I didn’t plan to be a writer. As a matter of fact, I feel funny calling myself that even though I have written and published my first novel. As I’ve said before, I’m an CRNFA, a certified RN first assistant specializing in open heart surgery.
Surgery is meticulous, precise and focused, requiring attention to detail and pre-planning according to the needs and condition of the patient. New procedures, new technology, and anatomical anomalies with the patient (weird quirks with their anatomy) require everyone involved in the surgery to plan ahead to insure it’s success…well, I used that same mindset with planning my FreeKindle promo.
I’m with KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing, which means that for a limited time (for three month increments as long as I choose) I am exclusive to Amazon. I know, I know…You limit yourself to one place and you lose out on other sites like KOBO, NOOK, iBOOKS, APPLE and so on. But Amazon rewards you for the sacrifice by allowing you to have free promos. You get five free days to use whenever you like to market your book. I have seen people use all five days at once, have a three day weekend freebie, just a weekend or just one day, however you like.
These promos can boost your sales as well as your ranking and position on Amazon. There are algorithms they use combining downloads, reviews, and category selection that can place you in the top rankings. Well, I’m happy to say….it happened to me!
Before I get started with the “what I did,” let me give you my stats so I’ll have your full attention.
- By midnight Saturday of my first day I had 2,847 downloads of my book on Kindle.
- My Amazon Best Sellers Rank was #69 in Free Kindle Store.
- I was ranked #1 in my category Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Life
- Sunday morning of my second day I had 3,649 downloads of my book on Kindle
- Best Seller Ranking was #51 in Kindle Free Books.
- I was ranked #1 in two categories >Genre Fiction >Family Life and >Family Relationships > Dysfunctional Relationships (<===real proud of that one…ha!)
- Sunday evening with five hours to go, I had 5,065 downloads.
- Best Seller Ranking was #39 in Kindle Free Books.
- I was still ranked #1 in two categories >Genre Fiction >Family Life and >Family Relationships >Dysfunctional Relationships.
- At Midnight on Sunday I had 7,949 downloads of my book on Kindle.
- My ranking fell to #59 in Kindle Free Books.
- I was #12 in > Family Relationships > Child Abuse#15 in > Dysfunctional Relationships #67 in > Family Life
- As a side note: I have monitored twice a day for a week since my free promo and my sales as per predicted by some author friends who’ve had their own promo weekends, have been great! Seven days after I have sold 112 Books (4 returned…hey, my book isn’t for everybody) and 88 books borrowed on Amazon Prime.
First, as expected you need a good book…obviously. I’m not saying mine is “The Next Big Thing” but it is taboo and provocative to say the least. Provocative intrigues….and sells.
I scheduled my free promo on a weekend (two days). I’ve seen a few people on Twitter posting about their free promo on week days. To me, this isn’t wise. People work during the week. You want to concentrate on the days when people are most likely going to be home and hopefully on the computer….duh!…the weekend!
Next, I planned for this promo three weeks in advance. I created an event on Goodreads (they mass email their readers and I joined the Booksy Cup FreeKindle Group and posted my event there (be sure to post on the page and not in the comments section…I almost screwed the pooch with that mistake). I also bought a one month add on Goodreads. I don’t really think that helped. I had 38, 000 clicks and only 1 sale.
My hospital has three divisions (three separate hospitals) and I went to the public relations department and asked them to post in our monthly newsletter….they did!
I put fliers up in the elevators and high traffic areas of the hospital. I didn’t feel I was soliciting which is against the rules, because I wasn’t selling anything but giving something for free. The fliers stayed up! I also put fliers up in the high school since many of my daughters friends have already read my book (to my mortification…but kids will read what you don’t want them to. As I said in my “Finding My Voice” blog post, I’m really beginning to rethink my feelings on that).
Of course I did the obvious with the social stuff, I posted an event on Facebook and Tweeted on Twitter like mad (Thank you for not un-friending or un-following me).
The last and probably most effective thing I did was use www.freebooksy.com on Facebook. I truly feel this was the reason I had so many downloads of my book. For $100 USD you get a one day add that goes out in a mass email to all their READERS (that’s what you want, and there are almost 74,000 of them), a multitude of tweets, and all of Facebook flooded with your FreeKindle Promotion. Well worth the $100 investment, I think. I actually saw the add for my book pass on my news-feed twice on Saturday.
So…that’s what I did for my first #FreeKindle weekend promo. Hopefully planning ahead will help others. You only get five free promo days for the life of your book…use them with a plan in mind and advanced preparation and you could have a very successful ride on Amazon. Call me OCD, anal retentive, or just plain crazy (for the lady who gave me a 1 star)…but a little planning helps.
Thank you to all my friends that re-posted, tweeted, shared, and recommended my book to their friends…you’re the best. You humble me!
From your friendly surgical nurse… ~Taylor~