KDP Select: Revisited

It has now been a week since my second (and probably last) free promo for Firestone ended, so this is my write-up post for it.

You may recall that during my first promo back in October, I gave away 1155 copies and didn’t get any extra sales as a result. This time round, I got mentioned by ENT (ereadernewstoday.com) which led to…

1842 copies on .com

276 on .co.uk

121 on .de

3 on .fr and

1 on .ca

Being featured on ENT on the 5th day meant that I didn’t get as many downloads as I would have gotten should I have been picked up earlier in the week. That said, the silver lining is that in the 7 days since the end of the promo I SOLD 99 copies and had 6 borrows. All of these (bar 5 on .co.uk) were on .com and I put this all down to people seeing the ENT post after the end and deciding to buy the book anyway. I anticipated this and dropped the price to 99c for the rest of 2012 to capitalise on this effect.

Obviously, I didn’t achieve enough downloads to make an impact on the Amazon popularity lists, so I didn’t benefit from the promo in that way.

So far, I haven’t had any new reviews, but it’s only been a week. I know a few are reading the book at the moment and I’ve had a bit of feedback via Facebook, so who knows what will come by the end of the month.

My thoughts on KDP Select promos haven’t been altered by this run. A good run really does depend on being picked up by one of the big sites, and even those aren’t delivering the volume of downloads that they did a few months ago. Over Christmas, Amazon had almost 50,000 free titles available at any given moment. It’s a miracle anyone gives away any large number of books on a promo with that sort of competition.

So what’s a boy to do in 2013? Well that’s the big question, isn’t it?

 

Uprising delayed, but Firestone is FREE!

I was expecting to release Uprising upon the world today, but unfortunately I am delaying the release until January. It needs a bit more work done to it and it just wouldn’t be right to release it before it is ready. I hope you all agree it is worth waiting just a little longer for something that is done right, rather than getting something less than perfect right now.

In the meantime, because it is Christmas, you can download Firestone FREE from Amazon for the next few days. So if you haven’t already got a copy (and why the hell not? :p ) now is the perfect chance.

Please also let all your friends, blog audiences, Twitter followers and Facebook friends know that Firestone is free. Every download helps towards a successful promotion.

Merry Christmas!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Firestone-Talgard-Series-ebook/dp/B009BTMKFY
http://www.amazon.com/Firestone-Talgard-Series-ebook/dp/B009BTMKFY

My thoughts on KDP Select

Well, it’s been a few days since my giveaway of Firestone, and the final numbers are in. Across all countries I gave away 1155 copies of my book. This got me to around 350 in the charts, and considering the lack of reviews and lack of take up from big Free Promo sites, this is about as good as can be expected.

The main goal of my promotion was to garner some reviews rather than new sales as the post-promo visibility is pretty much zero. The number of free downloads has no impact whatsoever on paid sales rank. Only the popularity rank is affected by free downloads. 1155 downloads is nowhere near enough to gain any sort of momentum in the popularity ranking, so unsurprisingly I have had no sales at all since the promo ended.

If you are reading this wondering if you should make your book free for a few days, then listen to these two pieces of advice.

1. You need to have a good number (10+) reviews before you start.

2. Getting your book listed on Pixel of Ink and/or eReader News Today is an absolute must!

Now, to get listed on either of those two sites you need to have reviews. You can do all the blogging, tweeting and facebooking possible and still not get the momentum you need if neither of those sites pick you up. I managed to get my promo picked up by a Twitter user with over 100,000 followers, which in turn was retweeted almost 150 times. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the impact of that tweet, despite it reaching over 250,000 accounts was probably only about a dozen or so downloads. Compare this to Freebooksy, the biggest site to pick up Firestone which resulted in approximately 500 downloads and you can see the importance of exposure on places where readers *actually* go to find free titles.

Am I happy with my results? Yes I am. I knew I wouldn’t be picked up by either of the major sites. I hope to get some reviews over the coming weeks and a few new readers that will be interested in the sequel when it comes out.

23:30. 87.5 hours done.

Just a quick update tonight as I’m up early for work. Will post in more detail tomorrow…

US: 800

UK: 215

Germany: 24

Italy: 1

Total: 1040

Also, got my first 5 star review today!

This is a great debut from a new fantasy author. Usually i’m not really into fantasy, dragons etc BUT i really did find this a great read that got me engrossed in the story pretty quickly. I don’t really want to give anything away so i’ll make this short and sweet.

If fantasy, dragons etc is your thing give it a read, IF NOT, give it a read anyway as i’m sure you will enjoy it.

Looking forward to the sequel.

Happy days!

Midnight. 64 hours in

Well it’s been quite an interesting day. I was ready to give up on the promo when I noticed that I was suddenly getting a ton of downloads in the US. I tracked it down to http://www.freebooksy.com who featured my book today 🙂

Here are the latest download figures…

US: 600

UK: 167

Germany: 19

Italy: 1

Total: 787

A little over half way through, so I think I might get past the 1000 download mark!

Currently 956 in the US and 353 in the UK. Ranking seems a long way behind the downloads today!

Midnight. 40 hours in

So, it’s midnight(ish) on day two of the promo. I’ve tried to concentrate on the UK side of promotion today as its “easier” to move up the UK lists as there are fewer titles to compete with. As of now (bearing in mind the rankings are approximately 4-6 hours behind actual sales) here are how things stand…

US: 265

UK: 100

Germany: 13

Italy: 1

Total: 379

UK ranking overall: 437

US ranking overall: 1110

UK Fantasy Top 100: 39

It wouldn’t surprise me if this is the peak.

First 12 hours of the promo

Firestone has been free for around 12 hours now and things are about where I expected them to be (not as good as what I hoped for). I’ve done a few tweets and posted on some Facebook pages and found a couple more websites to submit my title to.

Here are the 12 hour figures:

USA: 97

UK: 22

Ger: 5

Total so far: 124

Onwards and upwards!

Going free for 5 days: An experiment

Tomorrow I am putting Firestone up for free on Amazon for 5 days. This is somewhat of an experiment, and given that sales are very slow, I feel I have nothing much to lose.

I will be posting my progress on here during the course of the promotion, and I hope it serves as help for anyone else planning to give their ebook(s) away in the future.

There are many discussions that argue what days are best to run a promo, and how long it should run for. I don’t have anything new to add to that, but I have decided to run for the full 5 days, from Friday through to Tuesday. There seems to be more free books given away on a weekend, so in my wisdom I am starting on the Friday to get a headstart on the weekend trade, and hope that by the time all the 2 day weekend promos finish on Sunday night, I get a little kick up the rankings on the Monday and Tuesday.

Due to not having many reviews (ok, I have 1) I don’t expect to be picked up by any of the big sites, but I have posted to about a dozen of the smaller ones and hope to be picked up by a few of them at some point over the five days. I will be tweeting and facebooking during the promo, every download will count!

One other quick thought I have had; today Amazon announced the Paperwhite Kindle and the Kindle Fire HD release for the UK, so as the media picks up on that over the next day or so, it might increase “kindle traffic” on the site and herald a good weekend for ebook sales (free or otherwise) moreso than a “normal” weekend. Here’s hoping!

So what is my target? I would love to get 50,000 downloads, but as I mentioned about the reviews, I don’t expect to get anywhere near that. So I think anthing over 1000 would be great, and anything around 3-5000 would be super fantastic. I would also like to get in the top 100 for Fantasy (as a whole, not just a Fantasy sub-category).

So, wish me luck!

Getting the word out

You would think that writing and publishing a novel is the hard part. Well, to be honest, it isn’t.

Once your book goes up for sale, you then have to put in a lot of effort to get people to buy it, which is a lot easier said than done. I feel that if you do at least one little thing each day to promote your efforts, this will build up over time and create sales in the future. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

So, this weekend, I have set up a Twitter account (with a massive following of 1 as I write this!) which can be found @djnashfiction

I have not really ever gotten into Twitter all that much, but anything extra I can do to promote my novel has to be worth it, right?

I have also submitted my novel for review at a couple of review sites. I am waiting to hear back from them to see if they will consider me. I don’t expect to hear from them that quickly, as I am sure they get dozens of requests a week.

Also this weekend, I have ponied up $25 for a 1 day feature on the World Literary Café site at http://www.worldliterarycafe.com . This site looks pretty popular, so I hope to gain some interest from it when they run the ad. I have chosen either 24th 28th or 29th September as my preferred dates. If that goes well, then I will plan a more co-ordinated campaign with them later in the year once I have a few more reviews.