Marketing and Promotion

Well my three day experiment making Chasing The Future free resulted in 31 downloads and these have so far led to exactly no sales whatsoever. I’m not sure if the ‘no sales’ part is due to the theory that free giveaways drive sales being wrong or just just that we’re talking about such low numbers that the sales would have to be in the fraction of a fraction of one percent range ot the download numbers – meaning I’m due an actual sale in about 8 years time or something similar.
So, essentially, my whole marketing plan did not work, probably partly because I did almost the same thing a week earlier but also probably due to other factors. So, what do I need to get these numbers up?
Almost every website about self-publishing emphasises the importance of reviews so let us start there. Sovereign Nation has 5 reviews, Second Time Lucky? has 2, and Chasing The Future has none. On more than one site I have looked at the established wisdom seems to be that you need 10-15 reviews before people will buy your book becuase before that it doesn’t look ‘legitimate’ enough. The question is, how do I get those reviews?
I tried going through Amazon reviews looking for reviewers of similar genres and then sending an individual email to each of them, this got me one review in total. I tried re-contacting all of those who had said they would provide a review but who hadn’t – a month on and it has gained me no further reviews. I posted to a bunch of Goodreads forums looking for reviewers, again this got me one review. I’ve re-posted to the Goodreads forums in the hopes it will lead to a few more ofers to give a review but it hasn’t exactly resulted in a deluge of replies. Where else can I go for reviews? If anyone has any ideas then please let me know.
(Unless you have a self-help book and you want to do a review exchange, I have enough offers to do that and haven’t found one I could honestly say I’d be interested in reading and reviewing. Yes, I know the point it not for either of us to read the books involved but just to put up 5 star reviews but I feel bad doing that.)
As far as marketing goes I think this latest try has convinced me I should leave a longer gap between free promotions. I don’t know for certain that it made a difference this time but it does seem likely. Putting together the various version of the advert I used also made me think. Up to now I have only been doing this sort of thing when I am running a free promotion, why don’t I just keep posting to these groups when the books are at full price? Sure, some of the groups are dedicated to free promotions only so I shouldn’t bother with those but why not post to the rest? I am going to try it, just to see if it makes any difference. Most other marketing seems to involve paying someone so that might just have to be it for now.

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