Monday, 17 December 2012

To Charge Or Not To Charge

I've undertaken a little experiment. On November, I wrote a festive novella in the Afterlife series - My So-Called Christmas Carol - thinking it might lead new readers to the other Afterlife books. It's available as an ebook exclusively on Kindle, for 77p and the rest of the Afterlife ebooks are reduced to £2.56. The gamble is whether giving my work away for free will mean increased sales in the others.

Scott Pack, of The Friday Project, thinks it will. He's undertaken a similar experiment with the ebook of his 21st Century Dodos and you can read his conclusions here. Scott gave his book away free for an entire month, whereas I enrolled in Kindle Select with mine, which ties you in exclusively to Kindle for three months and allows you five free promotional days. With the benefit of hindsight, this was a mistake for me as I would have preferred to make my novella free for more than just five days. The first of my promotional days was at the start of December, when I made the ebook free and tweeted about it. Between the US and the UK, it was downloaded roughly 350 times and led to a small spike in sales of its three sister books. I've since learned that I didn't really do enough; apparently, there are whole websites dedicated to matching the e-reading public to free ebooks and I should register with some of those.

My next free days are over Christmas and New Year, when I plan to be better armed for the experiment. Although I wouldn't make a habit of giving my work away for free, I do think it's interesting to see whether it's a worthwhile way of finding new readers. Watch this space...


Lucy Coats said...

Fascinating, Tamsyn. I'll be very interested to hear what happens with the Christmas/New Year promotion and related sales on your other Afterlifes. It's a whole new world out there for authors - a brave one - and I think 'added content' (which is what this really is) is going to be a big part of enhancing sales for those who have e-readers. Certainly, from my own experience, I've downloaded free books and , if I like them, looked for more by that author.

Tam said...

Thanks, Lucy. I agree that enhanced content is the way forward - will keep you posted about how it goes over the rest of the month!