This Amazon KDP Select free promo campaign worked out a lot better than my last, which I did in April 2013 and which you can read about here.
So how did it go, and why in the world would I give such a valuable book away for free?
First, let's look at the results:
When I woke up the next day things had picked up, and there had been 117 sales, pushing me up to #1,573 in the Amazon Free Store, with a category ranking of #4 in Advertising and #2 in Authorship.
Here’s the rundown on Day 1
- Sales: 367
- Rank: Free #995
- Categories: #1 Advertising, #1 Authorship
- Reviews: 0
Here’s the rundown on Day 2
- Sales: 317
- Rank: Free #839
- Categories: #1 Advertising, #1 Authorship
- Reviews: 3
- #1 Authorship
- #1 Advertising
- #1 Publishing & Books
- #1 Business Marketing & Sales
- #2 Writing, Research, & Publishing Guides
- #8 Education & Reference
- #14 Business & Investing
I didn’t know about these until I searched the larger categories, as I was only searching Amazon’s sub-categories. Getting into Amazon categories like that is great for giving the book away, but will they help me when the end of the free campaign ends? It’s always hard to say, especially as the free rankings have no bearing on the paid rankings.
On Day 3 I also had more ‘also bought’ listings show up. I got 8 pages worth, which will really help in two ways. First, authors looking at my page will gain confidence when they see other great books listed as also bought. Second, the book will begin showing up on the ‘also bought’ listings of other books, giving me more visibility.
Here’s the rundown on Day 3
- Rank: Free #557
- Categories:#1 Advertising, #1 in Authorship
- Reviews: 4
By the time I pulled the plug just after midnight on Monday, October 7 I’d managed to get 1,318 people to download my book for free. Just to compare, if that many people would have downloaded it at the introductory price of $4.99 I’d have made about $4,600. Even if it’d been priced at $2.99 I’d have made almost $3,000.
As it stands, however, I made nothing. After I cancelled the Amazon free promotion I set the price to $0.99, which was part of my original plan for getting the book’s rankings back in order. You see, once the free promo ended I lost those #1 rankings. After all, they were in the free category, and my book had had only 1 actual sale for money at that point. 30 minutes after the price went into effect someone bought it, the first step to getting good rankings again.
Here’s the rundown on Day 4
- Rank: Free #667 (Paid #412,716 after promo)
- Categories:#1 Advertising, #1 in Authorship (None after promo)
- Reviews: 5
I also got more reviews, including 2 on Amazon UK, which will help me there, and where the book is doing quite well. More reviews came in on Amazon US as well, and several more people emailed me asking for the spreadsheet that I offer for free. This spreadsheet gives you all the sits in an easy to use format, and there are sheets for you to enter your own promo details.
Here’s the rundown on Day 5
- Rank: Free Paid #25,268
- Categories:#15 Advertising, #19 in Authorship, Books & Authorship #38
- Reviews: 7
More paid eBook promos are still going into effect. Just today there was an Authors of the Cheap Book social media blast, which went out to 8,000 people. I’m a little leery of the effects of social media on eBook sales, and so far I haven’t really seen a noticeable boost from it.
I’ve given away a lot of these books to people that found them useful, and I really hit my target audience. It was a successful free promo, much more so than many non-fiction promos are. But I still gave away what I could have charged for. A lot of people who would have paid for the book will now never do so.
But there are always new eBook authors on the scene. With those reviews and also boughts I’ll be a tempting prospect for many frustrated authors. I expect this book to sell well each month for some time to come, and all I’ll have to do is update it periodically when the sites in the book change prices and such.
Like most Amazon KDP Select free promos, this one was a roller coaster that shot straight up and then took a big dive at the end. Thankfully my strategy of putting the book at $0.99 gave it a quick boost and got it back up where it needed to be. I’m happy with the results.
And you know what, after 5 days, still no Look Inside!