Why Free Pays
Connotea Imports 2012-08-01
"As you probably know, last week was “Read an E-book Week.” Writers were encouraged to offer all, or part, of their books for free or at a reduced price. My novel, Waiting For Spring, was already available for free in various formats through my website, as well as for $3.99 through the Amazon Kindle website, so I was particularly interested to see how the week would go. Here’s a rundown:
- It has been available at Smashwords, sponsor of “Read an E-book Week”, for several months at “set your own price,” so it was automatically placed on their special week-long promotion page. During the week, 58 copies of WFS were downloaded or purchased there. Some paid for the privelege, but most didn’t.
- WFS is also featured on several free e-book websites (see this post to get a list of links). Through my sitemeter, I can directly link 319 downloads last week alone to those sites.
- Back in February, a woman from Massachussetts downloaded WFS for free. She liked it enough to post a link to it on a thread at the Kindle message board the evening before “Read an E-book Week” kicked off. This resulted in 47 free downloads in the next three hours. The next day, a different Kindle board member posted a link to the Kindle version. By the end of the day I’d sold 27 copies. By then I had tracked down the original post (again, through my trusty sitemeter) and posted a “thanks for the shout out!”-esque message of my own. Result: another 15 copies sold in less than half an hour. My total Kindle sales for the week: 93. I have no doubt that most, if not all, of those were a direct result of that one original free reader’s post. Even better, many of those new (paying) readers posted their own positive reviews on the board. Two of them posted reviews at Goodreads.
- Twenty-three new readers emailed me directly, asking when my next book is coming out. I’m going to say that again. Twenty-three new readers emailed me directly, asking when my next book is coming out.
All of that happened in one week. Since last summer, I’ve actually had over 2000 e-book downloads (some paid, but most of them free). I’ve had well over 200 individuals contact me directly, and all of them have asked me when I’ll have something new available...."