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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the purposes of this discussion, let's define a mega-free run as 20,000+ downloads.

I've seen a number of writers report having great download #'s (35-50+K downloads) and no real discernible bump in sales afterward.

When this has happened, have you checked to see where your book is showing up on the Pop List? That's always been the currency that we've obtained for giving our books away, but is that still happening? After 35, 40, 50K downloads, your book should be showing up near the tops of the Pop List.

I can't think what else might be happening to dampen the post-free algorithm bounce. Any ideas?
 

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No longer seeing placement on the Popularity list, and so there is no longer a bump after running Free.

Only reason to go Free now is to give the first book in a series away, hoping to increase the number of readers. While you can do this with perma-free, the borrows are a plus on the side of KDP Select.
 

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Brian Spangler said:
No longer seeing placement on the Popularity list, and so there is no longer a bump after running Free.

Only reason to go Free now is to give the first book in a series away, hoping to increase the number of readers. While you can do this with perma-free, the borrows are a plus on the side of KDP Select.
Yes, it's all pretty temporary. I just gave away 7400 books on Mon/Tuesday
It brought a nice chunk of sales for the other books in the series, which brought rankings up into the 20k's for all of them.
Today the tap is turned off.

But hopefully I will have gained a few new readers for the series. Was it worth the BookBub fee? Hard to say.
 

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Quiss said:
Yes, it's all pretty temporary. I just gave away 7400 books on Mon/Tuesday
It brought a nice chunk of sales for the other books in the series, which brought rankings up into the 20k's for all of them.
Today the tap is turned off.

But hopefully I will have gained a few new readers for the series. Was it worth the BookBub fee? Hard to say.
Seems like all books in the series except one are still in the 20k's. How high were they before the ad?
 

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I've never had a mega-free run, and I was never in Select in it's heyday, but I've been studying all the threads and watching different ranks and my theory is that unless you have a large fan base of your own already established, getting higher on the lists doesn't help because Bookbub has become so dominant that no one is shopping from the lists anymore.  They just buy from whatever is on Bookbub.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
SusanKL said:
Can you remind me how we find the popularity list?
The Pop List is what you get when you shop on your Kindle, instead of on the Amazon website.

In January, when I came off a 36,000 download, my book debuted at #2 in my category (Memoirs) on the Pop List. I ended up selling 2900 books at full price over the next 90 days. Unless Zon changes the algos again, it appears those results will not be replicated.

I'll soon find out for myself... this free run ends tomorrow and should finish up with about 28,000 downloads. Not expecting a big bump this time around. Quiss, like you, I have been pleasantly surprised by the sales to the sequel to the free book. It was in the 56K range, and today it's bumped up to 12K in rankings while at full price (4.99.)
 

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I wasn't tracking the my pop list placement.

Gave away 35,000+ copies of Blood Alley last week.

On the pop list it's currently #3 in suspense>ghosts.

On the bestseller list it's currently #35 in suspense>ghosts.

So better placement in the pop list than the bestseller list.

No real bump in sales though, other than making up for paid sales lost during the free days.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
David Wisehart said:
I wasn't tracking the my pop list placement.

Gave away 35,000+ copies of Blood Alley last week.

On the pop list it's currently #3 in suspense>ghosts.

On the bestseller list it's currently #35 in suspense>ghosts.

So better placement in the pop list than the bestseller list.

No real bump in sales though, other than making up for paid sales lost during the free days.

David
Thanks, David. Your results are the ones I've been following closely. Your free run was better than mine, so I can only anticipate your post-free bump will be as well. What I'm not sure about though, is why, if you're still appearing high on the Pop List, it's not translating to sales. And, that's not unique to you, by any means. I think it is applying to everyone.

The reason I started this thread is... I always believed it was positioning on the Pop List that got you your post-free bump. If we're still seeing the positioning on the Pop List, but not the bump, why not?

I don't have an agenda or an ax to grind, I'm honestly just trying to figure it out.
 

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Hands up those who considers placing of a book in the pop lists when buying.

*crickets*

I've had two 10K+ runs and they've been very different.

Book 1 was during a Select freebie day. I sold about 70-ish afterwards.

Book 2 was a permafreebie that was picked up by ENT. This was in late May and I'm still selling copies of books 2 and 3 of the series as a result.

I think the value in a big freebie run lies in sales of subsequent volumes in the same series, not sales of the book in question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Patty Jansen said:
Hands up those who considers placing of a book in the pop lists when buying.

*crickets*

I've had two 10K+ runs and they've been very different.

Book 1 was during a Select freebie day. I sold about 70-ish afterwards.

Book 2 was a permafreebie that was picked up by ENT. This was in late May and I'm still selling copies of books 2 and 3 of the series as a result.

I think the value in a big freebie run lies in sales of subsequent volumes in the same series, not sales of the book in question.
Hi, Patty...

I use the Pop Lists when shopping from my Kindle, so it can't quite be crickets.

As I mentioned, I am seeing some sales trickling through to my sequel, but prior to this free run, I didn't have anything else for people to buy. I still sold right at 5,000 books post-free over three free promos, so it's hard for me to believe that the value in a big freebie run simply comes from sales of subsequent volumes.
 

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Shawn Inmon said:
As I mentioned, I am seeing some sales trickling through to my sequel, but prior to this free run, I didn't have anything else for people to buy. I still sold right at 5,000 books post-free over three free promos, so it's hard for me to believe that the value in a big freebie run simply comes from sales of subsequent volumes.
I think this situation, with your first book, put you squarely in the outlier category.
From what I've seen, even when the post-freebie bump was going strong, subsequently selling 5000 copies would have been extraordinary. I don't think it can be used as a benchmark for what's going on now. I can't imagine this to happen again for a new author.

I still suspect that Amazon never meant their freebie promos to have such a profound effect and they made changes to allow promos to have more "reasonable" results, such as getting a few hundred copies out there to increase visibility and perhaps pick up some reviews.

Like Patty said, right now the biggest value of giveaways (promos or permanent) seems to be in gaining new readers for subsequent books. It's good for the long-terms strategy, not an immediate pay day.
 

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Phoenix: You're the exception out of the roughly 10 mega-free runs I've been tracking since June. Every other one has resulted in little or no bump. And I'm talking runs that easily surpassed that 40K benchmark.

Glad it's working for you. Since June, you're the only one I know it's working for. Hope it keeps up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Russell and Phoenix, I'm glad you guys chimed in... I've been following both your posts about this closely.

I guess I'm stubborn and want to see for myself, and that's why I'm doing at least one last free run with FLTFT - I want to see with my own eyes if I get the bounce or not. But, if as Phoenix says, 40k is the new 20k, then I'm not going to make it. I think I'll top out about 28,000 downloads this time.

Phoenix, I'm wondering... do you feel like you or anyone is closer to answering the question you quoted above? That really is the question I'm also asking in this thread.
 

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brendajcarlton said:
I've never had a mega-free run, and I was never in Select in it's heyday, but I've been studying all the threads and watching different ranks and my theory is that unless you have a large fan base of your own already established, getting higher on the lists doesn't help because Bookbub has become so dominant that no one is shopping from the lists anymore. They just buy from whatever is on Bookbub.
Not everybody and their brother is on the overrated, extremely expensive Bookbub. And there are plenty of authors out there who got no bump and are left wondering if it was worth the frankly outrageous fee. I think this is just a lazy summer and people aren't doing much reading regardless of what we do.
 
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