Thursday, March 29, 2012

My KDP Select Experiment – Third Time's a Charm!

Hi all,
WVW at #13 in Free Kindle Top 100 List
I am happy to say that I had a very successful FREE promotion on Amazon for my women's fiction novel WIDOW, VIRGIN, WHORE. This was my third attempt at trying FREE days with my first and second attempts being for my ebooks MEMORIES and OUTLAW HEROES.  Considering the title of this ebook, I really couldn't predict if people would shy away from it or if the title would intrigue them. Considering the number of free books downloaded in only two days, I'm guessing that the title intrigued readers.  Here is how the promotion went.

First Day of Promotion

To begin with, I had originally planned on starting my promotion on Wednesday and running it through Friday that week. However, for some reason or another, after I had set the dates in the system, it was wiped away and the promotion didn't start as planned. I then reset it for Thursday and Friday (March 22-23) and hoped for the best. I didn't want to wait because the next week (March 25-31) this book was going to be a part of the World Literary Café's Read and Review program, so I wanted the promotions to occur back to back.

The first day I was excited to see how many FREE books had been downloaded overnight and was I ever surprised when at 10:00 AM all I saw was 58 free downloads! With my other books, the number of books the first morning had been in the 100s – so you can imagine that I was freaking out. As the day went on, the free downloads trickled in and by 4:00 PM there were still only 297 downloads. At this point, I decided that the title of my book was scaring everyone and I would not have a successful FREE promotion. However, only an hour later the number grew to 654 downloads and by midnight that first night the downloads were 4,032 and my book hit #40 of the Top 100 Free Kindle Books list. I was ecstatic!

Second Day of the Promotion

The second day of my FREE promotion for WIDOW continued to be as exciting as the first. My book stayed in the top 100 Free Kindle Books list for the entire day reaching up to #13 before slowly dropping to #28 by the end of the night. In all, 10,761 FREE copies were downloaded in the U.S., 38 in the U.K and only 1 in France. Also, I sold several of my Memories and Outlaw Heroes books, which was a bonus.

Did I Do Anything Different from Last Time?

The surprising thing about this promotion is that I didn't do anything different than I had for the other two. I hit up all the same sites I used before (see list below) that promote your FREE book for free and I ran my usual ad on Goodreads except I changed it to advertise the free days. Personally, I believe it was the title that drew the people in and when they read the description, I think they liked what they saw. Also, WVW had 6 positive reviews so that may have helped people make up their minds. Of course, I had a lot of help from my friends on Twitter who re-tweeted my promotion tweets to their readers. Thanks, guys!

Has it Made a Difference in Sales?

I know there are still authors out there who are against the KDP Select program, and that is their right, but as far as I'm concerned, the ability to have free days for your books really does help get your book noticed and sell copies. Since the end of this promotion, I have sold 10-20 books a day of WVW and a few each day of the other two. I have also done well with the Prime lending, having several borrows for each book. Let's face it – money is money whether it comes from a Prime member borrowing your book or someone buying it.  I really urge writers out there who are not selling more than a couple of books a month to try this program. If anything, you will sell a few more books than normal and after the 90 days, you can place your books back on the other sites. For me it is a win-win situation, and I think it has been for many indie authors also.

Sites I Use that Promote Free Books




  1. Great news, Deanna - congratulations! I know you work hard to promote your books and I'm really pleased that it's paying off. I'm learning so much following along with you and really appreciate the education. My MIL has two published books and my hubby is working on one, as well, so anything I can learn about promotion will be put to good use.

  2. Yay! I'm so glad it's going well for you :-) Keep up the GREAT work...