Organizing the Best Instafreebie Giveaway for List Building
These notes and analyses are right out of my book giveaway number-crunching, so might seem a bit sketchy. Read the first full paragraph, then skip to the strategy and tactical planning at the end. Finally, come back and sort it through.
Notes on Mar-Jun Analysis of Completed Book Giveaways
TL;DR: Highest producing giveaways – in terms of subscribers – are clean romances and cozy mysteries. In general terms: two weeks, around 40 authors with close to 40 books (few, if any, with multiple books) Instafreebie on board with as many high-producing authors (big, effective lists) as possible – but not the same bunch every time.
66 Completed Giveaways
Taking all these and scraping their data, I was able to get this all on a spreadsheet that both supported my earlier analysis on running a successful book giveaway and also narrowed it down to two simple and very effective genre-choices.
I took the top 10 of each category of: top claims, top claims/day, top claims/book, top claims/book/day. Then collected all these and found that it’s actually just 17 top performing giveaways, which separated into three similar groups.
There are two approaches to this.
The obvious approach is to have a lot of authors sending out to their list and socials (mostly) and getting high numbers of total claims.
The second, and less obvious, is to get high numbers of claims per book, which gives us more subscribers for the same amount of effort. These only show up with careful analysis and number-crunching. All this data is available to anyone from their completed giveaway records.
Category first data is gotten from simply scraping results sorting by these four approches and averaging. Grouping the top 10 out of each column gave me a closer approach.
Top total claims
– average is about 20 days, 145 books, 202 claims per book
– top genres are erotica, science fiction, romance, fantasy
Top claims per day
– average nearly 13 days, 117 books, 261 claims per book
– top genres are fantasy, mystery, science fiction
Top claims per book
– average 16 days, 52 books, 406 claims per book
– top genres are romance, mystery, contemporary
Top claims per book per day
– average 16 days, 52 books, 406 claims per book
– top genres are romance, mystery, fantasy
These last two are nearly identical, except for two giveaways.
Noting the giveaways showing up in several categories, I consolidated this list to a single set that had only 17 giveaways in it.
Top giveaways from all categories
– average 16 days, 91 books, 322 claims per book
– Top genre combinations were mystery-crime, romance-erotica, romance-contemporary, SF-fantasy/fantasy-SF, and mystery-thriller
Overall averages included 71 authors, 91 books, 16 days, 1.2 books per author, 322 claims per book, which translated to 81 earned subscribers per book/author.
Note: Simply extracting lists of authors doesn’t reveal who the heavy producers are. You need to run giveaways and access the organizer’s promotion list to develop these on your own. Scraping and compiling these, you’ll also find the regular freeloaders when you do.
Summary still shows that sweet/clean/cozy will out-produce most other genres in subscribers per book, even at the old 30% rate for optional opt-in (new design looks to have improved this to about 40%, but the jury is still out as it is so new.)
The extreme top producers (most subscribers per book) have these elements in common:
- Less than 40 authors
- Less than 50 books
- Preferably 1 book per author
- 15 day average length
- Nearly 160 subscribers per giveaway
- Mystery as top genre, Romance as second.
2nd top tier gives:
- Just over 50 authors
- Nearly 70 books
- Still preferably 1 book per author
- 17 days long (one is nearly 30)
- Around 65 subscribers per giveaway (less than half of the top tier.)
- Romance as first genre, Contemporary as second genre edging out rest.
3rd top tier goes for massive claims:
- Over a hundred authors
- A hundred-forty books
- Several authors having several books each
- Still 17 days long
- Genres split between mystery, romance, and fantasy
- Subscribers are one-quarter, about 40 subscribers per giveaway (less than a quarter of top tier.)
Again, this is all based on averages. Individual books have gone well north of 1,000 claims per giveaway, and those may run 50% or more for subscribers. And as well, some of these top giveaways also had a tiny number of books that had no subscribers.
The solution to improving claims/subscribers is in improving your covers and descriptions.
My “Cosiest of Mysteries” was run based on my earlier test ideas, and proves this analysis. (I also ran 6 other giveaways during this time period, some were very poor.) Continued testing may prove or disprove this analysis, mostly it will refine it. And giveaways will reflect the reader’s wishes and can change. Just as cozy mysteries and clean romances have taken off in the last couple of years.
All of these assume you have “heavy hitters” on board – authors with big, responsive lists, as well as Instafreebie.
The strategy is as usual:
- Network with authors in your giveaways and form new giveaways with these, as well as opening this up to additional authors to gain their lists.
- Improve your own descriptions (especially by studying others and using the A/B option in your own giveaways.
- Make your covers genre-specific, to match readers expectations.
- Refuse freeloaders trying to join your list, and books which don’t follow the description you lay out.
- Limit numbers of books and numbers of authors to a three-week run.
- Get verified as an organizer and ensure Instafreebie is on board to promote all your giveaways.
- Have representative books in the most common genres so you can be entering all possible giveaways.
- Write books in the top performing genres if you can: mystery, romance, fantasy, science fiction. There are specific reader expectations in each of these. Write in short serials and as part of a series as you can.
- Secondary genres are more setting than anything else, excepting action-adventure and thrillers, which are pacing.
- As sweet/clean/cozy gets more subscribers than erotica or on-page sex/f-bombs, this is where you should practice writing cleaner. Cussing is in general a vocabulary problem. Read more widely, particularly perennially selling books in the 50’s and before.
- As usual, read what you enjoy, enjoy what/as you write.
There was another trend that showed up – this being non-genre specific: Women as Main Character. Three of these giveaways showed up in the data as high producing. Probably should be “Women’s Fiction” but that’s not where they were put. Needs testing. This is a factor in Clean Romances, Cozy Mysteries, and also moves into other genres. Another profitable niche…
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Also published on Medium.