A few hits, and a few misses. In this final look at my sales results for the 3 day free book offer I share my sales before and after the free sale, and note a few reasons why I think I got these results. My first post on the topic can be found here and the second post is here.
My Paid Sales Results
- In the weeks prior to the free sale I was selling an average of 2-3 eBooks per week and 7 print books for the entire month of December.
- For the two week period immediately following my 3 day free sale I sold 13 eBooks the first week and 11 eBooks the second week. I’ve also been selling almost 1 book per day of the print edition of Successful eBook Publishing (13 as of this morning, the 17th of January).
Do these sales figures meet my expectations? Not really! They seem lower than I would expect. However, I have since tempered my expectations by noting these facts:
- My book is for author-publishers who are a subset of all readers, a far larger audience.
- Fiction books seem more apt to experience higher post-sale sales bumps. That’s been the case for my fiction-writing friends. Readers seem more eager to collect these books.
- My book topic competes in a crowded category. Unlike fiction, these books seem to be all alike as far as the reader is concerned. (Although my book focuses on the intricacies of creating your eBook and less on marketing—the focus of most of my competition.)
- Many had the same idea I had: get the attention of new device owners immediately after Christmas day.
Here are several other pieces of advice and notes for publishers considering KDP Select.
- On any given day during your free sale you’ll be competing with other free books in your category. In my case I never got above the #3 sales rank because, I think, the two books ahead of me had many more reviews. The #1 book had 25 reviews and my book had 4. My thought: if I can get a bunch more reviews before my next free sale my book could reach #1 status.
- If at all possible, avoid putting your eBook on sale without reviews.
- Get “Likes”. I told all my contacts to click the Like button even if they didn’t get the book. No one knows for sure how this helps one’s book ranking but it can’t hurt. It is like an anonymous vote that someone took the time to visit your book’s page. (“Tag!”)
- Get more reviews. One of the benefits of this sale is that for better or worse, you are going to get more reviews. Since reviews are arguably the most important factor in sales ranking you have no choice. My book has since garnered 4 more 5 star reviews and 1 3 star review (yes, this hurt, but I’ll get over it!).
Why bother? Are KDP Select sales worth the effort?
- As I pointed out in my last post about this topic the number one goal for a new or little known author is to get their book into the hands of readers. Do not focus on revenue—build awareness of you and your writing. You’ll also feel better about yourself.
- Judging from the number of free books available on Amazon relative to other book retailing sites, Amazon readers seem more inclined to try new authors.
- Keep in mind that you opt in to KDP Select on a book-by-book basis. If you have more than one book you can experiment and compare your results to prior sales in other stores.
- Work with other authors to co-promote each other. Read my interview with Heather Hummel about how she and a fellow author worked together to increase downloads far higher than what she could have done on her own.
If you’ve used KDP Select, what kind of PAID sales increase did you experience after your book went off the free sale period? I invite you to share your sales before and after in the comments box.