How To Split Up KDP Select Days?

Continuing on yesterday’s KDP Select theme (What I learned from my KDP Select Promo)….

If you don’t know, KDP Select (Kindle Direct Publishing) is a program in which an author gives amazon.com exclusive digital rights to a work for 90 days, in exchange for (among other things) five days in which to promote your work by allowing people to download for free. After 90 days, you can renew enrollment in the program, or opt out to make your work available on other devices (such as Nook).

You can schedule your five days anyway you want: from my experience, I would suggest either a five day block OR two different sessions of two and three days. Each arrangement has its pros and cons.

FIVE DAY BLOCK

My favorite thing about doing a promo in a five-day block is mainly that, it’s one less promo to run later. Scheduling a promo, notifying all the free book sites, promoting the promo on social media…. it’s exhausting. By scheduling a five day block, you only have to do the pre-promo arrangements once. It’s a time-saver. And an energy saver, because if you’ve never done a promo, let me tell you, it is exhausting. Bone-aching exhausting. Headache-inducing exhausting.

Doing five days at once also gives time for people who download at the beginning to read, and then promote the book to their friends by saying, “It’s really good. It’s still free. Get it.”

One thing to note: in all my promos but one, downloads have significantly slowed after the first day. Day one is the BIG day, and I’ve heard that other authors have had similar experiences. So if you schedule one long promotion in your ninety days, you may be robbing yourself of a second BIG “day one.” That said, you might not have time to do a second promo. Life’s not ideal. People have responsibilities. Jobs. Lives. When that’s the case, it’s better to tack extra days onto your one promo and have them not do as well than not to use the days at all, right?

TWO PLUS THREE EQUALS FIVE

All times but one, I have chosen the two day plus three day structure. This was most successful for me in September and October 2012. In September, I did a promo for three days and had 4,130 downloads total in the US. (That was the one time day two exploded, exceeding–well, doubling–day one’s numbers.) A month later, I did another promo on the same book, and received another 800 downloads, around 550 of those on day one. So there you can see how important day one can be! There is a real benefit in having multiple “first days.”

The downside of this structure, for me, is the energy involved in each promotion. I also felt obnoxious a bit, notifying sites a mere month after a previous notification that the same book would be free again.

The choice, of course, is yours when it comes to how to break up your five days. With the right marketing, the right contacts, and a bit of luck, you can make either structure successful.

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6 responses to “How To Split Up KDP Select Days?

  1. Is it possible to do it in 5 one-day blocks? If the most downloads happen on day one, then wouldn’t it make sense to have 5 day ones? I mean, obviously it would be a ton of work, but … thoughts?

    • I wouldn’t do that myself. You only have 90 days to do the promo days, and it feels (to me at least) that it would be a bit of overkill sending all the info to the same promotional sites five times in that timespan. (I’m super insecure about bugging people. It’s one of my problems.) You could do it that way if you wanted, though, for sure. You can split up the 5 days any way you want to. So 5 one-day promos is a viable option.

  2. I have usually done the 2/3 route over weekends, but when I decided to re-up Solomon’s Throne because of all the extra money Amazon was putting in for Dec-Feb I figured I’d experiment a little. The day with the biggest downloads turns out to be Monday – Wednesday (statistically), and weekends have the least. (I can’t find the article I used, but it used real numbers from Amazon.) So this time I’m doing 3 one-day free promos, and then a 2-day in February. My first one was 12/26 and pretty good (about 550, I think). My second was 12/31 (I knew that was a gamble, just wanted to see what would happen) and it was about 360. Both of these were a good bit lower than my usual day 1 but they were holidays, too. I have another 1 day on Jan 21, and then the 2 day Feb 12-13. We’ll see how it goes!

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