This article comes for David Biddle and A Knife and A Quill. Please visit http://aknifeandaquill.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-challenge-with-free-kdp-select-and-selling-books/ for the complete article. It’s well worth reading if you are thinking of offering your book as part of a “free” campaign.
I recently ran a Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) free day campaign for my novel, Beyond the Will of God. The kickoff was on a Friday, so it got listed here at A Knife and a Quill, in the WTFBF feature. I did some long legwork getting a number of indie websites to include my novel in their “free” listings. I also tweeted the crap out of my offering. And I bombed my FaceBook friends and Google+ buddies with information on these free days.
It all turned out better than I could have hoped for. My little novel was downloaded by over 10,000 ereaders in a three-day period of time. Before that, I’d made 62 e-book sales (at $2.99) and 13 paperback sales (at $15.99).
So, more than 10,000 people can now read my story. That’s incredible. I’m not letting myself think about the fact that I gave away over $30,000 worth of books. I know the value of having my book in the hands of 10,000 people. The idea of the KDP free days promo is to give your novel lift for a while on the Amazon lists and to make it likely that word-of-mouth about your book will pick up. According to Rex Jameson in his article “Preparing for Your KDP Select Free Days,” “It will take 2-5 days for paid sales to start rolling in after a free period.”
Well, we’ll see. I’ve been getting about 10 purchases a day for the past week – not huge, but consistent.
But I realized something pretty important by Sunday morning during my free run: people who download things for free are not the same as people who buy things for real money.