We’re willing to try just about anything that’s legal and affordable when it comes
to getting our books in the hands of readers. While we’re still a big fan of doing
free promotions, we understand not all authors like the idea of giving away their work.
So this time, we tried discount instead. Using only Book Gorilla, we set the price for
The Call House by CP Stiles at $0.99 for a week and right now we’re selling
Getaway by Maureen Brady for only $1.99.
Both books have received great reader reviews. We knew they deserved to reach a
wider audience. And we wanted to see how well a discount promotion would work.
While we don’t like to give out exact numbers for the books we publish, we do think
it’s okay to at least mention a range.
In general, even in these overcrowded times, running free promotions both with and
without the help of BookBub and whatever other promotional sites were available,
our books have had between 8,000 and 35,000 downloads.
Each time, we’ve seen follow-on sales. We’ve learned it’s a good idea to keep prices
low for a week or so after a free promotion. But even when we set the books back
to full price, some sales continued.
When you see 8,000 or 10,000 books being downloaded for free, it’s hard not to think -
if I only had a dollar for each one . . .
In the past though, the next thought had been - Yeah, but, those readers might not
have bought the book if the price had been a dollar.
Does Discounting Really Work?
The answer, at least for us, is a resounding No. Discounting is not the new free,
not even close.
Maybe it works for well-known authors with popular books. Often we've
picked up titles we’d been meaning to read but didn’t want to spend $15 or so
on an EBook. When the price was dropped to $2.99 - we didn’t hesitate.
And maybe discounting works if you promote like crazy. Which we didn’t
(it’s summer, we’re lazy and busy, and you get the idea).
So, bottom line. Each book sold less than 25 copies.
Not enough to pay for the promotion because when the price goes below $2.99,
the payment to the author is only 35% of list price.
Plus, there wasn’t much of a bump in rankings.
On the other hand, we did pick up about 20 new readers who hadn’t bought
the books at full price.
Would we do it again? Probably.
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