Last month I offered my short story collection free for two days. I wasn't too disappointed with my results, reminding myself that this was a short story book and not a novel, but the numbers didn't impress me. 634 were downloaded, 590 in the US and 44 in the UK.
Afterwards, a few more sold and a couple were borrowed. A paperback sold, which is doesn't happen that often for this book. One of my single short stories also sold. CHOKE was doing well, but I attribute that to the Agatha nomination.
This time I offered A PATCHWORK OF STORIES for 3 days, and over a weekend. Last time was a Wednesday and Thursday, which someone had recommended somewhere. Much worse! In the US only 282 were downloaded, none bought, none borrowed, and 24 were downloaded in the UK. I did see sales of my single shorts, and CHOKE continued on its way, independently, I think.
I'm glad I tried the KDP Select program and glad I tried the free offers. If I hadn't, I'd never know if I should have or not. Since I only have one novel for sale, I was reluctant to take it out of the other markets for 90 days, which is what Kindle requires for this program. I'm glad now I didn't. When the 90 days are up, May 6th, I'll put PATCHWORK back on the other online sales sites.
The benefit is that 940 people downloaded my short stories. When they get around to reading them, I hope they like them. One happy reader posted an excellent review on Amazon--can't complain about that!
The exclusive thing is kinda silly, when you think about it. With Smashwords, you can make anything free at any time, and nothing is required other than for it to be loaded at Smashwords. Too bad that model isn't the norm!
So, now I know!