Monday, 2 September 2013

Don't get any big ideas - they're not going to happen

Regular readers might know that I recently hatched a scheme (for which, read desperate attempt) to crack the Top 100 Free list with one or both of the titles I currently offer under KDP Select. The theory goes that if you can crack that Top 100 list, even if only for a short while, a significant sales "bump" follows.

So I notified every "list your KDP Select promotion here" website I could find (and I found plenty). I blogged my plan wherever I could. I tried to build some Twitter momentum. I called in favours. Hell, I even posted to Facebook, something I am usually loath to do.

But I didn't spend any money.

A couple of Kindle author forums seemed to both suggest placing ad's with BookBub as a sure-fire way of cracking the list... but those ad's start at $70, and I had a promotional budget of precisely zero.

So, the promotion ran last weekend. What happened, I hear you ask?

Turn Around Where Possible got to #748 briefly on Saturday. Cold didn't even crack the top 2,000.

Aside from new levels of circumspection, what have I learnt from this? Firstly, that unless some of the big boys (ENT, Pixel Of Ink, and so on) actually run your promotion, it doesn't matter how many free "list your KDP Select promotion here" websites you notify. Most of the rest are small-fry, by comparison. Secondly, if you're running a two-day promotion you need to achieve in excess of 2,000 downloads to get close to the fabled Top 100 list. I managed a shade under 400 in the US.

There were some positives. I logged my first downloads in India which is great, as is surely a massive potential marketplace. I made the US Top 10 Free Short Stories list (indeed, I sat at #9 on that for much of the weekend). Oh, and Turn Around got as high as #652 on the Canadian Free list on the strength of just nine downloads. Yes, nine. The rewards from cracking their Top 100 might be a lot smaller, but equally making their chart without spending any money might actually be achievable.

Before I close, can I just quickly take this opportunity to publicly thank all friends and acquaintances you helped, retweeted, liked, posted, forwarded and, ultimately, downloaded? Thank you all. And if anybody has $70 to spare, I'll place a BookBub advert next time, save myself going to all this trouble...

Footnote: the title of this post comes from here. But then you knew that already...


  1. Still sounds like you achieved a lot (think of all those new readers!) even if your overall goal proved unattainable this time. Well done.

    1. Cheers Rol - keep on keepin' on, right?

  2. Out of interest, would you have felt better or worse if one of those stories had peaked at #101?

    Still, it seems like you found out some valuable information. As a follow-up experiment I reckon you should republish the exact same stories under a female pseudonym (with an appropriately sexy profile image) and seeing how well they fare.

    1. Better and worse, I think. Better, because judging by the time I got to #113, I would have still had a significant sales bump... but worse because, well, so near and yet so far...

      I welcome suggestions for an appropriately "come-hither" female pseudonym to go with the sexy profile image.