A lot of authors, especially self-pub, are raving about the KDP Select program via Amazon. For three months your book must be available exclusively from Amazon, and in return you can offer it free for five days.
It's a no cost way to get your book in the hands of people who may never have bought it. Sure, you're losing the profit of selling the book, but you are not out of pocket as you would be with most other advertising. And that's pretty much what the free days of the program are. Advertising.
My publisher enrolled MOUNTAIN FIRE in KDP Select from October 1 to December 31. It was offered for free from October 31 to November 3, and then again on November 5.
That odd schedule was a glitch due to the time change. For some reason, that one extra hour in the early morning of November 4 counted as an entire day. So in order to use all five free days, the publisher skipped November 4 completely.
Prior to my free days, the highest MOUNTAIN FIRE had reached on Amazon's lists was approximately 141,000. In the days leading up to the promotion, it had actually dropped as low as 385,000.
During the four consecutive days of the promotion, the book rose to sit steady in the number 2 slot of Romantic Suspense, and reached a high of 26 overall, as well as making appearances in the top 30 of Contemporary Romance. Despite the break in the promo for November 4, it held its own on November 5th.
Since then, MOUNTAIN FIRE has climbed as high as the 3000's in Amazon's overall bestseller list. Now, this sounds like nothing to jump for joy about. But consider where it was sitting before the free days. That's an increase of more than 380,000 places on the list.
I have no idea what the numbers mean in actual copies downloaded and sold (my publisher does, of course). But I do know this...it's a huge improvement over where the book was trending before the promotion.
MOUNTAIN FIRE continues to waver in the ranks, but as of the writing of this post had not dropped below 9000. As a debut novel from an unknown author, I'm not surprised by this. But from my point of view, I think KDP Select was a worthwhile experiment.