KDP Select FREE Promo – Download Numbers

***Update: After I wrote the post below (Tuesday morning), ENT (Ereader News Today) picked up on my Select FREE Promo (Tuesday afternoon around 1 PM) and included the offer in their daily email as well as on their site! I might just hit my 5,000 downloads goal after all!!! :-) I’ll continue to update this post so y’all can see the difference it makes once a big-time blog picks you up…WooHooo!!! :-) What does ENT mean in real numbers? Try 300+ downloads per hour!!! Stay-tuned for another update coming soon…

(By Tuesday 5 PM Central Time = 800 downloads per hour; now ranked #272 overall)

(By Tuesday 8 PM Central Time = 2100 copies downloaded in the last 6 hours alone; now ranked #143 overall)

(By Wednesday 12:30 AM Central Time = 3100 copies downloaded in the last 10 hours alone; now ranked #68 overall)

(By Wednesday at Noon = almost 6000 copies downloaded, 4500 in the last 24-hours alone; now ranked between #49 and #54 overall)

Wavin’ atchya, WG2E-Land! Happy Hump Day!!!

Today is the last day of my first KDP Select FREE Run, and so far, so good.

First, be sure to treat yourself to PRACTICAL MISCHIEF (Belle Bishop, Queen of Witches, Book 1) – Think The Good Witch meets The Three Stooges and Tinker Hell.

On Amazon

(FREE till midnight tonight)

Now then, here are the real numbers and scoop for my first KDP Select FREE Promo Experience:

1. As of last night, I’ve had around 2000 downloads (across all countries) in four days. The breakdown is as follows: Amazon US – 1,780 , UK – 150, De – 7, Fr – 1, Es – 2, Jp – 1, and Ca- 10

2. I’ve been as high as #301 in Amazon’s FREE “Bestsellers” and in the Top 10 for both the Occult and the Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Categories. And in the Top 100 for the Witches and Wizards Category.

3. Still waiting to see movement in the Popularity Lists, but that can take several days (or not happen at all).

4. Looking forward to seeing what the Bounceback looks like in sales once it goes back to its regular price of $2.99 tomorrow. My gut tells me the Borrows could soar then and perhaps the Buys too because of the increased visibility, especially if it starts to rise on the Popularity Lists.

5. I did use EBookBooster to announce the FREE period as well as my normal social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, blogs and grogs. Tried for BookBub but got rejected. Also submitted to Pixel of Ink and ENT for their FREE Ebook shout-outs.

6. Ran this Promo Period from a Saturday through a Wednesday (1st of the month through the 5th)…looking forward in future Free Pulses to seeing how different days of the week and different times of the month affect the results.

7. Entered into this FREE Period with 7 reviews (with a 4-Star average: 4-5 Star, 1-4 Star, and 2-2 Star)

Overall, it’s definitely nothing to shout about from the rooftops. That said, I think I’m spoiled from my experiences two years ago when I started my First One is On Me (Perma Free) approach, hit #1 on Amazon’s FREE “Bestseller” List and stayed there for a couple of weeks, which has resulted in going on 200,000 downloads and still gets me 5,000 downloads per month across all platforms.

I was hoping for around 5,000 downloads from this first Select Run, but without any help from a huge blog like BookBub, I’ll take the 2,000+ downloads. After all, that’s 2000+ additional readers!!! And again…I really can’t determine the overall effectiveness of this tool until I see what the Bounceback numbers look like in the coming weeks.

We’d love to hear about your KDP Select FREE Period Experiences…please share…

The Best of Free Pulsing Wishes — D. D. Scott

D. D. Scott is an Amazon and Barnes and Noble Top 100 Bestselling Author and a four-time Amazon Movers and Shakers List Author. She’s also a Writer’s Go-To-Gal for Muse Therapy and Indie Epublishing, the Co-Founder of The WG2E- The Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, and the Founder of The RG2E – The Reader’s Guide to E-publishing.  You can get all the scoop on her, her books, her Online Classes and Live Workshops, plus juicy tidbits too from her new cyber home…D. D. Scott-ville.

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  1. LM Preston says:

    It’s so hard these days with the ever changing flow of the market to figure out what is a true plan for success. We just have to keep chasing it by trying different things and tracking our success.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Indeed, LM! Sooo true!!!

      What is also true, however, is that it’s becoming tougher and tougher to make these FREE Pulses work without the backing of one of the huge readers’ blogs like ENT or BookBub!!!

      Going from downloading 50 copies per hour (which isn’t bad at all) to over 800 per hour makes a HUGE difference!!! :-)

  2. Catherine Gardiner says:

    I am doing probably my last freebie run (for some time) at the moment before I take my novel out of select. I am running a three day promo my first day (yesterday) I got 72 in the US and that pleases me I am just going to be happy with whatever the final numbers are. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary being a Indie author and even though I don’t sell big numbers I am quite happy with my nearly 500 paid sales total across all Amazons.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      You absolutely nailed it, Catherine…it’s all about being happy with wherever you are in the journey!!! :-) Bravo for your success and for the joy you’re getting from it!!!

      • Catherine Gardiner says:

        Thank you, D.D.!

        Your success is what inspires me and keeps me upbeat.

  3. Mine first free Select for my book Accidentally Yours won’t run until next Friday, but you gave me the idea to apply to Pixel of Ink and ENT for a free mention. I skipped the one that charges $40…I already paid over $200 for the BookBub ad, and I think that’s sufficient.

    Thanks for sharing, D.D.!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Good luck, Bettye! And with your BookBub acceptance, you should be in great shape!!! Go, Girl, Go!!! And if you get chosen for Pixel of Ink and ENT, those would be icing on the cake!!!

  4. Congrats DD on getting so many downloads! I just snagged a copy myself, so thanks!

    I was shocked to read that BookBub ‘rejected’ you…don’t you have to pay a pretty hefty fee for an ad on that site? So does that mean the site is so ‘busy’ with ad requests they are turning people away now? That seems a little crazy.

    I can’t wait to hear what your final results are. Best wishes for continued strong sales with Practical Mischief and the rest of your new series!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Thanks sooo much, Sheri! And I’m tickled you got yourself a copy! :-)

      I think I got rejected by BookBub on this one because the book is shorter than they prefer. Oh well…their loss!!! LOL! If they don’t want to be responsible for going on 4,000 downloads in a 24-hour period, that’s their problem! LOL!!!

      Happy Reading!!!

  5. Sibel Hodge says:

    Yay, great numbers, DD! Super congrats on the downloads :)

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Thanks sooo much, Sibel! :-)

      I just can’t believe the difference those darn big blogs make. It’s so hard to make a great splash without one of ‘em!!!

      But as a reader, I sure use ‘em! So, yep, I’m one of the hundreds of thousands of readers using sites like BookBub and ENT to catch each day’s ebook deals!!!

  6. PJ Sharon says:

    Great job, D.D. Those numbers look awesome.

    I’ve done FREE runs with each of my first three YA books last year and did well. The best was last March when I had 28,000 downloads of Savage Cinderella in three days. That was awesome! I ended up with over 40 reviews! I had 16,000 downloads with On Thin Ice this past January and about 6,000 for Heaven is for Heroes in February (the second free run for both of these books).

    I’m running a FREE promo for Waning Moon in a few weeks to coincide with the release of Western Desert, book two in the trilogy, and have about 20 advertising sites lined up, including POI, ENT, and Kindle Fire Dept. I, too was rejected by Book Bub. I’m expecting a good turnout which I’m hoping will land me some reviews, an uptick in after promo sales, an increase in borrows, and a boost for the new release. We’ll see how it goes!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Excellent numbers, PJ!!! :-) Congrats!!!

      And exactly what you said here is what I’m hoping for too:

      “I’m hoping will land me some reviews, an uptick in after promo sales, an increase in borrows, and a boost for the new release.”

      So, to clarify, you’re running a FREE promo of the first book in a series when you release book two? I’ve been thinking about the same thing for later this month when book four in my Stuck with a Series comes out. I think I’ll put book one on FREE promo, readers can pick that up then see that there’s a Boxed Set of books one through three, which will catch them up in time for book four. Or, should I put the Boxed Set as the FREE promo right before book four? What do y’all think?

  7. JamieSalisbury (@JamieRSalisbury) says:

    Well I’m rubbing my head here wondering what the heck I’m doing wrong. I put the first of a series in Select – freebie days coming over Father’s Day weekend. Hope that and the fact that the second book in the series is a finalist in the RONE awards might bring some sales or a good turnout for the freebie weekend. I even lowered the price of my boxed set from 2.99 to .99 for the month of June.
    It appears to me that unless you’re fortunate to already have a name for yourself – right now is simply a stagnant time for book sales.
    And don’t get me started on reviews! I can’t bribe a cat to leave a review! Even a fun contest hasn’t motivated anyone – and it’s not that the books are not good. Folks are simply lazy! I have yet to figure out how some of these authors can get hundreds of review simply by snapping their fingers. But that’s for another day!
    We’ll see what June brings – it’s all a game of hit or miss. . .trouble is I seem to be missing.

    • D.D. Scott says:

      I hear ya on the reviews, Jamie. I’m not doing as well as I’d like to there either. I do think we can really help ourselves in that area though by building strong tribes with our most loyal readers. That’s what I’m doing with my D. D.’s Duckies. I’m seeing many authors debut a new release with around 30 great reviews and wow does that pump up your visibility right outta the gate and make you eligible to be featured on all of the big reader blogs like BookBub and ENT.

      And, regarding those big blogs, it appears that unless you get featured on one of ‘em, it’s getting tougher and tougher to get fabulous FREE run numbers.

      • You’re right, D.D., that it’s so important to build those loyal tribes of readers. I’ve noticed that the authors who seem to get a lot of good reviews on new releases seem to have a very strong mailing list (I’ve subscribed to many myself). I learned late in the game that subscriber lists are key, but I’m making up for lost time!

        Congrats on your many downloads on your book–I saw it’s reached 50 overall in the Kindle store, and sure to keep climbing! Great job!

        • P.S. I also snagged a copy, and just did an email blast to my friends to tell them about it, too!

        • D.D. Scott says:

          Building loyal tribes is where it’s at, Riley! For sure!!! If you can step right outta the gate with that kind of buzz and the reviews to back it up…I’m seeing huge advantages!!!

          Thanks bunches for the sweet shout-out, and I’m thrilled you treated yourself too! Happy Reading!!!

      • JamieSalisbury (@JamieRSalisbury) says:

        So in other words, start looking for another occupation! LOL!
        I’m trying to use my most loyal readers, but that’s even like an operation – painful.

        • JamieSalisbury (@JamieRSalisbury) says:

          What I meant to say was unless you’re one of the fair-haired few lucky enough to be permitted “membership” in these elite new websites, you should find another occupation or if you’re lucky to have the budget for it, and most struggling writer/authors don’t spend a gazillion dollars on advertising. Otherwise it’s just chasing your tail in a circle.

          • D.D. Scott says:

            I don’t think that at all, Jamie…in fact, I do think there are a ton of things we can all do to beat the odds!

            For example, it may have been part luck that ENT picked up my FREE book yesterday, but not so entirely. I’ve spent a total of $60 advertising with them in two years – because the first year was Free (they didn’t charge then just took donations) and the second year had a small fee. I’ve also kept in touch with their admin peeps, and I brag about them all the time all over social media. So, I’m sure that helped my shot at being featured a bunch!

            Another example, I do think we can build fabulous tribes of peeps who will spread the buzz for us and do the reviews to back it up. It’s just finding ‘em and making it worth their while to help you.

  8. Doug Welch says:

    Congratulations on your success. (I downloaded a copy) Didn’t you write a post about the publicity sites like ENT and BookBub recently? I think I remember reading it. Currently I haven’t the time to concentrate on marketing because I’m concentrating on the next two books. But I plan to make the effort before year’s end. Could you post a list of past marketing posts that contain this information?

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Thanks bunches, Doug!

      I’ve talked about ENT a ton, and we’ve had a couple of guest blogs on BookBub too. Go through the Promotion and Marketing Category in our Category TOC, and you’ll find a bunch of posts.


  9. downloaded a copy, and hope to begin it soon; expecting it to be as much (or more) fun than “Bootscootin’” was for me ;-)

    i did try select early last year, had one real good resp i felt was very much worth it, a few kinda worth it, and rest not so much; left select, and just in the last month also put a few books back in, just to test the waves

    have a “very” short, short story free right now, and not doing much, but not expecting too much for a lone short, and glad for the little resp it is getting; have something planned later this summer, when part two of “Slumming in Paris” is ready ;-)

    did want to resp to your comment-reply to another person,

    “I’ve also kept in touch with their admin peeps [ENT], and I brag about them all the time all over social media. So, I’m sure that helped my shot at being featured a bunch! …

    “Another example, I do think we can build fabulous tribes of peeps who will spread the buzz for us and do the reviews to back it up. It’s just finding ‘em and making it worth their while to help you.”

    i do think luck “can” and probably does play a role in anyone’s success, and shouldn’t be ignored; but it’s pretty evident to me that your hard work, enables you to ride “luck” when it gallops by (it never seems to take its time, it seems ;-) ) -

    and i’ve followed your posts long enough to know that you..are..relentless, in a good way!

    and if someone doesn’t have the time, means, or inclination (that’s me in the first two), then knowing what “can” be done, is the key; at least for me

    for me, at this time, i’ll do whatever i can re pr, marketing, sales, etc; but it’s miniscule compared to what’s possible, but…

    i can, if it is my desire and pleasure, continue to enjoy creating new work

    if i can’t enjoy it, i need to stop, even if for awhile

    if i can enjoy creative work, such as my fiction work, then the worst thing i can do to myself, is quit because of lack of sales and/or recognition

    i don’t stay active physically to get stares or twinkly eyes ;-) i “try” to stay fit to be healthy and enjoy my life

    and i write, and create images, because they enhance my worth of self in my life

    and i get that from your own efforts d.d. -

    so whether you do or don’t get what you want in terms of a subsequent bounce, one can tell, i can tell, you “love” doing this ;-) and we get to benefit from it too ;-)

    best wishes, take care -


    • D.D. Scott says:

      What a way to wake up this morning…with your sweet message, Adan!

      I do get so much enjoyment out of what I do and that same kind of enjoyment out of helping all of you. And that’s what it’s all about – finding the joy in the way you live your life. :-)

  10. I got your book! Thank you. :-)

    I blogged about my experiences here: http://www.notanotherindieauthor.com/2013/06/kdp-select-free-promo-bang-or-bust.html

    The main takeawy is without Bookbub, ENT, or Pixel (I did get Ebooksy), I had the following on a 3-day promotion (May 24-26) from a 156k rank:

    Total Free Downloads: 14,643
    Average Bookbub Downloads for Contemporary Fiction: 15,600 (range: 4900-24,900)
    Peak Overall Rank: 8
    Multi/IR Peak Rank: 1
    Contemporary Peak Rank: 1
    Rom Suspense Peak Rank: 3 (behind Bookbub books)

    But AFTER? Kinda not great–at least not the numbers others were touting last year and the year before. A week later (June 2nd):

    Total Sales since promo: 44
    Total net sales since promo: 42
    Total Returns: 2
    Total Borrows: 1 (REALLY?!?! Now, there was a lot of talk about how the borrows were pretty decent and would help make up “lost” sales. Riiiigghttt)
    Reviews before promo: 3 (All 5 stars)
    Reviews during promo: 3 (3/4/5 stars)
    Reviews since promo: 2 (4/5 stars)
    Goodread reviews since promo: 8 (mostly positive)

    I bet there are plenty of factors that play into this (weekend promo, holiday right after it ended, 2nd book in the series with the first one to be re-released in July, etc). The link will list all the sites I submitted to (and didn’t get featured) for advertising (all free) and the sites that did feature me and they were totally organic.

    Hope this helps!

    • D.D. Scott says:

      Excellent scoop, K. Victoria, and thanks sooo much for sharing!!! It’s a total crapshoot, isn’t it? What works for one of us doesn’t for someone else and most of the time there’s no good reason why or why not. LOL! :-)

      The only thing we know for sure is that we can’t remain stagnant.

      • “Crapshoot” is a GREAT word to describe it, lol. I didn’t mention downloads overseas (several hundred including all but Brazil–why can’t I crack Brazil? Anyway…) And sales since have been 2–UK. 1 borrow in Germany.

        Trying not to remain stagnant–like my sales. ;-)

  11. Great blog! I tried KDP Select last year and had success, but after Amazon made inside changes to the way they promote free e-books on their site, I gave it up. I now just make a few novellas free on another site, then wait until Amazon matches it. I get about 1,000 downloads this way. Congrats on your success!