Monday, February 6, 2012


Last Monday and Tuesday I put my ebook Dear Coca-Cola on Amazon Kindle for free. It ‘sold’ around 4000. The outcome of this has been somewhat surprising. I expected that sales of my other nine books would rise a little over the next few weeks – people would read Dear Coca-Cola, some of them would like it and buy one or more of the rest of my nine books. What has happened, in the seven days since, is that sales of Dear Coca-Cola have increased by 300% and sales of my other books by an average of 35%. Collectively I sold approx 1000 more books than I did the week before.
However I don’t expect this trait to continue for long as the majority of the extra sales were made during the first four days - in sales are already heading back towards their previous level.
But I will of course gain some future sales to people who have bought Dear Coca-Cola for free and will subsequently by one or more of my other books. Another point to bear in mind is that many people who downloaded Dear Coca-Cola will not have read it yet – there are literally hundreds of books free on Kindle at the moment, people take advantage of this and stockpile. When all is gathered in my guess is that I will have sold about 4000 more books than I would otherwise have done.
This means of course that I have given away 4000 books in order to sell 4000. Does this concern me? Not at all. It wouldn’t bother me if I had to give 10,000 books away in order to sell 4000. There are more than a billion people in the world who speak English so it would be a long time before I ran out of potential customers.
Terry Ravenscroft

1 comment:

  1. I've experimented with free for over six months. While it's nice to see over 40k downloads, it's not great to get one star reviews. I've found that free books and .99 books have become the click happy book. It doesn't mean that it didn't propel me into the bestsellers lists, it did. And I did make it on Amazon's Movers and Shakers five times, but I have to say that I've sold more at the 2.99 price and ZERO one stars. I think that readers have to read my books when they invest 2.99 and when it's free, they click and forget about it. I want readers to read my novels. Not just click and not become invested into my brand. I even wrote a blog on it "Is being a chart topper enough"

    I will say that free is great for promotion and marketing ideas, but not forever.