1) Mundie Moms Pinterest contest for Untraceable/Uncontrollable is still going on until 10/16. Huge Nature of Grace package is at stack.
2) The winner of my Nature of Grace contest for helping spread the word is Daisy at email@example.com . I will email you!
3) The winner of the 20 ebook giveaway last month - is Susan Sowers Light at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will email you!
Free ebook experiment
So 2 weeks before I put Uncontrollable out, I decided to put Untraceable free for 2 weeks. This takes some effort and adjusting since Amazon doesn't allow free pricing. My thinking? Maybe if I open up the readership more, it will drive up interest for Uncontrollable.
Many thought I was crazy for giving Untraceable away for free. Some thought it was a mistake, afraid it would cheapen my book. And I must admit, the thought of my book being free was horrible. My book is worth more than free. I've seen some of the books on free and I felt my value justified a higher price. But I kept telling myself it was an experiment. It was only 2 weeks. (a long 2 weeks).
This is what I tell people about marketing - sometimes you have to experiment and see what works for you. I have a couple other experiments going on so I'll update on those when I can.
So here is how it went:
- Over 65,000 downloads on Amazon! (my goal was 25,000 so you can imagine my surprise) I was #2 in all Amazon ebooks on the free list
- Over 40,000 downloads on Apple. I was #2 in all ibooks on free list just under the Ipad user guide
- Under 1,000 on Kobo/Smashwords/Other combined
That's over 100,000 people that have my book in a queue. If I get a 10% conversion rate (which is high) that could be 10,000 in potential sales for Uncontrollable.
Aftermath (week after untraceable went free and uncontrollable was launched)
- Over 500 reviews on Apple (I had about 20 to begin with)
- about 100 emails in last week asking about the series
- 400 downloads for Unspeakable (free short story in the series)
- increase in sales of my other books
- 1600 sales for Uncontrollable (actual monetary sales in a week)
- 1200 for Untraceable (actual monetary sales in a week) - securing my 10,000 in sales in one year goal.
- This was my biggest week in sales and money yet since I published 9 months ago.
- 100,000 downloads I didn't make money on :( I wish!
- My first 1 star review on Amazon (and it is a doosey ;) - I consider this a battle scar to be proud of.
- Question of "does going free diminish the value of my book?"
- Pissing off people who paid.
- It doesn't work for everyone or every book. Some of it is pure luck of the draw.
- It takes time to contact all the sites and they don't always pick it up.
- There are thousands of books that are free so it's hard to stand out.
Now, tons of people put their books for free and don't get this many downloads. Here are some tips.
- Have a good cover!! Get people who don't know you to look at it. It's amazing how many self pubbed authors really think their covers are good but they are not. If your book is not selling, chances are it's your cover.
- Let ebook sites know. There are many sites that post about free ebooks to their readers. I had 20,000 downloads just in the first day I submitted/contracted to about 30 ebook sites sales.
- Keep it short term. Going free is a good SHORT term marketing technique where you set an end in mind. Unless you have a longer series out (over 3 books) and then maybe the first book for free would bleed into your others.
- Upload directly. Make sure you upload to Apple and Kobo yourself. This gives you the freedom to control your pricing. Amazon price matches so if anyone has it free. If you are only on Smashwords, you cannot control when the price gets distributed to the sites.
Here are some other articles that discuss advantages and disadvantages of going free.