Yesterday, I quietly made my vampire horror novel Thicker Than Water free for one day using the KDP Select program. I didn’t make a blog post about it, nor did I tweet or Facebook about it incessantly, nor did I send out mass emails, and yet I ended up giving away 6,302 copies in the 24 hour period, reaching a rank of #26 in Amazon’s free store.
Until today, Thicker Than Water had sold exactly 5 copies so far this month. At 6:30 this morning, I woke up to a rank of #926 in Kindle’s paid store and 75 new sales ($150), thereby increasing my sales for the month by 1500% and paying for the absurdly expensive party I’ll have to throw to celebrate.
So what happened?
Well, from I can gather, I owe it all to a website some of you have probably heard of called Pixel of Ink. This is a very popular website that makes blog posts a few times a day about free Kindle books and other great Kindle deals.
I logged the total number of downloads each hour on the hour during the promotion. My book was cruising along at around 1 download per minute until Pixel of Ink made this blog post and the downloads suddenly accelerated tremendously. An hour later the book was receiving 6 downloads per minute and it continued to accelerate for the next five hours until it hit a peak of nearly 13 downloads per minute. Between the hours of 7pm and 8pm, 762 people downloaded Thicker Than Water. For good measure, last time I did a free promotion, I gave away about 700 copies total.
I have no way of knowing how or why they chose to feature my book, but I have been working for months to try to increase my visibility and waiting for a day when something like this would take place. On some level, this was mostly the result of luck, but as Seneca said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” If you work to create a project and you push it hard enough and for long enough, if you create the potential to have days like this, there will always be times when you find luck on your side.
But luck aside, here’s something worth knowing. I was barely aware of Pixel of Ink and couldn’t even figure out why I was suddenly giving out so many books until a fan told me about the post. I have since discovered there is a page (link here) where you can tell Pixel of Ink about your free book promotions in advance and thereby increase your chances of being featured like I was. I can guarantee you I’ll be doing that every time I have a free promotion from now on, and if you’re an indie author, I highly recommend you do so as well.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve sold five more copies in the time it has taken me to make this post, and I have a bottle of champagne to purchase.
Until next time.
Have you had experiences like this one with Pixel of Ink or other sites, or with free promotions in general? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments.