When I started Wed night, I was listed as 215, 245 in the paid kindle store.
The first day (a Thursday) was amazing. I watched my book climb the free chart at a very rapid rate. (Amazon does not allow you to share sales numbers, but let's just say I was shocked by the rate of downloads.) I was climbing so quickly, I thought I might actually see the elusive "TOP 100 FREE IN KINDLE STORE" listing. By 11:00 pm that night, I was #303 in the free kindle store.
I woke on Friday morning to #208 and seeing my book at #15 on the Literary Fiction list. (Right across from THE HELP...yes, I thought that was pretty cool.)
That was the best ranking I would see. While you drop quickly towards the top of the list, once around it...it moves in smaller increments. I had learned that those top books on the list really hold tightly to their spots and its difficult to budge them. Friday, the downloads slowed and the climb on the ladder begin going the opposite direction.
By morning of day three, I was back up at 451. I was still in the top 20 of Literary Fiction (along side classics like Oliver Twist, Anna Karenina, Great Expectations), but downloads had slowed...I wasn't on any more free kindle lists and the process had come to an end.
By Saturday night - I ended at 696 and the next day, back on the pay list at 309,800 like the entire thing was a blur. I know some have said their 'free listing' did something to their paid numbers, but I didn't notice that. I will say that all my other titles did have sales during the promotion. I'm not certain if that is due to the free book listing and people reading about me or if they would have sold than anyways.
I'm glad I did it, but I probably should have just done two days and not three. I would like to say to my fellow authors that you can read many blogs online about people who give away huge numbers during these promos. (Just as you read about people SELLING huge numbers of books.)
Don't think your promo a failure if you do not match those numbers.
All books are different. I'm not a genre writer. It is not in the Thriller category that seems to yank up readers (much faster than Literary Fiction ever will). So set your goals smaller and be pleased when you meet that goal. I passed mine, so that's all I have to 'compete' with in my own head.
Now the true test will be to see if the book gained any traction after the promo ended. If people went to it and decided to buy it once they saw it was no longer free. Only time will tell.