MT McGuire Books

Some Thoughts About Free Promotions and KDP Select

As you may know have a short on kdp select which is a prequel to my novel. If you want to know how it’s going, let me share my sales figures with you.

To recap briefly, my reasoning for experimenting with a short goes like this:

First, I’ve only that and a novel available and I want the novel to be available elsewhere.

Second, you only have to look at any of the “how many freebies in your to read pile” threads in the Kindle forum on Amazon to know that it’s not unusual for people to have several hundred freebies unread at any given time. They’re slightly more likely to read a short story sooner…. I think. I can’t be sure though and it’s fantasy, of course, which means all but a few of them will read it last.

So. I made my short free for 25 and 26 December so everyone could download it while they were playing with their new kindles…

Amazon.com gave away my short free sometime in the week ending 3 December and 343 people downloaded it. It was still free for some or all of the next week (ending Dec 10) and 53 people downloaded it after which one person bought Few Are Chosen.
On the week ending December 17 my short was clearly free again for a while and 10 people downloaded it.
On 25 December, I made it free and there were 20 downloads but 2 people paid for Few Are Chosen.
On 26 Amazon there are 4 free downloads but one person paid for it and again, one person bought Few Are Chosen.

So that’s 430 free copies of my story equating to 4 sales of Few Are Chosen at $3. This is around the normal conversion rate, perhaps a little under – there are many exceptions but, in theory a freebie seems to work like a mailshot so you should expect about 2 or 3 in every 100 freebies given to convert into a sale.

On British Amazon my short was only offered free on the days I’d chosen. No-one downloaded the free short the first day but in that week I sold one copy of each book.
The second time four people downloaded it and one person bought the free short later in the week while another kind soul bought Few Are Chosen.

So although the figures are risible, the conversion rate here is quite good! 😉

No-one has reviewed either book. Then again many buyers may not have read them. Most of the e-mails I get about my book say something along the lines of ‘I put off reading Few Are Chosen for as long as I could because I’m a bit leery about fantasy but when I did I really loved it. Can you tell me when the next one’s out…’ which is nice, if a little frustrating. It suggests my work will get airborne one day but it doesn’t point to a fast lift off. Definitely a balloon rather than a rocket.

So, to sum up, here are the three things I discovered.
1. Space out your promos unless you have more than one book enrolled in the programme or your potential customers will get freebie fatigue.
2. The more books you have available the more likely it is that something like this will work.
3. The older the book, the less effective any sales strategy will be.

Posted January 7, 2012 and visited 3206 times, 1 so far today

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