Tuesday, June 5, 2012
The Way I See It: Put Up or Shut Up!
Today I plan to put my money where my mouth is--literally.
In my March 14th The Way I See It post I explained to readers how giving your books away for free could be your ticket to big sales. Free has worked for me. I give away several paper books and ebook downloads just about every week. I participate in contests and freely (pun intended) give books to bloggers who request them. Free is part of my marketing strategy. This strategy seems to be paying off as Boyfriend From Hell reached as high as #168 overall in the paid Kindle store, #1 in the category Children's Spine-Chilling Horror and #8 in Children's and YA sales on Amazon. Earth Angel logged one notch behind it in all three categories.
Today I'm going push free to new limits for myself, and I'm going to invite you along with me on my grand experiment to not only prove that free books help propel your book sales, but to prove something I said in the earlier post--the more books you give away, the more you will sell.
To prove this, I have asked my publisher to enter my Best Selling novel, Boyfriend From Hell into the KDP Select program. If you don't know about the program please read my post FREE: Your Ticket To Big Sales. In a nutshell, the program does two things: it allows you to participate in the Kindle Lending Library, and it allows 5 days in a 90 day period that you can give your enrolled book away for free. The lowest you can sell a book for on Kindle is 99c unless you are enrolled in the program. The program, however, has one negative caveat--while your book is enrolled, you can ONLY sell it on Amazon.
This caveat has kept me from pursuing the KDP program. And in fact, when I requested that my book be enrolled, my publisher was reluctant. Why? I am among the few authors who sells a lot of books for the Nook. Promotions aside (like a Kindle Nation Daily feature) I sell more books on the Nook than on the Kindle. We don't know why. I attribute it to my activity on Goodreads, but that's just a guess.
This past month while on vacation, and with no promotion, my Nook sales beat Kindle sales 3 to 1. For a struggling author this could represent nearly $1000 in revenue during a down month, and even more during a good month. However, I believe after I've given away thousands of books during the experiment, I will sell many thousands more, and hopefully even enter the vaunted Kindle 100--the top 100 ebook sellers on Amazon. So, hasta la vista Nook owners. For the next 90 days Boyfriend From Hell ebook will be available on Amazon alone.
Starting on Thursday I will put my money where my mouth is and begin giving Boyfriend From Hell away for FREE for three days (June 7,8,9). If you are a blogger friend or a Twitter friend I would appreciate it if you blogged or tweeted that Boyfriend From Hell will be free. I will give daily updates as to how I am doing in this experiment, and update you again after the book has gone back on sale. After all, sales is what we're after.
I have convinced my publisher to be excited about this experiment. This is an exciting time to be an author. Oh, one more thing. If you are into borrowing books, Boyfriend From Hell is now part of the Kindle Lending Library. Starting today you can borrow it for free, and I will get paid by Amazon for the loan. This is a win-win for both authors and readers. So please check back on Thursday when my FREE experiment begins. And wish me luck.