Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Free Experiment: Day One

Today is the first day of my grand experiment to prove once and for all that giving your ebooks away will increase your sales.  If you read the previous The Way I See It post you know that I enrolled Boyfriend From Hell in Kindle's KDP program.  My goal is to give away enough books to propel Boyfriend From Hell back into the top 100 category Best Sellers after the Free promotion is over.  My ambitious goal is to see Boyfriend From Hell in the top 100 overall in the paid Kindle store.  Last March it reached #168 overall--close but no cigar.

I woke up this morning to find Boyfriend From Hell #4403 in the free Kindle store.  I was very encouraged.  I imagine there are probably 1-200,000 free books available on Kindle in any one day.  Starting my day around 4000 was extremely good.

When I checked my ranking at 10:30AM BFH had reached #675 in the free Kindle store.  I had just finished playing tennis and was checking on my phone.  I smiled to my opponent (who beat me, by the way) and said "It's working."

By lunch time BFH was #418, but more importantly my ranking was very low on several of their category Best Seller (or in today's case best Freebie) lists.  If your goal is to sell a lot of books on Amazon it is important to be on a number of category lists.  You make these lists by being a top 100 seller or free downloader in a category.  Readers peruse these lists regularly.  If you're in the top 20 of a list you're on the first page.  Being on the first page is where you will get the most action because you'll be most easily seen.  These lists are the best way to find new readers--people you may not attract with your blog or Twitter.  By 12:30 I was #4 in Girls &  Women and #6 in Children's Spine-Chilling Horror.

At 2:30 I was #307 in the overall store and #2 in Girls & Women and #4 In Children's Spine-Chilling Horror.  At 5PM I was # 249 overall and #3 in both categories I mentioned. 

So in general I was feeling good about the day. It's my first day and my ranking had been continually dropping.  I checked at 6:30 and my overall ranking was #242, only a slight improvement, however, I was now in the top 10 on another list.  I was #2 in Girls & Women, #3 in Children's Spine Chilling Horror and #3 in People & Places.  This represents more readers seeing my book, more readers downloading my book, and hopefully in the future, more readers BUYING my book.  Okay, it's just after 7pm.  I'll be back in a few hours with a wrap-up, and at that time I hope to tell you how many books I have given away for free today. I am awaiting that info from my publisher..........

It's 11pm.  Here's my final tally for day one:
1102 Free Downloads
#250 Overall Kindle Store
#2 Children's Spine-Chilling Horror
#3 Girls & Women
#5 People & Places
#6 Children's Sci-Fi & Mystery
#28 Children's Ebooks

BFH made five lists and is on the first page on four of them.  Hopefully that will propel more readers to discover the book and propel me to more free downloads tomorrow.  We'll see.  All-in-all I consider day one a success.  But will it lead to sales?  Stay tuned and find out.



  1. Oooh! I already have a paperback copy of Boyfriend From Hell...but that didn't stop me for getting another copy for my Kindle ;) I absolutely LOVED the book! I also helped spread the word on my blog :)

    Good luck with your sales!

  2. Great news on your sales. I hope you don't mind, I posted about your book in some Goodreads groups I belong to that have both a lot of YA readers and readers open to reading new authors. I linked to the book's Goodreads page and linked to the Amazon page.

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