Good morning, peeps! I woke up and saw several questions, so I will go ahead and answer them. Love it! I just love to help others, so thanks so much for your interest and questions!
HY - here is what I think about free books. And this answer is going to be long and convoluted, so bear with me...Anyhow, here is the thing. With a new author, you pretty much have to either price your funnel book at .99 or you make it free. To me, .99 just sucks for soooo many reasons.
1) It's a BARRIER TO ENTRY. Yeah, it's .99, big whoop, right? Wrong. No. Any money at all is a barrier to entry, no matter how small. Think about it. I get my BookBub email every day. Most days I don't open it up, but on days that I do, I skim for what's free and download it. Because it's no big deal, except that it clogs up the Kindle. Then, I only buy a .99 book if it is really flipping intriguing to me, and, even then, I'm hesitant, because I'm kinda cheap that way. Or think about it in terms of music downloads. You might find really cool bands because you were able to pirate a song or two by them and find that you like them. But think about that same new band and you have to pay for their songs. You probably aren't going to do it. It's all psychological. People like free. If you make them pay any amount of money, they're probably like "eh."
2) It hinders the word of mouth for your book. It's the same principle as the barrier to entry, but, in this case, it's one friend telling another "you gotta try this new writer HY Hanna, her Honey Dog Mysteries are amazeballs!" The friend says "cool, let me check it out." Well, if the book is free, that friend will, 99%, check it out. She figures that it's no big deal - if she doesn't like the book, she's out nothing. But, if it's .99, the friend might say "well, I don't know. There's other cute mystery writers that I've heard about, and I don't really know this HY person, so not sure if I want to invest the money." In scenario A, the word of mouth might spread like wildfire because the people in the communication group don't have to pay anything to check you out. In scenario B, the word of mouth probably won't spread like wildfire as much.
3) And this is the biggest thing. .99 sucks because, in addition to limiting your exposure, YOU MAKE NO MONEY ON IT. You sell 100 books in a month, which, by the way, I never did. Ever. More like 30 books of Beautiful Illusions when it was .99. Anyhow, you sell 100 books in a month, and you get $35. A steak dinner. Big whoop. And it's a huge price to pay for the sacrifice of limiting your exposure drastically. You would have to sell 1500 books a month, I think, to justify having it that way, and, even then, you're only getting less than $500. And, if you're popular enough to actually sell 1500 books, you would REALLY go gangbusters if you're free.
4) Caveat - your name is Rosalind James.
But come on, Rosalind is obviously sacrificing 50 goats a night to have the kind of sales that she has without a permafree.
So, there you have it. The looooonnng answer to why one should ALWAYS go permafree instead of making the funnel book .99. And why wait? Ever? Except, of course, you might want to wait until you have a second book out, but, really, I don't necessarily even see the wisdom of waiting for having a second book out, especially if you can write fast like myself. Personally, if you know that you're going to have a series going, it's a good thing to get early exposure. If your book rocks, then you might get the word of mouth going even before you get the second book out. My upcoming book, Fearless, might just be permafree from the get-go. I have been seriously considering that.
So, there's my view on the permafree. Now, in the next post, I'll answer the other questions posed to me in this thread!