From Here to Nearly There Breaks the Top 20!
I’m a big fan of Amazon’s KDP Select program. There are plenty of blogs that write about the pro’s and the con’s of KDP Select, so I won’t do that here. I will say that independent writers can make serious publicity in-roads by using the Select-only promotional tools.
In particular, I like being able to make my book available for free on a time-limited basis. Why give your book away? It’s all about building awareness.
Here’s the story. I released From Here to Nearly There in mid-August. At the time, I focused my efforts on building awareness on Twitter (via @alecmerta) and by starting my Atlanta-area word-of-mouth campaign. Those were great, but I wanted to put my book into the hands of readers around the world. Enter KDP Select and a Labor Day Weekend free book promotion.
The promotion kicked-off on Friday, August 29 and ran officially until the next day. Before I ran the promo, I let people know that it was coming. One essential tool was a list of promo websites kindly hosted on Rachelle Ayala’s blog. You can see the list here, and I highly advise indie authors to visit every single link Rachelle provides. I did, and it paid off.
KDP Select free promotions start at roughly midnight in the Pacific time zone. For me on the East Coast, that means my book became available at around three o’clock in the morning. By the time I had woken up, a dozen units had been moved. That means twelve people had gotten hold of my book and were (presumably) going to read it. Warm feeling, that.
I quietly extended the promo to run an additional day (Amazon gives you five days per each ninety-day KDP Select period) in order to make it available to writers and readers attending the Decatur Book Festival, which was held on Sunday, August 31. I could write a lot about the festival, and might do so in the future. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet other writers and scores of book-savvy readers in the greater Atlanta area. (I was especially happy to meet Mr. Brinn Colenda, whose book Chita Quest will be reviewed on this site in the near future.)
Very quickly, the numbers started to climb. Hence:
As the word spread, and my pre-promo marketing push started to take effect, the numbers went even higher. Ultimately, I moved enough copies of the book on Friday alone to put From Here to Nearly There in the Top 20 of Amazon’s free eBook horror/occult category. At the end of the day, here is where things stood:
By the end of the promotion, over four hundred people had copies of my book on their Kindles (or iPhones or whatever). That translates into a huge increase in awareness of my book for zero monetary cost to me. It also serves to validate a lot of the design work that went into the book’s cover and sales description. Awareness and validation, who wouldn’t want those?
Thanks to all of the kind folks who downloaded a copy of From Here to Nearly There! Thanks also to the many, many kind folks who helped spread the word on book blogs and social media! The independent writing community is the best in the world!