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Discussion Starter #1
  I know many swear by doing offering their books for free during various promotions. I know many do very well out of it. I've now become a realist. I have a series of paid promos when one of my books goes on offer next week and while I'm excited, I am no longer deluded into thinking that they are a launchpad to something bigger. The book isn't part of a series so will not get much traction this way, but I think it's a very good book that deserves an audience (that sounds terribly conceited). So why do it? Well, it's always nice to see that little line jumping up on KDP. Even better to see your work climb the rankings. It makes you think that you are rubbing shoulders with your contemporaries - and why shouldn't you? All I hope is that the fruity injection of happiness that infuses me when these things happen doesn't start up the self-delusion again - obviously, I never completely give up hope on this being a springboard. And I'm very much enjoying writing so that isn't effected by external views of success. Yet I fully realise that something free has an allure to people who will never read it and if they do, will probably discover it's not their thing. I don't expect some glorious bounce, but I'm rather buoyant about the whole thing.
 

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Good on you. As long as your expectations are realistic, enjoy the ride. You won't be disappointed if you don't expect too much.



 

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BuckarooBanzai said:
I am no longer deluded into thinking that they are a launchpad to something bigger.
They might help with small steps. And you never know, it could be seen by a blogger and lead to something bigger. But I agree, it's super tough out there, and sometimes I feel like I'm spinning wheels motionlessly. But whether I make giant inroads or small steps, I always tell myself that my art is being seen. That makes the most difference to me. That's my rush.

Best of luck with your promotion!

{edited for clarity
 

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It sure does feel good sometimes when my books are in really obscure categories and I do a free promotion.  I perfectly realize that top whatever of the free section of a really niche category is nothing special, but I still like it, dang it.  But who knows what happens to those books?  Maybe they're all just going to people who get every free book and never read them.  Maybe it's someone who looks through their collection one day and give it a read.  I see it as the equivalent of leaving a book at a bus stop.  There's a good chance it just gets thrown out, but at the same time, there's a small chance that it might reach someone that it wouldn't have otherwise.  Either way, the dopamine hit is real.
 
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I have a first in series and some shorter stories that are free right now.  I try to think of a free short story as little business cards that I'm handing out to readers.  If they like it, they can easily find my other books.  8)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it's the first few days later. The promo was a great success - it got into the Amazon US Free Book Top50 which was nice. I think mine was the only one on the page that didn't feature a topless, muscular hunk!

I tried not to delude myself for, as soon as the book went back to full price, it sunk like an anvil falling from 747. And, as predicted, I got my first one star review which even complained that it was free! I think its funny that a book that was scrupulously edited and proofed gets decimated for 'spelling errors' - there might be one or two, but no different from ANY release. No-one of the traditionally published books I've been reading have been error-free, but if you self-publish there is almost a feeling that you should be especially punished with the impertinence. So one star. Rant over and confirmation that, even when you try not to delude yourself, a dreadful scintilla of hope always barges its way through your cynicism when you start seeing success giving books away.
 

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Ha, I started running a free promo today and I am definitely feeling the dopamine hit.  It just kind of reminded me of this thread, so thanks :D  Does amazon keep your free rank when the promo is over?  It seems like my free rank has been steadily climbing over promos, and I feel like it picks up where it left off from the last promo, which is actually pretty nice if it does work that way.

And yep, trying to avoid that self-delusion.  So far so good.
 
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