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Saturday, March 3, 2012

KDP Select Free Promo Update

Hello all. Thanks for stopping by at Self-Publishing Central.

Today, I feel obligated to give you an update on the Amazon KDP Select Free Promos I've held since my last post.

You may recall that my first giveaway through KDP was successful beyond my wildest expectations. That giveaway was for The Covert Element, Book Three in my James Becker Suspense/Thriller Series. Please review the results of that giveaway in my last post.

PROMO #2 -- A HIGHER COURT

The next book I offered as a two day Free Promo was my stand alone spiritual fiction book, A HIGHER COURT. During the free days I managed to give away more than 15,000 copies, mainly in the U.S. The book reached the Amazon Free Kindle Top 10 about 6:00 pm on Day 1 and remained in the Top 20 for the duration of the freebie.

During the seven days immediately following the giveaway, I sold more than 1,600 Kindle copies of A Higher Court at $6.99. During this period the book reached #115 on the Amazon Paid Kindle Bestseller list and remained there for three days. It also reached the #1 paid spot in Spirituality, Religious Fiction, and Literary Fiction during these paid days. These sales compare to a sales ranking of  >100,000 before the promo.

PROMO #3 -- THE 19TH ELEMENT

About a week later I offered Book One of the Becker Series on a two day promo. I gave away more than 20,000 free books during this time, reaching #11 on the Free Kindle charts. Unfortunately, I went fishing for five days while this promo was in process, so I don't have lots of details. However, I can say that I sold >900 copies of The 19th Element over the next seven day period at $6.99 each. I'm not sure where these sales placed the book on the Bestseller list -- probably somewhere between 500 and 1,000.

PROMO #4 -- A HIGHER COURT (Second Promo for this Book)

A few weeks later I wanted to find out what would happen if I offered the same book as a Free Promo twice. So I did this with A HIGHER COURT.

During the Free Days, the book reached #8 overall in Free Kindle, #1 in Spirituality, #1 in Religious Fiction, and #1 in Literary Fiction. I gave away nearly 17,000 copies. Once the book went back into the paid column, it peaked at around #435 on the paid Kindle Bestseller list, and reached the Top Ten in the same three categories I have just mentioned above. Total paid sales in the seven days following the promo were a little over 600 copies at $6.99. As of this writing, A Higher Court is ranked at #1685 in the Paid Kindle Store.

CONCLUSION 

As you can tell, I have had pretty good success with these free promo days. And as you can also tell, running a second Free Promo for the same book has yielded measurable benefit for me, though not nearly the impact of the first time around.

I recount this experience for the same reason I share everything here at Self-Publishing Central -- to let you know what's working and not working for me. Maybe you can learn from my experiences.

BTW . . . I plan to depart the KDP program when my 90 days are up. Even though it appears I could have 1,000 or more borrows a month, I really want to make my books as widely available as possible. So I'm going back to broad distribution to see how that goes this time around. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back at KDP Select sometime in the future.

That's it for today.

Cheers!

John

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the update John. Fascinating stuff.

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  2. I'm so glad you posted an update! I have been watching your results closely. But before I go further, congratulations on your success! I only have one novel out right now, but am going to give it for free again in a few weeks. I'm not sure what my second time around will be like, but here's hoping I mimic some of your success. Your after freebie sales have been phenomenal! Any last words of advice or insight as to what drove that?

    Anyway, thanks again!

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  3. Hi Tina,

    I don't know of any earthly reason that my promos should have been so successful, so I'm giving God the credit. I guess He wanted it to happen.

    Do make sure to get listed before your freebie with PixelOfInk.com and the other sites I mentioned in my previous post.

    Best of luck in your writing endeavors.

    Cheers!

    John

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  4. John...I stumbled upon your site while looking for inspiration on self-publishing! I purchased your book for my kindle and am looking forward to reading it tonite. Thanks.

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  5. Great work John. You understand the most fundamental part of all this. WE ARE OUR OWN PUBLISHERS. I dont want to give you my personal emAil here, but if you get it from Robert P. or someone and message me, I have a summer promo op for you thats pretty big.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this, it's very helpful when trying to decide what to do with our promotions.
    Wagging Tales

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  7. Congratulations on your fantastic results. I recently put my contemporary romance up for free on Kindle and I was really happy with the 1660 downloads, but that pales into nothing compared with your figures! Thanks for bursting my bubble LOL

    http://francenecarroll13.blogspot.com.au/

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  8. Cheers indeed, John!!!
    Good show. i really want to read your books..but reading is hard for me...going, going, gone eyes.

    congrats big time!!!

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  9. I'm sure by now you've all heard that Amazon has changed some of its "Best Seller" algorithms. The free promo approach is still helpful. But you may consider using all five days at once to get maximum bang!

    Cheers!

    John

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  10. I have one title on Amazon. I enrolled in KDP and got 198 downloads. I sold six copies in the week that followed. That's 3% of real sales following 2 days of giveaways. Before enrolling, I looked to see what the percent was. Now that I've done it, I'm putting out the same information I would have liked to have before. My title is nonfiction, and it looks like novels do better, but not being a novelist, I don't really know. I have opted out of KDP, because I don't think 3% is a good enough return. The Amazon promotions for the free books is not very impressive, though it does help. I have one review (positive) and 8 likes for the title. In short, I think I would have to use up my market in order to promote the book. I will un-publish soon, I think. After looking at the many forums and blogs (very few of which give real numbers), my conclusion is that KDP is only good for novels. It doesn't do well at all for non-fiction.

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  11. Just posted my own results for KDP's free promotion in the UK http://www.lpfergusson.com/blog/. Interesting that although the actual downloads were fewer, they pushed me far higher in the ranking over here on .co.uk.

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