My debut novel, THE FOUNDLINGS, spent five days on Amazon’s KDP Select free promotion last week. I marketed the book to every outlet available to me at the time, though admittedly if I had waited a few more weeks before a big promotion push there would have been some other outlets open.
In reality, the book had actually been published to Amazon the previous week, and it did actually have one sale. I don’t know how that one person found the book, but I’m grateful something prompted them to buy it.
The novel went free on Monday, March 4, and I thought at first I would reserve the other four free promotion days until a later date, but the book sort of took off better than I’d really expected. So, I decided to go ahead and burn all five promotion days to see what would happen. Much of this decision was due to reading what other self-published authors had accomplished with using all five promotion days in a row, most notably J.A. Konrath.
I’m here to report that I’m extremely pleased with the results. No, I’m not going to make six or seven figures off of the novel this year, and no, I’m not at the top of Amazon’s or the New York Time’s bestseller lists, but I’m still pleased. Here’s why.
Before the end of the first free promotion day, my book shot up to #2 on the Top 100 Free Epic Fantasy list on Amazon. It also made it to #30 on the overall Top 100 Free Science Fiction and Fantasy list.
By the end of the five days of free promotion, the book was still sitting at #2 on the Epic Fantasy list:
And #14 in the overall Science Fiction and Fantasy category:
The total number of free downloads across the five days of promotion was 3,037. You might say, “Wow, you gave away a lot of books. That’s a lot of money lost.” Well, yes and no.
Sure, if all 3,037 of those downloads had been paid downloads, my commission on those books would have been $10,022. But the whole point of doing the free promotion on Amazon was to generate awareness of the book. How successful was that effort? In my mind it’s been worth it. I’m not going to be retiring off of the money from book sales anytime soon, but that’s not my goal anyhow.
As of this posting, the novel has been averaging about five sales and one borrow per day. Keep in mind that the entire first week the book was available it only sold a single copy. I don’t know that this sales rate will remain steady—it can and will rise and fall over time—but I doubt it would be at this level without the free promotion.
I’m just excited that not only did over 3,000 people download my book and might eventually get around to reading it, but that five people a day think it’s worth paying for. I already have one review on Amazon from someone who paid full price for the novel. I have no idea who they are, but they enjoyed the book.