Giving Away eBooks: Lessons Learned

MAGMany thanks to those who supported me yesterday by promoting out my free ebook gift of Maggie’s Child. So many of you tweeted and shared, and I am grateful, and humbled by the friendship of so many.


In May, I gave away, Ripper, My Love, on Ripped Genes, launch day, and it helped pick up sales of Maggie’s Child, and Ripped Genes. I used a coupon method available via Smashwords. My sales over there have been poor but the coupon method is useful for offering books out to other ereader users than Kindlers. In total over a month, 20 freebies were downloaded.

Some days back, I read an article about pricing and pulsing your ebooks. Having vowed I would never use a KDP Select free promotion, I change my mind after reading the post.

Yesterday, I offered Maggie’s Child free for one day. Boy, was I blown away this morning. The time zone difference meant I went to bed with a few hundred downloads, and one sale in Germany, a new country for me. I left Twitter with links out to other countries where Amazon host my books, and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.

This morning, I woke to find amazing figures and results. OK. I gave the book away, I earned nothing. I did learn something, though. I learned it was worth the giveaway. Why?

Amazon USA = 1057 downloads

Amazon UK = 467 downloads (plus extra sales of other two books to the norm)

Germany = 9 downloads (A new country breakthrough)

France = 1 downloads (A new country breakthrough)

Italy = 5 downloads (A new country breakthrough)

Japan = 1 download (A new country breakthrough)

Canada = 15 downloads (A new country breakthrough)

Total = 1,555 downloads and 5 new countries where my name is known.

To me, that was worth the marketing effort and opened my eyes to giveaways.

Also, I made it to the top 100 ranking on the best seller free list, Amazon feature. In the US, I went to bed at #48, the promotion ended with me at #15.

In the UK, I went to #5, one place above, Jane Austen (that made me smile).

So, I rose the ranks, gained possible new readers, gained possible new readers in new countries. All in all, a positive result. I will now sit back and see what happens with the sales, and see if there is a slight rise in sales for the future. One thing I do know, I will use KDP select again for future novels, and am pulling out of Smashwords. I struggled trying to upload two novels, gained no new sales, and wait some time for customer support assistance. Others love the platform, it is just not for me. I will remain with Amazon, it suits my needs and desires.

amaz uk







  • Smashwords: 4 weeks = 20 books downloaded. I did not gain extra sales from the downloads to my other books on Amazon, (I noted no rise to the normal daily rate). I have not sold a book since, on Smashwords.
  • Amazon: 24 hrs = 1, 555 books downloaded. Sales rose to other books on same day. I sold two books immediately after the giveaway finished. Broke into 5 new countries.

I think my results speak for themselves. Amazon is where I will sell my books.

Ebook Pricing Strategies Article at WG2E, that swayed my mind.



About Glynis Smy

I live in the UK, in the seaside town of, Dovercourt~Harwich, where I enjoy writing novels. I've written historical romance/suspense, Medical romance and my latest WIP is in the crime genre. The Victorian era fascinates me and the best part of writing a novel is often the research. Proud writing moments in my life: Shortlisted for Festival of Romance Fiction 2014 New Talent Award Reaching second round of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014 Maggie's Child: reached #1 Amazon best-seller: Historical Romance Victorian /February 2014/ebook & book paid list. May 2014 #3 Historical Romance Victorian, and #25 in Historical Romance paid top 100 best-seller list. Top 100 in three categories on Amazon UK best-seller listings in 2015. Seeing my books in a Suffolk (UK), library. Over the years I've written short stories in a variety of genres. I've also won a few poetry contests, my first was at the age of twelve, (a poem about the Bangladeshi war). I also won a children's short story competition where the prize was a first-aid box, I was so proud but my husband found it amusing because we owned two pharmacies. My articles have been published in magazines both in the UK and Cyprus. I am also featured in various places on-line. When I am not writing, I enjoy making greetings cards, Cross Stitch, fishing and the company of my little granddaughters.
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15 Responses to Giving Away eBooks: Lessons Learned

  1. Maranna says:

    Yes, you need to give in order to receive. What fabulous results Glynis. You so deserve them. Good luck with future sales. šŸ™‚

  2. jean says:

    Congratulations on these super stats, Glynis. I got my free book. Thank you.

  3. DeeDee Scott says:

    U Go, Girl! Well done!!! And I’m sooo tickled that my article on The WG2E gave you just the boost you needed to go for the gusto! Bravo!!! šŸ™‚

  4. jadereyner says:

    Thank you so much for this update Glynis and I am really glad that the free promotion worked for you. I am doing one this weekend as part of a blog blitz so will be interesting to see how that goes! And would you believe it… I totally forgot to do the download…..aaaggghhhh!!!

  5. hilarymb says:

    Hi Glynis .. very interesting – and it’s obviously worth keeping stats etc …

    Good for you – I’m so pleased .. just getting your name out there .. cheers Hilary

  6. Hi Glynis, that was an interesting post. I got my free download, thanks very much, and also tweeted. Hope it helped. Good luck with the move!

    • Glynis Smy says:

      Helena, thank you for dropping by, and am thrilled you grabbed a copy of the book. I do hope you enjoy it. Thank you for tweeting it out. I am sure it did help. Oh, the move. It is so hot trying to do the last minute packing for container, cleaning the house, and remembering we need clothes for the UK weather. I would much rather write a novel! šŸ™‚

  7. It’s something that pays in dividends over the long term, doing this from time to time. Good for you!

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