1. Good article, Will. I wish you the best of the luck with this experiment. I think some people get freaked out because they get the notion that whatever you do today is what you’ll ALWAYS do and it somehow ends up on your permanent record. Take a deep breath, people. If your book gets noticed, then you can call your experiment a success, right?

    Anyhow, you brought up one point that not enough people pay attention to. Everyone knows print sales were/are in sharp decline. The hard data is there. No arguments. The question is, are people reading less? That’s the question the big publishers and bookstores aren’t asking themselves, and I wonder if they aren’t because the answer might tell them what they don’t want to hear. Namely, sales are in decline because book prices are too high. I don’t know about anyone else, but in the county where I live (pop: about 500k) the over a dozen library branches do booming business every day. We have several used book stores, including one that is a quasi-chain, and they are thriving. Every one of my friends who has purchased an ereader in the past year reports reading more and BUYING more. When we natter on facebook, we’re as likely to chat about books as we are about tv or movies. With the ereaders, it’s, “You have to read this. It’s only $4. (or it’s on sale)” Okay, brb, okay, bought it. Another thing not being taken into account, the population is growing older. We older folks don’t want THINGS cluttering up the house, needing regular dusting, giving the kids an excuse to nag us about our hoards. A few years ago, I purged thousands of books. My new rule was, one book into the house, one book has to go out. That significantly cut down on my book buying. With an ereader, there are no space constraints.

    So, way I see it about indies experimenting with price points and free offers. If you have the nerve for it, go for it. Every book read has a ripple effect. You aren’t giving away one book. You’re giving away a book to somebody who has friends or blog readers or family members. Every book read ups your chance of landing on someone’s must-buy list.

    Good luck.

  2. I think that’s a great point about sales and readers, Jaye. I’m a voracious reader, but with extraordinarily rare exception I just can’t bring myself to spend more than $7 or so on an e-book. I think ten bucks is egregious.

    I also think a lot more people are reading even more than ever before. I know I am.

    And thanks! Here’s hoping! Currently, The Prodigal Hour has cracked the top 100 Kindle Fiction books. Hanging tight there at the bottom, but hey, it’s on the list, and that’s pretty huge. It’s #1 on the science fiction list alongside George R. R. Martin. Which I think rocks the house.

  3. I did the free promotion via the Kindle Select program and I’m very happy with it. I scheduled my promotion to start after Christmas (hoping to take advantage of all the new Kindles unwrapped that day) and had thousands of downloads for each book. Of course, I’d prefer to make money on them, but it was a chance to get the books in new hands. During the promotion, the blog book hit #1. When the promotion ended, my downloads didn’t stop, and it lists now anywhere between 20 and 50 in its category. I’ve been selling steadily (daily, each book) every day. I’ve also seen an increase in borrows from the Kindle Lending Library. I have more projects in the works and I think the free promotion helped elevate my fan base, readership, etc. (I got more 5-star reviews and “likes” on Amazon and more fans on both books’ Facebook pages and my author profile) and I think that will help the sales of future books, which is really the ultimate goal.

    Great piece, Will. Being alongside George R.R. Martin is huge. 🙂

  4. I downloaded The Prodigal Hour, but was already reading Meets Girl (97% done as train pulled into station this morning–holy cow, what a book!), so I haven’t started it yet. I’m just getting ready to put up a free short story, and looking forward to seeing how that goes. I agree that a free download is almost never a sale lost, and with multiple titles might even lead to more sales. Whether or not, I’m having illegal amounts of fun, and I’m bound to learn something.

  5. Thanks Nina. And yes, totally agreed on the ultimate goal. I’m interested in seeing how this continues. Feels like this is the start of finding out. Like, it’s great for downloads, but how will impact things down the line. That’s what I’m wondering now.

    And awesome, Bridget. Sounds like you enjoyed Meets Girl. If you have the time to leave a review for either when you’re finished, well, they only help! I’ll definitely look out for your story.

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