I came across a post today called Do Free Day eBook Promotions Still Work? As the title suggests it talked about why Kindle’s KDP Select free promotion option doesn’t work as well as it used to. Indie authors aren't seeing the same number of free downloads that they used to, and the after sales aren't what they hoped for.
I just put out a post two days ago, and wasn't going to do another one so soon, but this article got me thinking.
Scratch that, it got me fuming.
To start, there was nothing wrong with the article itself. On the contrary, it was well-written and insightful. The author, Marla A Madison, lists several key reasons why Kindle freebie days aren’t boosting sales like they used to. The three I consider most important are:
1. the competition for eBook sales has increased exponentially over the past few years
2. freebie promo sites have increased and are now overwhelming readers with choices
3. readers’ kindles have become saturated with freebie downloads, further overwhelming their choices
If this blog post is correct – and I suspect it is – then there is a growing frustration among indie authors that they are getting less and less recognition for the same amount of work …
Seriously? Wah, wah, wah!
You know what? Any indie author who is banking on Kindle freebie days to make them a barrelful of money needs to revisit his or her priorities. Success is not an overnight thing for the majority of us. It can’t be gained by resorting to promotional gimmicks. It is a long and continuing struggle. It is our writing, our story-telling ability and our connection with our readers that will build our following.
Any indie who disagrees with that is in the wrong business.
Readers aren’t stupid. They don’t just blindly follow us because we're in the top spot on our free promo days. That doesn't mean anything.
Readers are deeply passionate about the books they choose to love and the authors they choose to trust. However cleverly we market ourselves, however diligent we are with getting the word out, at the end of the day our books that sell themselves, not the marketing options we choose for them.
So, okay, the glory days of the Kindle freebie promo are on the out. Deal with it. It is what it is. If you’re passionate about writing then you’ll watch it go by with an “oh well.” And then you’ll go right back to writing. Because your career is not dependent upon some marketing gimmick. It’s founded on solid, passionate, dedicated writing.
To all those authors out there who write for the love of writing: keep at it. It’s your writing that defines your career, not how well your kindle freebie days catapult you into the spotlight. You will build a following of readers slowly and steady if you do. These readers are the ones that will stick with you book after book because they appreciate your talent, and trust you to give them the emotional satisfaction they demand from the books they read.
To all other indie authors who can’t accept that … quit. You’re probably in it for the wrong reasons anyway.