The 10-book giveaway ran for a month and ended the day before Thanksgiving. I limited it to Goodreads subscribers in the U.S. and received 755 entries without any advertising. 356 people added the book to their to-read lists. I sent the books out today to the winners.
Since this book is a short one, it cost me less than $17 total to ship all ten books out plus (of course) wholesale costs for the books. It's a good way to call attention to books. For under $70 (for this short book), I am generating a lot of clicks and even more impressions. By my calculations, I'm paying less than 10 cents per click, which is great compared to what it looks like Facebook ads would run me. I've tested Facebook with a $50 ad credit; and clicks are costing $1.33 each. I'll never know how many of any of these clicks will convert to sales.
When it comes to selling fiction books by new authors, clicks do not noticeably convert to sales; and the margins aren't very big. So, cheaper is probably better. I could be disappointed that people aren't directly turning around and buying my books; but people don't typically buy fiction books from new authors that way. It's a long courtship between new authors and readers. I've introduced myself and my book to hundreds of people. I am directly acquiring ten potential readers who will now have my book sitting in front of them. Some of them will read and review it. Others will rate it. Some may even recommend it. Time will tell how far the ripples reach.
I've read that most people need to be exposed to something at least 7 times before they are moved to action. This makes selling books a long game for any new author. I'm putting every penny I make (and then some) right back into marketing. I can only hope that I will someday make enough impressions on enough people to outpace my spending. The trend is promising. But it is all so very much work on top of a challenging, stressful full-time job with long hours and raising a family. If I were a sensible person, I'd spend my spare time relaxing and having fun instead.
I'm currently running a 5-day Facebook ad campaign for Acetone Enema, with a huge click-through rate of over 1%...but only 1500 impressions over the last 4 days.
If you're interested, here are the ad images I'm been running:
Post them anywhere you like.