on Amazon …
Well, I made my ebook ‘Cuddle Muddle‘ free for two days last week and plugged it on some Freebie sites, Twitter & Facebook, taking advice from some ‘so called’ ebook Gurus. One had a list of 50 freebie sites and I dutifully accessed some of them, putting my details in a few days before my book was due to go free on KDP Select. Some of the sites required a listing on the Free day so I got up early and did that chore too.
Now the fun started and I watched my KDP reports page to see how many people were downloading a free copy. After a slow start my book began to go from 220000 up to 6000 and then to 2000 in the Free Book rankings. By the end of the two days it had peaked at 715. So what were the scores on the doors for my KindleFire colour picture ebook for preschoolers?
600 + downloads.
Now I was pretty pleased with that especially as I made a cack-handed fist of self-promotion on Twitter. So after the two free days were over I attempted some analysis.
I reckoned most of the downloads came from the Freebie sites so I wouldn’t be getting many sales of the companion ebook ‘Wiggle Jiggle’ from that. Those who buy freebies tend to, er, buy more freebies. It takes a lot to convince readers to part with their dosh when so many good (and bad) ebooks are freely floating around the web. By all accounts about 50000 are released each day … which makes my position of 715 not bad at all.
So how come I did okay? I also reckon some downloaders are only interested in how I managed to create my Fixed Layout ebook and have downloaded it to pick it apart with their software.
So how many downloaders will buy my next book and be interested in any others? That is the real question and I’m erring on the pessimistic side here. That’s probably realistic. I am lucky to have a track record in traditional publishing and that has helped with creating an interest, if not a buzz, but I don’t expect to break any sales records – just yet!
I thought it would be fun to see how many ebooks these gurus are selling. I was surprised to discover that all the ones I had read were selling books ranked lower than 2 million. Yet their sites acted as if they were storming the charts and selling millions. I guess it is wise to always question the advice you get on the web.
In a few weeks time I will probably make another ebook free and see how that goes. When my KDP select time is up in two months I will probably duck out of it and promote my stuff on my site and with sellers other than just Amazon. I don’t like having my eggs all in one basket. No one knows how the ranking/sales algorithms work. I certainly don’t.
What also struck me as my book lodged at number one in the Animals>Bears category in the Free list was the dross that was being bought alongside in the Paid list. Really badly drawn books with dull narratives were coining it in. Most had a low price point so I guess that readers were just having a punt, but a few were priced high and still selling.
I could see that these ones had the same sort of Tags and these Tags were liked, and that must help get the book’s ranking up.
It’s all just a game really, and one that doesn’t pay off for the professional picture book author and illustrator. Personally I like dealing with a traditional publisher who can offer editorial advice and an advance. Such deals are never easy to come by but they are always worth having.
I shall continue creating ebooks while writing my ‘traditional’ books – and it’ll be interesting to see how this ever changing ebook market pans out. If you have any comments feel free to drop me a line by clicking ‘Leave a comment’ below.