Free Promo on Kindle: Results
The five day free promo for my book Born of Water came to an end at midnight this morning. The free promo is an option when you agree to sign up to sell exclusively at Amazon for 90 days. I figured why not? I’m new to this selling a book thing and any free marketing sounds good to me.
So how did it go? The first morning, last Thursday, I was thrilled to pieces to have had 14 “sales”. True, I wasn’t going to get any royalty on these. But I have a full time job. What I don’t have is fans. Offering my book for free for a limited time to connect with readers and hopefully build an interest was an opportunity I was happy to try. What I didn’t expect is how happy I’d be to see even just 14 people that I didn’t know want to read my book. It was just great. I thought wistfully of maybe hitting 50 downloads and of how awesome that would be.
By lunch time of Thursday, the number of downloads was closing in on 100. It just didn’t seem possible to me. Nearly 100 people were willing to give my book a try? Wow. This was the first moment I felt even the slightest glimmer of success as a writer. For this reason alone I’d recommend someone trying sales, even free sales, on Kindle. The boost to energy and personal enthusiasm is worth quite a few free copies.
Mid-afternoon Thursday was also the time I decided I needed to set some goals. What would a successful free promo look like? 500 popped in my head. 500 downloads of Born of Water and I’d feel like the whole experience between uploading to Kindle and the free promo were worth it. A quiet thought of also hearing back from at least one person who had jumped on the free promo offer tagged itself on to that lofty number. But that is being really hopeful right? Hearing back from someone who had downloaded and read my book during a 5 day promo is asking a lot. So OK, maybe hearing back from someone within a month would be more realistic. After all, people are inevitably in the middle of another book and may have a stacked e-book shelf!
By end of Thursday I had hit 250 downloads. 500 seemed more than feasible, but I kept in mind I didn’t know how many people read fantasy books on Kindle or Kindle apps. What is the max I could hope for in five days? As expected, sales slowed on Friday and continued to trickle through Saturday and Sunday. But it was a steady increase. My stats on Amazon for free e-books continued to climb. The best I saw during the entire 5 days was #697 Free in Kindle Store and #23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Fantasy > Epic. I’d started at over #12,000 in ranking and #200 in the Kindle Store.
Friday with sales approaching 300 by the end of the day I made a startling discovery. I was only looking at the US sales. Mesmerized I realized I was also making sales through the free promo is the UK and Germany. I was not at 300 downloads, but 385! I had the potential for international fans. I was grinning from ear to ear.
I thought about revising my goals, but stuck to a flat 500 downloads. 500 alone in the US was really my original thought, but I’d said 500 total and kept with that. Success was in that number and I kept my fingers crossed.
The end result? I hit 500 downloads Sunday morning. I had a celebratory breakfast of hazelnut scones. If you set goals, you get to celebrate when you reach them! Everything from that point on was additional, but a welcome addition. I kept that tickling in my head that 500 in the US alone would be nice, and 100 in the UK as well. Plus to just hear from someone . . . .
Monday brought all of that to pass. Monday morning I had a new review from someone who had picked up Born of Water during the promo. They had read it in a maximum of 4 days! And liked it. They gave me some feedbacks on needed edits that I’m looking into now and which will continue to make my writing stronger. I couldn’t believe I had hit that milestone as well.
Not to mention the numbers. By the end of the day I had reached 559 in the US – surpassing my best expectations and hopes. I had 146 downloads in the UK and 18 in Germany. My grand total was 723!
At the end of the free promo, I hit my goal of targeted downloads and received feedback both positive and constructive. I’m more than pleased with the results, though that doesn’t mean I might not try something different next time. I could have done the five days separately: one day a week maybe?
Experiences are not repeatable but they can be similar. I’m hoping my next free promo has similarly good results. And I hope if you try one it runs beyond your wildest expectations!