16 Christmas day ebook sales (US 7, UK 6, GER 2, CAN 1). Sold 5 print books. After a huge October, sales for November and December have been down, despite a free promo.
(I have three titles, and I'm in Orlando, Florida) http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0090R37B8
I have 4 novels and two small works that seldom sell. I've been in the 110-150 range for a few months and this month should break 200. I sold 13 on Christmas if you could overnight (checked first thing 26th am). I consider any day over 10 a big win at this point in my journey.
That said, I have ads running in several places, so I am not clearing too much money. Just like any business, I am reinvesting the profits.
We decided to try KDP Select because we had not had the results we had hoped for on other venues or through KDP. we enrolled on Saturday and selected Dec 24, 25, & 26 as free promo days for Kindle Owners and the response has been so extraordinary that it is seems almost impossible. In the 3 days (with 10 hours to go) there have been nearly 800 downloads. There are only two actual sales that were from before joining Select each generating a 5 star review and there are 2 Likes. The book reached the top 100 free books in the mystery/crime genre for a short while which is rather amazing. It will be interesting to see how many sales are generated from this over the next week. This book is the first in a series (all available at regular price through Amazon) so I would expect, or hope, that there would be sales on some of them. I will post again with the numbers next week.
I've gone well over 800 free downloads on a single day for a single book. The problem is that it only gives you slight bump in sales - I might see a 5 or 10% increase over the next few weeks. The days when free downloads were a novelty that catapulted into big sales are long gone. The people that download free books now are those who don't buy books. They only download freebies...
I disagree. If you get enough downloads to where it shoots you into a bestselling category, then the sales do come after. The key is to choose the category pathways that will best benefit your book. You are allowed to choose two pathways per book. You must submit the categories to KDP through email. It takes about 72 hours. You must find the right pathways. It takes some research. We are now #70 in paid Kindle books overall and #1 in children's ebooks for humor. We are also bestselling in children's ebooks for stepfamilies and bullies. Stepfamilies and Bullies are the pathways we requested for our book, The Underwear Dare.
Best of luck!
How many total downloads did you see during your promo?
I've found that if you don't see over 20K, you don't see a bump in sales anymore. Perhaps that's just my category, action/adventure and thrillers, but my hunch is you saw a ton of downloads, hence the bump in sales.
We did a free 24 hour promo on Dec. 18th only and it resulted in 3,817 free downloads. The next day we were on the bestselling lists for stepfamilies, bullies and then humor. Before the promo we were selling about 10 ebooks a day. We did the same thing last year, same day. We were shooting for big sales on Christmas day. We sold close to 705 books on Christmas and borrows were 1227. There is a market for middle-grade books on Kindle! The borrows are still climbing.
Forgot to ask: What pathways are your books categorized in?
I'm not convinced that requested subcategory placement helps. I have a book that is bouncing between #2 and #4 in its subcategory, but
it doesn't seem to affect sales compared to how it was doing when not in that category but ranked lower in a parent category. Maybe it
depends on the subcategory. Do readers even search by categories?
I ran a 2-day promo a few weeks ago and got about 3000 dloads, but the sales effect afterward was negligible - though I found out that
KDP had a spanner in the works because I lost my category placements and it turned up after the promotion in non-fiction (it's middle-grade fantasy!) . That's one
of the problems with KDP, there are so many things that can go wrong (last time my promo got delayed and some sites dropped the listing
as they detected it wasn't free) that you have to be lucky to have things go smoothly.
It looks like the peak in sales and borrows was Christmas Day and Boxing Day for me. Nice to be in the top 100 for Kindle fantasy again
I don't know how often readers search for a subcategory but usually when you place in them, you have placed in the parent category as well. Anytime you have been placed in the top 100 of a category or subcategory, those lists are available for readers to receive. I think that is where we see a lot of sales. You and anyone else (publishers, editors, librarians, etc.) all receive those 100 bestselling lists in the genre they are looking for of they subscribe to them. You can find them at the end of the first 20 in any bestselling list, down by RRS Feed, subscribe: Here is an example:
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I would think that middle-grade fantasy would be hot right now! Best of luck!
It might be wise in your case to move your book to a genre that is more popular. Also, don't forget to use your tags wisely. When I first started I didn't think the tags mattered, but now I am convinced they do.
That's true about the parent category - but I've noticed that although you may rank in the top 100 of a parent category, it doesn't always show up as so beneath your book on the product page. My book was listed at around #7 in urban fantasy (interesting in itself because I never asked it to be placed there!), but never appeared on the product page for fantasy (I looked it up at it was at about #70). Is that a side effect of subcategories?
I would've thought quite a few people subscribe to my subcategory - "dragons". Maybe bullies are more popular
Any tips welcomed re tags, but I think I use them quite well... - here's the link
I have noticed that too about the parent category not showing up under the product page. And we have also noticed how we rank in categories that we didn't request. Yep, some of it sure is a mystery. We look for the sub-category that fits our book that has the least about of books in it. And then we check out those books overall rankings. Is that stacking the deck, maybe. But as self-publishers we need all the advantage we can get to play alongside the big dogs!