Something Rotten Online Promo - By the Numbers

>> Monday, December 1, 2008

Today is December 1st (!), and so officially ends the free Something Rotten promotion on Scribd. I broke down the numbers for editor Liz and the marketing folks at Penguin, but I wanted to blog about them here for anyone curious about the promotion's impact.

For the roughly month and a half period Something Rotten was available to read on both my web site and on Scribd, the promo page on my web site with the embedded Scribd reader received 4,404 total hits, with 3,732 unique visitors, 3,164 first time visitors, and 568 returning visitors. October saw the most visitors, particularly in the first two weeks of the promotion. Week one saw 2,287 hits to the promo page on my web site, and week two had 731 hits. October was clearly helped by an online blitz that included promotions on my web site, blog, e-newsletter, and plugs from many friendly bloggers. (My sincere thanks to everyone who helped me spread the word!)

During the month and a half of the online promotion, the promo page on my web site averaged 551 visitors a week, 396 of whom were classified as "first time visitors" by my stat service. The two screen grabs here are from Statcounter, the free online service I use to track hits to my web pages. Both are breakdowns of the hits to the Rotten promo page on my web site (one monthly numbers, one weekly numbers), and both can be viewed larger by clicking on them.

By way of comparison, my index page, the home page of, received 356 page loads in pre-promotion September, with an average of 12 hits per day, while the month of October (and the beginning of the Rotten promo) saw my home page visits more than double to 733, with an average of 24 hits per day. November, the last month of the promotion, had 513 page loads, with an average of 17 hits per day. While I'm not privy to sales numbers for Rotten or Something Wicked, I can at least say that the month and a half of the promotion significantly increased exposure for me and my books.

As for the Something Rotten Scribd page itself, it recorded 465 views. Best I can tell, reading the book through the interface embedded on my web site--as well as clicking through to the larger version--did NOT count toward those numbers. To record a hit on Scribd, a visitor had to visit the Scribd home page for Something Rotten itself. During its time on Scribd, Rotten received two "likes" and 6 "favorites," and was classified as "hot" by Scribd and cross-promoted on the Scribd "hot list."

All in all, I rate the online promotion as a success. Anecdotally, I have had a few people tell me they read the entire book online. How many actually read through to the end, rather than just clicking through, is impossible to know. But again, I think the exposure alone was worth the promotion. Many thanks to all the people who helped make the Rotten promotion happen, helped spread the word, and especially to all those who read Rotten online!

Oh, and if you haven't seen the free promotion, I'm leaving the links to it up until the book is actually taken down off Scribd.


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