Well I Wasn’t Expecting That – Results of the Free Weekend

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 09.34.56Around 9am on Friday 9th I watched as The Butterfly Storm lost its £1.98/$2.99 price tag and disappeared from the amazon rankings altogether. *Gulp* what had I done? But literally within minutes the downloads started and I breathed a little easier. I have to say though, if I thought I was bad at checking the sales stats before, I’ve been addicted to clicking on my ‘month-to-date-unit-sales’ over the last three days.

The very generous Joanne Phillips, author of Can’t Live Without and the soon to be published cozy mystery, Murder at the Maples, did a very helpful post after her first KDP Select promotion last year with a breakdown of how it had gone, so I thought I’d do the same. This weekend has surprised me in a very good way. I was hoping to achieve at least 1000 downloads over the three days; the final total has actually been a staggering 19,823:

  • US: 12,336
  • UK: 7,264

I’ve also had 79 downloads in Canada, 90 in Germany, 19 in India and a handful in France, Italy, Spain, Japan and one in Brazil. The really interesting bit will be to see what happens to the sales in the next few days now The Butterfly Storm has gone back to paid.

Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 16.04.53So, over the past three days I’ve gained nearly 20,000 new readers, whereas there had been a grand total of 86 sales pre-promotion. There have already been a couple more reviews posted on amazon, including a 5* review from a ‘top 100 amazon reviewer’ who wrote ‘I Loved this read with a capital L.’ I made it into the top 20 of the US free kindle store, the top 10 of contemporary romance and was #1 in the family life genre on amazon.com. But the most exciting thing by far was from Sunday afternoon, right through to this morning, The Butterfly Storm topped the UK free kindle chart at #1.

Amazon.co.uk contemp romance Sun 11th at 16.06.48

A special mention has to go to my friends on facebook (Sam, Soula, Helen, Jason, Donna) who did an incredible job of getting the word out and promoting The Butterfly Storm to their friends, particularly the very lovely Paula who has been a woman on a mission helping to get as many downloads as possible over the past three days. Thank you!

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  1. Congratulations Kate :) I predict a very, very good post-promo effect for you! Look out on the popularity charts between now and Wednesday for The Butterfly Storm to start showing up on the first page – these are averaged on downloads monthly (and free downloads count the same as actual sales in this chart, even though they don’t in the bestseller ranking charts). Once this happens and your book is visible to more people, with that amazing cover and those great reviews you’ll get absolutely stacks of people buying it.
    Just a thought about categories, as it was only showing up under one when it was free – which categories are you in? You want to make sure they are maximised so you are as visible as possible.
    Jo x

    • Thank you so much Jo, I’m chuffed to bits with the results. :-) Thanks for explaining what should happen now – I’ve just found the ‘movers and shakers’ chart and will most definitely keep my eye on things. It’s still showing in the free chart in the US and the UK at the moment. I think stat checking is only going to get worse this week!

      As for categories The Butterfly Storm is in contemporary romance and family life. On amazon.com it was ranking in both categories (and in fact it spent most of the weekend at #1 in family life) but on amazon.co.uk it was only showing under contemporary – I’m now thinking the UK doesn’t have a family life category. I did initially have it under contemporary romance and contemporary women but swapped it from contemporary women to family life thinking that family life would be a smaller category and so more chance of making the first page – which it did successfully but only in the US. Any ideas/suggestions?

      Many thanks for your advice and support. Xx

      • Hi Kate,
        No you’re right, there is no category for Family Life in the UK Amazon store, even though you can select it as a category from the KDP platform. I’d try Family Saga or Literary Fiction if I were you (as well as Contemporary Romance) – either would fit your book – and keep track to see how it’s doing in these categories. It’s a shame to be in a category that won’t help with visibility in the UK, as I think you have a better chance of making a real impact with sales here. Meanwhile, email Amazon using the contact form and ask them to add your title to the Family Life category in the US because you’ve not been able to use it over here. They advised me to do this with my new book – I can’t select Cozy Mystery as a category on the KDP options, but they said they will add my book to it if I email them.
        Good luck – keeping my eye on it too and I’ll be so excited to watch it climb the charts :) x

        • Thanks Jo, that’s really helpful. I think I will change family life to the family saga category to begin with and also email amazon about adding it to the family life category in the US and see how that goes. I’m now getting out of the house and away from my laptop for a couple of hours as it’s now scary seeing The Butterfly Storm back on the paid chart but way down the rankings – that’s normal right!? And it will take a while to start appearing on the popularity charts!? Your advice Jo is invaluable – thank you! xx

        • Just changed it but decided to try literary first… x

  2. Oh, wow, Kate, congratulations! That’s a fantastic result and very well deserved!

  3. Congratulations Kate – those are absolutely amazing figures. Well done to you and all your team for their hard work! Wishing you every success for the future and I echo what Jo said about the next few days following the free downloads. Keep us all posted. Best wishes, Jade. x

    • Thank you so much Jade. I will definitely keep you posted. Have had a handful of sales in the UK already plus 3 refunds where I think people bought it thinking it was still free! Hope all’s well with you. x

      • All good here thanks, just got back off two weeks hols so trying to get back into work mode! How are things?? I have been thinking of you. :-)

        • Oh a two week holiday – I can dream! 😉 It does take a while to get back into work mode, doesn’t it. I’ve missed your blog posts so looking forward to reading them again. All’s well with me. I will email you with an update. :-)

  4. Well done Kate, that’s fantastic. Hope The Butterfly Storm starts selling well for you soon. You deserve it after all your hard work. :)

  5. Congrats Kate! That’s amazing. Now just sit back and wait for the reviews and sales to come in. You’ll have a huge sales boost from this over the next few weeks. So happy for you!! Now we just need to get in in Oprah’s hands and you’ll be a billionaire! :)

    • Thank you! The sales are trickling in and The Butterfly Storm is working its way back up the rankings. :-) I’ll do a post later in the week with how its gone. It’s very exciting! Oprah… if only… 😉

  6. Kate that is amazing – and well deserved! Congratulations – and those lucky people will be in for a real treat!

    • Thank you Raewyn! The downloads and success of the promo took me by surprise. Hope the writing’s been going well. Miss your blog posts.

  7. Congratulations, Kate! Though writing a book is a solitary effort, it takes a village, as they say, to promote it. Glad you have great people helping you!!

    • Thank you! There have been some fabulous friends promoting The Butterfly Storm on my behalf (which is so much easier and nicer than me blowing my own trumpet so to speak). :-)

  8. Congrats Kate. Your book is amazing (pardon me I haven’t read the whole thing yet) but you deserve all the credit you get for it. I’m very interested to see how this promo pans out for you :)

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