Kindle Select Free Promo Days–Do they still work?

There seems to be much talk around the forums about how the usefulness of the Kindle Select Free Days seems to be in decline. Not to mention what Kindle Unlimited has done to [not for] author royalties. And now it seems Amazon had tossed another wrench in things with their new marketing click ads. Anyway, I’ll talk about those other items in coming posts.

I only recently joined the Kindle Select Program, mid-December to be exact. As I only had one book and a free short story out on the other platforms (and I’d recently gotten my rights back from my publisher for the other two) I figured why not give Kindle Select a try. They demand exclusive rights to your titles for 90 days, but as I said, with no sales of note, joining wasn’t really an issue.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it was a great deal of work. lol. I had to re-edit, format, and create new covers. And while I was at it, I decided to do the same with all of them. And, Bad Author, did I ever find a big number of grammar issues and typos to be fixed. At least the last six weeks I’ve lived in the writer’s cave was worth it.

Now, Kindle Free Days:

The idea is that by giving away a truck load of ebooks for free, you might gain notice/readers. In other words, gaining future sales of your other books by building a fan base. Which, as a new indie author, is (or should be) your main goal.

However, you’re only allowed 5 Free Promo days for each 90 days Kindle Select period. (Or you can do a Kindle Countdown Deal if you wish. I’ll try that in the future.)

I enrolled Stone’s Kiss first, and broke up its Free Promo period into two segments, running one for 3 days just after Christmas and another mid-January for 2 days. During the Christmas 3 day run, I promoted it only with Digital Books Today and got 1100 downloads, which isn’t a gold rush, but not too terrible either. The second one I promoted with the site, The Fussy Librarian. And with that one I gained another 300 downloads.

So, sum total: 1400 downloads. (not horrible for very, very limited promotions)

But because of the Free promo giveaways, I’m now averaging about four sales/borrows a day. Which is up from the two or three a month I was getting. lol. I should point out that I have very limited time, so focused on writing other novels instead of promoting.  It just makes more sense to me that if you’re going to spend time and money on promotional stuff, you should have other novels out for readers to move onto next. More bang for your buck and all that.

A look at the numbers: I found—> 1400 free downloads resulted in about $100 USD in residual sales/ borrows.

Yes, still peanuts, but it will be interesting to see how Betrayal’s Price, my current Freebie, affects my sales.

With this one, I decided to run it for 5 days at once, with sites promoting on different days so I could compare the different sites and learn how well each worked. (I’ll admit, some of the paid site felt a little like tossing money into a blackhole, but those ones I never parted with more than $10, so am not too concerned if the don’t pan out.)

So far I’ve had a greater number of downloads. Day one: 2523 free downloads. With it sitting at #2 in Sword and Sorcery and #67 overall (Woot! I never thought I’d make it into the top 100 Free in Kindle list) And this with me only promoting on the second tier sites, as you have to have 8-30 good reviews to be accepted by the bigger sites, and Betrayal’s Price had only been out for two weeks, so doesn’t have any reviews yet. Good, bad, or otherwise.

 

Screen capture_betrayal's

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I don’t know if the dowBeautiful archery woman aiming, smoky backgroundnloads were helped along because a lot of non-football fans were looking for something to do to avoid the superbowl or if the crap weather help, or if FreeBooksy, bknight on ffiver, and Book Angel really are that good.

 

 

I’ll be posting more updates in the coming days, so stay tuned. And if you’re interested Betrayal’s Price is still free until Feb 5th. So if a Romantic Fantasy Sword and Sorcery adventure is your kind of book, give it a try and tell your friends and family about it.   <——- Look, See. I do attempt to promote. lol. 

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2 thoughts on “Kindle Select Free Promo Days–Do they still work?

  1. My only recent free run was backed by a BookBub ad, but back in the day (early 2012), you saw a much better bump from free “sales.” This was mainly because Amazon’s algorithm treated a free sale much like a real sale, so your ranking could go through the roof after just a few thousand giveaways. Back in September I ran my first book free with a BookBub ad and gave away close to 60,000 copies over 5 days (it reached #1 overall Free). Book 2 did very well because of it and I’m still averaging a couple sales a day, four months (and no advertising) later. BookBub was expensive, but the return was 10-fold that month. Does free still work? Yes. But, it used to work better. 😉

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