Does Kindle Free Promotion Add Real Value? Part 1

A few months ago I published a Kindle eBook. It is merely a brief article that articulates the current research and status of a particular (and little known) renewable energy source. I published it as a test run for some of the fiction that I am still gearing up to publish, and since it has such a specific scope, I did not expect it to make any sales.

I was correct.

It was published on June 16, 2016, at a cost of $2.99, enrolled in Kindle Select, and sat completely dormant. In mid July, someone “borrowed” it, and it did not have enough normalized pages for Amazon to bother paying me the 0.6 cents that I had earned.

From mid July to mid September it sat dormant again, until a copy was purchased from amazon.ca; this surprised me enough to be curious about the title, and if there was any way to boost those sales. That’s when I remembered that ebooks enrolled in Kindle Select were eligible for 5 days of free promotional during each enrollment period.

So I thought, why not experiment with this promotional tool, to see what kind of effect it has on sales. My ebook has to be a good control group because I have no built in audience, it addresses an extremely narrow field, possesses no reviews, and has so far been virtually dead on arrival.

The next question then is how to quantify the value added by the promotion. Since previous to the promotion, the only sales came from canada, and the exchange fees made my final deposit $0.07, I will ignore them and only count sales from the USA. Paid sales from the USA prior to the promotion were 0. So “Real Value” will consist of paid sales from the USA after the promotion.

Promotion Details:
I decided to start the promotion on a Wednesday, and run it through the weekend to Sunday. This uses all 5 free promotion days in one shot. Maybe next time I will try something different. I decided not to discount the book, but make it completely free, from $2.99.

Current Status:
The promotion is currently in day 2, and free downloads spiked from o to 5 on the first day. Today, it is at 2 downloads, but fingers crossed for more. Some of those free downloads came from Australia and the UK. So the promotion can get even a very unsuccessful book up to a few downloads. I’m not holding my breath for it to continue after the promotion ends; however, if it does trickle in a few sales for my ebook, imagine what it could do for a more readable ebook, with a bigger audience, and an author who is actually trying to make it successful!

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-12-21-12-pm

I’ll post the results when I see what kind of effect this promotional will have!

Anybody else have experience running promotions on their Kindle eBooks?

-Anderson Ryle

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