May for me is graduation, kids moving home from college, end of the year school and team events and more –an overall jam-packed month. It has been fun but crazy busy. I do hope all of you in WG2E land are doing great and gearing up for the lazy days of summer
As far as indie publishing- most of us can use help to get our book discovered. For this week’s post, I have enlisted a dear friend Taylor Lee to tell you about an awesome promotion called FREE PAR-TAY. It was the super catalyst that launched my mystery LIQUID LIES into the top 100 paid (went as low as #51), Number #1 in women’s sleuth, #1 in Drama, Top Hot new release and more.
Take it away Taylor…
Are you interested in spending the next three weeks working on a promotion that can change your writing career?
That was the question we asked a select group of authors in the beginning of January. We followed up that question with this bold statement. If so, Free Par- Tay is for you!
Anyone associated with book publishing knows the impact Amazon and KDP Select had on the pre and post-Christmas sales season. It sent seismic quakes through the industry.
The Lending Library and glut of Free books churned up a firestorm of reaction – but true to the Indie Book Collective’s entrepreneurial spirit, we saw the opportunity inherent within KDP Select and discovering ways to capitalize on the new opportunity to control our “Free” promotions.
Thus was born Free Par-Tay!
We designed a series of highly successful experiments to leverage KDP Select and the Free option. As a result, in our first Free ParTaywe marched nine titles into the top 100 Free Kindle books that went on to port over to the 100 TOP PAID Kindle books. That’s right, you read that correctly. TOP 100 PAID.
Free ParTay, is a groundbreaking venture to build on the power of KDP Select’s’ Free option and the first program to capitalize on the possibilities our prescient leaders foresaw in the KDP initiative.
“The wealth of knowledge, experience, and hard work that the amazing IBCvolunteer staff puts behind the Free Par-Tay events is simply stunning. I am absolutely a lifelong fan. My book, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, not only hit #1 on the Kindle Free Bestseller list (plus several genre lists), it also made it into the top 10 of the Kindle Paid Bestseller list after the Par-Tay, thanks to the careful coaching of Carolyn McCray. IBC is truly the best kept secret in indie pubbing today.” — Nina Bruhns, author “Catch Me if You Can”
Now with four Free ParTay’s under our belt, we think we have a few things to crow about.
We scheduled our second Free ParTay, Lucky Days, in March. Was Lucky Days Free ParTay and Indie Book Blowout a Success? The numbers say it all.
We had over 1 Million downloads of our books! Out of 60 titles, we had 16 in Amazon’s Free Top Twenty! We had an eye-popping 35 titles overall in the Top 100 Free. And at one point we had #1-6 locked down!
The numbers across the board were remarkable. But we had a number of genuine rock stars.
Stephanie Bond had three of the top five titles on the free list and continued her amazing success when she moved from the free lists to the paid. Stephanie made it into the top five spots on the paid list, and at one point claimed the TOP 3 spots in the Movers and Shakers lists.
Like all of the authors, Stephanie was effusive in her praise of the event.
“Working with Carolyn McCray, the IBC network, and the Free Par-Tay promotion has been, in a word, career-changing. Carolyn McCray is at the forefront of ebook publishing; her experience as an author and as a promoter make her uniquely qualified to offer a comprehensive roadmap for writers to follow. I’m absolutely on board.” — Stephanie Bond, author, “In Deep VooDoo.”
Ann Charles, a perennial star, didn’t disappoint. After Ann left the free promotion, her “Nearly Departed In Deadwood”sat squarely at #20 overall PAID in Amazon Top 20 PAID list for days.
Charles says “IBC rocked my world! Through their events I have learned the value of co-promotion, experienced the power of the strategic use of “Free” marketing, and gained vital knowledge about optimization, cover art, and branding. IBC has the tools you need for a successful writing career.”
Determined to bridge the challenging move from the free lists to the paid, we extended the event adding a three day Indie Book Blowout giving the authors in Lucky Days the advantage of heightened visibility and support in that all important move to the paid list.
Once again the numbers proved the wisdom of that strategic initiative. Two days following the end of Lucky Days Indie Book Blowout, we had 5 titles in the top 100 paid list, an additional 9 titles under 500 and a total of 20 books in the top 1,000 paid titles.
Success by any measure!
Did we rest on our laurels? Hardly! After a smaller private ParTay that we called Tax Relief, we went on to our next major event, Spring Fling Free ParTay and Indie Book Blowout. This was our strongest “across the board” Free ParTay to date - By the end of the SECOND DAY fully 75 % of our 32 titles were UNDER 100 on Amazon’s Free List. AND every one of our titles was UNDER 200 on Amazon’s Free List. Seven Rock Stars tasted the sweet air in the TOP TEN FREE and stayed there throughout the promotion. AND a total of 19 titles were under 30 on the Free List for all of Free ParTay!
Helen Thomas, our first British writer in Free ParTay, rocketed up to #1 on Amazon’s Free list with “Unbreak My Heart”and stayed in the top three spots throughout Free ParTay. Helen was wonderfully surprised and modest at hitting the top spot. Like all of the authors, she credits IBC for her success.
“What a fantastic experience it’s been to take part in the Free Par-Tay run by IBC.
Everything I learned in Carolyn McCray’s informative workshops helped me maximize
my promotional efforts. I ended up making #1 in the Kindle store—amazing! But
I wouldn’t have done it without the tireless support and expertise of IBC. Indie
collaboration at its best!”— Helen Scott Taylor “Unbreak My Heart”
A true success story was Patricia Mason, who along with S.J. Byrne, are the key volunteers on Free ParTay and IBB. Patricia’s new release, “In Deep Shitake” took a number of prizes.In addition to getting into the top five on the Free List and staying there throughout, Patricia scored #1 Hot New Release in Mystery Thriller – Women Sleuths and #10 Mystery Thriller Hot New Release. At one time she was #1 on Movers and Shakers and is still on the list along with Helen Brandon’s “Dunaway’s Crossing” Rita Heron’s “Husband Hunting 101” and Stephanie Bond’s “In Deep Voodoo.”
No discussion of Free ParTay and Indie Book Blowout is complete without acknowledging the authors who participate. They are amazing. Talented, perseverant, and gracious. And, determined! Determined to build their careers, to learn everything they can and help to make our events a stunning success.
There is also an intrinsic, less “measureable” aspect of our Free ParTay /IBB events.
That is the camaraderie, support and commitment we all have to each other’s success.
When the great numbers come in, we roar with approval. When someone starts to
slip, the gang goes into high gear with extra tweets and pats on the back. Not only that,
but as a group we “like” and “tagg” every book in the promotion and many of our
authors are hard at work exchanging reviews!
J. Thorn, author of “The Seventh Seal” captured this remarkable element when he noted, “The other writers involved in the FreePar-Tay locked arms in a virtual onslaught of positive energy and enthusiasm for each other that I believe is unprecedented.”
Virna DePaul, another of our super stars, and author of “Wild for Him” summed it up. “In the murky and erratic waters of self-publishing, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to lock arms with other dedicated writers; we support one another, cheer each other on, and learn the “secrets” that put a great book in front of thousands of readers. Thank you to IBC and Carolyn McCray for illuminating the stars and showing us the way.”
In summary, KDP Select and the FREE Option is turning e-book publishing on its head!
Here at IBC, FREE Par-Tay and the Indie Book Blowout is our response. We plan to rock the publishing world and make a few seismic quakes of our own!
P.S. Are you interested in learning more? Want to ParTay? Summer Sizzle, our next Free Par-Tay, is June 13 -14, followed by Summer Sizzle IBB, June 15-16. Contact us at email@example.com.
Indie Book Collective (IBC) Board of Directors
Special Events Division
Author of “The Grandmaster’s Legacy”, “Aces Wild” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
(Note From D. D.: Thanks Bunches for the FREE PAR-TAY results scoop, Taylor and Lois!!! Here at The WG2E we’re all about sharing information on Indie Epublishing Experiments. We are not posting this information today as any form of endorsement of FREE PAR-TAY, we are simply sharing what’s been done and celebrating the wonderful results. This is exactly the kind of Cross-Promotion Ebook Event we just launched here at The WG2E with our Beach Book Blast, and we’ll be sharing those superfab results too!!! We experienced the same A-mazing success stories as IBC’s FREE PAR-TAY, but have approached the events differently. For example, you do NOT have to be in KDP Select to make these kinds of Events work for you!!! More on that to come… )
It’s Your Turn, WG2E-land: What are your thoughts on these kind of Ebook Events and have y’all participated in any and can share your results?