Do Free E-books Increase Sales?
I'm trying an experiment. We hear so much about free e-books and $.99 books in the present market climate. Especially for authors e-publishing their backlist, we have to ask the question—How do readers find us? With over 70 books for sale, about a quarter of those in e-book form, how do readers know my backlist from my current titles?
For Easter week, I gave away my re-release LOVE IN BLOOM, now an e-book, with a coupon at Smashwords.com. I've done this before and had about a dozen downloads. This time a blogger who posts free books picked it up and I had over 200 downloads! But I didn't sell any of my other backlist titles there. I sold two on Amazon. My husband, wise man that he is, told me to give those readers a chance to read LOVE IN BLOOM and maybe sales would go up! To give the readers who do return to my backlist a bonus, I lowered the prices on MOM MEETS DAD to $.99 on Amazon and Smashwords. The price cut hasn't reached Barnes and Noble yet. I'm going to allow the price to stay at $.99 for the month.
Something else I did when I decided to put up my backlist was design the covers all similarly. They have an identifying arch with my name as well as my logo. Since I have titles from three different publishers, I used a different color for each publisher but all in the same style.
I'm building a following on Twitter and Facebook and enjoy posting regularly. My e-books are listed on my website and my Facebook author page. If either writers or readers have suggestions on how to help readers find those titles, I'm interested! Please feel free to comment or e-mail me. And remember, MOM MEETS DAD is $.99 for the month of May at Smashwords and on Kindle. Happy reading!