Kindle Select Tips

It was late afternoon yesterday when I remembered that I’d signed up Déjà Vu for a one-day stint as a freebie. This is possible as part of Amazon’s Kindle Select programme. There isn’t a huge amount of data available on this, so here are mine.

For the last three months or so, sales of Déjà Vu had been slowing (oh so tragically, but you’ll hear no complaints from me about how well the book has done). In the UK, it’s March-May sales were 426, 124, and 96. For the US, those figures are much smaller: 45, 21, and 26. The overall sales stand at 9000 UK, 1487 US, totalling 10, 505 (the extra 18 come from Germany).

I’ve interpreted these sales as showing success in the UK and, well, showing a lack of it in the US. One of the nice things is that 50% of the people who read Déjà Vu want to buy Flashback, even though it’s £1.20 more expensive.

By the time I remembered about the one-day freebie, yesterday, Déjà Vu had been ‘selling’ for a few hours in the US. At that point, 576 copies had been moved in the US and only 126 in the UK. This puzzles me a little. Whereas the book doesn’t really sell in the US, there are more people ready to grab it for free. Perhaps, then, it is reasonably attractive to the American consumer but not so attractive that they’re keen to purchase in large number.

When I went to bed that evening, 2854 had moved in the US and 288 in the UK. This morning, totting up the final figures, the US total was 5713 and the UK total 358. Déjà Vu reached at least number four in both (free) science fiction charts each side of the Atlantic. With caveats, that suggests the US Kindle market is around ten times the size of the UK market.

Overall, then, I’d call it a successful promotion. It’s worth bearing in mind that not many of those readers will read the book. Fewer still, maybe none, will post a review. The last promotion I did was for Proper Job, my first – and perhaps last – comedy novel. That shifted many free copies but got no reviews.

How has the Déjà Vu promotion impacted on sales? There’s a small effect. It might last a day or two.

I’ve sold 20 copies in the US so far this month, and that compares with 26 copies for all of May. Oh, and I see one refund! Flashback sales are up a bit to 5 copies this month; last month it was 15.

In the UK, I’ve sold 25 copies of Déjà Vu in June (cf. 95 last month) and 13 copies of Flashback (cf. 73 last month).

For rankings, Déjà Vu is now at 1,997 in the UK, whereas previously it was floating around 10,000. It’s at 7,564 in the US, and has been hovering at 35,000 or so.

There are some stats I could probably compute for the effect of the Kindle Select promotion, but that would be overkill. Right now, I’d say it’s worth it, and the Kindle Select programme remains a great tool for authors publishing on Amazon.

In terms of maximising the benefit of the promotion, you should – obviously – try to get the word out on your social networks without being too much of a tit about it. I try not to be a tit but my Twitter followers could probably tell you whether or not I’m succeeding. Yesterday, I was lucky that SF Signal retweeted a message about the promotion to almost 7000 followers, and I’d be willing to bet that contributed a great deal to the final US figure of 5713.

I guess this is marketing, but I prefer to think of it as letting people know about a book they might like. A Tweet is a transient thing. I’m no fan of spam, and I don’t do newsletters.

Well, peeps, there’re the data. Not sure whether they generalise, but there they are.

Published by

Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

6 thoughts on “Kindle Select Tips”

  1. I just popped over from Square Sunshine… interesting article as I’ve been looking at short story collections as eBooks … thanks for sharing the figures!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Clare. It’s worth getting the book out to as many ebook review sites as possible, particularly given that short fiction (as far as I can tell) doesn’t sell quite as well as longer form fiction on the Kindle.


  3. Hi Ian,
    Great post – wish you had a picture or something on here so I could pin this article to my writing board on Pinterest.  I think this would be helpful for people that want to learn more about online publishing via kindle.  It’s an odd concept for most to understand and the KDP option is a great selling point for new  authors, but they may not understand how this will work to their advantage.  I’ll check back another time -add the pin it to your blog if you can and maybe you’ll get more traffic.

  4. Thanks, Bea. Does the post itself need a picture? I tend not to do that on here.
    I’ll definitely think about adding a Pinterest gadget.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  5. Well, I’m one of those UK freebie buyers, but reading it in Belgium 😉
    Would it make you feel good that I immediately bought Flashback after that and just now, after finishing them both I one-clicked a Proper Job, without a taster and just a cursory glance over the reviews? I’m sure it will appeal to me, even when I’m not the LOL kind of person, ha!
    It was by adding a to-do list to my LoveIt ( (the youngest sibling of Pinterest I would say, the difference is that you can love straight from Facebook, but you can’t pin from FB yet), thinking of your books and looking for a link to add so people would know what I was talking about, that I came on your Twitter account and hence on this blog – talking about crosspollination 😀
    And after reading this blog post, I had to give you a pat across the pond, just to show you the word is spreading 😉

    Now hurry up with the third Saskia Brandt! Please 😉

  6. Thanks, Reinhilde – glad to hear you’ve got Flashback and Proper Job.

    I’ve been working on the third book today. It’s simmering nicely…


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