On Christmas Eve, I put in place my first Kindle ebook free promotion. I’ve already explained elsewhere why I believe giving your ebooks away can be a good idea, but I’ll recap my thoughts about my strategy for this particular ebook here and my investigation of how this campaign proceeded:
Other than a collaborative print book and Kindle ebook edition of Trust Your Heart: Transform Your Ideas to Income done in junction with author and publisher Marnie Pehrson, I had no other publications authored solely by me on the Kindle platform.
So even though I have a lot of content related to my marketing expertise that I’m in the process of getting ready to publish, I decided to take advantage of the Christmas season and publish a fiction piece, a Southern Christmas short story, The Littlest Angel . Once the story was actually available in the Kindle store, my friend and colleague Denise Wakeman (who has published a lot of her marketing materials on the Kindle) alerted me about how I could enroll my ebook in Amazon’s KDP Select program and then use a block of five promotional days where I could offer the book for free.
Being an experienced marketer, I knew right away that I wanted to take advantage of this, as I had absolutely no visibility or exposure in the Southern humor marketplace and that giving away my ebook would allow me to include a bonus offer in the book to get a percentage of those people who downloaded my book for free back to my website and signed up for my mailing list.
The Littlest Angel is clearly a seasonal piece, and even though I could have chosen to use those five days one or two at a time over the 90-day time period, I was obligated to have my ebook remain in the KDP Select program so it made more sense to me to go ahead and use all of my days at once for this particular story.
The Littlest Angel went live in the Kindle store on Thursday, December 15th at a price of 99 cents (I’ll be discussing pricing strategies for your ebooks in a coming post.) I did a bit of social media, including announcing the ebook on Facebook, tweeting about it once or twice, telling a few friends and family and by the time the price was reduced to free on Saturday (Christmas Eve) I had made sixteen sales.
That was when the real fun began.
When I checked my stats early on Saturday morning, I was quite surprised to see The Littlest Angel had already been downloaded 69 times, and I had done no additional promotion. Plus, the story was rapidly climbing the charts in the Kindle store, achieving a rank of #1619 (and eventually rose to a rank of 686!) overall in free books in the Kindle store, but more importantly, we broke into the Top 100 free Kindle books for the Humor category as well, with a rank that same day of #41.
By the end of the day on Sunday, Christmas Day, The Littlest Angel had been downloaded 519 times and we went to #14 in the Humor category and 686 out of 750,000 books in the Kindle store. This was to be our highest ranking for the entire five-day promotion, even though we averaged a about 200 downloads a day throughout the free promotional period.
But even though we didn’t maintain that #14 ranking in the Humor category, we did stay in the #33 or #34 range throughout the remainder of the promotion.
Here are some of the things I did to help push downloads:
One: I continued to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus, although I must admit that my efforts were less than stellar, as I had come down with a flu-like illness early on Christmas Eve, and really didn’t feel like doing more.
Two: I sent out one email to my list announcing the free ebook and directed readers back to this blog to learn more about the ins and outs of doing a free Kindle promotion.
Three: I visited a few Kindle authors’ forums and when appropriate, posted a coupe of times about the free book.
Four: I also posted the offer twice on a free Kindle books Facebook group.
Five: I blogged about my experience here and then promoted those blog posts via social media.
Six: I responded to every social media comment personally, thanking the writer.
Here are my ending stats for the promotion:
Total free downloads: 1004
Number of those (so far) who came back to my web page and opted in to my list: 37 or a 3.68% conversion.
Summary and analysis: I’m quite pleased with the results of my Kindle KDP Select free promotion, especially since this is an entirely new niche for me, and I had no prior visibility. I also expect that my business and marketing content to do even better in the coming months as I get that content published.
I also expect the number of readers of The Littlest Angel who come over to the website and opt-in to increase over the next couple of weeks, as some of the holiday busyness dies down and people begin to actually read some of the content they got for their new Kindles.
Because I had no prior content in this genre in the Kindle store already, the visibility this ebook received did nothing to boost sales of my other works. That’s something that will change shortly as I get more of both my fiction and non-fiction content published on the Kindle platform.
The actual page on Amazon for The Littlest Angel looks a lot better now than before the promotion, as I now have a half-dozen 5-star reviews, which gives a lot of social proof to visitors who are contemplating purchasing the ebook.
Enrolling your ebook in Amazon’s KDP Select program and then offering it free for a limited time is a great way to increase your visibility and get new leads for your business. I’ll definitely be doing this with other content very soon and advise you to consider a free KDP Select promotion for your own content.
To borrow a phrase from Sherlock Holmes…It’s elementary, my dear Watson!
photo credit Sherlock Holmes movie poster: http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_garland/4523653565/sizes/l/in/photostream/
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