Inducement to Read Free. Did the Experiment Work?



In my last post ten days ago I explained the reasons behind my decision to put out a FREE ebook on Amazon and Smashwords. The theory behind the decision is nothing new, so after careful consideration, I changed the price of  Secrets and Lies, (the first book in the Detective Jill Brennan series), from US$0.99 to FREE. I did this in the hope I would see a boost in sales of the other books in the series.

THE GOOD NEWS: In the last 10 days I’ve seen a spike in the number of FREE downloads of  Secrets and Lies  on Smashwords. As a spin off, there’s been an increase in PAID sales of Killing Sunday and Asylum.

Here are the stats: In the last ten days FREE downloads of Secrets and Lies increased by 366% while PAID downloads of Killing Sunday and Asylum increased by 167%!!

THE BAD NEWS: I enrolled Secrets and Lies in Kindle Matchbook with disappointing results. There were no FREE downloads or significant increases in PAID sales of Killing Sunday or Asylum.

Secrets & Lies 2014 Cover-Full9940c0cc8330ff8f8b9685c5c009a8c0Asylum Cover



As my commitment to marketing continues, I have to ask myself did this marketing strategy work? Despite Amazon’s disappointing result, I believe it did. The timing and the sales jump in Smashwords downloads was significant enough for it not to have been a fluke. The next question I believe I have to ask myself is, as a writer, what is important to me? To have dollar sales or have readers read my books? Crime is a a popular genre and with so much competition, the biggest threat I face is obscurity. The more readers I reach the better.

What are your thoughts:)

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4 Responses to Inducement to Read Free. Did the Experiment Work?

  1. Pingback: Inducement to Read Free. Did the Experiment Work? | little box of books

  2. Robyn Haynes says:

    Its a huge learning curve Gina, isn’t it? I watch your progress with interest. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Gail Rehbein says:

    Marketing is largely about action and response. No action from the author, no response from readers and literary obscurity looms. So I think your experiment is effective just by its very being. Has it worked? Your Smashword results would say yes!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. gina amos says:

    Thanks, Gail for your comment. I’m considering offering Killing Sunday as a Freebie as well. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain! (I think)


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