Monday, 13 August 2012

The Kindle Freebie Promo -- the aftermath

At the end of May I posted a long analysis of my experience with the free Kindle promotion of "On Angel Mountain" -- the first book of the Angel Mountain Saga.  You can find it

During the five days of the promotion, Amazon recorded more than 3,000 free downloads of the book, mostly in the UK.  Naturally enough, I was somewhat intrigued to see what impact the promotion might have on actual SALES of the book -- and the other books in the series -- in the weeks that followed.  So I kept an eye on the Amazon reports for ten weeks, and what I found is recorded on this table and graphic:

Table and graphical representation of Kindle book sales for the ten weeks after the freebie promotion.  Click to enlarge.

Most authors and publishers are very reticent about sales figures, but I don't mind sharing this!  Bearing in mind that before the free promotion, sales of my titles were bumping along at a rate of two or three a week, there was an immediate and spectacular increase in sales in the days following the promotion.  There were 239 sales of "On Angel Mountain" in that first week, and also a big increase in sales of the other titles as well, with total sales for the five titles reaching 306.  Not exactly stratospheric, but some people out there must have liked the free book enough to buy some of the others, and some readers must have told other readers about the books.  A few hundred quid is not a fortune, but it's not to be sniffed at if you are a "mid-list" author!

Then the slide started, with sales dropping sharply to 81 in week two, and then more gradually to 60 in week three, 57 in week four, and 41 in week five.  Since that time, I imagine that I have reached the "normal" sales level for the Kindle books -- with sales between 20 and 30 copies per week.  That's the way I imagine that it will continue week on week...........

Am I disappointed?  Yes -- I had hoped for an exponential sales increase on the back of the freebie promo.  Occasionally, I suppose these things happen -- but in the great majority of cases they don't.

Am I sorry I put all that effort into the freebie promo?  Not at all -- it was quite exciting at the time, and I learned a lot.  I subsequently sold 500 or so Kindle books which I would not otherwise have sold, and I have seen a ten-fold increase in my "base level" of sales of all of the titles in the series, which I imagine will continue for a long while.

What next?  Now for the freebie promo of "House of Angels" .............

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