I Survived Amazon's KDP Free Day Program and Am Even Doing It Again

1 Aug

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy

When I wrote my last post on Your Shelf Life, I was preparing to launch my first “free day” campaign with Amazon’s KDP program. Since my track record on such promotions has been miserable (check out this article in which I explain how my Amazon bestseller day yielded sales of thirteen books), I was concerned about how the days would go.

I wasn’t worried about the book, my The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy,  a sci-fi thriller with a dystopian, though romantic, twist. The Angel won four national awards, including a Gold Medal at the IPPYs, and has stellar reviews. The Angel wasn’t the problem, my ability to get it in front of people was.

I leaned on my friend Cheryl Kaye Tardif’s eBook How I Made Over $42,000 in One Month Selling my Kindle eBooks (known at $42K hereafter). Making $42K in a month is good enough for me. This is a really good guidebook outlining what Cheryl did to make a small fortune doing exactly what I’m going to be doing. It’s all there, step by step.

The major, major leaning I gleaned from $42K, is that while Cheryl is a marketing whiz and really loves doing it, I am not. I am a writer. I love to write and produce highly imaginative fantasy, sci-fi, visionary fiction, and even nonfiction about horses and spirituality. I’m not a marketer.

What happened when I applied Cheryl’s techniques in $42K to my ineptitude?

Holy macaroni! The Angel SOARED. Let’s see if I can find some screen shots. (Always take screen shots. My book Numenon once was #1 in 3 categories of mysticism and flew at about the 1,000 in paid sales level on Amazon for, oh, a year or so. I didn’t realize that this was good. Didn’t think it would ever change, either. I didn’t take any screen shots. Now all I have is a memory.)

Here we go. I began the promotion with many trepidations, vastly lowered expectations, and a promise of hari kari if I did not achieve my goal number of downloads, which was three (3). Yes, I promised publicly to off myself if  The Angel did not have three (3) downloads.

I felt pretty safe. I was actually safe by about 470%. How did it go? Here is a pictorial story. Click each image to enlarge it so you can read the tables:


I told you I wasn’t a marketing whiz. This, for a book with four national awards and a 4.6 star rating on 22 awards. A book about which bona fide reviewers said things like:  “5 Stars! Blends the paranormal, science fiction, and Armageddon styles well for a riveting read.  Midwest Book Review” We won’t get into that.


Things are moving. By 7:29 AM its first free day,  The Angel has climbed to the 4,573 level and is #80 in Science Fiction > Adventure. (They don’t say Free here, but they do later.)


Oh happy day, and getting happier! #199 in the overall free store and # 1 Sci-fi > Adventure Free.


Here The Angel is, flying high next to Ol’ George R.R. Martin. Only difference is, he got paid.


I took out one ad for my “day,” for David Wisehart’s Kindle-Author.com. Isn’t this a pretty presentation? David was kind enough to name The Angel Book of the Day, so it was beautifully featured. I wish space permitted me showing everything the ad contained. Synopsis, reviews, a letter from my mom. It was great.

* * *

What happened after the free promotion? I did not make $42K on my books. Sales of The Angel have stayed pretty high, certainly way higher than the book’s original sucky 388,885 ranking. Sales of Lady Grace, The Angel’s sequel have increased.

Basically, you gotta keep pushing. At least I’m off the chewing-gum-mottled basement floor in sales. I noticed something funny on a Tweet Team I’m on. Cheryl Tardif was tweeting her books WHILE SHE WAS ON VACATION. That’s how dedicated you’ve got to be to rake in the big bucks.

I haven’t pushed The Angel since the big free days, because I’ve been tooling up for my NEXT free days.

Lady Grace: Sequel to The Angel and one enthralling book.

YES! You will be able to download The Angel’s sequel, Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love, FREE! FREE! FREE! on August 5th and 6th, this very upcoming Sunday and Monday. I really think you should download it, because August 7th is my birthday and it would make me very happy. Downloading her book is a good way to say Happy Birthday to an author. In this case, you’ll get really terrific book for nothing. (Alternatively, you can wait until my birthday on August 7th, when the book won’t be free. That would make me even happier. But suit yourself.)

Lady Grace is better than The Angel. It’s the kind of book that causes top reviewers to say things like:

Lady Grace was first-rate science fiction and one of the most absorbing page-turners of that genre that I’ve read in years. Author Sandy Nathan exhibits the imagination of Ray Bradbury combined with the whimsicalness of Douglas Adams. That’s high praise, but it’s warranted. The story includes so much action; tense, suspenseful drama; and two charming love stories that it’s irresistible.” J. Chambers, Amazon Top 50 Reviewer (#46 at this writing)

Two weeks ago, I gave away an Angel. This week, I’m giving away Grace.  The mystical kind of grace is the bestowal of unmerited favor. That grace is free all the time.

The Grace I’m talking about is a Lady.  She’s irresistible. And will be free August 5 & 6!

Sandy Nathan

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author

Sandy Nathan is the winner of twenty-two national awards for her writing. She’s won in categories from memoir, to visionary fiction, to children’s nonfiction. And more.

Sandy’s  books are: (Click link to the left for more information on each book. All links below go to Kindle sale pages.)
Sam & Emily: A Love Story from the Underground (paperback & Kindle available)
Lady Grace: A Thrilling Adventure Wrapped in the Embrace of Epic Love (paperback & Kindle available)
The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy
Numenon: A Tale of Mysticism & Money

Tecolote: The Little Horse That Could

Stepping Off the Edge: Learning & Living Spiritual Practice

4 Responses to “I Survived Amazon's KDP Free Day Program and Am Even Doing It Again”

  1. Cheryl Kaye Tardif August 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    Congratulations, Sandy! I’m so glad you found my marketing book helpful. That’s why I wrote it–so other authors could benefit from my struggles. Even a small increase is a step in the right direction. The more momentum you build, the more after-sales you’ll get. So don’t give up.

    Remember, you can always do another promotion. 🙂

    Best wishes and continued success!

    • Sandy Nathan August 26, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      It’s a great book, Cheryl! I will be doing more free days. I’m doing a big blog tour––3 months worth––in a week or so. I plan on doing free days throughout. As well as everything else I can think of, including reading your book again.

      Did I tell you that I read your WHALE SONG and LOVED IT? I’ve got my husband reading it now. And HE loves it!

      • Idhaa April 26, 2013 at 9:42 am #

        Strange this post is totaly unerlated to what I was searching google for, but it was listed on the first page. I guess your doing something right if Google likes you enough to put you on the first page of a non related search.

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  1. Sandy Nathan's YOUR SHELF LIFE » At Last I Know Amazon Cares . . . - August 28, 2012

    […] more in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Metaphysical   Try my Numenon, where “Bill Gates meets Don Juan.” Only $2.99 as a Kindle. See more in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy  Check out Lady Grace. See more […]