Giving It Away 4-17-14 to 4-18-14

Here I go again, with two more free days as part of the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. My book, “Painting With Fire” will be free today, April 17, 2014 to tomorrow, April 18, 2014. Will “Painting With Fire” climb the charts and become a free bestseller once again? It made it to #27 on the top 100 free list last time. Is the promotion worth it? Only time will tell.

I must say I enjoyed my first free day. It was fun to watch the numbers climb. Writing is a lonely endeavor, so it feels good to share it with others. I had 6,000 downloads my first free day. I’m curious if I’ll get anywhere near that with round two.

In case you aren’t familiar with KDP Select, you basically sell your soul to Amazon for three months by agreeing to be exclusive in exchange for a handful of promotional free days. So you may ask me, what are the benefits of free days?

1. Exposure. Free days increase the number of people who’ve heard of your book.

2. The paid sales the next day. I don’t know how Amazon’s algorithms work but maybe it’s the “customers who bought this also bought” feature at work? Does anyone know? “Painting With Fire” was in the top 100 paid list for crime beating out books by Agatha Christie and Jo Nesbø last time the day after the free day.

3. More ratings and reviews. Not as many as I’d like, but still a nice little bump on Amazon and GoodReads. If you read my book for free or otherwise, please give it an honest review. Reviews help sell books.

What are the negatives of KDP Select?

1. You can’t sell the ebook on any other platform but the Kindle. That means no Apple, no Nook, no nothing while you are in the program. This hurts competition and is an annoyance to readers who don’t have the Kindle. Sorry.

2. You can’t send out free ebook review copies unless they are to professional reviewers. This means you can’t host an ebook giveaway on LibraryThing for example or send out a free ebook to amateur bloggers. You have to send out paperback copies. This is a handicap and I’m not sure what the benefit is to Amazon. I guess they make money off the paperback copies, but it doesn’t help me or them sell books if we can’t get the word out.

3. So many free books out there, you run the risk of getting lost in a sea of free books without some serious promotion. You have to wonder if people see the value in free books or just download them for the heck of it.

Overall, I obviously believe in the program or I wouldn’t be taking part. I don’t want to jinx my book, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. Here’s hoping that “Painting With Fire” gets some serious downloads today and tomorrow.

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