Instafreebie Verified Organizer Free Book Giveaways Update
With the end of August, a slew of giveaways completed, so it was time to do an analysis.
Now I’m working with a spreadsheet-history of 116 giveaways.
Just added the last of August to this mix, on top of what I’d added a couple of weeks ago.
This time, I removed all Erotica giveaways from the mix. (These are always many of the top claims, but I don’t write these, so it was slanting the result the wrong way.)
Top is a single-genre romance – 216 books over 61 days, over 36K claims total.
- Science fiction combinations come up 5 times.
- Science fiction/fantasy comes up twice.
- Romance/Paranormal comes up twice.
Specifically targeting female main characters comes up three times out of those top ten giveaways.
Mystery combinations come up 7 times out of the top 10 claims-per-book giveaways.
These combinations came up twice each:
- Mystery/Women’s Fiction
And “Cosy Mysteries” came up five times in their titles.
Balancing Against Preliminary Verified Results
UPDATE: I found that when I wrote this I was using a spreadsheet from my own list instead of Instafreebie’s downloadable subscriber list. IF has me at 5661 as I write this, while my own list is at 3840 for their subscribers. Means I’ve lost of third of them by the time I remove the “no-openers” and they unsubscribe otherwise. And this means that on average, you can add a third to these percentages. Or just figure that after a couple of months, I’m only getting this retention level to turn into anywhere near fans. Still, these subscribers remaining do open my emails about 50% of the time, and do click-through at about 10-14% on average…
Sad news: When I dug into my actual subscribers earned from my own giveaways, I was disappointed with the results. My average subscribers per claim was just above 9%.
Then I looked at my lists of top total claims and top claims/book and these averaged out to be a little above 14%.
Nowhere near being efficient enough. Especially since IF moved over to optional-only with the GDPR scene – away from 100% being possible and usual almost everywhere else.
The bright spot in all this is that I got an extra 582 subscribers from two of my verified giveaways – because I could start getting people to claim to the organizer list as well. For the one completed giveaway, I got just over 4% of nearly 6K claims, the other being 3% of over 16K claims.
And this also points to going for the high-producing giveaways opposed to the high claims/book.
The high claims/book have been either cosy mysteries or clean romance, both of which require checking content in each book to ensure they really are. (More time required to spot and remove spammy, sex-filled romances than cozies.)
Also, with that few authors, it’s tough to stay in the top 30% as IF wants, as verified organizers attract the top authors.
All this means a severe change in my operation.
The best result on Instafreebie is by organizing your own high-claiming giveaways as a verified organizer and getting a percentage of the total claims. It isn’t by joining other’s giveaways. And these giveaways need to be very broad, not limited in any particular way, except by the type of books you write. (So I will still exclude any erotic, “steamy” or deviant sex romances.) If you limit your submitted books to two per author, you cut down on the spammer/scammer types. In general, I’ve seen that non-promoters run about 50%, with 40% of the claims, so that’s just the cost of doing business. I do have a short list of people who have dumped tons of their books into a giveaway (as many as 7) and these small handful are easy to remember. A recent one was a prolific author (huge backlist) who is promoting heavily on social media and gets no or few claims. Again, you generally only have a few who will submit even two, so that knocks a lot of the noise out.
When working for high claims, then
Why Change? To Make Life Simpler and More Efficient
Now, I’m starting to get over 2000 subscribers per month. Why would I want to change anything? Because the costs of emails is going up, but I haven’t seen anything from these in terms of buying my books.
A lot of time (and money) has been spent on learning and writing up Instafreebie to this point but my income hasn’t budged.
The short-hand analysis is that I haven’t built these into buying/reviewing/promoting fans.
None of these came through the book as an opt-in, so all they know of my work is my marketing hooks and covers.
I need to cut out the time I’m spending on these and work more on building up my conversion map for my subscribers.
The Other Use of Instafreebie
The free model allows you to test your covers and descriptions against others. And also see if your book’s opt-in blurb/link is working.
I could see just having my own books all on a free plan and my paid plan is just to keep my subscribers from everywhere else. Since these additional subscribers are over 70% of the total, it wouldn’t be a huge loss.
Of course, I also have to set up groups in my email so that these different sources of subscribers are tracked and handled appropriately.
Next Steps to Take
Mainly to quit joining other’s giveaways. And make sure I have one of my own going for every genre I’m writing in.
I’ll shut all the giveaways I have running if they have enough in them (cozy/clean).
The get a lot more books up on StoryOrigins as well as organize giveaways there for each month.
And work up automated responses to my new subscribers to get them books like those they’ve already downloaded. With the idea of moving them over to buying fans.
UPDATE: Just checked my subscribers. IF said I’d gotten 2407 subscribers for August. My email provider says I only have 1351 of these left. Meaning a 44% loss. Sure, they only cost me 4 cents a piece. And that might change the cost up to 9 cents. But the total sales for August of my books still can’t be traced to my list and all those new subscribers I have. The result, conclusion, and new focus remain the same.