Here let me state that I did an early promotion that did not go well but then I introduced some changes to my book and marketing strategy, and I tried the promotion again. I gave my book away for free during 3 days. People downloaded 19,000 plus copies sending it as high as #9 in the free Kindle store. When the promotion ended it ranked #1,999 and in the 3 weeks since the promotion I have sold 170 copies with 46 units being borrowed, which (at a book price of $1.99) may count for 80 units or more. Even though I expected better results because my book and its cover are really good, it is a collection of short stories, and short stories are not a very popular category. This is why I think it did not gain further traction in the Kindle store. Other authors have had better experiences.
However, with the promotion I achieved in 3 weeks results that I had not achieved in the 4 plus previous months. Although even with these improved sales figures I will obviously not be quitting my day job anytime soon, the point is that with the KDP Select program Amazon has given no name self-published writers like me a powerful promotional tool; if we use it well.
My question is: for how long?
There are 140,000 books in the KDP Select program and more are being added all the time. Multiplying that by 5 gives you the number of free days these books represent. There is now an endless supply of free books on Amazon. Unless a reader cares about reading a series or about an author’s other works, it is possible for said reader to upload hundreds of books into his/her Kindle without spending a single cent. So far “free” seems to still work. People are downloading free books but they are still buying. In fact the sales of some well-known authors have actually been increased by the program. But can we expect this to go on forever?
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