Sunday, September 30, 2012

Do Free Books Net Sales? Update

Well, it's been close to five days after the free trial period so I thought I'd splash some ink about it. The rank for The War Gate was sitting right at 550,000 before the trial. Right now it's at 103,000. It's dipped up and down about seven or eight times. I've recorded six sales for TWG and one other sale for a trade title, which has an unrelated genre. I'm guessing that someone might have made a quick read of the free book then went hunting for something else of mine. So I can definitively say that a giveaway works. No question. I'm claiming seven sales as a result. The first sale came in about 10 hours after it went live. It doesn't look like it's slowing down so I'll keep an eye on it and see if there is any type of momentum. I did notice two new library borrows, and since we get paid for that, I'll bring the total up to nine.

Nine copies in about five days. Roughly two a day. Now that wouldn't be anything to sniff at if it stayed that way.  I'm told by others that this is how it begins to climb each and every month. If you sell 40 copies in your first month out of the gate, then the next month climbs to 75, then the third month might hit 220 copies, and then it begins climbing higher and faster after the third, fourth and fifth month and so on. I've never heard a book go in reverse. It's supposed to take even up to six months to show a steady chart climb.

The total downloads were 580 from the US, 80 from the UK and 10 from Germany, for a total of 670. Now that's only a little more than the last two-day free trial two months. So that squares up as being consistent. Here's the kicker; 85% of the downloads were on the FIRST day! What does that tell you? It's very obvious that I wasted a free trial day. Not entirely, but damn near. I would say single trial days might be enough.

 What really boggles me is, that when I researched other authors on the Kindle boards, I found all of their numbers much higher than mine. I wrote down some of the totals, taking samples from single books, novellas, series and shorts. I found 15,500, 11,000, 9,000, 5,700, 4,550, and the lowest one was 3,200 downloads. I couldn't find any authors that would list anything lower, certainly not in the hundreds. These were all two-day or single day free trial events. Some of the authors ran for five days straight, taking up their maximum allotment. Those five-day trials pulled some very high download numbers. I think I saw a 24,000 and a 33,000 claim. 

No reviews. Yet. Some people might review when they get around to reading it. That's another thing I'll watch for. 

There it is--reality from a single title in a very popular genre, and with what I would consider an average cover, title and blurb. I'll do a followup in another five or so days and see where we stand. I'm really interested in this momentum thing, aren't you. We'll see it for real, won't we? Hah! If it happens.