I first published my debut novel, Beauty Rising, in early December 2012. I decided early on that I wanted it to be part of Amazon’s KDP program so I could take advantage of offering it for free several times as a way to introduce my writing to the world’s general readership. Here is my analysis of what went right and what went wrong.

Over the past 6 months, I have offered Beauty Rising for free on Kindle only three times.

  • Early Feb 2013 – 2 days
  • Early May 2013 – 2 days
  • Early August 2013 – 5 days

Every three months I offered it for free. I didn’t want to overwhelm the market, and I wanted it to slowly build momentum overtime. The results? Fantastic. I couldn’t be happier.

All in all, more than 22,000 readers downloaded Beauty Rising. Wow! They took a no-risk chance on a no-name author.

After each free promotion, sales most definitely ticked-up, as others said they would, and then tapered back down.

But for me, sales are completely secondary for my first novel. Do I believe it’s worth a $2.99 read or more? Yes, I do. I’ve been blessed with wonderful reviews that have been extremely encouraging.

Now the big question is this: what will those 22,000 downloads mean for my second novel? Obviously, I have no idea.

I hope enough people have connected with my writing that they will be willing to purchase my next one. That remains to be seen. Ideally, I’d never have to give away another book the rest of my life. But once again, I’m in this for the long haul, so only time will tell what marketing strategies are needed.

KDP is a major marketing blitz for any unknown indie author. How else can you generate this much publicity? How else can you get your writing into the hands of 10s of thousands of eager readers? As far as I know, there is nothing that can touch KDP for the indie author.

With two months left before the release of my second novel, Beauty Rising will now be going off of KDP and I plan to make it available for the Nook and possibly other formats starting in September.

Publicizing your indie novel is a lot of work, AND a ton of trial and error. But one thing has proven to be indispensable – free Kindle day promotions.

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