Thanks to everyone who participated in my free giveaway on Friday and Saturday!

In some regards, it was an experiment to do it differently than I have in the past, and here are my data/conclusions:

1. FREEBIE lists: I utilized a list I was given of sites that might promote your giveaway without charging you. Some required more than a week’s notice, so I didn’t contact those, just those that said a week or less notice was ok. There were two that allowed me to post directly on their facebook, so I could verify those were posted. Two said I gave them enough notice, and said they’d list the book, but they did not. The rest I have no idea, and didn’t take the time to track down. The experiment part is I have NEVER even attempted that in the past, so every little bit helps. Maybe.

2. Twitter interaction: I posted in advance of the giveaway and had some very nice authors and friends retweet, so I have no idea of their reach, I have 1,300 followers so at least that many got notices. If they translated to downloads, I have no idea. Thanks for those that retweeted!

3. Goodreads interaction. I posted a notice, and got one response (there might have been more that translated to downloads, but that is immeasurable). I have found that since Amazon bought Goodreads, I get very little interaction with people compared to previously, even if I do the same things. Not sure if that means Goodreads influence is slowly neutralizing, or if Goodreads interest in my book is waning.

4. Facebook interaction: I got the best response via facebook than ever before, I joined two more groups, and got positive bounceback interest that was measurable. A lot more bang for my time investment. I think the improvement to my ranking is likely directly related to this avenue, at least in the majority. Thanks again, guys!

Ok, Rankings — Previous giveaways, the best ranking I ever got was like a 20 or something. This time, I reached #2 in one category and #5 in another — HUGE difference. Gratifying to say the least, but let’s examine this. At the same time, one of our DPP author friends was ranked high, like #1 and another in the top ten in their category. (woohoo guys!) But a difference emerged: to reach their rank, one mentioned a download total of 13,000. My download total was under 200. Admittedly, a personal best, but it highlights the different reach of various categories. If I’d been in that larger category, 200 downloads would be no rank at all. To a large extent, Mine is an anthology, smaller category, smaller interest in general among readers, so still respectable for me, but probably explains why my book is well liked but doesn’t sell as many copies as those in the novel categories.

Conclusions: I either have to shell out money for more exposure, which seems pound foolish if my category is too small to get a large enough bump to justify the expense. Or, I have to re-categorize into a better category (if anyone has a suggestion for a better category, please let me know. My book is hard to properly categorize). Or, I need to abandon short stories and write novels.

That last one is not much help right now, as I’m in the final stretch of my second anthology, and I need to finish it. Additionally, whereas I am comfortable with the short form, and feel I have a modicum of skill there, I have yet to write a novel.

In a perfect world, short stories should be a viable medium. In the real world, maybe they’re not.

I would welcome any discussion of any of these points, offering advice or telling me my conclusions are completely bogus. This giveaway was an experiment, after all, so I need to understand what happened. Thanks in advance.

One annoying thing I would note is that I got to #5 in short story anthology/fantasy. But I noticed at one point 23 of the top 25 in that category were what I consider erotic or romance fantasy books. Fantasy used to mean like Tolkien and Eddings, that sort of thing. Now, the classification has been infiltrated by romance and erotica. Maybe some of you know what should be the correct category to list my book, as a traditional fantasy? I’m at a loss here.