How We Used Our Amazon KDP Select Free Day
Maurice on the Moon is an adventure story about a boy, born on the moon, who dreams of visiting earth. The book has had great success in schools, and curiously for a book that is used in schools, kids love to read it for fun.
As its ebook publisher, we are trying to get exposure for it to the mass market. We just finished our first KDPSelect Free Day and thought we’d share the results of that with you in the hopes it will help you use the Free Days more successfully.
We found the Free Day to be a great marketing tool. It exceeded our expectation. More on that later.
Before we started we talked about how great it would be if we had 30 people in one day download our book, even for free. We set 50 downloads as our goal. (Rookie mistake….)
The first decision we had to make was, when should we offer the free day? Seems like there is more art to science to picking the date. We wanted to avoid any of the major holidays that would distract shoppers. We also read that we should avoid Friday – Sunday.
We also read that it is often useful to run 2 free days back to back. Given that this was our first experience we decided to not do this. The advise made sense but not for us first timers!
We ignored some advise we read on increasing the price of the book prior to the Free Day, to give the Free Day a greater perceived value. Just didn’t seem right to us.
Promote Prior to Using the KDP Select Free Day
We had an advantage with this promotion, in that we operate a fairly popular website. We decided for the day before and the day of to take down all of our google-sponsored ads, and replace them with ads for the free book. The following snippet from Adsense shows the results from the first part of the promotion.
We were able to send 129 clicks to Amazon from the site.
Then we went off site to promote the ebook. We were either rejected or ignored by about 6 sites. The following sites supported us (and we thank them!).
We have about 6,000 followers on Twitter. We Tweeted with very little success. We had about 6 retweets. This is consistent – despite what we do on Twitter, and how much we love it personally, we don’t find it works well for us as a promotional tool. Here is some of what we got…
We also posted to about 13 related Facebook pages and got 2 sites to post about it. These sites were:
Our final result:
- 295 books were downloaded from Amazon.com
- 8 books were downloaded from amazon.co.uk
- 1 book was downloaded from amazon.de
That gives us a total of 304 downloads, a result that greatly exceeded our expectation. With that said, we realize that we need to aim higher next time. From other people we’ve learned that we want to get at least 1,000 downloads.
A good result – we hit the #1 spot for free downloads in the Astronomy category. (I don’t know that we had any competitors….) Our best result is at the end of this post.
What We Would Do Next Time
We will do this again. Great opportunity to gain publicity. We have decided the Free Days work great. Next time we’ll put more resources into it. Most importantly we’ll start the process sooner. Here is what we’ll do:
- allow enough time to work with the bloggers, to get blurbs on their sites. We’ll explore the ‘book tours.’
- get all over Twitter. Lots of people look for recommendations. We’ll work harder to go one-on-one.
- given the effort we’ll put into it, we’ll definitely use two days, back to back
- no clue how effective it will be, but we will pay for a press release via prweb.com
- better define the keywords we want to use on Amazon
Our best result? We hit #8 on the list of Top 100 Free for Children’s Action and Adventure. That put us 2 below Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Now that’s good company!