This past week I had my first experience with free days for the Kindle Direct Publishing program. My Halloween novella, The Vampire and the Vixen, had a really great showing. Before hand, I made sure information about the promotion was distributed to sites that advertise free days. Of the ten I was able to submit to, three had the listing. The day of, I posted to my loops, Facebook, several blogs, and individual friends. In all cases I asked to have the information shared or reposted. My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, also sends out notices and Tweets about the free promotions for the week. The last day of the promotion, I reposted to Facebook and a couple of loops and blogs, just to get the word out one more time in a ‘this is your last chance’ type of announcement.
It was amazing to me how fast the sales rankings move at Amazon. The day the promotion started, Vampire was at 5,695 in the free store. By 3:00 p.m. that day it had moved to 373 overall and 91 in the Contemporary Romance category. By the end of the promotion it was sitting at around 110 and 29 respectively. The best it did over the course of the five days was 54 on the overall list and 16 on the Contemporary Romance list. For the first time around, I am thrilled to say the least.
I also took a peek at sales numbers for the book before the promotion. In June and July it sold 15 copies. The trick now will be to see if those numbers move after the promotion. I also looked at sales for my other books in the third quarter of this year. It’s fun to me to see that my back list is still selling. In the second third quarter so far, my titles stand here:
This Time for Always – 2
Wild Wedding Weekend – 2
This Can’t Be Love – 3
A Christmas to Remember – 2
An Unexpected Blessing – 3
In the second quarter of 2013 I sold 46 copies of my titles.
Am I selling millions? No. However, I think one of the major advantages of a small press publisher is the availability of a back list. Books don’t go out of print, so they are always there when a reader wants to nab one. My debut title is from 2008 and I still show sales (print and electronic) for it each quarter.
Now the theory with offering books for free through the KDP program is to get your name out there and to increase sales on your back list as well as the current title. Only time will tell if my Vampire free days will be successful in this manner. I’m sure I will be anxiously awaiting the end of this month so I can see the new uploads to my sales reports. I’m also curious to see how many copies of The Vampire and the Vixen were actually downloaded during the promotional period.
In a few months I’ll get to do it all over again when This Feels Like Home releases. It will also be offered free as part of the KDP program. I have lots of notes from this time around, and maybe by then I’ll have learned some new sales tricks as well.
How about you? Does anyone have any experience with KDP promotions? Were you pleased with your results or not so much?
Until next time,