05 August 2013

Do Free Giveaways Impact Sales?

As many of you (hopefully) know, my e-book Seeker has been available for free since the last part of May on most sites. One of the benefits I've hoped for out of this experiment is to see a jump in sales of my for-pay titles. I will mention that as of the end of July, 591 copies had been given away on Amazon.

So, I'll take a look at some of the titles for which I receive instantaneous sales data (i.e., my self-published titles)...starting with my Triple-Shots, which are available for 99 cents each.

So, before Seeker was free, for the first 5 months of the year, these titles sold a combined 2 copies at Amazon. Fairly dismal, especially since they're relatively cheap to pick up. Perhaps people see the low price and assume that they're poor quality...that's another post for another time. But after Seeker was set to free, for the last two months or so, they've combined for a total of 17 sales at Amazon, a major jump in sales over a much shorter period of time. My impression is that folks read the free title, realize that I actually have the ability to spin a fine story, and then pick up the 99-cent titles.

The Cure, on the other hand, didn't seem to enjoy the same benefit. No copies sold the first five months of this year, and only 1 copy sold since. That's understandable, since Seeker is an Aston West novel, and The Cure isn't (even though it does come into play in my next planned Aston novel.

Death Brings Victory, another Aston-based novel, hadn't sold a copy in the first five months at Amazon, but has sold 6 copies since then. A huge jump, to be sure, but not as significant as the Triple-Shots mentioned earlier. Part of this is likely due to the larger price ($2.99 vs. $0.99), but another aspect is likely the fact that this is the third in the series, and readers likely want to try out the first two novels before this one.

Just off Author Central data, I did see an uptick in sales on those first two novels, but quantities won't be known for some time (waiting on royalty statements).

So, do free giveaways impact sales? Just from this data, I'd give a resounding yes...and if you're looking to help out your own sales, give it a try. One thing I will note is that the last two months have been a continuous streak of free giveaway days. I had a book enrolled in the KDP Select program previously, and the 5 days every 90 did not seem to have the same effect. Keep that in mind...

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