The Naked Truth about KDP Select -  L.A. Tripp
 
Alright, I've run these free promotional days on KDP Select several times now. I've also had books free through another method that would likely be considered old school now.

I've had exactly one very successful free promotional day.

The bottom line about the KDP Select free days are...the free day in and of itself is absolutely nothing more than a tool. There is no magic in it. Your book absolutely will not jump in the rankings simply because you schedule a free day.

In fact, just as you would normally promote your rear end off when your book is selling for a monetary figure, you'll also need to promote your rear off for the free promotional day or days that you schedule.

"But I thought you said you've had one very successful promo day," you ask.

Yes, you're right. And here's the difference.

Ok, for the promo day I just had, I gave away approximately 150 copies....TOTAL in the US of my book. My ranking peaked at 25 from what I saw. And, during this day, my book was tweeted by myself and a few others through out the day. It was also facebooked by myself and a few others through out the day. Plus it was promoted by Flurries for Words (or something like that), Author Marketing Club or one of their lists, and a couple of other venues. In other words, my book was promoted by a few different venues and several individuals. And that resulted in about 150 copies in the US. Yes, I had some in the UK as well, and 1 copy in each of a couple of other countries. Seriously, one copy. But, I'm focusing on the US numbers because that's normally our bread and butter.

Now, the very successful day I had, I literally had a couple of thousand downloads of my book before I even remembered that it was free that day.

What was the difference?

It kinda makes me sick to say this, because it makes me sick to admit that we authors are dependent on one or two different sites/venues to "make us" successful. But, here's the rotten truth. That one day, my book was mentioned by Ereader News Today.

This round, my book was mentioned by three or four other sites along with friends and myself pimping it all day. for a grand total of 150 copies in the US. When Ereader News Today (ENT) promoted it, it downloaded around 3,000 copies total in one day without me saying a word.

In fact, from what I've gathered, if ENT or Pixel of Ink promote your book, you can actually expect around 3,000 copies to be downloaded in one day.

When this many copies are downloaded in one day, this shoots your book up to the top or near the top of the chart in your genre. My book, All Jacked Up, stayed at the number one spot for a day or two when ENT mentioned my book.

P.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the other venues that you can use for book promotion on your free days. In fact, I think they are doing a great thing...AND I wish they were much bigger than they are and have much more impact than they do. I hate it that the only sites with a real impact are Pixel and ENT. In fact, if you'll look at this very website of mine, I have a section on this for free books. I'm trying to build this site up to have the kind of reach that Pixel and ENT have, and hopefully help more authors get their names out there. So please, check out my page on this site as well.

Back to my original point. Here's the benefit of KDP Select. Once your free day is over, or days, your book automatically goes back to being charged for. If you go "old school" as in through Smashwords and that process to get Amazon to go free, you will have a harder time getting your book back to paid. With Select it automatically goes back to paid.

Other than that, KDP Select does absolutely nothing in and of itself for your book as far as promotional value.
6/1/2012 14:20:28

Yup agree, especially about getting noticed by ENT and POI...it's been the only way I've gotten some traction in the past. Actually, I've never gotten onto POI, but ENT really helped, to the tune of thousands. I have a freebie today and it's going nowhere quick. Well, not true, I did get my one German download so everything else is gravy :)

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L.A. Tripp
6/2/2012 13:28:26

Yep Elena. Pixel is not always open and hard to get onto. ENT is comparable to them and does help a LOT. As you said, to the tune of thousands. Congrats on your German download ;)

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6/2/2012 21:13:33

I lucked out tonight and got onto ENT...I knew something was up when I checked my stats and saw I had actually hit #1 Short Stories! I long for the day when that's in the paid column and not free :) Still haven't cracked into POI yet.

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L.A. Tripp
6/4/2012 11:09:23

Awesome! Have you seen any paid sales from this?

6/4/2012 19:32:48

Only a dozen...since the algorithms changed it's a challenge to shift over to the top 100 paid column. I was at 85 today for about an hour LOL! The first time I offered my short free was back in February when it was a 1:1 or 1:3 ratio, and I was up to #7 in paid. That time I had 83 sales and even borrows. However, I did have a sale on my novel today and don't know if it was from someone who read the short and searched out something else I wrote, or from the person I gave my card to at a festival on Saturday :)

L.A. Tripp
6/4/2012 21:22:44

While it's not as good as you're track record previously, it's still pretty awesome. It's better than some have done with the promotions. Last free day I had, neither POI nor ENT picked my book up, I had a total of 150 downloads (approx) and no sales of what was promoted. I had one sale of my short story, likely as a result of the full book being promoted.

6/2/2012 14:03:07

Thanks for sharing this information. I've just published my first book with KDP and this information is very valuable for me. Have you (or anyone else) had success promoting your book(s) on Goodreads?

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L.A. Tripp
6/2/2012 14:23:50

I know a fellow author who has had some good success with a giveaway on Goodreads. I've heard of some others saying they have had some sales from being a part of the Goodreads community. As far as my personal experience, I can't attest to either one. You should look up Collette Scott. She's the one that I know had some success with a give away.

Good luck with your book launch! Just understand that you have to do the legwork in promoting ;)

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