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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've been thinking about giving away one of my books to help increase readership and sales. Do the giveaways really work?

I know they work temporarily, but do they have any long lasting results? Do the numbers stay elevated above the price before the sale or do they return to the status quo?
 

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I can only speak for my own experience. I gave away 24 copies of my mystery-thriller when it first came out, and that resulted in three positive Amazon reviews, which no doubt helped kick start sales. I would imagine those original reviews continue to influence potential readers, but no way to really quantify it.
 

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I love doing book giveaways on reader blogs. It's a name recognition marketing strategy. It may or may not bump sales, but the most important thing is is makes people take notice of you. There is a saying people need to see something 7 times before they buy. Giveaways, which take very little time to setup, are a great way to achieve that visibility.
Or so I've noticed :)
Eve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
EveLanglais said:
I love doing book giveaways on reader blogs. It's a name recognition marketing strategy. It may or may not bump sales, but the most important thing is is makes people take notice of you. There is a saying people need to see something 7 times before they buy. Giveaways, which take very little time to setup, are a great way to achieve that visibility.
Or so I've noticed :)
Eve
Thanks Eve. Could you explain "book giveaways on reader blogs" in more detail. Which blogs are you talking about? That sounds very interesting.
 

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This might be a little different than a publicized giveaway, but I can say thus far, my method hasn't done much.  I made my novella free on Smashwords for a weekend.  I didn't publicize it, I just put it up for free in the hopes I'd get a review.  50 copies were downloaded. Three weeks later it has not resulted in any additional sales or reviews. 

Just throwing it out there for what its worth.  I'm sure in some circumstances a giveaway helps.  Good luck!
 

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Hi Lisa, I experienced the same thing. My book "What in Hell is up with Heaven?" had quite a few downloads (nearly 100) but no reviews or increased sales on my other books (not even any interest/downloads in the others) - really strange.

I've pretty much given up any hope at Smashwords being of any use to me. Some methods work, some don't. You still have to try though, right?
 

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I've done book giveaways on Goodreads.com, and I think that has helped quite a bit.  I know I've garnered reviews that way, but I think it's also helped boost sales not just for the book I'm giving away but also the other novels I have out there.
 

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Modwitch and I also did a "cross promo" give away where I gave copies of my books to three of her fans and she gave copies of hers to three of mine.

The results were quite surprising and resulted in some new insights into out respective audiences.
 

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I have done two book giveaways on Goodreads. The first giveaway was for two weeks, and over 600 people signed up to win 5 copies of the my short story collection, Trouble Down South and Other Stories.

The second is on-going now with over 400 people signed up to win 1 copy of the short story collection.

I got 5 great reviews from the first giveaway and 2 from this giveaway so far. I also have over 240 friends on Goodreads as a result of the giveways and 20 or so regular readers who are currently reading my short story Missus Buck, to hopefully give reviews on it.

I am using this to build my following of readers, and it is working well for that purpose.

Katrina
 

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That sounds very successful, Katrina.  I'm going to wait until I release a few more books before I do a big push like that, so hopefully my other books can benefit too.  Glad it worked out for you.
 

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I just started a little experiment. I put together 5 of my favorite essays that I retained rights to, into a 10,000 word ebook to have something to give away. I put excerpts to my two books that are for sale in the back.

I wish I was savvy enough to include buy links there (I've heard you can do that...but may be urban legend.)

It's free right now on Smashwords here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/60842 and I'm hoping it gets picked up on Amazon as free as well. Right now I have it listed as $2.99 the thought being, the perceived value of the free book as being greater with the price at $2.99.

Any insight? Good strategy? Dumb? Input is welcome!

Thanks!

Julie
 

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Lisa Scott said:
That sounds very successful, Katrina. I'm going to wait until I release a few more books before I do a big push like that, so hopefully my other books can benefit too. Glad it worked out for you.
Hi Lisa, my short story Missus Buck is out on Amazon, and this week, I messaged my friends on Goodreads to let them know I was giving away a free PDF copy of Missus Buck before it went live on Amazon. I received over 20 requests for it, and I asked if they'd give a review, not required though. I have one review so far (5 Star) on Amazon and Goodreads. That is how I managed to get my other reviews for Trouble Down South and Other Stories, giving away a PDF copy first to those who respond before it goes live.

Katrina
 

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You need to be committed when you give a book away, and in it for the long haul. It can't be just any book though, it has to be what you would consider a good read. If you give a book away that's so so, don't expect readers to follow up with another one. It's also a strange fact that 1 in 100 (or there abouts) readers will review your book, so giving it away for a week on some unknown blog isn't going to accomplish much. In answer to your original question though, yes, giving a book away can and will garner you more sales for your other books over time.

Carl
 

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I did a giveaway on Goodreads where I gave away 3 paperback copies. I think overall it was good because it led to a few sales and 130 some added my book to their TBR list. Does this mean they will buy it? I have yet to see, but it did get the book some exposure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Carl246 said:
You need to be committed when you give a book away, and in it for the long haul. It can't be just any book though, it has to be what you would consider a good read. If you give a book away that's so so, don't expect readers to follow up with another one. It's also a strange fact that 1 in 100 (or there abouts) readers will review your book, so giving it away for a week on some unknown blog isn't going to accomplish much. In answer to your original question though, yes, giving a book away can and will garner you more sales for your other books over time.

Carl
Thanks Carl. That is GREAT advice. I didn't realize the 1/100 review ratio - not a big incentive, so the motive has to be on gaining new readers. I'll consider that before I make anything free.
 

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UPDATE FROM MY PREVIOUS POST:

I've been giving away "What in Hell is up with Heaven?" for 2 weeks now. So far, almost 500 copies have been given out. I've noticed a large uptick in sales from all my other books  ;D. I've recieved many comments from readers telling me they like the book, but no reviews so far. There is are "teaser" chapters of "Tear in Time" - my best seller, at the end of the book, but I can't tell if any of the increased sales to that book are due to the giveaway.

All things considered, I'm labeling this giveaway as a success.
 

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I'm in the middle of a giveaway right now on Library Thing, but I'm optimistic it's going to help in the long run. You get free real estate on the web site with your cover and book description, plus email addresses for however many copies you give away. So, for giving away 275 copies, if it nets me three Amazon reviews and maybe a 50 percent recommendation rate to their friends, that's a good way to jump start word of mouth out of the gate ...
 
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