Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Free Can Do

The Kindle Board members are reporting in on October sales. I'll do a sales roundup of their data on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Spoil of War is free for a very short time at Amazon and Apple iTunes. As I write this, it's been free for about 21 hours at Amazon. 3213 readers have downloaded it there, and its rankings on the Free bestseller list are:

  #1 Historical Fantasy
  #1 All Fantasy
  #7 Historical Romance
#17 All Romance
#37 Overall in the Amazon Free Store
Wow.  

I mean - wow. I had no idea. I keep having to take new screen captures as the rankings change. I don't expect this surge to continue, but I must admit it's pretty powerful while it lasts and the visibility it offers is amazing.

There's no money changing hands, but there is marketing method to the free strategy, which I'll of course share more of as we move through the cycle.

As mentioned in the case study post where I talk about "Connect," Ken Burstall's short story from the Extinct anthology, going free, Amazon price matches the free price at its discretion. Some books it never makes free. I'm fortunate. I started the process last Wednesday, setting the price to free at Smashwords. I opted for Smashwords to distribute the free price into the Apple iTunes store, which happened on Thursday. The price change was made at Apple on Friday and I notified Amazon of the new free price on Saturday.

I know a number of authors have been waiting months for Amazon to price match their books to free, so was quite happy it took only a few days to happen for Spoil.

Smashwords should be sending the new price update to Apple either today or tomorrow. I have no idea how long it will be before Amazon realizes it's no longer free on Apple and updates the price, so go grab it while you can. 

See you Saturday for updates and a complete Sales Voyeur analysis...

8 comments:

Kay said...

YEAH! Way to go. You're my hero.

Landra said...

Woo hoo! That's awesome news. It feels good when you hit the top sections of lists.

Can't wait for Saturday's post.

vkw said...

This is interesting. I'm not sure I am understanding the Amazon Free price match.

From what I gather -

Amazon can decide whether or not to make the novel free or not? The author can't. They can do it randomly without notifying the author as well.

But, by emailing Amazon and informing those in charge that the novel is free at other sites, they were prodded a bit into doing it for Spoil?

There is nothing like free. I have never met a deal or a sale that I didn't like. I go to thrift stores, too. I once bought all my family's gifts at thrift stores. I don't think they liked it, so I never did it again.

You know what is better than free? Buy one and get one free.

I love that. I love short-term discounts too. Remember the blue-light specials at KMART? It was a long time ago, I remember being really excited during bluelight specials. A shopper had exactly 45 minutes to rush to the end of the store to get the shoes at 60% off. I think that is how it worked or works. I was a child.

Buy one, get one free. That's an awesome deal, I would never blow pass that. That and free shipping . . .

vkw

vkw said...

This is interesting. I'm not sure I am understanding the Amazon Free price match.

From what I gather -

Amazon can decide whether or not to make the novel free or not? The author can't. They can do it randomly without notifying the author as well.

But, by emailing Amazon and informing those in charge that the novel is free at other sites, they were prodded a bit into doing it for Spoil?

There is nothing like free. I have never met a deal or a sale that I didn't like. I go to thrift stores, too. I once bought all my family's gifts at thrift stores. I don't think they liked it, so I never did it again.

You know what is better than free? Buy one and get one free.

I love that. I love short-term discounts too. Remember the blue-light specials at KMART? It was a long time ago, I remember being really excited during bluelight specials. A shopper had exactly 45 minutes to rush to the end of the store to get the shoes at 60% off. I think that is how it worked or works. I was a child.

Buy one, get one free. That's an awesome deal, I would never blow pass that. That and free shipping . . .

vkw

Ken Burstall said...

Congratulations!

Jo-Ann said...

Great news, Phoenix.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

YAYYYY!! This is so cool!!!!! :) Here's hoping the success continues indefinitely!

Phoenix Sullivan said...

Thanks, all. The book has over 10,500 downloads now. I was hoping for 5000 total. And that's just on Amazon.

Yes, vkw, everyone seems to love free :o) -- me too!

For those of you who left lovely, lovely reviews on Amazon, may I just validate your work by saying Spoil has received 25 ratings on the iTunes site since going free; and, since the Apple folk aren't being influenced by the low Amazon ratings, the average rating there is 4.5 stars. There's just one text review so far, and it's 5 stars.

These are honest, non-agenda, gut-reaction ratings since Apple, as I understand it, appends a ratings page to the end of every book and solicits immediate feedback once a person finishes a book.

I feel a post coming on about the marketing principles of people wanting to be part of the in-crowd and a member of the majority... :o)

Sorry I've been scarce. New, big project news to report in the next day or two!