My campaign with Prolific Works ended yesterday, and I thought I’d give feedback on this platform for authors. Prolific Works is a service-based website that provides authors a place to giveaway their books to potential readers. What follows is my initial impressions after running 2 book giveaway campaigns for Never Date a Siren.
To be clear, I have the free plan. If I had the paid plan I could have restricted downloads only to opt-in only (where potential readers must give me their email before obtaining my book). This would have resulted in gaining email subscribers, so keep that in mind when reading my thoughts on their service.
I joined the Adventure is Out There, a verified campaign by the Prolific Team. It had 52 entries and ran from Feb 20 to March 5th, and was specific to YA Fantasy. I scored 49 claims. Only 4 other books scored higher in downloads than my own, the highest being 53. However, I saw no spike in sales via Amazon, and no spike in visitation to my website.
However, it is uncertain what numbers of people who got book #1 in this series decided to go and get book #2 at a later date. So it’s guesswork because they provide no exact data to you. This is the reason why you run one campaign at a time so you can better track the results.
- $20 a month (allows more integration).
- Gifts book via the PW website.
- States they are not a review site but a giveaway site.
- Readers can get book and not opt-in to your mailing list.
- No email collection unless you make an opt-in book giveaway.
- If you require they opt-in, PW will not promote your book.
- No way to track if reader gave a review.
- Can integrate with MailerLite.
- Readers on Amazon would be unverified.
Things to consider before running a free book campaign:
Do you have a professional cover that is attention grabbing at a thumbnail size? A cover is the number one deciding factor on if a reader clicks through to read more about your book.
Pick a giveaway that really fits with your book (several that scored low didn’t seem to fit with the theme IMO). For example, if you have a paranormal romance it probably won’t do well with a group of high fantasy books. A book in the genre of historical fiction is not the same as historical romance.
Your book description must be intriguing and short. It must fit your readers of that genre. After a book cover, your short description must grip readers before they decide in a click of a button to take a chance on someone they have never read or to go elsewhere.
However, that is the problem with Prolific Works – unless you do a paid plan you cannot do a subscribe opt-in. This is where a reader gives you their email and you give them your book.
The purpose with opt-in’s is to build your newsletter list. The free book is the carrot. So on the free plan I gave away 53 free copies with no benefit to me. The benefit was to Prolific Works.
To get any real use out of PW you will need to pay for a plan (see below graphic). But is it worth it?
NO. Because 2 other services do the same and more…
Story Origin is free for now, and it has a lot more firepower than Prolific Works. It is a bit easier to get newsletter swaps there than BookFunnel, but has many of the BF deluxe features. If you are on a budget or just starting out, it would be my first option:
Bookfunnel is well-known and has a lot of the same features as StoryOrigin, with just as much if not more fire power at less money! They are my top pick!
You can give out your book with an opt-in, distribute audio book codes, and join in with newsletter swaps. Newsletter swaps are an awesome way to build your newsletter with readers who like your genre! This service has a lot of options to mix and match, as well as track what is happening with your campaigns.
My feeling about Prolific Works is that the cost vs. services makes it not a good value.
If you have no budget and have a small mailing list, go with StoryOrigin to figure out how these newsletter swaps and giveaways work.
If you have the funds, go with BookFunnel – there is a wider pool of authors to work with. I personally chose the BookFunnel mid-list with integrations plan but that fit with my plans and budget.
What you will soon discover as a self-employed author is that there are a LOT of services out there vying for your attention and access to your pocketbook.
You must make command decisions on who is worth it due to how much that service does for you – if the service doesn’t work out, you cut ties and move on.