Is Free the new .99? .99 ebooks don't get the attention they did a year ago since so many are listed at that price. With zillions of ebooks flooding the internet, how does one little book get noticed?
Recently WiDo Publishing did free promotions on their titles that are in the KDP Select program, which allows a book to be offered free for five days during its 90-day cycle on the program. In WiDo's experimentation with price adjustments and free promotions, it's the Free that makes the most money, while .99 is the throw-away.
How can "free" make money? Free for five days in a row, which is how WiDo did it, can be quite profitable. Once the free promo ends, the exposure brings downloads well beyond the book's previous sales levels.
For instance, my book Farm Girl, which wasn't selling well on Kindle, had 18,588 downloads during its five free days. It got ten new reader reviews, all positive (yay!) and then continued on to 500 sales in the two weeks following the promotion.
It may continue selling well, it may not; but at least the little farm girl got some exposure and sales that she wouldn't have gotten otherwise. Since she was lucky to get five downloads a week before, we're talking 100 times the traffic. For an e- book that's not doing much, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by doing a give-away. Print sales of Farm Girl also increased, as did ebook sales of Uncut Diamonds.
WiDo found similar numbers with its other free promotions, although not as extreme. Sales and rankings increased with the end of every free cycle. While some continued to climb, others returned to their pre-promotional ranking numbers. Price didn't seem to matter. Two books that were given the .99 price tag didn't sell any more after the promotion than those priced at $3.99.
Should you or shouldn't you take advantage of KDP Select's five day free option? I would say "Most definitely." Because Free can make money for a book that isn't making any, and it can make even more money for one that is.
Has anyone else taken advantage of Free on Kindle? I'd love to hear your experiences.