I’m afraid this is yet another KDP Select free promo tale, but bear with me. I’ve read masses of blog entries lately from fellow authors saying that KDP Select isn’t worth it now that Amazon have changed their ranking algorithms so that free downloads don’t count as a full sale now for purposes of determining sales rank. But my experience has been very positive. I duly pulled my book The Aunt Sally Team: http://amzn.to/MgZRmW & http://amzn.to/LJvFhf from Smashwords and Lulu as one’s work has to be exclusive to Amazon for 90 days to qualify for the Select program. I then scheduled the promotion for 3 days starting Friday 15th June.
The promotion exceeded my wildest expectations. I had over 8500 downloads globally, the greatest number being in the UK. The book shot to # 2 in the Amazon UK Kindle free top 100 and stayed there. OK I thought, but what will happen once it goes back on paid? Well, first of all my ranking disappeared for a couple of hours, but then the sales started rolling in. The Aunt Sally Team moved into the Kindle top 100 paid list and stayed there for 5 days, peaking at # 53. It was also # 3 in Humour, stayed in the Humour top 10 till yesterday and is still in the top 20 Humour on UK Amazon. It rose high in both Contemporary Fiction and Romance too. 11 days later my sales are at last slowing down and the ranking has dropped drastically, but during the halcyon period I made more money in a week than I’ve done in a month working at jobs other than writing. I’ve also had several new 5 star reviews, which is wonderful and for which I’m inordinately grateful. It’s grand when you reach new readers and when those readers show their appreciation for your work. It’s one of the things that makes writing worth while.
Interestingly, although the downloads in America during the free promotion ran into thousands, I’ve only sold 10 books over there and had 2 borrows since. I see from Nick Spalding’s blog that he’s done well in America with his books, but my book hasn’t taken off there, and I wonder if it’s because the British and American senses of humour are rather different, or is it maybe because my novel is peppered with British colloquial terms.
So would I do another free promo? I have two days left and yes, I will use them unless sales pick up again or even stay where they are. I’m hoping that one more free promo will boost visibility and ranking enough for the book to catch on in a bigger way. But I can’t complain as, before the promotion, it was all but undiscoverable and selling only a few copies a month. The only downside for me was when I discovered, quite by accident, that my novel had had a high ranking in some humour charts in Australia. I expect I’ll lose those sales as I’ve unpublished the book from Lulu and Smashwords.