Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I've sold 7000 ebooks in the last 36 hours, making over $14,000.

For the next three days, I'm making 23 of my titles free on Amazon Kindle.


Blake Crouch is doing the same.


Get them while they're free. :)


Dan DeWitt said...

Well done, sir. It shall be Tweeted.

Anonymous said...


Can I hold $20 til Friday?

Dan DeWitt said...

In much smaller news, my KDP Select Norse adventure novel "Odinsons" will be free from 28December-1January:


David Wisehart said...

Good luck with them!

I'm glad the free thing is working so well for you, and I look forward to your upcoming analysis of the results.

Oh, and big congrats on the shout-out you got from Jeff Bezos. :)

Happy New Year!


Gary Ponzo said...

Amazing, Joe. Simply amazing. I'm going to top you, though. For the next three days I'm going to pay $11.99 to every reader who downloads a copy of one of my ebooks. I know they're priced at .99 Cents and $2.99, but I'll make up the difference in volume.

Wait, I need to check my math first . . .

Ruth Francisco, author said...

This free experiment is grand, isn't it?

Yesterday my book Amsterdam 2012 sold thousands! But I thought it might boost the sales of my new release. It did not. Perhaps down the road it will after people have read the book, but no immediate bump. So there's an art to this free promotion biz.

Let's hope after the free promotion, sales continue. Good luck.

Karen Mueller Bryson said...

That's awesome! Thanks so much!

Colleen Cross said...

Thank you, not only for the free books but also your great advice to writers - I've followed it and it works!


camdoc48@gmail.com said...

Hey Joe...I am a guy you have never heard of but you have pulled me into the journey. I published a couple of shorts on Amazon and consider you as a mentor. Thank you.

-Cameron Dockery

camdoc48@gmail.com said...

Hey Joe...I am a guy you have never heard of but you have pulled me into the journey. I published a couple of shorts on Amazon and consider you as a mentor. Thank you.

-Cameron Dockery

Kriston Johnson said...

Congrats and thank you!

Ellen Britt, PA, Ed.D said...

This is SO cool, Joe! Congratulations sir, and continued best wishes for 2012.

Ursula said...

ROCK ON!!!!!! I'm x-posting.

Todd Trumpet said...

I'll ask the obvious question:


Why offer so many titles for free (even for a limited time)?

I can guess at some reasons - a mix of gratitude and (reverse?) marketing psychology/strategy - but I'd be interested to hear it from the horse's/author's mouth/pen.


P.S. Oh, and one last obvious thing: Congrats!

Ruth said...

Always willing to pass along your news because you've been more than generous with what you've learned. I wouldn't be doing as well as I am if it were not for you.

Good luck in the New Year!

Off to retweet your announcement.

Mari Stroud said...

Sweet! I might have just done the Lisa Simpson, Lizard Queen cackle, but you can't prove it.

Darlene Underdahl said...

Thank you, thank you (walking backward and bowing with arms full of electrons).

I’m happy you both had a good Christmas!

Cecilia Lansing said...

That's just incredible. The 7000 in 36 hours, but also the 23 free titles!

Nice going. And thanks for the inspiration to follow in your footsteps... I can only dream that one day I'll be able make a similar announcement on my site.

Alyssa Ast said...

WOW! That is awesome. Congrats!

Alyssa Ast said...

WOW! That is awesome. Congrats!

RW Bennett said...

Thanks for the books, Joe.

We will all be very interested in your commentary when this experiment is over.

J. R. Tomlin said...

Joe, Like a lot of people, I either wouldn't be on this journey or wouldn't be nearly as far along on it without your advice. And last month I hit a goal of actually making a living in this business. I could never say that when I sold novels (as I did) to publishers

Thank you.

Jonas Saul said...

What a way to give back!

Well done on all fronts. Have a great New Year.

@Ruby_Barnes said...

Joe, that's commendable and, as ever, you are an inspiration!
In the same spirit, I'm giving the key to my books on my New year's resolutions bloghop:

Scott Daniel said...

Thanks, Joe, for the freebies. It's nice to see a writer doing well enough financially to be able to afford making such a nice gesture.

lacycameywrites.com said...

Wow! I can't wait to see your results!

For me, I went free for the first time two weeks ago. I went free for two days and had over 10k downloads of my book, "The Last Page". From going off of free, my book has stayed on 3 best seller's list on Amazon. I'm elated. I'm super thankful for the option as an indie to decide, "You know what, I want to go free. Or I want to try this marketing method." I love that.

Congrats again, Joe and like I already said, I can't wait to see the phenom results. It will be really cool! And cool is such an understatement. :)

-Lacy Camey

Stitch said...


Big thanks to both you and Blake!

The best part?

They were actually free! Not long ago, "free" used to mean $2.30 for people outside of the US. Looks like Amazon are finally admitting that delivery to Sweden doesn't cost more than within the US when you're using the internet.

Thanks again, really looking forward to reading more of your stuff!

Sutton Fox said...

Thank you! Your books were the first ones to hit my new kindle.

Wishing you continued success!

Eric said...

Thank you for the free books. I have something more to read over the new year.

Merrill Heath said...

Interesting to see that you're listing 23 titles with Kindle Select. Of course, your titles are only free to Prime members, which costs $79 per year to join. So, I guess free is a matter of interpretation. It could be a good deal for readers. How many books can you download for free each month? Isn't there a limit? I need to investigate this a little more.

Merrill Heath

Merrill Heath said...

OK, I see now where there are a list of books that are free even for those who aren't Prime members. Cool. I'll download a few.

Merrill Heath

Sebastiene said...

Thank you! The best kind of late Christmas present: great books!

Clytie said...

Nice Christmas present, Joe. Thanks. :)

While happily paging through your titles on Amazon, I noticed that Amazon are pricing some of your ebooks higher than the paperback price. For example, AFRAID is $6.99 in paperback, but $12.21 in ebook! Should it be like that?

(I'm buying from Australia, unsure if they show me prices in our currency, which is currently slightly less than yours, or in USD.)

JK said...

Thank You!

Unknown said...

Wow, that is a LARGE amount of books sold in 36 hours! And thank you for the free books :-) My mom got a Kindle for her birthday today, so I've just downloaded some of your books for her.

John A. A. Logan said...


I self-published my book after midnight on Christmas Day.
Started a 5 day free promotion at midnight yesterday (today?)...(it was Pacific Time USA and I'm in Scotland, so unsure)...I told no-one I had published or was doing the free "promotion" for 5 days.Wanted to experiment and see if any strangers would find my book.
Result is my book is up to Number 25 now, out of Amazon Uk top 100 free literary fiction
And ranked 1402 on the uk bestseller kindle list now,(including all paid books) up from 350000 or so yesterday.
Eh...wasn't expecting that.
John A. A. Logan

Mark said...

You guys are so awesome. Thank you.

Unknown said...

Congratulations! That is an amazing burst of sales, and I'm sure the promotion is helping to boost your exposure even more.

Cyn Bagley said...

Thanks for the idea Joe K.

I decided to do a holiday promotion for four of my books. Starting today, I have more books in the hands of people through this promotion than the entire year. Yes, it is free, but I am hoping it makes people interested in my writings.

;-) Cyn

Matthew G. Young said...

This is amazing. I have been eying some of these books for a while, now they're free! can't beat that.

LK Watts said...

Wow, Joe, that's AMAZING!

LK Watts said...

The sales figures I mean but I'm sure your free books will generate loads more sales.

Tom Stedham said...

You proved your point!
My brother is a career cop in Alabama. I posted the link and info about your freebies on my facebook page yesterday. He downloaded one title, to "try you out."
He called me today to say that he stayed up for a few hours last nite to finish the book. He said he simply couldn't stop reading it!
So, yes, we both downloaded all your free titles, at zero profit to you. BUT... I previously purchased some of your ebooks (SERIAL UNCUT is my favorite) and now my brother is a fanatical fan. He is BUYING your other titles, and he is telling the other cops about this crazy new book he is reading about these lunatic serial killers and this great female cop.

Giving away pays off in the end. It generates additional sales and it creates great goodwill and word-of-mouth.

Kudos, Mr. Konrath. My brother and I are big fans...

Byron A. Lorrier, Esq. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Byron A. Lorrier, Esq. said...

ifff you got a kindle for christmas...
&&& if you have an amazon prime account...
my book "murder in the magick club" is available for free, for awhile

product info, critics & readers' reviews, etc. are posted on amazon

it's a mixed genre, occult-themed, comedic murder mystery that takes place in tampa a/k/a the salem of the south

soooooooooo hope ya' like it

Unknown said...

Thank you to both yourself and Blake for this offer.

I am looking forward to getting into them and reading them.

Also, I am really enjoying the blog in general. I was introduced to your work via Barry Eisler and the Be the Monkey book.

Jason D. Morrow said...

Although your blog is by far the most interesting one I've read, each post made by you makes me more and more discouraged and it shouldn't. I know you mean well and you mean to encourage all of us who are self-publishing, but seeing your success in every single post is, well, tough to live up to.
Don't get me wrong, I read every single one of your posts and I like reading about your success. With every post I'm thinking, wow, when I get as big as him I'll be making $22,000 a month too! I'm dreaming high, let me tell ya. Selling 7000 ebooks in less than two days?That's amazing! In under two days you've made enough money to pay half of what's left of my student loans. (Not that I want you to or anything.)
I enrolled in KDP Select where I've agreed to sell my book only for the Kindle for 3 months. With that contract, I'm given 5 promotional days where I can give away my book for free. I used 3 days over Christmas.
I went from about 30 sales/downloads to 980 downloads in those three days. That's exceptional! When the promotion ended I was still selling some books. I'm now up to 1012 downloads, so it's safe to say that the "craze" over my book has settled a bit.
My ranking on Amazon went from 70,000 to at one point 9,000. Over Christmas I hit #9 in the Free Epic Fantasy list. Now I'm back down to about 13,000 or so.
I have, however, realized one of my disadvantages. This is my first book. I only published it in November, so even though I didn't make the kind of money from it as I would want, I know it still got out to 1000 people. If that turns into reviews, then even better.
So, should I be discouraged by your posts? NAY! I say encouraged! You show me every day that I can do it, and it will be done! I'm pumping out as much writing as I can, and I'm pushing pushing, pushing to get more out! By the end of 2012, I want to have five books out on the market. Thanks Mr. Konrath. Though I am admittedly jealous of your success, I am encouraged by it.

Jussi Keinonen said...

A very interesting test from a marketing point of view, it will be interesting to hear about the short and medium term results. Long term, obviously, should be beneficial but difficult to measure.

I downloaded five items, I've been curious about Jack Daniels. And then I thought: hey, what was the story about the two nutcase serial murderers meeting each other (SERIAL), I like the idea, let's get that too... only to find Amazon telling me that I've already bought it last September. :)

David L. Shutter said...


Why offer so many titles for free (even for a limited time)?


If I've understood correctly from numerous writers (and someone feel free to correct me) going "free" tends to generate more download traffic, moving you up in ranking and increasing visibility.

While most "freebie" buyers tend to be book hoarders and may not necessarily read you right away (or ever) and then shouting to the world how great your book was, you still get the higher ranking.

Switch back to a price point and people keep buying because they see you in the top thousand or hundred vs. position 658k...which takles about half a day to click down into.

Todd Trumpet said...

@David L. Shutter:

Thanks for the reply. I hadn't been aware of this "ranking boost" as you describe it...

...though, especially at this time of year, and coinciding with an enormous spike in sales, I'm apt to believe a good portion of Joe's gesture is an expression of gratitude.

Which unfortunately would destroy his image as a Cyberdyne eBook Sales Machine!

Say it ain't so, Joe!


Bob said...

THANK YOU! This is a great opportunity, not only to enjoy your books, but to learn more about self-publishing.

Milesian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackers said...

Thank you, Joe. I am now a new reader. I started with A Shot of Tequila and now you have me hooked. That and Shaken and Stirred were the only ones I downloaded for free, but now I will have to go and grab the others in between. Good job, you hooked and reeled me in.

Rai Aren said...

Hey Joe,

2012 is off to a great start thanks in part to you!

After reading your posts and the comments on the KDP Select Program, I signed up this past weekend. I used one of my promo days and put Secret of the Sands up for free this past Saturday. It was downloaded over 5600 times & reached #67 in the kindle free store. Now that it's over, the sales ranking went from 8800 to 2900. I'm really jazzed!

I will be sure to share further results as I get them. I see that you're asking for feedback in the comments on your New Year's resolutions post, so I'll share this over there, too.

I really appreciate the sharing of info and experiences that occurs here. It's very helpful, and has made a big, positive difference in my life, so I will continue to share as well. I hope it helps!

Thanks for everything!