Disappearing in Plain Sight–Five Free Days–Part Three

a study of contradictions - bruce witzel photo

In part one of this series, I mapped out the route that I took on the road to the decision to try for a a BookBub (BB) slot. Part two was a detailed description of things I did once the BB slot was secured. This post is the fun! I get to tell you how the whole promotion went.

Free Day One

Disappearing in Plain Sight (DPS) went free at midnight on Thursday, March 25th. When I awoke on the morning of the 25th and checked my Kindle Direct Publishing page, 15 books had been downloaded. I was ranked around 22,000 but had managed to make my way to #8 in the category of literary fiction – sagas. A modest start but quite a change from where DPS usually ranks.

First ranking check of the day

As I watched the download total climb, I set about posting to various Facebook groups, creating a blog post and responding to twitter action.

My ranking dropped from 22,000 to below 1,000 and by mid-afternoon I had gained the #1 spot in literary fiction – sagas. I pre-scheduled another round of hourly tweets for the following day and my last check on the 25th saw total downloads of DPS at 227. I was stunned.

Literary Fiction - Sagas - DPS

Free Day Two

The day began with 96 downloads. I was ranking 500 in the Kindle Free Store and hanging onto that #1 category spot in literary fiction – sagas. The Fussy Librarian spot and my inclusion in fellow author, Peter Ralph’s, email had kicked in. Twitter action continued to spiral higher and higher, Facebook friends shared my posts and blog followers clicked through to my buy links. I saw my rank hover back and forth – a bit over 300 and then a bit below. Sometime in the late afternoon, I noticed that I had garnered a handful of sales of books 2 and 3 in the Crater Lake Series. I was stunned. Prior to this weekend, The Light Never Lies (LNL) and Chasing Down the Night (CDN) were nearly dead in the water with rankings up over a million. At last check before bed, I had managed 635 downloads for a total of 862 over two days.

I had a hard time going to sleep knowing that the so-called best was yet to come with the BookBub slot scheduled for the next day.

Poised and ready for take-off- Bruce Witzel photo

Free Day Three

My first check-in was before the fireworks began. 51 downloads. Between 7:00 am and 8:00 am downloads shot up – 563 – 810 – 1088 – 1550. I was still sitting ranked at 272 in the free store but had gained the #5 slot in the category of coming-of-age stories. After this point, the promotion started to take on a frenetic pace with me hitting refresh on my Kindle Direct Publishing Report button every five minutes. By 9:00 am, I had over 4000 downloads! Oh, and another batch of sales for LNL and CDN! This is the part that stunned me – I expected a ripple effect over time but the line on the sales graph was rising steadily even as the free days on DPS continued.

3rd day - 3 ranking capture

At the point of 12,000 downloads, the whole thing took on a surreal quality. I imagine this is how someone working at a bank counting $100.00 bills must feel. The money or the numbers start to lose their intrinsic meaning.

By 8:00 pm, I had been watching the computer screen for twelve hours. I was absolutely exhausted. DPS had been downloaded over 21,000 times. I was racking up downloads in every single Amazon market and I felt as though I had stood on the corner and hawked each one of those copies. Sales of LNL and CDN continued to rise. The day ended with 22,221 downloads, 40 sales and 1300 KENP’s (if you aren’t familiar with this acronym – please check out the 2nd post in this series).

Fully loaded - Bruce Witzel photo

Free Day Four

day 4 - number 2 in the top 100

Woot, woot, woot. I made it to the #2 slot in the Top 100 Amazon Free Books – right next to all-star marketing genius, J.A. Konrath. I had racked up over 2,000 downloads by 8:00 am. I was also seeing a radical increase in KENP’s – up over 3500 and the day was yet young.

At 2:00 pm I had over 5000 downloads and 24 sales. Definitely slowed down from the BookBub day but I was still riding a huge wave. Checked again at 6:00 pm. Over 7000 downloads and 29 sales.

Free Day Five

At 9:00 am, 800 new downloads, 1 sale and almost 5000 KENP’s. Things may be slowing in the sales column but the KENP’s are more than compensating. I am almost halfway to breaking even on the overall cost of the promotion and the free days haven’t even ended.

Before going to bed, I had 2,855 downloads, 20 sales and 8100 KENP’s for the last day of the promotion.

Little car, big truck - Bruce Witzel photo

Tune in for part four of this series where my post-game analysis recaps costs and benefits.