Monday, February 24, 2014

Oops, my book is free, or involuntary free promotion

I recently wrote a post about making my book free on Smashwords for a few days. I knew that Amazon matches the prices, but I also knew that significant amount of reporting is necessary. Well, I thought, I will have it free for a day or two, Amazon will not receive so many reports to make my book free.
Boy, was I wrong. Now my book on Smashwords is not free anymore, but it has become free on Amazon!!!
I don't know to laugh or to cry. 1200+ downloads in less than a day. Without any promotion. Without any email or tweet. I immediately contacted Amazon customer service and asked them to raise my price to the good old $0.99, but haven't received any email from them yet :(
I have heard lots of stories how free promotions boost the sales. I have also heard lots of stories about how free promotion doesn't change anything, and the people who would pay for the book, have it now for free. Does this mean I just lost some $1000?

Ok, now I will take a deep breath and will try to see pros and cons of a free promotion.

1. My book is now
When you think of it, it's not bad. Actually, it's pretty good, when I take into consideration that I haven't spent a cent to promote my free book.

2. My book will become visible in "also bought" lists, which is always helpful.

3. Right now there are 1200 potential readers, who might purchase the sequels.

4. I might receive some reviews (good or bad).

Now cons:

1. I lost money. Taking into account my poor financial state, this point is rather discouraging.

After thinking over a 2nd point for good 5 minutes I came to a realization that 1200 free downloads is not the end of the world. There's more good than bad. Yay! :) Of course, the downloads will not stop unless Amazon steps in and raises my price back to $0.99. I hope it happens soon.

One more reason that my unplanned free promotion is not that bad: I have 2 sequels, and the third one is on its way.

I know free promotions and their results interest lots of authors. I will keep my fellow writers informed on how the things are.

p.s. While I was writing this, my book was downloaded for another hundred times o.O


  1. ID,

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