Ebook booster. I read about this over at J.A. Konrath’s blog ages ago. It’s only for free books, so I’ve never actually used it before. It costs $40, which is hella cheap as far as promotion goes. They submit your free book listing to a whole bunch of places and save you the time. So I decided to give it a try with Once Upon A Snow Day, as it’s the first thing I’ve had in KDP Select.
I had Snow Day for free for 3 days. During that time I went from a ranking of 300,000 something or other in the paid store up to a peak of 63 in the OVERALL Kindle Free store and hung out at the number 1 slot in two short story categories. I gave away 4942 books over 3 days, picked up 5 reviews on Amazon, more than a dozen ratings on Goodreads, a few additional subscriptions to my newsletter, and had about a dozen immediate rollover sales to the next story in the series.
It used to be that once this kind of thing was done, there was a lingering visibility affect from the ranking boost, but Amazon has removed that ENTIRELY. Once the book went back to being paid, it was back in the 300,000 range for ranking. So the benefit of the free days is almost 100% going to be based on the hope that some percentage of all those downloads will then go on to check out other books by the same author. Meaning that this promotion (and possibly the entire KDP select program, at least for books that do not qualify for the countdown deal) is an absolute waste of time UNLESS YOU HAVE OTHER BOOKS OUT THERE.
It will take a while for the long term effects of this to pay off. Many people will grab free stuff and not read it immediately. Many will grab it and not read at all, so it’s difficult to gage how many sales of the other books can be tied to this promotion. I certainly didn’t break even on the promotion straight out of the gate. But I don’t feel it was a waste and I’ll do it again for other stories in this series, as I believe that this level of free downloads and the temporary visibility are a good way to cast a wide net in order to begin establishing myself in a new genre. Particularly because these pieces are short. I think that increases their likelihood that they’ll be actually read. So, we shall see. I’ll keep you updated.