Amazon Kindle Free Promotions: Doing the math again (mutter, mumble)

My contemporary romance novella, The Goodbye Ride is now in its second period of the KDP Kindle Select goodbye_ride_low-res.jpgprogram at Amazon. This means for 90 days (3 months) you list your book exclusively with Amazon and during that period, you get 5 days where you can offer your book on a free promotion. That’s the upside of Kindle Select. The downside is, you can’t offer your book on any other platform (iTunes or Nook for example, or Smashwords.)

When The Goodbye Ride launched in late May, I took advantage of the free days to promote the book on its release. During that period, 2650 people took advantage of the promotion to download my book. The best ranking I saw it gain during the promotion was #282 Free in Kindle Store. (Read that post here if you like.)

Now I have something to compare that initial free period against, as I’ve just completed today, the second three-day free period for the book.

This time, 3174 readers downloaded my book. The highest I saw it rank was #111 (it was so exciting to think it might have gone Top 100 Free, but given it was late Sunday night at the time, I couldn’t stay awake to see what happened next).

Stop press! The lovely Ana from This Chick Reads says she saw it reach 63!! So it did crack the Top 100 Free on Kindle!

Amazon.com (US, Australia, NZ) had by far the biggest download numbers over the period, with 3068—more than 1000 copies of the book a day, which was great.

The interest this time wasn’t so high elsewhere. In the UK 78 readers downloaded the book, followed by Canada (8), India (7), Germany (4), France and Italy (3), Spain (2) and Japan (1).

I didn’t make such an effort at promoting it as I did when it launched (in terms of contacting promotional sites that offer free opportunities to include your book during its free days). But what I think is worth mentioning is, the first free period I promoted quite heavily with my friends, and within the Facebook Group for Romance Writers’ Australia. This time around, most of my friends and RWA contacts would have already read (or downloaded and not yet read) my book. So I feel, though without proof, most of these readers were in the US.

The big difference I think, is to do with the reviews. The Goodbye Ride has 13 reviews now, compared with none when the book launched. All the reviews for it on Amazon are 4 or 5 stars. I think it’s a fair comment to say, there are a lot of books that go free that may not necessarily be particularly good books. If you have some positive reviews before you offer the book free, I think it really helps your book to stand out.

Readers are spoiled for choice. They are also time-poor. There are just too many good books out there, and much like bad wine, life is too short to read bad books (even if they’re free).

I don’t know if I will keep The Goodbye Ride in the KDP program after this next 3-month period expires… but I am a bit slack at the idea of publishing it on Smashwords, or some of the other platforms. I am also trying to focus hard on writing my next book, Fairway To Heaven.

Hopefully some of the people who downloaded The Goodbye Ride over the weekend will take the time to contact me if they’ve enjoyed it, or write a review, or tell their friends (please! tell your friends!). I’ve picked up one lovely 5-star new review so far.

Perhaps if readers like The Goodbye Ride, they may also buy my Escape Published title, His Brand Of Beautiful.

At the end of the day, as a new author, the opportunity to get my work in readers hands, is – well – it’s kinda priceless!

4 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle Free Promotions: Doing the math again (mutter, mumble)”

  1. I’m reading (still- I’ve been busy) His Brand of Beautiful, and am loving it. I’ll be purchasing and reading Goodbye Ride next. But, with the self publishing side of this book, I wonder at publishing an eBook and how you promote it effectively as a new author. Did you have a book launch? And if you did, how did it work? It’s one of the things that has me worried about publishing on electronically. I guess I have a dream of having a little party to promote and set my stories off on their journey to find new homes. Did that side of things worry you? Maybe I’ve an unrealistic expectation for this day and age of digital publishing.

    1. Hi Paula
      It’s a good question about what works in the whole promotion side of things. I’m happy with the KDP Select program and my main influence in joining that program came from Alexandra Sokoloff and discussion I saw on her blog, which I follow. (She’s a treasure trove of self-pubbing info). I figured if the KDP program and the launch ‘free’ was good enough for Alex, it’s good enough for me.
      No – I didn’t do any kind of publishing/launch party. The cyber-parties aren’t quite my thing – tho heaven knows I do love a glass of bubbles on any occasion! I don’t know why the numbers would be higher this time except two possibilities: the reviews have caused more people to take a chance on my book as a newbie author; the whole algorithm/rank thing assisted in building higher sale numbers; and possibly, my name is just a little more known now than it was in May?
      I think the lower numbers outside of the US are a worry. I mean – what’s happening in the UK?? That’s where I think I would concentrate some promo next time. We’ll see.
      The Goodbye Ride is chugging along for me, and my priority with it is more to get people to know my writing and my name.
      Thanks for visiting!
      Lily M

  2. Nice analysis, Lily, and interesting to see what happens in the KDP.

    With the UK… is the book free on the Amazon UK site too? I know sometimes I go to get a free book that’s been advertised by US authors and it isn’t free on our site (even if it is Amazon.com for Aus too). I don’t understand it at all – it’s like the big Amazon mystery box for me!

    Thanks for sharing what you found.

    Cate xo

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