Has anybody heard that could happen?  

As I mentioned above, I am a newbie and could be looking at things the wrong way.  I definitely want to learn how to be successful so somebody please tell me where I am off base here.

Thanks,
Dave

It's an interesting debate.  If you remove the ethic debate and just look at money spent vs money earned; a filtered and targeted email ad like bookbub uses should be superior to a rank booster.  Bookbub will get you rank and the people downloading the book are more interested in reading it.  This will lead to sales of additional works and reviews.  This service, which appears to offer nothing more than a number of downloads, misses that.  This service does guarantee a number of downloads that BB cannot.  BB does address this with a sliding scale of prices based upon genera.

The sales earned from visibility should be a constant.  In other words if you land in the top 10, the same number of people are going to then see your book regardless of what method you used to get there.  Now it becomes a math game.  How much does a front page book earn?  Is this enough to cover the money spent on the Free Book Service, because that's all you get with it?

I think you can look at BB's prices and get the answer to that.  Popular genera are going to do better regardless.  Non popular will still suffer because even if you rank boost to the top 10, there just wont be enough interest in the genera to keep you there long enough to generate sales.  Thus the flat rate the rank boost is charging makes it worthless for the Leprechaun Prepper book, but probably a steal for Romance/Thriller.

Several other variables have to be factored in as well like: number of other works available, value of a review, value of a newsletter signup, number of other promotions going on at the same time etc. etc.
   

Offline kdarden

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #439 on: December 07, 2013, 10:33:07 AM »
I agree with Quiss - if you only have one book out, the most important thing you can do is get a second book written.

Friends who have used this service have seen sales of the promoted book afterwards, but I have only used it for a permafree book, so can only speak to that. It has definitely pushed up sales of all of the books in my series. The 4-book bundle continues to be my bestseller.

Also, as I posted earlier, even though I had over 7400 downloads for my very first fiction, people had no where to go, so it didn't do me much good after the next few days of sales. I did have a mailing list, but did not get a lot of signups for that either.

So, get that second book written and think about holding off on the heavy promotion for book one until about the time book two is ready.

And remember, your writing will (most likely) get better with each book, so don't give up if you don't sell $300 of the first book - especially right away. Most successful authors have a desk full of unpublished and/or less-than-wildly-successful manuscripts before they hit their stride.

Offline Becca Mills

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #440 on: December 07, 2013, 10:50:06 AM »
Ok, I am new to K Boards and publishing.  My first book was published on Wednesday.  I am doing a free promo through Kindle Select and 36 hours in, I have barely cleared 100 downloads.  My wife has been published for over a year and she used to routinely pull 1000+ downloads on a 2 day promo, but it sounds like those days are gone.

I am looking at this thread analytically.  I don't care about sales of related books during the period.  I simply care about rankings.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what the real purpose of this service is?  Drive your book rankings higher so they get in front of more regular readers.  Any sales that happen during the promotion is icing on the cake.  The way I look at it is that I am paying $300 to put my book at the top of the rankings for a particular genre or niche.  If that doesn't translate into $300 in sales, I think I need to get out of this business.

The only downside would be if Amazon yanked my book.  Has anybody had that happen?  Has anybody heard that could happen?  

As I mentioned above, I am a newbie and could be looking at things the wrong way.  I definitely want to learn how to be successful so somebody please tell me where I am off base here.

Thanks,
Dave

Congrats on your book and welcome to KB, Dave!

You'll need to get a lot of free downloads during a Select run in order to spread the word about your book. A thousand downloads may sound good, but you need to be thinking more in terms of 10K to 20K to really get the word out about your book. You want to get the word out there as much as possible ahead of time, so the maximum number of readers know your book will be available; that means spending several weeks laying the groundwork ahead of time. It's not as easy to do as it used to be, since Amazon has made it financially difficult for sites to promote free books and still make income as Amazon Affiliates (which is a sort of commission-on-sales program).

I haven't bee in Select for almost a year, now, so I'm not up on what works best at this point. But KB authors have been collecting data on running effective Select promos for several years, and if you go back some pages on the forum, you'll probably find the mega-thread on Select, which contains lots of info. Don't start too far back, though, as a lot of the info will be dated.

We haven't seen any sign that Amazon is about to pull people's books or delete their publisher accounts if they use Free Book Service / Kindle Domination. That said, the service is brand new. Amazon hasn't had a chance to catch up with exactly what's going on, here, and we know that the company is given to sudden and extreme reaction with they get bad PR (in the last year or so, authors have had numerous legit reviews deleted from their books because Amazon got stung by a fake-review scandal and started purging reviews left and right in reaction).

Personally, I don't think it's worth taking a chance. For one thing, a reputation for integrity matters a lot in this business. It won't look good, in the long term, if you knowingly use a service other authors have pretty convincingly established is shady. If FBS is eventually vindicated, great -- use them then. But I think this thread shows there's a very small chance of that. Note especially the posts by David, Phoenix, and others who did research/provide hard data.

For another thing, the service is extremely expensive. Since those first 10K downloaders are not going to be reading your book, you're actually paying $299 for whoever else happens to download the book, due to the heightened exposure it gets on the Top 100 Free list. So if you get 16K downloads, you've paid $299 for 6K downloads. That's really a lot of money.

Now, you're just starting out, and those 6K "real reader" downloads might net you 6-12 reviews. That's significant when you're a brand new author. Personally, I still wouldn't take the risk. There are so many small free-book blogs who'll promote you book for free. Getting to 6K downloads on your own is quite doable, depending on your book's genre and presentation.

And setting aside ethics and speaking from pure self-interest, if there's even a .01% chance of getting caught in the thrashing, foaming fit of an enraged 500-pound gorilla (a.k.a. angry Amazon backlash), I'm not going there.

ETA: Here's the mega-thread on Select: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,98775.0.html
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 11:01:14 AM by Becca Mills »

Offline David J Normoyle

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #441 on: December 07, 2013, 11:11:49 AM »
You're not reading the thread or ignoring responses, because I know of several authors, including Shelley Hitz, who have emailed Amazon with their concerns, and in every case, Amazon has said these are legitimate Kindle owners and Kindle ap owners doing the dls. This means that yes, they are potential readers.

There are several ways you can hit groups without resorting to mailing lists of individuals, and many marketers prefer to buy list of these people and market to them.

This is no different than Bookbub or any other service out there. They're targeting potential readers, and some target better than others.

I'm still at #32 and having higher dls on the rest in my series.


You must have been reading a different thread to most of the rest of us.

Pretty much everyone else has concluded that this service supplies empty downloads that gets you high up the lists and from there readers can find you.

As for being okay with Amazon, I'd say that this service has only recently been brought to their attention. Be interesting to see how they handle it.


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Offline Crime fighters

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #442 on: December 07, 2013, 11:38:58 AM »
You're not reading the thread or ignoring responses, because I know of several authors, including Shelley Hitz, who have emailed Amazon with their concerns, and in every case, Amazon has said these are legitimate Kindle owners and Kindle ap owners doing the dls. This means that yes, they are potential readers.
 

Well no, they never said that. They said they were being downloaded by real people. Basically, that is anyone with an Amazon account. The majority of which do not have Kindles or kindle apps.

Offline Saul Tanpepper

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #443 on: December 07, 2013, 12:31:17 PM »
Well no, they never said that. They said they were being downloaded by real people. Basically, that is anyone with an Amazon account. The majority of which do not have Kindles or kindle apps.

Not sure you can buy an ebook without owning a Kindle or directing it to an app.
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Offline djv1120

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #444 on: December 07, 2013, 12:51:47 PM »
Neither of these figures will help you with rankings if you have only one book out.
Having free downloads helps to push a book up on the FREE list, which often means that those who download the book will also grab titles of your others, especially if they appear on the book page's "also bought" list.  After that, those who downloaded the free book may also go on to then purchase the other books after they finished reading it, which is what is meant by conversion. So the more people who read your free book and like it, the more chances you have to sell other books.

If you have just the one title, offering a free promotion, these days against thousands of other titles, is not very effective any more.  It may get you some sign-ups for your mail list (you do have one, right?) which is valuable. Or a review or two, which is also good.

I agree that this service probably wouldn't be very effective right now because I only have one book out.  I am thinking more for when I have another book done.  I guess that means I have time to follow this thread further before making a decision.  Right now, I still think this sounds like a good deal though.

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Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #445 on: December 07, 2013, 12:53:11 PM »
Not sure you can buy an ebook without owning a Kindle or directing it to an app.
download to your computer.  is an option.   So yes you easily can.
Oops they may have changed that.  Since it asked me which one I planned to put it on but anyone can get a k4pc app free.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 12:57:15 PM by cinisajoy »
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Offline Michael J. Scott

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #446 on: December 07, 2013, 02:11:41 PM »
I dunno, guys. So far all I'm seeing are people who do use the service getting fair to pretty good results, and people who don't use the service insisting that it's bad.

And all I've got is some popcorn stuck in my teeth from watching it all.

Frankly, I really don't quite know what to make of it.  :-\
         

Offline BillSmithBooksDotCom

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #447 on: December 07, 2013, 04:11:31 PM »
This has been quite the entertaining thread.

I have a basic question (if this is a legitimate offer) --

How can this service "guarantee" a specific number of downloads...unless they have some means of directly controlling/directing those downloads (i.e., they have some means of telling people/bots exactly what to download)?

To get, say, 10,000 downloads -- if it is anything other than a method that the service directly controls (a "clickfarm") -- they would have to send out hundreds of thousands, millions of emails or other notifications to get that many clickthroughs -- and again, not only has no one ever heard of them, the site owner is actively refusing dedicated, qualified leads that would undoubtedly lead to higher numbers of downloads, something that would make his service even more valuable to his customers.

So, yeah, I strongly suspect this is a clickfarm, not unlike Goldminers on World of Warcraft.

If this is a service that legitimately has millions of members, even if through some elaborate" network of blogs, book clubs, affiliate programs, etc., anyone with any SEO/Google-foo should be able to track who his affiliate/promoters are -- just do targeted searches for the titles, authors, AISNs (since those will be in the links) and date ranges that have enrolled in the system and see where those titles have been appearing -- which blogs, facebook lists, clubs, twitter feeds, etc. where these books are showing up.

And if they are not showing up, we have confirmation that the "service" is undoubtedly a clickfarm...aside from all of the other anecdotal info* that suggests that this is a bot/payperclick or some other form of download manipulation.

* 1) Immediate off a cliff drop-off after the "promotion" ends compared to traditional tapering drop-off with other sites, 2) lack of increase in downloads in the same authors' other permafree books as seen on other promo programs and sites, 3) site owner's claims to have nearly a million members and be able to guarantee a set # of downloads, regardless of genre or niche, 4) owner touting having a network of nearly a million members but being apparently uninterested in adding actual *readers* that visit sites like Kboards.

(Sites like Bookbub don't guarantee downloads, only distribution to a set # of subscribers -- they send out hundreds of thousands of emails and only a certain percentage actually follow through to click and download. This is just like traditional advertising -- in the same way that traditional, legitimate advertising can only guarantee IMPRESSIONS but can never guarantee CONVERSIONS. Any service that promises conversions, as this one does, raises incredible red flags.)

Personally, I think this is just about getting downloads, not readers, and the only benefit from that is the short-term boost in rankings...which, depending upon who you ask, may or may not actually lead to sales. It seems that, in general, authors are spending more for the service than they are getting back in sales and ranking benefit.
Bill Smith is the author of the Outlaw Galaxy series and several Star Wars books. Visit him at www.BillSmithBooks.com or www.OutlawGalaxy.com. Blogging at www.BillSmithBooks.blogspot.com. The Outlaw Galaxy series features free-wheeling space fantasy action-adventure...fun for readers of all ages.rnrnrnOutlaw Galaxy: Hunter's Truth and Other Tales (short story collection) is now available at most retailers.
Bill Smith | Outlaw Galaxy: Hunter\'s Truth and Other Tales | BillSmithBooks.com | BillSmithBlog.com

Offline KMatthew

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #448 on: December 07, 2013, 05:25:16 PM »
I actually used this service on Friday, and while I wanted to wait a full week to give a review, I figured I would lay out what I have discovered so far.

First off, I used the 10,000 download package on a perma-freebie that already had a decently high free rankings. Before the promo, it was sitting at around 3,000 in the overall Amazon store.

Yesterday, the downloads started rolling in. Though the service says you'll get your downloads over the course of two to three days, I'm pretty sure I got them all yesterday, as there hasn't been much movement today.

The book in questions shot all the way up to #9 in the overall Amazon store at its best ranking. It also hit #1 in several popular categories.

This book has already had its moment in the sun in the past. When it was first released, it got a very high free ranking organically and pushed the novel that it was serialized as a part of into the top 100 paid of several popular categories. Having said that, I also have two books right now that are in the top 100 free in the UK organically, and the sales that I have been getting on that particular series have been phenomenal. When actual readers download your freebie in mass quantities, you can usually expect to generate a lot of sales for the other books in your series.

That has not been the case with this download service.

Do you get the downloads you paid for? Yes.
Are they from Amazon verified readers? Yes.
Are they from people who are actually potential buyers? I don't believe so.

I'm still going to keep track of my sales on the series between now and Friday before I come to any definite conclusion. As is right now though, what I'm seeing from these free downloads is NOT normal reader activity. You have to take into consideration that out of 10,000 people downloading a free book, some of them will buy other books in the same series. I'm not seeing that with this promotion.

The bright side is that having the book ranked so high does expose it to actual readers. Since the promotion, I've had close to 3,000 downloads from what I am going to consider actual readers, and it has lead to some sales. I bolded some, because the amount is a bit underwhelming.

At this point, the question becomes, what is the ROI? I won't be able to tell until the end of the week. Since this is the first part of a serialized novel, I feel safe to assume that people who do pick it up with the intention of reading it will probably make a purchase of the other parts within 7 days. As of right now though, I'm about 99% sure I'm going to end up losing money on this campaign.

And did I mention that my ranking slipped once the campaign ended, from spot 9 to spot 26 in one day? Tomorrow, I imagine it will be even higher.

Also, I did a search on my book to see where it showed up for the day that my promotion ran. I did find one free book website that was promoting it, but that was all.

Again, this promotion was only run yesterday, so there is still time for things to change and kick up. I'm not going to hold my breath though. I will report back on Friday with my final analysis.

« Last Edit: December 07, 2013, 05:33:42 PM by KMatthew »

Offline Al Stevens

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Re: Kindle "Free Book Service" official thread - Increase your rank
« Reply #449 on: December 07, 2013, 05:32:37 PM »
FWIW, the featured book, which has reposed without much attention for almost two years, has, since being featured by FBS for two days, received 4 new reviews (two 4* and two 5*). This is after 15,500+ downloads. It's still #1 in its genre and now in the top 100 free. The other two books in the series, also sleepers, have sold 30 copies between them since the promotion began.

Probably those who disapprove of or don't believe in this PR strategy, won't find much in those numbers to validate the service. But that's how PR works. You spend money and effort putting your work (and your name) in front of your potential readership. Then, if it works, one day you get "discovered," you become an overnight sensation. :) That's when the money invested begins to flow in the other direction. One would hope...