Free Aint What it Used to Be

Fellow authors, FYI…

I just did a Amazon/KDP free giveaway for THE GENERAL STORE, my latest novel, another undiscovered comic fiction masterpiece. Over a three day period with one day of intense Twitter spam, 130 free downloads happened. Earlier in the month I gave away EVEN STEVEN for 2 days. It realized 78 downloads. I also did a 2-day freebie for THE WALKING MAN. 398 downloads happened. For both EVEN STEVEN and THE WALKING MAN I did zero pre-promotion, and maybe 1 tweet each during the free period.

Six months ago when I did a KDP giveaway, several thousand downloads would happen.

Follow-on sales for THE WALKING MAN were zippo. EVEN STEVEN sold 8 copies. The returns for THE GENERAL STORE are pending.

I think this data suggests readers are waiting for free. To me, it also suggests once a book has launched and received decent critical acclaim, like THE WALKING MAN, a free offer is not a good thing. It de-values the work.

I’m doing a combo of blogging and advertising moving forward. I’ll let you know how it goes…I’m not doing Twitter spam again. All my tests show it is super annoying and produces near zero return.

Sales were way down this month. Just enough to buy 2 tacos. Not enough to buy a super-sized Mountain Dew. Damn. Still have lots of fun being indie. It was a great first year. I released three novels and made lots of new friends. It has been a tremendously fun and positive experience.

I’m going to release a Christmas compendium along with some e-publishing advice next month. Look for WRIGHT FORBUCKS, THE EARLY YEAR.

And put 3 dollars in your 2013 budget for BILLY GRIST, my comic fiction masterpiece…