I had seen it, read about it, analyzed the pros and the cons, and I don’t want to repeat what everyone else has said about this.
It isn’t an entirely good thing, yet it isn’t that bad. Relinquishing my books to the all-mighty Amazon didn’t feel wrong because 99.9% of all my sales have come through them. It actually made some sense.
For those of you who don’t know, KDP Select is a program for self-publishers using the Kindle Direct Publishing platform. It gives you 5 days every 90 to give your book away for free and royalties if people borrow it through their Prime program.
I used some promo days on two books, The Caregiver (published on May 2012) and a short story, At the Corner of Mars and Neptune (published May 2013). ‘Twas the Mother’s Day weekend and I put the first one free Sunday and Monday, the latter from Sunday ’til Tuesday.
Ok, so, the thing I read the most about during my research was: how do these free promos translate into 1) money, 2) people actually reading the book and not only getting it because it’s free and, therefore, shiny?
1) Money. What is that? Ah, that thing I use to get food… yeah, not the reason I write (and yes, that’s the truth either you want to believe or not).
2) People actually reading the book? I went in knowing that A LOT of people download free books for the sole reason that they are free and never ever touch them, so I was surprised by this review for The Caregiver:
This was the first free book I have read and I was pleasantly surprised. I would read more from this author.
Pleasantly surprised, indeed. If I’ve managed to reach one new reader then I feel like my work here is done.
At the Corner of Mars and Neptune had a huge welcome to the published Kindle books universe. It was downloaded 206 (includes all Amazon sites). It’s a nice number, at least for me, for a short story that had no reviews. After the free promo it got 2 wonderful reviews by people I respect and great feedback through Twitter.
The Caregiver was downloaded a total of 423 times. I know these numbers look teeny-tiny to some authors, to me they are wonderful.
They make me happy.
When it comes to the Amazon Rankings…
At the peek of the promo The Caregiver reached #45 in the Suspense category of the Top 100 Free for Kindle in the US and #52 in the UK.
At the Corner of Mars and Neptune reached #18 in Crime, #24 in Short Stories in the US. It was #20 in Short Stories on the Canada store at one point, #9 in Germany, #10 in France. But the big surprise was in the UK store, where it reached #6.
I’m very pleased with the results, especially given the fact that I was doing all that shameless self-promotion while writing a final paper. I still haven’t slept enough to feel like a person thanks to doing Book 2 edits, writing Book 3, and working on the transmedia project (sleep is for losers, anyway, right?), but I’d do it all over again… and I will!
I want to thank every one of you for your support, wouldn’t have made it without you!!
Soon enough I’ll have news on Book 2’s launch! Yay!