Last month I announced that I'd put one of my best selling titles up for free and reported that the rest of the series had pretty much immediately started selling better, particularly the title that came afterward in the series. This month I'm going to report further on how this experiment is going.
Smashwords, Apple, and Amazon for a month. In that time well over 13 thousand copies have downloaded. Copies of Beloved Traveler have doubled, and the entire series saw an increase in sales from about ten to fifty percent per book. Also traffic on my website has increased, which certainly helps my visibility. I've doubled the number of reviews on Beloved Enemy and fortunately they've all been pretty good reviews. Sales in Germany and Canada for the rest of the series have picked up to the point I now have separate pages in my spreadsheet for their weekly sales at Amazon.
Overall this experiment has been a quantifiable success.
The question at this point is whether to continue to let this book stay free or put it back to full price. Eventually I'd like to start earning money on the book again, the question is when? One thought would be to continue running the book as free until I have a new title out to catch people's attention. That might be a good idea. Another would be to take if off free when interest in downloading it ends. At this point the downloads have fallen to about 150-200 per day, but I still see a lot of traffic per day on my website, much of it from direct links inside my book. So it seems reasonable at this point to continue as things are.
I'm now working on setting up my first Cricket Starr novel, Violet Among The Roses, as a free read under its new series name Mythical Seductions. That is the series name I picked to replace Divine Interventions since without the Ellora's Cave banner to indicate the book was erotic romance, it was likely people thought the books were Inspirational.
The series was intended to be inspirational in many ways (particularly the bedroom) but not Inspirational in the religious sense. I felt my target audience wasn't being drawn by the title.
So now Violet Among The Roses is already available as a free download at Smashwords and I expect it to be set to free at Apple within the next week. Once that is done we'll see how long Amazon takes to price match. I'll post in October how that works out. I hope to get enough downloads to at least make the Cricket Starr name viable again.
Has anyone else played with going free on a title, and did it have good results? I'm curious to find out what other people are experiencing.