No, today I’m just going to lay it out straight – perma-free on Amazon is a good thing for me.
Also, my perma-free book on Amazon has taken a serious nosedive, as seen in this chart here:
Now, to many that’s chump change, but to some of you that’s what you’re drooling over in your sleep.
Anyways, something happened in November that really caused the book to take off. It’s clear the book took off, getting more than 1,100 downloads from pretty-good October, but the chart doesn’t tell us why.
I’m pretty sure it happened because I did some advertising on various sites. That helped me, and then in December you see the lack of that advertising with the return to ‘normalcy,’ if just a few months of perma-free status can be called that.
Then January comes along and the book takes a big hit, losing half it’s ‘sales.’ What the hell happened?
I think two things happened:
- First, many readers found out the book was boring as hell, as has been said numerous times in the reviews;
- Second, I pissed off a shit-ton of big-name authors on Kboards, many with eager followings that were ready to jump on any perceived threat to their idols, whether real or imagined.
Yep, I’m taking about bad reviews, and if you look at the book…January brought in quite a few.
By March the book had taken another 50% hit in ‘sales’ and then fell into a regular pattern of getting 250 or so ‘sales’ a month.
- First, I think many in my target audience have seen the book and either downloaded it or passed on it. Remember, few perma-free books are ever read.
- Then, I don’t market it. I’ve done a few promos on it since November but none have had much of an impact, perhaps because they’ve been the same advertising venues.
- Finally, I don’t continue in the genre. While it’s true I’ve written one other fantasy book – The Hirelings – it never got much attention and I’ve focused my efforts elsewhere.
Perma-Free and a Series
The only reason to do perma-free is if you have more books, and hopefully in a series. I don’t think either of the two books in this fantasy trilogy would have the good reviews they currently have if the first book hadn’t been perma-free.
See, the perma-free book has gotten 10,446 ‘sales’…with just 74 of them happening when the book was paid.
What I do know is that just 2.5% of those downloading it go on to buy Book 2. But what’s great is that 71.6% of those who buy Book 2 go on to buy Book 3.
That might have something to do with the numerous edits I’ve gone back and done on those books, such as complete line-edits twice and a content-edit that cut 15,000 words from Book 1 this past spring when I decided something had to be done to address the ‘boring’ reviews.
It’s paid off, and the only reviews that have come since then have been good. It’s got 18 reviews on Amazon, which isn’t enough to advertise with The Fussy Librarian, as I tried to submit it by they sent my money back.
I don’t want to advertise it with the older guys again, at least not until November. But it is doing it’s job – the perma-free book is selling Books 2 and 3…which have a combined sales total of 448, and neither have ever been free. I don’t think I’ve even discounted them before, and have actually raised the price over time.
I’m confident those two books would not have even close to 400 sales, mainly because they had 29 sales before perma-free started for Book 1.
Hey, you can try to argue with me that perma-free is no good, but I’ve got an ESL book now that’s perma-free as well and it’s gotten more than 1,000 downloads since April. And I’ll be making Lightning perma-free when I get the third book and box-set out later this month.
Yes, perma-free might not work as well for me as it does for other authors, but it does generate sales for me nonetheless. I’m sticking to it…for now.