Kindle Free Promotion: The Recap

Last week, I offered a free promotion of the e-book version of my book, The Historian. I didn’t really know what to expect when I did this promotion, and I’m sure a lot of indie authors feel the same way. I thought I’d write a recap to chronicle my experience.

I read on a GoodReads forum that some people have had upwards of 15,000 people download their books during a free promotion. I had no such luck. But I did do pretty well.

In total, I “sold” over 4400 copies of my book. That’s a jaw-dropping number to me. I never had any expectations that I would distribute so many. At the peak of the promotion, Saturday, The Historian topped out as the #3 bestseller in the Science Fiction (for free books), #2 in the subgenre Dystopian, and #1 in the subgenre Time Travel. That’s not too bad for a first-time author.  I think my peak in the overall bestsellers for free books was somewhere in the 20s or 30s, though I’m not entirely sure.

The promotion ended yesterday morning. Since then, I’ve had two reviews come in on Amazon, and two ratings on GoodReads. Of course, I would love more, but it’s still early.

My sales the next day weren’t great, but I did sell some copies, which is more than I was doing before the promotion. Likewise, my sales aren’t great today, but I’m still in the top 100 bestsellers in the Time Travel subgenre for books and e-books (for now).

Overall, I definitely consider the Kindle promotion to be a success. I’m glad that my book was distributed to so many people. I hope that people are actually reading (I know that I’m guilty of downloading free/cheap books and neglecting to read them right away), and more than that, I hope the readers are loving the book.

During the next cycle, I’ll try out the Kindle Countdown Deal and see how that goes. Any authors out there have experiences with Kindle promotions?

Book Update: Available Now on Kindle

Good news!  My book, The Historian, is now available on Kindle here:  I’m hoping to have the paperback version available later this week.

I’m trying to balance being proud of myself for developing a finished product and constantly reminding myself that it’s “just” self-published.  No matter what, I’m still proud that I actually finished a book and polished it to the point where it’s acceptable for people to read, but I still find myself correcting my friends when they say congrats on publishing — “It’s just self-published,” I tell them. “Not really published.”  I know that I shouldn’t say that, but I do.

I’ve never been someone who is eager to have other people read my work. This may seem counter-intuitive for someone who claims they want to be a writer, but I think that other writers out there may understand.  Of course, a part of me wants people to read my work (and, I hope, love it), but the potential for harsh criticism has held me back.  That’s even held me back from putting myself out there and telling people that I enjoy writing at all. Creating this blog and my Twitter account were huge steps for me.  Saying to the world, “Hey! I love writing!” gives the world the chance to say, “You? But you’re not good at it,” or, the worst, “But you’re not a real writer because you’re not published by a traditional company.”

My expectations are realistic: this is not going to make me money. I don’t expect to be the next Hugh Howey or A.G. Riddle, those wonderful self-publication success stories.  I just want to be proud of my work, and I want to feel motivated to write more.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying, my book is available, and I’ve been told it doesn’t suck. Hooray!