At midnight last night my books switched back to paid status. Here are the total number of free downloads over the entire promotion (Thursday-Friday):
A DREAM OF WAKING was the clear winner, but I’m still pleased with the number of times ASHES was downloaded. It was left out of at least 2 good web sites where DREAM was posted (my guess would be because it had no reviews when I submitted it for consideration). That, and the fact that it had to compete with a LOT more books in the horror category on Amazon led to underwhelming results. Hopefully (and it’s already happening) I get a few people to read it and come back to comment on ASHES so the next time I do this it looks a lot more appealing to potential readers.
LONELY HAIR and FROM THE DEPTHS got shafted in the advertising department as well (I submitted all 4 books to each site I solicited; the web site owners picked which ones to promote) and the numbers aptly reflect this. With more advanced notice and with more reviews for each book, I’m confident all 4 of them will be visible during the next promo.
The only site that DREAM was on by itself was Ereader News Today, and I’m crediting most of its downloads to that web site. Bookmark it and make sure you give them at least a week’s notice when you’re preparing to run your own promo.
Rankings for all books plummeted, as I heard they would directly following the free promotion:
A DREAM OF WAKING
However, the clear benefit of the promotion is that both both remained at their respective positions on the Top 100 lists even after switching back to free status:
DREAM is still in a great position. ASHES made it all the way to #18 on the second day of the promo before slipping in the late afternoon. I just went back and checked my stats and DREAM has already risen to #38,226 in the rankings. 4 people have purchased it this morning. One person has lent it to a friend*. At this point I’m expecting more lends than actual purchases, but I’ll be happy either way as long as people are reading my stories.
*Quick primer on lending: Amazon allots an amount of money each month (this month its $600,000) to distribute amongst the authors whose books enrolled in KDP Select and are lent to other readers. If there are 100,000 total lends during the month, and 100 of my books are lent, I earn .001% of the $600,000 purse (100/100,000=.001%). That means Amazon pays me $600 because other people let their friends borrow my books.
I won’t be posting updates on stats nearly as much now that the promo is over. I’m going to wait at least a week so I can have a good amount of data to compile before making any declarations of the promotion’s (personal) effectiveness. My prediction is that ASHES will get a couple reviews over the next month but not many purchases. LONELY HAIR and DEPTHS won’t see any noticeable rise in popularity. DREAM will probably sell a dozen copies or so and might get lent around a small group of friends.
Whatever the ultimate outcome of this one promotion, it’s proven to me that it’s possible to get my books in the hands of over 3k readers. That means 3k potential future customers. For me, it was worth it.
I need to take a moment to thank everyone that made this promotion more of a success than it would have been on its own. If you spread the word—even if was just to a handful of people—thank you. I really felt a sense of community while running this thing and I think that went a long way toward making it a success. If you wrote a review or tweeted/facebooked the promotion to your friends—thank you.
Thanks to my wife especially. She was there every step of the way and informed hundreds of people about my books.