My Author Webpage

My Author Webpage
If you like this blog, please support my books.

Monday, January 23, 2012

KDP FREE BOOK PROMO RESULTS - THE COVERT ELEMENT


Free Book Promotion Results

Greetings and welcome to Self-Publishing Central. Thanks for stopping by.

Today I’m going to give you a summary of the results of my recent Free Book Promo for my suspense/thriller, THE COVERT ELEMENT. I promise you, this will be an interesting read.

THE BASICS

Book Title: THE COVERT ELEMENT (Published in May, 2011)

Pre-promo Book Kindle Ranking: >#100,000.

Requirement to hold promo: Sign THE COVERT ELEMENT up for KDP Select Program

When promo held: Jan 10 & 11 (Tues & Weds), more precisely, 12 am PST Tues to 12am PST Thurs.

Book Pricing: Decided to leave the Kindle book price at $6.99, where all my books have been priced for most of the year.

MY WILDEST HOPES:
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with this giveaway. I had done book giveaways on my website, on this blog, and on Twitter before. Never was I able to give away so many as 25 FREE books. However, I was inspired by the detailed Free Promo results David Wisehart posted in his nine consecutive blog posts. So I thought I’d give it a try.

These were my (very optimistic) hopes for the promo:

Maybe give away as many as 8,000 or 9,000 books.
Maybe get into the Kindle Free Top 100.
Maybe sell 500-700 books after the free period ended.

As you will see, these “hopes” fell well short of the realities this promo achieved. I should have dared to hope bigger.

FREE PROMO FACTS AND FIGURES:
Here are some key facts and statistics from the two days during which my book was free to buy from Amazon:

Books given away: Over 25,000, including >1000 in UK and at least 1 in on every Amazon site.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking: #10.
Highest Free Kindle Suspense Ranking: #1.
Highest Free Kindle Ranking in the UK: #84

PAID RESULTS FROM PROMO
Okay. So the giveaway portion of the promo was fantastic! 25,000 books out to potential readers. I was thrilled. But how would all these free books affect my sales? Had I given away any hope of selling even more books?

I’m thankful to say that quite the opposite was the case. Here are some relevant rankings and statistics from the first 7 days that THE COVERT ELEMENT was back in the paid column on Kindle:

Highest Paid Kindle Ranking – #162 (achieved 3 days after promo)
Highest Paid Kindle Suspense Ranking – #13.
Highest Paid Kindle Movers & Shakers Ranking – #45.
Highest on Kindle Most Popular List – #12.
Ranking at end of First Seven Days Post Promo: Approx. #800

KINDLE BOOKS SOLD IN FIRST SEVEN DAYS AFTER FREE PROMO:
Okay, those rankings were a big improvement from the book’s pre-promo status. But how do the rankings translate into sales? (I had two other titles in the same series as THE COVERT ELEMENT, and since the promo substantially affected their sales, I am listing them here as well.)

Here’s what I have found out regarding that first seven-day paid period. These are actual numbers of kindle books sold at $6.99 each:

THE COVERT ELEMENT (Promo Book): >1,150
THE 19TH ELEMENT: >200
THE MISSING ELEMENT: >200
A HIGHER COURT: 12
COMBINED UK SALES: >50

TOTAL SALES: >1,612

Compare this to my December monthly sales for the same titles:

TOTAL SALES OF ALL BOOKS IN MONTH OF DECEMBER: 44

Wow! I’d say the promo was a huge success in the sales column. I sold more than two year’s worth of Kindle books in seven days!

KINDLE BOOKS BORROWED IN AMAZON PRIME LIBRARY IN FIRST SEVEN DAYS AFTER PROMO:
But you know, there is a new source of revenue in the Kindle world these days – royalties from the KDP Select Library. In December, publishers (in my case, that’s me) were paid $1.70 per borrow of their books. It is uncertain whether that per-book figure will increase or decrease. But in any case, it appears to have some value beyond the minuscule. So here are the number of Borrows during the seven days post promo:

THE COVERT ELEMENT: >400
THE 19TH ELEMENT: 17
THE MISSING ELEMENT: 11
A HIGHER COURT: 0

TOTAL BORROWING: >428
                   
INTANGIBLES
–     There have been four reviews from Free Promo book readers on Amazon so far – three Five Star and one Four Star.

–     The “Liked” button for The Covert Element on Amazon went from 4 to 34 since the promo started.

SUPPORTERS OF MY FREE PROMO
No promotion can be successful without the help of many people. Here are a few who helped me a ton with this promotion. Please forgive me if I omit your name. There were so many. And I truly appreciate you all.

Websites that helped promote the Free Book Promo:

pixelofink.com
icravefreebies.com
centsablemomma.com
thedigitalinkspot.blogspot.com                       
Reviewers Roundup on FaceBook
LinkedIn Writers Groups
Google+
My FaceBook Author Page
Twitter – Especially members of The Independent Author Network (#IAN1)

Special thanks to:

David Wisehart and his blog at:

http://kindle-author.blogspot.com/2012/01/kindle-ebook-sales-report-day-9.html

David’s detailed coverage of his 9 day promo and post promo results inspired me to try a free promo in the first place.

L.M. Stull – Who tweeted David’s blog. That’s how I found all of David’s great info.

All members of IAN who tirelessly tweeted and RT’d the availability of my books.

My many other Twitter and FaceBook friends who so faithfully spread the word. (Far too numerous to name, but each was crucially important.)

Finally, I credit the huge success of this promo to God. You heard me correctly. I have been praying for direction in my life. And I have specifically asked God whether I should continue writing novels. I think the results of this promo provide a clear answer. Without Him, nothing is possible.

CONCLUSION
Well...I think you’ll agree that the promo was a success by any measure. If you feel moved to give this marketing strategy a try, I’d say, “Go for it.” Honestly, there are so many potential book buyers out there, even if you gave away 100,000 copies, there’d still be millions of them left. It’s essentially an endless supply of potential readers. Okay...it’s not endless. But after you sell a million or so books, who cares?

That’s it for today. I encourage comments and suggestions that can help every self-published author make the most of this marketing opportunity.

Cheers!

John 

PS: I have another free book promo going on THIS WEEK Tues and Weds, Jan 24 and 25, for A HIGHER COURT. Please take a copy. 


http://www.amazon.com/A-Higher-Court-ebook/dp/B004AM59MI/ref=sr_1_5?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1327378634&sr=1-5

27 comments:

  1. THanks for sharing the info John! Great results and may it continue. Keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Doug.

    I appreciate the well wishes and am sending them right back your way!

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  3. John those were great results. I just signed on to KDP Select and was debating whether or not to try "Free". I have to tell you, I appreciate your honest breakdown of your free book promo and follow-up. Very informative! I wish you continued success going forward.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks, Michael.

    I wish you all the success I had with the free promo tool.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  5. Absolutely amazing John. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. You have helped many beginning writers (including me) who support you and are glad for your success. Please keep writing, and thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Many thanks for your kind words, Ben.

    I'm pleased to have some promo advice that seems to actually work. I've shared many not so good results on this blog in the past.

    You are a great writer and fantastic friend.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  7. Congratulations John! That is wonderful news and it's generous of you to share it. I hope God continues to bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. John!

    What a fantastic post! So happy to read your numbers! You've inspired me to dive into this opportunity!

    Best Wishes for your continued success,

    Peter
    Writing as A. R. silverberry

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you both, Rae and A.R.

    Much appreciated. All the best to you as well.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great, John. I'm about to go KDP Select starting February 1st. How far in advanced did you have to tell those sites that promoted you, you'd be free during those days?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Robert,

    Actually I was sort of late getting ahold of them. I just notified them one day in advance. But it seemed to work out okay.

    Best of luck with your promo.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  12. OK, I am definitely doing this with the next short story to be released in my Wothlondia Rising short stories! Those are some infallible numbers! I figured going to NOOK would help my sales, but I am not so sure that the KDP program is not the best way to at least start....

    If you want to tell any fantasy readers about my blog and specifically the new short stories, you can find me @ http://www.ashenclaw.com/ or
    http://eyeonashenclaw.blogspot.com/

    Thanks again, John for the information and inspiration to keep going. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for commenting, Gary.

    When I got into this self-publishing business a couple years ago, the first lesson I learned was to have infinite PATIENCE. It wasn't an easy lesson. And not much fun. But in the end, I believe it is one of the best weapons in a self-pubber's arsenal.

    We can't out-publicize or out distribute traditional publishers. But we can outlast them!

    Fantasy fans: Take note of Gary's Ashenclaw Realm stories. They are getting great reviews.

    Cheers!

    John

    ReplyDelete
  14. That's really awesome! Congratulations!

    Thanks for sharing your results. It's inspiring and I think I now have a better idea of how to work KDP Select. I put one of my short stories on KDP Select about a month ago and gave away around 200 copies. Do you think there is a market for shorts on Amazon/Smashwords/etc, or is it best to just go all in with a novel?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz,

      Sorry...I haven't monitored my older blog posts very diligently.

      I'm afraid I don't have a lot of info on shorts. Certainly, there are plenty of folks that sell them--usually at $.99.

      Wish I could be of more help.

      All the best!

      John

      Delete
  15. Thanks John for sharing your results, and for giving God some credit. I too wonder what He wants from me and my writing. Some doors for radio seem to be opening up so we'll see where that goes. And I'm taking the first plunge next week with free days plus paid promotion (I just did free days in December). We'll see how it goes. And thanks for all your retweets, I sure do appreciate it.
    Renee Pawlish

    ReplyDelete
  16. John, I'd like to pursue this subject with you direct if you would. Several questions as to how you published, made the Kindle book, etc. If you would, write me direct at JimMagwood@aol.com.
    Blessings,

    Jim

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for sharing your results. So exciting!

    I had pretty good results with my recent free book promo. Uploaded my book to Kindle two weeks ago. No one bought it. No one even looked at it that I could tell. Wasn't even on Amazon's radar. Did a free promo for one day (April 1). Almost 300 people downloaded it, and it ranked in the Top 100. Today (the day after), I've made two sales and am ranking in the 40,000s! :-) Not quite as big a success as yours, but I'll take it.

    I'm really wondering what to do now that the free promo is over. Will I continue making sales, or will I have to do something else to get my book out there? I guess I'll give it a week and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations on your promo results! I think 300 is a fantastic number!

      How much you promote your book decides how many sales you make. You can use sites Twitter and Facebook, set up an email list for your existing and new readers, and create business cards to hand out to people you meet. I'm currently trying to build up a momentum myself, and haven't yet made any big sales, but I think I'm starting to see some progress.

      Delete
  18. Thanks to your post I'm happy to say that I'm up to number 20 for fiction dramas in the U.S. This is my first day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DT,

      Glad you had some success with this. Since January, Amazon has made some significant changes to its "Best Seller" algorithms that may make the above strategy less effective than it was early in 2012.

      Go with the flow. :)

      Cheers!

      John

      Delete
  19. Thank you for sharing.

    Also tried KDP for some of my books. Made a couple of sales, but I'm still hoping to reach a similar level of success such as yours.

    Hope you are continually blessed.

    Bert (Norbert L. Mercado)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Congratulations, John. It's great to hear success stories. I've had a free promo for the last two days and went from 10 sales in January to 1800 downloads so far and still counting until Midnight. I hope it translates into sales, but I'm already happy. I calculated that it would have cost me lots of time and money to gift that many books--which I've been doing, to get exposure. Best wishes for continued success. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I feel happy after read this post. This post is definitely helpful for us so I visit this site regularly and I suggest everyone to visit this site. I strongly believe that after see the bellow link you will more surprise.
    free coupons
    coupons
    coupon codes

    ReplyDelete
  22. Too much of a good thing? I'm sharing this experience in hopes it will help others. I did my first free promo is Feb and was shocked that 1830 units of my one and only book, My Mother Killed Christ: But God Loves Me Anyway, were downloaded. This also increased sales from 3 Kindles sales in January to 83 in Feb. I also received 3 additional glowing reviews. After reading John's article, I realized that I did this without ever advertising my free promo on any site. So, I tried it again yesterday and today after blogging and advertising on all of the sites John listed and many more. Too much...too soon. So far, only 260 downloads. In the future, I will plan more carefully and not interrupt sales by doing too many free promos. On a happier note, it did push my sales rank to # 1 in women's memoirs (Free). I hope this helps another author. Thanks, John. Best wishes for continued success.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Requirement to hold promo: Sign THE COVERT ELEMENT up for KDP Select Program
    cheap advertising

    ReplyDelete
  24. Classifieds are perfect for selling just about anything at all.
    Here you can sell and buy anything under the sun including both novel and used products.
    Get more with free advertising at postallads4free.com

    ReplyDelete