The Free eBook Weekend

My eBook promotion story.

Based on a recommendation I read in this Globe and Mail article, I decided to offer Maxwell Huxley’s Demon for free for a limited time on Amazon.

Before the free offer, I had sold 10 copies of my book and honestly I was happy with that. Two days before the sale I advertised the free offer. I posted it on facebook and enlisted family and friends to share my post. I tweeted about it and actively asked friends I know with a lot of followers to retweet the sale. I submitted the promotion dates to Ereader News Today (ENT) and Pixel of Ink. ENT listed my book!

The day before the sale my thought was, I’m afraid I’ll list it for free and no one will download it.

Early Friday morning (the first day of the sale), I couldn’t sleep with worry over the sale. I got up  and immediately logged into my Amazon portal.


OMG! OMG! OMG! I had just tripled my units downloaded.

I felt nervous. Why am I nervous? 21 people! I might not know some of them. I refreshed the portal page.


After a minute, ten more people had my book. I posted this number on facebook. Friends and family started commenting on my post, but before they were done commenting I had 41 units.

I made coffee.


This was freaking me out. I woke my wife.

At this point I thought maybe 300. I could imagine 300 people downloading it. Maybe by the end of this sale, 300 people could have my book. Compared to 10, this seemed huge.

Sometime around 11AM, ENT listed my book as available for free download.


By now every time I refreshed the Amazon portal another 5-10 downloads. My daughter said, “Something is wrong with your computer.”

At 2:30 that afternoon my book hit the #18 spot in the bestselling children’s action adventure category.


It was 6PM and more than 1000 people had downloaded my book. I don’t know 1000 people. Now I felt weird. Suddenly this felt like a lot of people. A lot of strangers who might judge my work and me.

Look who I am beside:


At about 9PM Friday night, my book went to #1 on the action adventure list. It reached #8 in the children’s book list and #74 overall on Kindle that day. By the time I went to bed it had 2000 downloads.

Mid Saturday, after an excited phone call from my sister, we decided to extend the sale by one more day. I advertised and spent the rest of the day mesmerized by refreshing the Amazon portal.


I went to bed.

On Sunday I managed to not spend quite so much time watching the numbers. We had friends over for dinner. The day was a little calmer.

By the end of the sale: 3 people from France, 13 people from Germany, 71 from the UK, and 5,723 people from North America had downloaded my book.





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