Wow! The KDP Select Giveaway Experience

I’m excited to say my first KDP Select giveaway experience was a success. It thrilled me, amazed me, astounded me, and left me dizzy. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have thought I’d been hitting the wine bottle after reading my frequent updates, but I promise no wine was involved. I was just giddy from following the download numbers for The Brevity of Roses.

I apologize for the length of this post, but some of you may be considering such a giveaway for your book, so I think it’s important to share my experience. Also, some of you invested your time to spread the word or cheer me on, so I thought you might be interested in the results.

I don’t know why I didn’t think to check the rankings at the Amazon stores in other countries, but I didn’t, so all the action I’ll cite was for Amazon US, and all rankings were for free Kindle books. Here’s how it went. The ebook’s price was supposed to switch to free at midnight PST on Wednesday, but I stayed awake until 12:30 am and it hadn’t changed, so I went to bed.

My promo blitz began when my pre-scheduled blog post published at 5:30 Thursday morning. When I woke about 7:30 I announced the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter. I forgot about Google+ until later. I had not arranged to have the giveaway promoted at any free Kindle book sites.

However, I want to say right here that I have the greatest “tribe” of supporters ever!!! So many of you shared my announcement on Facebook, Twitter, and I don’t know where else, that I don’t think I needed any help from strangers. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Seriously, THANK YOU.

I was afraid to check the stats at first, so I didn’t see them until 8:30 Thursday morning. At that time, Brevity had been downloaded 665 times, and I ranked #30 in contemporary fiction and #60 in contemporary romance. (I forgot to note the overall rank.) I thought those numbers were great. Little did I know.

All day Thursday, Brevity climbed in the ranks, taking a big leap around 2pm that first day. From 6-7pm PST, it reached its peak download speed, averaging 12 copies per minute! By 7pm, 6,623 people had downloaded the book. It ranked #5 in contemporary fiction and #6 in contemporary romance. The overall rank was #25, and it sat at #24 in Top 100 Kindle ebooks, and #20 in Top 100 Fiction.

I was exhausted from all the excitement and last checked the stats at 11pm before going to bed. At that time, it had moved up one notch in all those ranks, and had been downloaded 8,014 times! I truly couldn’t believe that.

The second day, I started tracking stats at 7:00 am. The first stats I recorded were 9,023 downloads, it ranked #5 in contemporary fiction and #5 in contemporary romance. The overall rank was #17, and it was #16 in Top 100 Kindle ebooks, and #14 in Top 100 Fiction. That meant Brevity finally appeared on the first page of free downloads. Yay!

In all, Brevity maintained its ranking at #5 in contemporary fiction and contemporary romance for nineteen—19!—hours! I can’t tell you how unbelievable that was to me. Trying to wrap my little brain around that literally made me dizzy. By 2:30 PST on Friday, the book had been downloaded 10,733 times! And then, in the next hour it took a mystifying leap to #3 in contemporary fiction and held that spot for five hours.

As the timer ticked off the final hours, Brevity descended a bit, settling back in the #5 spot in contemporary fiction, dropping to #12 in contemporary romance, then rising again to #8, and staying there to the end. The final tally for US downloads was 12,604. Add to that 1,184 in the UK, 58 in Germany, 2 in France, and 1 in Spain for a total of 13,849 downloads worldwide!

Since these were free downloads, I earned no royalties from them, but the EXPOSURE, oh my! I feel like Brevity finally got a chance to be a contender. Of course, the lure of FREE means that not everyone who downloaded Brevity will actually read it. But even if only 30% read it, that’s nearly 5,000 more readers! Can you imagine?

One thing I’d been warned about beforehand was that I might see a few bad reviews after the free promo, I don’t know why that should be, but on Friday morning when I saw that my review count had increased by one, I was afraid to look. My fear was unfounded; it was a lovely 4-star review. A bit later, I received an email from that person saying she’d bought the book on Thursday and stayed up until 2am Friday to finish it. Now, wasn’t that just the cherry on top?

36 thoughts on “Wow! The KDP Select Giveaway Experience

  1. *stands and applauds*
    Well done, Linda! How awesome!
    Rest assured, I will definitely be reading my copy. When, is a whole another thing? But I will. This is one horror writer/reader who is not afraid to wander out of his territory.



  2. Well, Ms. Bestseller Author, congrats! You and your book deserve it!

    You will see an increase in sales after the freebie over the following few days and the paid ranks will increase. After a while, they’ll probably go down again (or up in numbers) but you definitely have reached a much wider audience. That’s the best part of it, I think. I did receive my only negative review of Love of a Stonemason after the freebie days, so yes, that’s definitely a possibility. However, your positive reviews might increase as well.


      1. Yeah, I had to laugh. It always amazes me that some people take the time and effort to write something that says absolutely nothing. But I seriously think having a mixture of positive and negative reviews gives the book more exposure. All the authors I really like have everything from 1- to 5-star-reviews.


        1. They certainly do, Christa. Of course, I’m always shocked to see 1-star reviews on a book I love.

          I know Brevity is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I don’t really understand someone reading a book they know beforehand, or within pages, is not something they’d like. Why continue reading it? Just put it down and move on. However, if your criticism is that you think it wasn’t well-written, then you have the right to state that.

          And I know some people are apt to buy a book with bad reviews, just to see if it’s really that bad. Still, I don’t like bad reviews, then again, the reviews aren’t written for me, as the author, to like or dislike.


  3. Any negative views will be about personal preference and not the quality of the writing, however they are expressed. That’s not to say no one can improve, it’s just to say that some are starting from a more than competent first base. Woo flippin’ hoo, girl!


  4. Wow, that is fantastic news. I’m really pleased when someone has such numbers when they post their ebook. Like you say even if only 30% of the people read it that is a great number and hopefully they’ll be looking for more of your work.


  5. Great job! Such heights!

    Curious, why did you not extend the promotion longer? I would think this could be the loss leader to your next book. It already is in a sense, so why not gain higher “sales” and readership and rankings now while the momentum is there? Does Amazon have a limit on how long you can offer for free, as I see others running longer than the two days you did? I would think, hypothetically if the drop-off were above a certain percentage, then the money gained is a lot less than the exposure and huge send-off and potential earnings for your next book on a higher readership base? Just wonder if you’ve thought of all of this?


    1. Kat, I’m certainly no marketing expert, so I read the blogs and forums to learn from others experience. For each 90-day period a book is signed up with KDP Select, you can use five days to set your book as free. From what I’ve read, most people advise using two days at a time, saying your downloads fall off quickly after two days. Since this was my first experience with Select, I chose to follow suit.

      My plan is to get another book published within my 90-day period and use my remaining days to make Brevity free again as a “loss leader”, as you said.


  6. So glad this went well for you Linda. Just think of all those lucky people who get to read your fabulous book now! They will tell their friends and well you know the rest. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  7. Great news Linda, congrats. I am reading and enjoying your book so far; I would not worry about any negative comments. As my granddaughter would say “focus grandma”, You do the same–focus on the positive. LOL


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