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.