The benefits of a FREE promotion!!

Since Valentine’s Day happened to be the first anniversary of my debut novel “The Unwilling Bride” I decided to put it up for a 3 day free promotion.  I had a realistic goal to have 4,000 to 5,000 downloads, then I had my dream goal of 7,000 to 8,000. So buy the second day when I reached 5,000 downloads, I figured their was hope to reach my higher dream goal.

I’d already sold 96 copies in the first week and a half, which is why I had such high exceptions for the  free promotion.  My Christian, historical romance had been gaining in sales over the past few months. I felt the time was ripe to try a free  promotion. I was elated as I watched my novel climb amazon’s free 100 chart, making it all the way to #17. Buy day two, I’d reached 8,000 downloads.

But, as with all good things, there comes something that puts a damper on the whole day. On the second day of promotion I received a nasty 1 star review. I guess when you open yourself up to that many downloads, you’re bond to get some negativity  with it. Not only was the review bad but 16 people had liked it, and another 11 had liked the previous 2 star review. Two comments stated how they were going to download the book but because of the negative posting had decided not to bother.

Now, the fact that this person didn’t like my characters and the other review didn’t find my plot believable,  wasn’t what upset me. In the 1-star review she stated how bad the editing was and pointed out errors I knew I had fixed. So I went through my mss again and only found 2 things on her list. The others had all been corrected. I racked my brain trying to figure out what happened. I came to two conclusions. Maybe she had bought an earlier version that hadn’t been corrected, or the last time I updated, I used an earlier version. I was just about in tears. To think that so many people had uploaded a bad version of my story. It didn’t make me look professional at all.

The whole point in doing a free promo was to attract new customers and build my fan base. But if everyone was getting hung up on the typos, I pretty much just shot myself in the foot! No one would buy my next book, or recommend “Unwilling Bride” to their friends and family.

My heart felt heavy of the last day of the promotion. I couldn’t help but think how much they would hate it when they started keeping track of the mistakes. But I prayed and told God that it was in his hands now. Imagine my shock when I ended my promotion with 13,637 FREE downloads. I had 137 downloads in the UK and 7 in Germany. My book had reached the #17 in overall Amazon sales and hit #1 and #2 in the religious, historical categories. That lifted my spirits some.

The next day I sold 300 copies and my book climbed all the way to #36 in the PAID top 100. It also hit two other religious romance categories. At that point,  I decided I didn’t care about the review or the people who agreed with it.

I ended day two with 454 paid copies and Bride was ranked at #7  and #8 in religious historical romance and #14 in religious romance. I also noticed that 9 people had click the like button and I received a 4-star and a 5-star review. Now my adrenaline was running so hard I felt like thumbing my nose at the naysayers. Some positive aspects were coming out of the promotion.

I will continue to blog to let you know exactly what else happens. But no matter what, I feel safe that it’s all in God’s hands!

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