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Free book promotions. Do they work?

May 8th, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Books | Marketing | Perspectives | Writing Tips

To KDP or, not to KDP. Now, that IS the question.

My first two nov­els were released to a wide range of dis­trib­uters. As I picked up sales, I began to notice a trend. When I did no adver­tis­ing, I sold more books on nook than kin­dle. (I know, I know, that is soooooo NOT the norm!) I guess that was why I was a lit­tle skep­ti­cal of the exclu­sive KDP pro­gram on Ama­zon. But still, those free pro­mo­tion days were mak­ing me sali­vate. That’s why I opted to “test” the pro­gram. My third novel, “The For­got­ten Queen,” has been enrolled in KDP for almost 90 days. Finally, I decided to run those free pro­mo­tion days. Here’s my exper­i­ment as it unfolds.

With­out any pro­mo­tions, from May 1 — May 7, I sold 15 copies of “The For­got­ten Queen.” This morn­ing my free pro­mo­tion began. So far, as of 9:10 AM, I have “sold” 74 books today. (The word “sold” just seems so wrong.) But there’s a painful kicker here. Ama­zon is cur­rently NOT list­ing “The For­got­ten Queen” in any rank­ing. (What the? Where did my num­bers go? That is sooooo NOT nice! BTW, prior to this morn­ing, I was ranked at ~68,000 in ebooks, and No. 20 in Arthurian.) Now, as every­one in the book busi­ness knows, pro­mo­tions aren’t about how many books you can give away for free. They’re about build­ing a plat­form, rank­ing higher in the Ama­zon algo­rithm, and reach­ing poten­tial read­ers, and hope­fully a few good reviews along the way too. Any­how, I’ll try to update the “sales” progress as the day unfolds, so that other authors con­tem­plat­ing this deci­sion will have a lit­tle more infor­ma­tion to go on before mak­ing the 90 commitment.

BTW, I haven’t reen­rolled “The For­got­ten Queen” yet. My KDP exclu­siv­ity ends on May 24th. I guess I bet­ter decide soon!

~ Annette

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