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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After about six weeks with a perma-free title I'm not seeing amazing numbers of other books bought. The exception seems to be Apple. But on Amazon I had about 12 or 14 total other books sold in January and 4 so far in February. After looking at this I'm thinking of going back to paid at the end of February. Any reason I shouldn't?
 

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I've had my first Michael Belmont book perma free for almost a year, with no plans to change right now, who knows about the future though.

I'm completely on board with experimenting and going with what works, and a few months seems like enouph time to experiment.  You can always go back to perma-free if you want to (in theory).
 

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You have not given us enough information in my opinion.  What are your daily, weekly, total number of downloads?  What were they like before free?  How many sales of this book did you give up for these 12-16 other sales?  What book did you make free and it's relation to other books in your library?  Is it part of a series, a stand alone?  What is it's word count?  Do you have more than one pen name?  What type of inter-book advertising are you using on the free book's product page and with the free book's back matter?  Have you submitted this book to POI and ENT until they have picked it up?  What about the other 50+ free book promo sites?  Or did you set it free and forget it?

What does amazing on Apple mean?  Is it worth losing amazing on Apple for?
 

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SBJones said:
Is it worth losing amazing on Apple for?
This. With perma-free, you're trading potential moneys for larger piles of potential moneys. The free book should work as a good lead-in to your other works. If it's off-genre, or outside of a series, it may not get you much. You'd also have to check whether sales of other books are making up for the loss on the free book to see if it's really worth it. This sort of thing is hard to quantify, though, because there are so many other variables.
 

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Perma-free should only be permanent if it's working for you. If you're seeing increased sales as a result of it, then keep it perma-free. If you're not, or you're seeing reduced sales (meaning the increased sales of the other books is not enough to make up for the lack of income from the free book), then go back to paid.

I jut put my "perma-free" book back to paid the other day. (Oops! I better change my KB sig line.) I actually had no intention of it ever being "perma-free" -- from the start it was planned to be "long-term free". I'd originally thought it would be free for 2 weeks and then back to paid, but I shut it down after 2 weeks and am perfectly fine with that. I gave away enough copies to be satisfied for now.

Will I ever make it truly perma-free? Maybe. But not now. If I do, it won't be until there are at least 6 books out in the series. Right now there are only 2 books in the series (with the 3rd book coming next month). I did make it free in order to jumpstart reviews of the first book and hopefully sales will trickle through for the rest of the series, but I have no interest in giving it away permenantly. Several thousand copies given away is sufficient for now.

(I had a mix-up actually, and I inadvertantly included the second book at the end of the first book, so I really gave it away BOTH books for free for about a week and a half there. I'm hoping it will be a lot of good karma for when the third book comes out, but it led to my decision to end "free" earlier than planned.)
 

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I'm unfreeing one of my permafreebies as we speak. Despite giving away gobs of the book, the sales in the rest of the series are anemic.

I'm going to try the first one at $.99. Maybe things are going retro, and that'll work as well as it did in 2010. (Sigh. I can dream.)
 

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I just went perma-free with Edge of Shadows two weeks ago. I saw a little uptick on sales of books 2 & 3 of the trilogy, but then POI picked it up and featured it as one of their freebies last Wednesday (so 10 days in) and I'm starting to see a better increase now.

What I'm doubly pleased with is that I'm also pulling a few more sales than average on B&N as well on books 2 & 3 as well- but that is just trickling in now. What I've sold so far on those two books has more than made up from the loss of sales on Book 1 for the month, and I won't know the Apple numbers until March.

I think it can take people awhile to get to a freebie book on their TBR list, so I'd want to give it more time, but I think you have to go with your gut on it and what you think works best for you.
 

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cegesmith said:
I think it can take people awhile to get to a freebie book on their TBR list, so I'd want to give it more time, but I think you have to go with your gut on it and what you think works best for you.
I agree. That's why I wouldn't make my decision as to whether to continue or not based solely on lack of seeing an uptick on the other books immediately. However, my point is that you don't have to consider going the price-matching route to be "perma-free". You can change it back to paid if you like.
 

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Perms free is working well for me. It gives my series higher visibility by consistently being in the top 10-15 of its category (teen horror) on amazon and, if picked up by ENT or bookbub it has gotten as high as top 10 in teen romance (both are the free categories). That's visibility that is very valuable. And book 2 and 3 (and the omnibus) sell steadily enough to make my car payment every month. If your perma-free book is not part of a series I don't think it would work as well. Make sure you have the links to your other books at the end of the free one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow, some of you are way more into analyzing the numbers than I'm capable of right now. Some points I noted.

I don't have free numbers for Apple or BN through SW right now. With the rest I'm looking at a few thousand, maybe 3,000.

Have not tried POI or ENT, so that is something to think about.

It is the first book in a series and was listed at .99 It has been my biggest seller numbers wise all along, but came out 10/2011 so I thought I might give it a try to bounce the others in the series, that has not worked as I hoped.

It has been sitting in the top 100 for free in romance/short stories and it did rack up amazing ratings on Apple with 55 ratings and 27 5*. So that is something to.

I think I just wanted some opinions for all sides in my decision. Whatever happens I think I'll only do it until end of month plus whatever it takes to go back to paid again on all vendors.

Thanks everyone!!!
 
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