Reflections on this week’s KDP Select Free Promotion

As I sit to write this post, it’s 7:24 pm on February 11. It’s day 1 of my KDP Select free promotion for The Crimson League, and I’ve had 1505 downloads of my novel today in the US.

I don’t have promo days all that often, but I’ve come to love them. They’re draining, absolutely exhausting–and sometimes, they’re a bit disappointing–but I still love them.


So what it’s like for me on a promo day? I woke up around 7 am. I immediately got on the laptop and checked how many downloads I got while I was sleeping. 75. I was excited, because that was a high for me. I had put some money behind this promotion, so while I didn’t want to hope for too much, I had big expectations that it would exceed or at least come close to matching my best promotion ever, in September. I had a total of some 4120 downloads in the US over 3 days then.

I fixed breakfast, and while I ate, I started the promo tasks I hadn’t done or couldn’t do ahead of time. I went to Kindle Boards, and let some promotional sites know about my free book because a handful like you to tell them the day of, instead of ahead of time. I went to goodreads. I went to facebook. I went to twitter. And all the while, I obsessively had a window up to check the tally, which kept steadily increasing, at a rate I had never seen on day one before.

I edited a chapter of my WIP. I took a shower around ten. Then I opened up my translation freelance and made some progress on that. After lunch I went to my favorite cafe to work some more. And still, I kept checking that tally every few minutes, if that long. I hit 1000 downloads around 2 pm, which really excited me. I had never before hit 1000 downloads before going to bed on the first day of a promo, so my pace was better than it’s ever been. I left the cafe to catch an early dinner with a friend, and when I got back home, the first thing I did was…. well, you can guess.


I don’t know how long I’ll stay in the KDP select program. But I enjoy the excitement of a promo day. It is so, so validating and rewarding to see the downloads coming in, in real time. The rush is incredible. And it’s incredible to realize some of those people will read the book, even if most don’t. And now–thanks to the insight I received from reading “Solomon’s Throne” by Jennings Wright (a really fun adventure novel)–the end of my book includes the first chapter of the already published sequel, so draw people to it after they finish book one. So this promo, more than any other I’ve done, could really help boost my sales: just one more reason I’m hoping it ends up really well.

I’ve written something similar in a previous post, perhaps, but for me, promos aren’t really about the money spent promoting the giveaway or the income that comes in from sales afterward. It’s about sharing my work with new readers and raising awareness of it. It feels so fulfilling to see my book climb in the rankings as the number of downloads goes up!

Right now, as I’m wrapping up, my book is ranked #8 in fantasy and #9 in teens. The last time I had a start approaching this, day two really exploded. I don’t know if that will happen this time, and it’s all right if it doesn’t. Right now, at 7:43 pm, I have 1535 new people in the US (and India) with access to my novel. And that’s beyond heartening at a kind of rough and uncertain time in my life where other things are concerned. So here’s to you, KDP Select! I appreciate your help 🙂

(Update: on day 5, February 15, it’s looking as though my final count in the US will be around 2,700.)


4 responses to “Reflections on this week’s KDP Select Free Promotion

  1. Congrats! Sounds like a really successful promo 🙂

  2. Great to hear about your experience! Congrats!

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