Friday, September 28, 2012

Don't buy my book tomorrow!

If trying to introduce people to my books has taught me anything (it has), it's that you have to be willing to try new things, because you never know what's going to work.

When Amazon introduced the Kindle Select Program last fall, with the ability for authors to give their books away, I was skeptical. How would offering a book for free help me make money?

Well, after the program had gotten up and running, I saw it working out for the brave authors who tried it, so in February StoneHouse Ink and I gave it a whirl, making THE LONELY MILE free for three days, giving away 42,000 copies and launching a bestseller in the aftermath of the explosion. We sold eight thousand books in the three days following the promotion, and 12,000 total for the month of February, sending the book rocketing as high as #21 in Amazon's Paid store among all books, #2 in all Suspense Thrillers.

It was a ride I'll never forget, and one which I've yet to come close to duplicating, despite going back to the well and trying the free thing a few times in the months since.

The fact is, things are constantly changing in the wonderful world of publishing (as if you haven't heard that one before) - and especially selling - books.

All of which leads back to my initial point. Gotta try new things.

To that end, I decided to try something a little different with my new supernatural suspense novel, REVENANT. The way the Kindle Select Program works is the author or publisher gets five days of free promotion in exchange for making the work exclusive to Amazon for ninety days. I had three promotional days left for REVENANT approaching the end of the ninety day period, so I decided to use those three days during the last three days of the period, then re-up with Kindle Select, and use all five promo days at the beginning of the next ninety day period, giving me eight free days in a row.

Something different. Worth a try, right?

Well, there was a problem. Of course.

Turns out you can't schedule the free promo days with Amazon until after the new ninety day exclusivity period has begun, so there will be a break of one day between the three free promo days at the end of the old ninety day period and the five free promo days at the beginning of the new period.

That day is tomorrow. Saturday, September 29, 2012. The only day during the nine-day stretch from September 26 through October 4 when you will have to pay to download REVENANT.

I don't know if making my book free for eight days will do a damned thing for it or not, but I do know Medallion Press made FINAL VECTOR free for fifteen days at the end of August and we went on a pretty good sales run immediately following that promo. I figure it's worth a shot, but I will feel a little guilty if you buy the book tomorrow when you could have gotten it free the day before or the day after.

So please, spare me the feelings of guilt. Don't buy my book tomorrow. Get it free on Sunday. Or wait and buy it on October 5, if you prefer...


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