Well, I did it: I got myself over 10,000 copies of my novel, The Guilty, downloaded for free on Kindle. Sunday was the last day of my three-day promo, and I wasn't sure if there would be reader fatigue by then. Instead, more than half the downloads were on this one day alone.
Shocked. Stunned Flabbergasted. You name it, if it involved me jumping up and down like a crazy person, that's how I felt.
So I wake up this morning and check out the final tally: Yipes! There's gotta be a couple of zeros too many there. But, no, it seems these numbers are real. I feel like I just ate the biggest and best piece of chocolate cake in history. I am so bloated with self-satisfaction I can hardly lift my swollen head off my pillow. My ego is getting its own private number! Talk about your morning-after hangover.
But, then the #1 question comes up? Other than the fact that more people than I can imagine will be reading my book (for free, of course) what else will I get out of this? I don't have another book about to come out soon, so all those downloads won't be giving any of my other work a sales boost. Whatever benefit the promo provides it'll have to be for this one lonesome story. The difference will be all about word of mouth, getting some (hopefully) good reviews eventually, having a little more exposure on Amazon and on-line generally, etc.
I have, in fact, started getting some paid downloads already today; more than I did for the whole month of August, so there has to be some cause and effect there. Is it the start of something good, or the last gasp of the interest that was created by my promo? Did getting up to number 14 on Amazon's free Kindle list, a list I never knew existed before, make my book more attractive to potential readers? Or, at least just bring it to the attention of more readers? I wish I knew. I've read so many stories by authors who were thrilled by the results of their promos, and others who found it a major waste of time. It's hard to do more than roll the dice and cross my fingers.
As always, there is much that is outside our control, and so often the reasons for the way things turn out are vefy unclear. I'll check in from time to time with news, if any.
(If I spent as much time writing my next book as I did fretting over the marketing of the first one, I'd be a lot closer to getting it on the bookshelves by now.)