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.
Kait, have you read “Write. Publish. Repeat.” or listened to the corresponding Self-Publishing Podcast? It’s a bit blokeish at times (totally NSFW), but they go into exactly what you’re talking about here and why it works-discoveribility, developing funnels, and the long-term investment in building a viable indie business. I’ve found it incredibly helpful.
Blokeish. This is a good word. And no, haven’t read, but will add to my TBR!
Try a 99 cent sale instead of a freebie. I no longer promote freebies on BookBub or Ebook Booster.
Kait, weird as this is exactly what I’ve been planning on doing for the first time, scheduled for May. And I got Ebook Booster link form Joe’s blog too, and here he his no longer using them. Um? Although, to be fair, Joe is not languishing in obscurity like me. I’m selling nothing, so getting word out with freebies for the first time won’t exactly break the bank (there is no bank!). I hope you find over the longterm that was worth it. I still sounds worth the $40, either way.
Thanks for the post! I’ve used them a few times and yes, you get more downloads but the free book, but I haven’t seen any knock-on positive results for my other books. I think the market is just so saturated these days, people download free books and probably never even come to read them. But still, it’s nice to see even a free book of yours riding hihg in the charts and that alone is worth the $40 🙂