MY BEST PROMOTION EVER
I have to say that I am not a person to jump just because something is out there. I would rather sit back and see how it goes. So, when Amazon came up with the Kindle KDP Select lending library I didn’t rush in a put my books up there.
At the time all this started at Kindle I have been with Smashwords and starting my second year with them. The promotion Read an Ebook Week was coming up for the second year as well. I did very well in the first REW I put my books in and was ready to go again. Only this year the response was considerably less. In the promotion REW you give your books away or discount them, I had a combo of discounts and free just like I did before. I was very disappointed with the results.
I considered REW at Smashwords a failed promotion. This failure made me start to look at the sales overall of my books. I was in the prime catalogue and my books were in all the ebook retailers on the internet. My comparison showed that the sales had fallen off to less than a third from the prior year. Not a good sign.
During this time my sales at Kindle have been steadily increasing and out-distancing Smashwords at the retailers. This really made me think.
I started researching the Kindle lending library in more detail and went to the forums to read about author experiences. The forum would have made me run and hide a few years ago. There are a lot of naysayers on there and many outspoken authors against Kindle/Amazon. I wondered if they were so darn disappointed why were they staying with Kindle?
I read more on the forum and I have to say that nearly all the gripes were either the person not understanding what things were or how they worked. I just amazed me how misguided the complaints really were. (Remind me to write about the readers’ forums, now that area is not for authors.)
After all this research I decided to try the library. The way this works at Kindle is that you put your book into the library for a 90 day period for Prime members of Kindle to borrow your book. The Prime members pay $79 to join and there are other benefits besides borrowing one book a month. They only get to borrow one book a month as a member, rather they finished and returned the book or not. There is no limit as to how long they can keep your book to read, so they can get another book when the next month comes, but only 12 for the year.
The Prime program has a lot of other benefits I didn’t research. I must say I wouldn’t join just for 12 books a year lol, I doubt they would either.
Regardless, the other part of putting your books in the library is that you get 5 days to promote your book(s) in this 90 day period. The only way to use this promotion time is to give away the book for free. You don’t have to use the promotion time, but if you do you only get five days out of the ninety to do it. The one thing I need to point out is that this is not just for the prime members, this free giveaway of the book is for any Kindle Owner that is registered at Amazon.
That last part wasn’t something I understood, nor did I realize this promotion went beyond the library used by Prime Members. I never really made the connection between Prime and Kindle Owner and what Select/library meant. I have to say I soon found out J
I decided that I would put Savage Destiny for free and use two of the days out of the five. This would leave me with three days to use with other books in the 90 days.
I have given my books away in promotions for the years, doing it for a couple of days in a library didn’t seem to be any different for a promotion. I was wrong, I missed the line between Kindle Owner and Prime in my research. The promotion soon showed me how the distinctions made a huge, mega, very large difference those two days.
Once I clicked the buttons to put Savage Destiny into the promotion that would make it free in the library for two days the race began. The first things that rather set me back were the instant run of numbers. One of the nice things about Kindle is that any sales or lending is right there as they happen and for which book. And the numbers started flying and I started promoting. I blasted it everywhere that Savage Destiny was free and to go get it and boy did they go get the book.
When I finally went to bed Friday night I thought the free book would top out at around 2000 books. I had about 1200 at amazon.com, 112 at uk.com, 40 at de.com and 3 at fr. This giveaway was worldwide on amazon, not just the US as I thought. The library is only US, but the promo wasn’t just for the library it was for ALL KINDLE OWNERS. When I went online Saturday morning the numbers were still flying and I’m not joking about how fast they kept tallying up. It was frightening to be honest. I have never in all these years seen numbers like this in a promotion.
All day Saturday I watched the numbers climb. Savage Destiny did fantastic J it kept climbing in the Top Ebooks on Amazon numbers as well. Another benefit of the promotion is that the book is counted, if it reaches the Top 100, in the top 100 ebooks at Kindle. The numbers were for the free books and in the paid, but I had never seen these before for the free or even the top 100 ebooks in total. I couldn’t get the list from Savage Destiny’s page this morning, so it must only be there while you are in the promotion time.
The whole promotion ended after I went to bed last night. When I left Savage Destiny was #4 in Historic Romance and #21 in Romance for the top 100 ebooks for free, in the paid #61 and it is still in the paid romance at #68 in the top 100.
This morning the grand total of books given out in this promotion were US 5,592 UK 157 FR 3 and DE 73 for a grand total of 5,825 free Savage Destinys.
I think I’m still shaking in my seat a bit over all of it. This means I reached out to 5,825 readers! Wow, like I said I’m still reeling.
I do have to say that for reaching readers this has to be the best promotion I’ve ever done for my books. Hundreds vs Thousands, big difference.
I have no idea if this is how it goes for everyone’s books, I doubt it. You do have to promote, you have to go out there and scream it to the world that your book is free on their Kindle. Heck, I didn’t even know I could get free books to read on my Kindle (I just got the small Kindle this month J). I too now have some free reads on my Kindle and they are really good, well written and edited!
Do I recommend doing this? Yes, but know what you are getting into. Would I have done this if I knew how many books would be snatched up? I will let you know because now I watch and see if the promotion means an increase in sales. That is what will make my decision to do the other three days or to renew for the next 90 days.
I do have to say that if you have a Kindle or even if you don’t, go and look at the list of the top 100 ebook free and look in your genre to see what books are out there. There were a lot of big named authors in that 100 list that also surprised me J
I hope this will help you if you have a book(s) at Kindle and are thinking of the library with the promotion.
One thing, I have many books, if I had just one or a couple I would use the promotion sparingly.
I want to thank Cover Artist Bev Haynes for the new covers and cover facelifts of my books. It was fun to promote this with these new covers J
If you have questions put them in the comments and I will try to answer J
Happy Easter Everyone,