Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Click here to get a copy

Yes, I'm giving away books again this month--March 9-11. But first I'll report here on how last month's giveaway fared.  Then you can call me crazy.

I chose my short story collection because I self-published it completely, ebook and paperback, although all the stories contained were originally published by others. It sells steadily, but not spectacularly. The collection, I thought, might favorably impact my other short story sales. I had no idea if it would affect my one (so far) novel or not.

Since it made a top read list of 2011 (Kevin Tipple's) and has received some very nice reviews, I thought it might appeal and people might be tempted to try out my writing.

Here's what happened, for those writers considering the KDP Select program with the free promotions.

I put A PATCHWORK OF STORIES up free on February 8th and 9th. The accounting I see is for the 11th, but the books actually moved on those two days. A total of 590 were given away. For some reason, I will receive a total of $1.74 for the first 573 and nothing for the other 17. After the promotion, two more copies sold and I will be paid the regular amount for them, which is $1.74 for the $2.99 book. I was surprised that 44 were given away in the UK. There must be some value in getting my work onto another continent.

Some copies of the anthology, ALL THINGS DARK AND DASTARDLY, and one short story, SHIPWRECK, sold the rest of the month. A paperback copy of PATCHWORK was sold, which is rather rare. I sell mostly ebooks of that one. Quite a few copies of CHOKE sold, both paperback and ebook, but that was probably because of the Agatha nomination.

So far this month, I've sold one more short story and some copies of CHOKE.

There are some tangible, probably temporary good results. When I search for my book it comes up on top, which hasn't happened before. It's also discounted right now for $2.51, until it goes FREE ON FRIDAY.

A little about the program. You are required to take down all other ebook versions of the work you put on Kindle Select for 90 days. During that 90 days you can choose 5 days to promote the work with a giveaway. The project will also be part of the lending program. There is supposed to be some funding involved for the giveaway, but I'm not sure yet how (or if) that works.

Given the figures above, I see little carry over and little benefit beyond getting my work out to 634 people who may never have heard of me before. But I have the ability to give away more copies for 3 more days, so I'm doing it--this Friday, Saturday, and  Sunday. I'll see if a weekend gets better results. Or worse. We'll see!


  1. Wise choice putting the anthologies on the program. That way it will entice readers to buy Choke. The nomination for the Agatha is an interaction effect that will complicate your experiment, but all to the good I suspect. :)

    I'm a new Kindle user and I've found that when I haven't read an author, the price point of $2.99 somehow makes my decision to try their book easier.

    If I try and like the first book, I'll buy others at $4.99, but when an author prices their books beyond that point (for the Kindle version) it makes me a little mad. Perhaps because I still place value on being able to hold the book in my hand.

    One of my favorite authors prices her kindles at $7.99. I wait for hers to hit the library shelves. I wonder if she knows that because when the book is on my screen and priced right, it's so easy to hit that download button.

    Good luck, Kaye. I appreciate that you are sharing your data with us.

  2. Thanks for your comments, E.B. I'll just mention that your favorite author may not be pricing her Kindle books at all--that may be her publisher's doing. The price is controlled by whoever puts the book on Kindle.

    You could contact the author so she could beg the publisher to lower the price, but some publishers just don't understand ebook pricing!

    If this is a self-published author, or one whose publisher didn't do the ebook, maybe the author could lower her prices.

    Thanks for the good wishes, and you're welcome for the info sharing.

  3. I've put RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK, one my updated back-in-print kids books I'd put up on Kindle in the Select program. My goal is to get that book out to young readers, and I've sold a few hundred copies via the Program and many less via regular sales. However, today is the 5th free day (I've done it over a period of 3 weeks) and see only 19 sales so far today.

  4. I'm giving away less this time than last time, too. I suspect the people who wanted it have mostly gotten it. But, so far it's 115 in the US, so it's better than nothing.

    Are there children's sites you can advertise this on, Marilyn?