Today I put Crude Sunlight back on promotion on Amazon. In the past I’ve held back, almost coy, and made my novels free for perhaps 3 of the 5 days given to me, thinking: I’ve got to make these 5 free days last. No sense in splurging. But no longer. It’s on promotion all week, and then it’s a dry run for Crude Sunlight till my three months run out and I get another 5. I feel like a desperate gambler at a roulette wheel, going all in as he watches that wheel spin and with it his fortune and fate.

Four months ago I put Throne on promotion. It was December 22nd, and I had no idea that during those next five days my book would be downloaded some 20,000 times, nor that thousands of copies would be purchased over the following days. That I’d have a mild panic attack at work, and go home to walk around the block over and over again, trying to calm down, to not expect more, to not hope that this was it. My big break, the moment it all changed.

It wasn’t.

Last week I made One by One available for free (only for a parsimonious 3 days, it’s true), and watched glumly as it was downloaded a mere 1,000 times. Times have changed for the Kindle Select Program. It’s been flooded–glutted–by hopeful authors, and perhaps the readers have in turn had their Kindles flooded with free books. The gold rush has come and gone and I’m left standing knee deep in this worn out river, pan in hand and the silence beating down from the barren peaks around me.

A day or two ago an online friend had the phenomenal experience of having an agent call her for representation a mere 10 hours after she submitted her query. Folks, that’s the stuff dreams are made of. During those ten hours he asked for her partial, then her full, and finally called her while she was at the movies. She ran out to the parking lot and sat, stunned, as he offered her his services and explained his vision for the future of her novel. He’s put books on the NYT bestseller list. I’m not surprised that this happened to her–she’s really that wonderful and talented–but how can I not sit back and reconsider my approach?

Crude Sunlight was downloaded 500 times today. Almost exactly. It’s ranking in the top 500 free downloaded books, and is the fifth most downloaded novel in the free Occult category. There are four more days to go. Will this translate into sales? Here’s hoping. But what if it doesn’t? What if the heyday of the KDP program has come and gone? What’s my next move?