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No Direction Home
by Elizabeth Burns

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Kindle Edition published 2017-05-20
Bestseller ranking: 81281

Product Description
Hunter Grayson flits from job to job, relationship to relationship, continent to continent until thetragic death of her parents brings her back to her childhood home.While trying to figure out how to move forward, she meets wild, fun Natalya Haven, who quickly becomes the sister she never had. But when Natalya moves in, their friendship unravels.
A second tragedy sends Hunter to a small town in New Mexico, a town out of her own past. For Hunter, that's more than a coincidence, that's fate. Natalya's family will fill the void in her life. Natalya's parents will become her parents. She and Natalya's brother will fall in love. But nothing is ever that simple....

Author Topic: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?  (Read 270 times)  

Offline Sailor Stone

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Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« on: April 20, 2017, 11:53:44 AM »
I currently have two books, one and two in a series, in KDP Select. When I published the first in the series late last year I was able to get it up to about 1,110 in the paid rankings on Amazon and then it slowly fell to about 400,000 in the rankings over the next few months as I worked to get the next in series out. Once I published the second book I put the first at .99 and did a countdown deal in March and was able to get it up to 1000 in the paid rankings. The second book got as high as 16k on paid ranking by riding the first books coattails. These are great rankings for me and since then the two books have been able to stay between 20k and 120k or so in the rankings (mostly through KU downloads, I think, with about one book sold every other day for each book) and I would like to keep them in this ranking range for as long as possible.
My question is: should I do another countdown deal for the first book or do a big free days promo? Which do you think would work better and have a longer effect on the books' rankings?
Another question: I'm liking how my also-boughts look on the books and I don't want to mess them up either. Would a free promo negatively effect this?
Thanks!
 

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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 12:54:19 PM »
A countdown with promotion. The free promo days mess up your rankings.

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Online PhoenixS

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 01:32:41 PM »
Always think ahead. When will you be pubbing Book 3 in the series? How will you want to promote THAT book? If you'll be publishing it within the next 3 months, what will the effect of the promotion you do now be on what you can get for the series then? Are your books standalones where you can use Book 2 to promote the series when 3 comes out if Book 1 is used this time?

Second, what's your ultimate goal right now? To just keep the books at a decent ranking? To increase readership? There can be a different right answer depending on current goals and future expectations.

Promo of any sort -- free or 99 cents -- can mess with your alsobots depending on any number of factors from sales history of your books to promo sites you use.

The free promo days mess up your rankings.

With enough borrows and visibility, free promos can mess with your rankings in a very good way. ;)
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Offline archaeoroutes

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 02:28:15 AM »
As far as I can see, all a free promo does is mean you have no sales for that period and so your paid ranking slides. The number of times I had a book get to the top few (like #2) in its category free but when it went back to paid its rank was even lower than before the promo!
Obviously, there can be long-term positives like increased sales of sequels due to an increase in downloads of the free promo book.

On the other hand, the same book, now permafree, sits happily in the top twenty of its category month after month. A quick (and free) promo puts it up to #2 free or something, and that rank sticks nicely.

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Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 02:33:30 AM »
Always think ahead. When will you be pubbing Book 3 in the series? How will you want to promote THAT book? If you'll be publishing it within the next 3 months, what will the effect of the promotion you do now be on what you can get for the series then? Are your books standalones where you can use Book 2 to promote the series when 3 comes out if Book 1 is used this time?

Second, what's your ultimate goal right now? To just keep the books at a decent ranking? To increase readership? There can be a different right answer depending on current goals and future expectations.

Promo of any sort -- free or 99 cents -- can mess with your alsobots depending on any number of factors from sales history of your books to promo sites you use.

With enough borrows and visibility, free promos can mess with your rankings in a very good way. ;)


>>>>>Thanks PhoenixS. This is all good stuff. I always like reading your posts.
I am thinking I might try to run a clean free promo and use sites that should bring the correct genre readers to the book. It isn't like a four sales a day average is going to fund the ole' IRA anytime soon so what do I have to loose. I never get a BB (though I'll try) but Robin Reads and ENT were really good for the book on the .99 promos so I will apply to them for their free promos and hope to be accepted and use them as my base.

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Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 02:37:57 AM »
As far as I can see, all a free promo does is mean you have no sales for that period and so your paid ranking slides. The number of times I had a book get to the top few (like #2) in its category free but when it went back to paid its rank was even lower than before the promo!
Obviously, there can be long-term positives like increased sales of sequels due to an increase in downloads of the free promo book.

On the other hand, the same book, now permafree, sits happily in the top twenty of its category month after month. A quick (and free) promo puts it up to #2 free or something, and that rank sticks nicely.

>>>>> So you think it should be set permafree? I hadn't thought of that. At least not without the third in series published. Or do you think it should be done now? I use Pronoun for some of my books so getting it permanently free on Amazon is no big deal now.

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Offline brkingsolver

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 03:13:37 AM »

With enough borrows and visibility, free promos can mess with your rankings in a very good way. ;)
Maybe with a BookBub. I gave away 3,500 books last week with a FreeBooksy, hit #81 in the overall free store, and saw my ranking fall from 8,000 to 13,000. It's back above 7,000 now, but the tail has been invisible. Maybe it's just this month. My books are hanging at rankings that seem a bit unrealistic given the low sales and page reads. Either I'm getting a ton of borrows from people who aren't reading, or everyone is having a slump.

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Offline Sailor Stone

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 03:59:04 AM »
Maybe with a BookBub. I gave away 3,500 books last week with a FreeBooksy, hit #81 in the overall free store, and saw my ranking fall from 8,000 to 13,000. It's back above 7,000 now, but the tail has been invisible. Maybe it's just this month. My books are hanging at rankings that seem a bit unrealistic given the low sales and page reads. Either I'm getting a ton of borrows from people who aren't reading, or everyone is having a slump.

>>>Perhaps the free promo is resulting in a lot of borrows and it has pushed your ranking back up? Just a thought.

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Online PhoenixS

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Re: Countdown Deal or Free Days to Maintain Ranking?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 06:52:50 AM »
Maybe with a BookBub. I gave away 3,500 books last week with a FreeBooksy, hit #81 in the overall free store, and saw my ranking fall from 8,000 to 13,000. It's back above 7,000 now, but the tail has been invisible. Maybe it's just this month. My books are hanging at rankings that seem a bit unrealistic given the low sales and page reads. Either I'm getting a ton of borrows from people who aren't reading, or everyone is having a slump.

Which is another piece of the one-size-doesn't-fit-all algo puzzle. If a book has decent sales/borrows going into a free promo (say, a sub-#10K rank), then it will need to get in front of a LOT more eyes than a book going in with fewer sales-equivalents per day. In the case of a sub-#10K book, the book will need to attract more borrows per day that it's free than the sales-equivalents it was getting prior to going free. In that case, it might take getting in front of enough eyes to generate 7K or 8K freeloads. So generic you might need to think about promo stacking or BookBub to push visibility on the other side.

A book going into a free promo with an over-#10K rank can enjoy increased visibility with just the 3500 freeloads your book got, depending on how many folk jump to borrow it over freeload it.

So, I agree that if a book is hanging sub-#10K or so in the ranks, I *likely* wouldn't set it free without BookBub backing. I also *likely* wouldn't do a BB-less promo stack because the ROI just wouldn't be there (unless it's part of a long series). But the OP is not discussing a book in that rank band. Different advice for different circumstances.
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