So here we are 1 week after our 10 Steel Magnolia Press titles ended their free runs. Yesterday's chart comparisons around free run results since January validated that, for our titles, the apparent A/B testing in March meant depressed post-free sales numbers in April, and the change in algorithms at the beginning of May meant further depression in general. In fact, the conversion rate of number given away to number sold steepened sharply for every title, with only a rare valley or two between January and May.
(Click to open chart larger in a new window.)
Of interest is that, despite titles holding within a few rankings on the popularity lists, sales velocity over the last three days has either held steady or slipped, with Vet Tech Tales still being the exception. It appears to be climbing back to its typical per-day sales rate while the others are dropping back to theirs.
Another interesting bit that helps us better guess at the new algorithms can be found looking at the 2 titles for which we can compare bestselling and popularity rankings.
SECTOR C had a short run into the Top 100 last month, and 1240 sales are being carried over from that into its current 30-day history for a total of 1425 sales. Add to that some percentage of its 11,000 US freeloads from last week -- say 10% (our best guess right now) -- and it's competing with other titles in its categories on the popularity side at a sales-equivalent of 2525 sales over the past 30 days. Coupled with a $4.29 price, that's a serious enough lift to boost it above its bestseller (BS) counterpart ranks.
- 4 Pop vs 29 BS - Technothriller
- 72 vs >100 - Thriller
- 7 vs 45 - High Tech SF
- 29 vs >100 Science Fiction
Vet Tech Tales, on the other hand, has a 30-day history of 226 sales plus a modest 1500 freeloads. Adding 10% of 1500 to 226 equals 376 sales equivalents. Overall, its popularity rank is tracking very closely to its bestselling rank in every one of its categories, even ranking a rank or two lower on a couple of pop lists than it is on the bestseller side.
- 2 Pop vs 1 BS - Veterinary Medicine
- 57 vs 60 - Medicine
- 162 vs >100 - Science
- 43 vs 39 - Professional & Tech - Medical
- 149 vs >100 - Professional & Technical
- 10 vs 10 - Animal Care - Essays
- 39 vs 39 - Animal Care & Pets
- 95 vs 97 - Home & Garden
On the money front, SMP titles made about $1860 in the week since being free, or $265 per day. In the week before going free, the books were making about $50 per day. Don't forget we still need to account for the 1.5 - 2 days the titles were on their free run. If we subtract $100 (2 days x $50) from $1840 and divide by 7 days, we get just a bit over $250 per day. So by going free, we increased our weekly sales total 500%.
The good news is that when we compare the pre-free week to the post-free week, each of our books improved in both number of sales made and money earned.
It isn't as many sales or as much money as we were making in the Gold or Silver Age of Select, but for us going free through Select at this time still carried an advantage. Of course, luck and the good folk at the major freebooking sites were also with us.
As always, your results may vary.