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  1. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Do giveaways work?

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by TaylorkoleDOTcom, Dec 7, 2017.

    I'll be the ultimate litmus, giving away 425p novel and 14ss on Taylorkole.com.
    Dedicating hours a day to trolling anywhere, asking, hinting, begging for reads, I've been getting 1 as sale every 3 days (all 5 stars so far!) 1-2 emails registered on mailchimp.
    Yesterday I offered free magnets will book cover on front and had overwhelming response. From 42 emails to 218, and 105 magnets to mail out.
    I'll keep you posted if it translates, and welcome thoughts and experiences.
     
  2. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    I don't follow your short forms - what's "1 as sale"? Somebody paid money for the books you're offering for free, or...?

    And please do keep us posted. I hope you'll include the costs of your experiments (magnets, mailing, etc.) as well as any editing, cover design, or other fees. It's great to get complete numbers on these projects, with expenses as well as income shared.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    My thought was to keep whatever you offer scalable - i.e a book, novella, short story or whatever and deliver it electronically. If you offer a physical product and have overwhelming take up you'll be knackered.

    Also how many of the people who sign up to get a free magnet go on to buy your next book (the one you are selling which is why you want an email list) - conversion rate is an important litmus test in any form of give away

    (to be clear I'm not a published author but I've about twenty years experience of running small businesses)

    ETA : I just looked at your site both books are free, WTF ? and you are offering the downloads direct from your site rather than putting them on amazon .... wouldn't it make sense to have "Teresa's gift" free (since its the novella) and use it to promote "Virtual Heaven " as a pay product on Amazon/kobo or wherever ?

    If both books are freely accessible, why would I as a reader give you my email address , and what are you going to do with it if I do ?

    Also your twitter has three posts since november and two followers ,and your facebook isnt available ... If you've no SM presence how do people find out about your book or your site... IMO I'd sort that out before worrying about giving away magnets.

    I'm not amazing at social media either by any means, but my writer twitter page has been going about the same time and has over two hundred followers (not outstanding by any means I know people with 50k plus), and i'm getting invites to go on podcasts and so forth as a result of using it to network

    (I've given you a retweet and follow because i'm feeling nice, and your book looks like its worth a read)

    (off topic but i'd ditch or rewrite your events page , and don't talk about yourself in the third person)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  4. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Yes. I have book for free on my website with link to purchase it on Amazon
     
  5. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    oop. i will adjust 3rd person reply now and thank you
     
  6. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Gosh. I'm having difficulty replying to posts directly. First, Facebook is up and running. Please give me revist.

    My thinking on promotion was to give the novel and short story out for free and at the end provide a link to a "notes from the author page." There I will explain story history and lean on people's decency, asking them to purchase on Amazon if they believe the novel had value. For Teresa's Gift, a 99 cent story on Amazon, I have had 8 people go to the "VIP" hidden page on my site. Five of those clicked the Amazon link. Three left reviews (all five star) the fourth left a review without purchasing.

    I have been writing ten years without sharing, so I have five sci-fi novels and three short stories

    I paid a co-worker five hundred dollars to build the site and do the designs.

    I spent about $400 on site. The magnets and business cards, which look like Virtual Heaven's cover, cost me $225. Postage another $50

    Please let me know what you think about site, FB, and Twitter. I understand the belief is big social media presence and I think that it necessary. I believe it is more for the fans. I can not imagine myself very active on there. More than recently sure (I just activated Facebook today). Twitter seems pretty political. I won't step in that arena. If I ever get a super fan or friend or income, someone can run the social media.

    Those are my thoughts. taylorkole.com
     
  7. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Oh, another point. From 42 mailchimp subscribers to now, 230.
     
  8. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    @bigsoftmoose Thank you very much for saying the book looks cool. I do intend to build out the social media. Just hoping to do it in reverse, find a reader, get a like. It's a hellava fight!
     
  9. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    But the real test is to see if the subscribers turn into book buyers, right? I mean, probably your ultimate goal isn't to have a really big newsletter?

    And you may want to be careful with some of the reviews... Ben McCombs, for example, has never reviewed anything but your two books (both of which he gave five stars!) and in one of the reviews he says "Shorts stories are tough to rate five (as evidenced by the top three--Long Walk, Shawshank, and The Mist--being 80 pages)" which sounds strangely similar to your "I fear short stories have little impact, evidenced by the great ones usually averaging 70 pages (shawshank, mist, long walk)" posted on this forum.

    I didn't click on all the other reviewer profiles, but of those I clicked, none had ever reviewed another book.

    It could all be a coincidence, of course, but this looks very much like an author posting his own reviews, and Amazon can be a bit nasty if they think that's happening. It also kind of weakens the persuasiveness of the ideas you're sharing here... there's a bit of a credibility issue, at least for me.

    Which is unfortunate, because I was really looking forward to seeing how things worked out for you.
     
  10. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    The first five reviews are from friends. I have not paid for any nor written them. I work with Ben all day in a cell phone repair shop. Of the other ten reviews on TG, 1 is a friend of a friend, who left their own review, the other four are organic. Is that not common? To have friends review first? Only Ben finished VH, another guy did this morning, Tom. I am driving to his house now to pressure a review. Again, in all seriousness, is that not normal?
     
  11. BayView

    BayView Contributor Contributor

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    Amazon has pretty clear policies against friends reviewing books. Whether it's normal to break that policy? I don't know. I don't do it.

    And it's weird that Ben used the same example books and the same language as you...
     
  12. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    I get what you're saying. He wrote his review of VH from his house, without my influence and I'll always be honored by that. The TG one he wrote beside me. Are you saying Amazon doesn't allow friends to review? I swear I will stop the few who are reading VH now from placing, if that violates some policy. I understand your skepticism. More, I appreciate your education. If friends can not review then I'm doing it all backwards because that is where I'm starting my push.
     
  13. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Was I backseat driving with Ben, sure, and with you pointing out, I'm embarrassed. Fudging reviews is not my intention nor goal, and I have never done that. Ben's a convert, reading my second novel, which won't be out for months as we speak as his girl and sister are reading Virtual Heaven. I thought it best to start with friends.
     
  14. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    last one and I'm afk for two hours. Hit the PDF on Teresa's gift (www.taylorkole.com/books) scroll to the end and click the link to the VIP. You'll see how I hope to get reviews.
     
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Thing is giving it free then asking people to buy it if they like it is a daft strategy - if they've alreay got it free why would they buy it ?
     
  16. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I looked at the website and apparently I can't even see it unless I "subscribe" to the mailing list? I can't dismiss the subscribe window. Ah, I can if I hit Escape. But that's not good.

    And you seem to be taking two separate personalities? "A friend (me) learned of his writing interest and... (snip)...Depending on feedback, which I am beyond eager to examine, Taylor will be able to dedicate himself to his dream" That feels weird.
     
  17. Thundair

    Thundair Active Member

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    I did a free promotion on my book and I recvd two negative reviews which diluted my four good ones (two from friends).
    The lesson I came away with that maybe they weren't looking for that genre but just checked it out because it was free.
     
  18. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    The hope is they feel my effort is worth 99 cent or 4.99.
    Hasn't worked on the novel yet, but it's been since Sat night.
     
  19. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    The subscribe should be easy to close.
    Just X out.
    The other mention is that in "about page?" I'll go look, but it needs to be addressed so thank you
     
  20. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Now I'm more nervous, but thanks. I'm glad I'm not insane, that friends are the logical starting point for reviews.
     
  21. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I built myself a website on Wix (www.laurinkelly.com) for under $10/month with no upfront costs. It uses drag and drop functionality was similar to Powerpoint and took me just a few hours to put together. Magnets and business cards can be had very cheaply from Vistaprint (I don't use them as an author but I ordered from them quite a bit when I had my dance business), so over $200 sounds REALLY exorbitant to me.

    All together you've spent nearly $700 out of the gate and I'm super doubtful you're going to see a return on that investment anytime soon, if ever.
     
  22. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I clicked on the X repeatedly; didn't work.
     
  23. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Logical for the author, but not appropriate for the purpose of reviews (which is to help other customers decide what to buy). Friends, of course, aren't objective, and so can't write fair reviews.
     
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  24. big soft moose

    big soft moose All killer, no filler. Contributor Community Volunteer

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    that might be your browser, it closed fine for me (the window is still annoying though)
     
  25. TaylorkoleDOTcom

    TaylorkoleDOTcom Member

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    Thats logical and instead of pressuring pal to leave review, since he finished VH, I said its no big deal which he took as a big relief.
    I still asked him to buy
     

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