Yep, having a perma-free book will do that, but is that all it will do?
Let’s take a look at Amazon perma-free books today, how mine has fared over these eight months, and how you can benefit from perma-free
What Is Perma-Free?
Sometimes this can happen quickly, sometimes it can take a lot longer. For instance, I had my fantasy perma-free book listed as free for probably 3 to 4 months before Amazon picked it up.
My ESL book, on the other hand, was price-matched to zero after about a month, although only in the US. Strangely, I’ve noticed this past week that it’s now being offered for free in Italy, but nowhere else. (Thank you 6 people in Italy).
Yeah, I think these are important, especially the more titles you put out. For instance, I’ve already got my fantasy and ESL bases covered (for now), so I might do something with historical fiction (my China series) or even a short story collection of some sort.
Really, if you’ve got a series of books that’s 3 or more titles, think about getting the first book or a prequel book as a perma-free.
My Amazon Perma-Free Fantasy Book
Before going perma-free this book did not perform too well. It got a few sales here and there, and Books 2 and 3 never got any sales.
This is what’s happened since:
As you can see, things haven’t been going that well lately. In fact, beginning in December my sales began falling each month and they haven’t picked up any steam since.
It’s not that I’m just sitting here doing nothing. I just did some promotion this month, had a Bargainbooksy ad a couple months ago, and continually enter this book into the freebie promotion sites at least every 90 days (that’s usually the cutoff for readmissions).
But no matter what I do, sales continue to fall.
Perhaps that’s because the book is so poorly written. Well, at least that’s the impression you’ll get if you read the reviews.
Perma-Free Books and Poor Reviews
Now, every single one of these reviews is correct – the book is boring, or at least the first half.
It was the first book I wrote back in 2010 and I made myself write 2,000 words each day. When you force yourself like that you’ll often pad your chapters just so you can meet your daily goal and be done with it.
That’s what I did, and often that meant thousands of words, whole chapters, where people were just talking and there’s no action. Worse, they’re talking about politics, and not the politics we know, but politics in some made-up world.
Shit, I’m lucky I don’t have 20 1-stars!
Reacting to Your Perma-Free Reviews
Nope, I just let the book sit there, and more bad reviews came. So a few weeks ago I decided to do something.
At that point I got the 14th review for the book and it was another bad one. I went back to the book and cut out about 10,000 words.
Now, I’d done the same late last year, cutting about 3,000 words out of the beginning. I did this because a lot of people were complaining that the characters were just riding horses and talking. Well, suddenly the characters are at their destination! And that boring political talk? Bye-bye!
Perma-Free Books Move Books
Also, I’m still down about 20 ‘sales’ from this time last month. It would seem the downward spiral will continue.
But does it matter? Well, yeah, I guess it does. For awhile there was selling 30 copies of Trouble and Resolution a month. Now I’m at about 10 copies a month, maybe 15 with the overseas sales.
So my perma-free isn’t even doing what it’s supposed to be doing anymore – and that’s selling my series.
Does that mean the time has come to take my book off perma-free? Fuck, I’m not Russell Blake, so I just don’t think that’s an option.
What I will do is continue to plod along on what I’m working on now while not worrying about a book published 34 books ago.
After all, it’s up to 179 ‘sales’ this month, and another 34 in the UK. Books 2 and 3 have also sold 16 copies together, and I don’t think that would be the case without the book being free.
Think about it.
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