Freebooksy delivers downloads, but that’s it

Last year I blew my book marketing budget on entering writing contests, a total of $305 including entry fees, books and postage.

 

Two good things came out of that experience. One was a positive and insightful review by Judge Number 54 of my novel Abandoned Dreams that I entered in The 26th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. The other was the understanding the entire contest thing was a waste of money, or, to put it another way, it was a lot of money to spend for one review.

 

Though I have no evidence to prove it, I am convinced most, if not all contests are nothing more than revenue generating opportunities for writing platforms, groups and publications. 

 

Aside from the monthly stipend I receive for facilitating creative writing circles, I am determined this year to make more on my writing than I spend. That brings us to my latest novel, The Bird Whisperer, the Mattie Saunders Series Book 3, launched on May 6 of this year.

 

The book was published simultaneously on Draft to Digital, Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing.

 

After five weeks that included giveaways on BookLikes and LibraryThing, an email campaign with a free coupon code sent to 276 people on my email list, and numerous tweets and Facebook postings of a similar nature all I had to show was nineteen free downloads and one four-star review.

 

I changed my strategy, What did I have to lose?

 

I decided to promote The Rocker and the Bird Girl, the first book in the Mattie Saunders series in hopes it might create sales for The Bird Whisperer. I decided to enroll The Rocker and the Bird Girl in KDP Select and coordinate two of the five free days this exclusive listing affords you, and free email blasts with Awesome Gang, PrettyHot and MyBookPlace.

 

June 22 was the day and I assume the free email blasts went out, but nothing happened on Amazon.

 

Since research indicates fiction sales almost always peak within the first two to six weeks of the release the window for The Bird Whisperer was running out. I decided to take a chance and spend some money. I booked The Rocker and the Bird Girl on Freebooksy and coordinated it with the three free days I had left on Kindle Select.

 

The genre I chose was literary, the email would be sent to 123,660 Freebooksy subscribers, and the cost was $60 USD.

 

I held my breath.

 

The day the Freebooksy promotion broke 1,033 free books were downloaded and my author ranking went from 715,187 to 85,209 for All Books; 41,906 for Kindle eBooks; 56,679 for Kindle eBooks Romance; and, 24,882 for Kindle eBooks Romance Contemporary. The following day there were 131 downloads, and 31 on the third day.

 

Giving away books is one thing, but my benchmark for success is, and always will be, sales. As of July 20, 2019, twenty days after the Freebooksy promotion, two copies of The Bird Whisperer had been sold. However, The Rocker and the Bird Girl had picked up one text review and seven ratings with a 4-star average. There may be a few more sales and reviews trickle in over the course of this month but beyond that I wouldn’t attribute them to Freebooksy.

 

With the Freebooksy promotion and expenses such as proof books, books for beta readers and postage I’m in the red $152.15 so far this year. So much for my 2019 goal to make more on my writing than I spend.

 

But then there are still five months to go.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs

 

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Author’s Amazon Book Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1921710/freebooksy-delivers-downloads-but-that-s-it

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Author services sites that don’t deliver – but still charge

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It’s a rare day indeed that I don’t receive promotional material regarding some writing related program, service, publishing platform or marketing gimmick.

 

There seems to be no end to people who, for a price, will support my career as an author. Where do they all come from and considering how many there are how do any of them make a living?

 

You wouldn’t think there were that many suckers out there.

 

Here are three more sure fire suggestions to polish your manuscript, generate reviews and enhance your sales that don’t work.

 

Reedsy Discovery. Reedsy took umbrage when I described their new Discovery site as a “Another paid review, bogus up-voting book marketing site”, so I’ll let them describe it for you (how fair is that?). Visit https://blog.reedsy.com/announcing-reedsy-discovery/

 

Let’s assume you send your manuscript plus $50 and the Reedsy team smiles upon you. Your book gets a high quality review and your promoted on their Discovery Feed. Reedsy doesn’t appear to have any shortage authors ready to anti up $50. I receive at least two emails a week from them with a list of newly launched titles.

 

But does it work?

 

I’ve been tracking a few titles and here are the results to this date, July 10, 2019. The dates indicated are the Reedsy Discover launch date. Many of these books were actually published months before.

 

In Verse by Tex DeJésus was launched May 15th. It has no reviews on Amazon and one review on Goodreads posted by the author.

 

Nobody Drowned by Peter Kingsmill was launched on May 22 and has three reviews on Amazon (two are prior to the Reedsy release date) and two on Goodreads – one duplicated from Amazon and one from the author.

 

Martyrs al Sabra by Dan Kalin has no reviews on Amazon and three reviews and two ratings on Goodreads, the majority of which were posted prior to the Reedsy launch.

 

In Case You Forgot by Aubrey Stack was launched on May 23 and has no reviews anywhere.

 

The Alchemy of Noise by Lorraine Devon Wilke had its Reedsy launch on July 3 and has 32 reviews on Amazon and 40 on Goodreads, all posted prior to the launch.

 

One thing for sure, this site isn’t going to launch your literary career.

 

Following the Reedsy release most of the titles I tracked showed no increase in reviews on Goodreads or Amazon and no bump in Amazon book ratings.

 

BetaReader.io invites you to “share your unpublished manuscript to selected readers. Collect feedback and reading data to understand what works and what needs polishing. Private, secure, and easy to use.” I took advantage of their Basic Forever Free Plan which allowed me to upload one active manuscript, and get response from three readers for up 30 days. I got zilch response. Let’s face it, good beta readers are hard to find, why should they be more successful at it than anyone else?

 

Free email blasts. http://awesomegang.com http://pretty-hot.com https://mybookplace.net/ An incestuous cluster using “free” as a come-on to get you to buy up. Don’t know what you get when you pay, but it’s not even worth your time to fill in the meta data for the free option.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

 

30

 

Author Amazon Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1916252/author-services-sites-that-don-t-deliver-but-still-charge