I’ve just finished running my first free promotion on Kindle. Here are my initial thoughts on the experience (which far, far, far exceeded my expectations)…
First of all – huge thanks to everyone who took advantage of the promotion and downloaded the book. I hope you enjoy it! And also a huge thanks to those who listed me, retweeted me, shared my FB link, etc. I really appreciate it!
So – about the promotion… When I published my first book, Blue Violet, via Amazon Kindle I decided to sign up for the KDP Select program. This program means that for the digital content of my book I exclusively publish on Amazon Kindle for three months. But with the program come several perks. One of those perks – and the biggest reason I signed up for the program – was the 5 free promotional days.
How It Works…
First – pick the days: I get to pick the days and can spread them out however I like. You manage it via KDP and Amazon automatically turns it on/off for you. Most of my research indicated that the best way was to do it in groups of 2-3 days at a time. So I decided to do Friday/Saturday this past week. I’ll do my remaining 3 days at the end of November all grouped together.
Second – get the word out: With a little research you can find tons of lists on where/how to promote your free days. There are a boat load of blogs out there dedicated to listing book promos that you can get listed on for free. I also announced via several Twitter feeds and Facebook sites. A little work up front goes a long, long way. If you want more details on this, contact me or comment on this post, and I’m happy to go into more details.
My goal was to reach more readers and to get word of my book out there. What I didn’t think about though were the side benefits like capturing more Facebook followers, email disti list requests, Likes for my book on Amazon, and the boost to my Amazon ranking. With the rapid sales, my book got pushed to the top of the search and best sellers lists (temporarily) making it more visible to potential readers during the promotion.
As I mentioned, my results far exceeded my expectations. I had gone into this with low expectations, figuring I’d be very happy if I hit 500 in sales. By 10am on Friday (the promo starts at midnight) I had sold 117, so I figured I was right on track to that. But by 3pm sales were ticking over at about one a minute. I was at around 800 by the time I went to bed on Friday.
On Saturday I was thrilled to see that I’d topped 1000. I have class on Saturdays (I’m in an MBA program) and by the time class ended at 2pm I’d sold about 1700. I didn’t check again until around 4:30pm and was shocked to see that it had rocketed to 3500. After that I watched it tick over at about 5-10 books downloaded every minute until I went to bed.
Final count… 6157 total sold (5934 US, 175 UK, 47 Denmark, 1 Italy) !!!!!!
In addition… I got more likes (jumped from 7 to 35). I had about twenty new people start following me either on Facebook, my blog, or my email disti list. And my Amazon ranking really jumped up. I had hovered around 18000-20000 (out of one-some-odd-million I believe) since the release. With this promotion I peaked at #26 in general Kindle books and #11 in Kindle romance books (free list).
Now, I am not so naive as to expect that all 6157 people will read the book. I am assuming that they likely download tons of free books and don’t get to all of them. But if only 10% end up reading the book (around 600), and 10% of those become repeat readers (around 60), the promotion has definitely done it’s job.
Needless to say I am thrilled! Will I do the KDP Select program again? Absolutely. This feature alone is worth it.
Look for me to run a 3 day free promotion for Blue Violet November 16-18th. And, depending on when I get Hyacinth finished and published, the first promo for that book should come in March or April some time.