It's been a week since my last KDP Select freebie ended for Fractured Facade and I wanted to share my observations. First and foremost I am happy to report that an author need not get picked up by POI or ENT to get noticed. POI has never picked me up, and ENT has changed in that they no longer just focus on free books. In fact, they've scaled it down to only a couple of day. Naturally, if one did get picked up by either of these two outlets your downloads would multiply greatly, but don't despair if you don't.
Without them, my downloads in the US were near 6,000 and in the UK 800. I had a couple from Germany, France and Spain and as usual nothing in Italy or Japan. Now I would like to give a shout out to Free Kindle Books & Tips, Kindle Boards and Ebook Lister for their promotions.
Big deal you say, you had twice, or three times that many. Well, good for you! I didn't need that many to get to #1 Suspense, #3 Family Saga, and also up to #47 in the Top 100 of all books, so I was pretty happy.
Of course I wasn't as happy as I was the very first time I used the freebies last year when every book downloaded was counted 1=1 for rank, instead of the 1=10 now. At that time, I had hundreds of sales afterwards. This time, nowhere as many, however since the promotion ended I have been selling steadily in the US & UK and getting actual borrows.
The borrows are more valuable for the next three months since Amazon has doubled the payment for them. Some folks are up in arms about this claiming Amazon is "doubling down" and screwing up indie authors by "making them" become exclusive to them. Although I would love to not be exclusive in Amazon, it's my choice to be exclusive right now with them. They're not "making me" do anything I don't want to. I wasn't exclusive for over 90 days previous, and had both my books pretty much everywhere. My total sales for that period on those other sites amounted to $3.45. All the clamoring to have my books made available for the Nook resulted in $3.00 of that $3.45. Now when people ask me when it will be back on B&N I tell them, I don't know, but I do have a paperback available, if they are interested.
Another reason folks are hating Amazon lately is that reviews of their books are being removed, especially 5-star ones written by other authors. On B&N, I only had one review, and it was a good one, that I lost when I pulled my books. The rest of mine are on Amazon. I haven't experienced the removal of reviews as I don't believe any were written by other authors. Apparently being "unpopular" and not in the "indie clique" does have its advantages. I wish Amazon would remove some of the one-star ones as they were written by people who didn't even read the entire book. My most recent review after the freebie was a 3-star entitled "Good" and left by someone who, duh, duh, duh, wait for it...didn't read the book yet, but plans to! Sigh.
And that's one of the biggest problems with giving your book away free -- negative reviews. Since folks seem to have a problem with the "f word" based on past reviews after a freebie, this time at the end of the book description I made sure to let folks know there was language they may deem inappropriate, in the hopes they'll just skip over my book. Hopefully they have. Even though I haven't gotten many reviews yet, I have noticed that the "like" number on Amazon's page has increased, so I'm happy with that.
How long with this slow trickle of sales for Fractured Facade last? I have no idea, but it's better than the no trickle from B&N, Apple, Kobo & Smashwords. I really hope that some folks will consider buying, or better yet, borrowing, my short story, "The Valentine's Day Curse" also exclusive on Amazon, as the royalty for borrowing a 99cent short is better than the sale.
Sorry to those folks who are Amazon haters, but I'm not in that camp...you can't argue the numbers.
After I wrote this post this morning I noticed a new 5-star review from someone who downloaded the freebie..."I loved this book, couldn't put it down. I felt that I really got to know the author and her characters. They were like family by the time I finished. I didn't want the book to end. I got this book as a freeie and I can say I wasn't disappointed. I have looked up her blog and plan on becoming a regular visitor. I don't like short stories, but I may even check out her short story "The Valentine's Day Curse". Great job and please keep it up!!"
Just had to share that...thank you Luv to Read!