Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Power of FREE

When I began this journey to become an author over a year ago, I just wanted to write.  I did not give much thought to who would actually read what I wrote.

I mean, let's face it, getting people to read your writing is difficult at best.  There are so many "good" authors out there that it would take thousands of years to get to all of the books that are available.  Many readers do not want to give a new author a chance and summarily dismiss them and their prose.

Which led me to this thought.  If I want to get readership, why not offer my books for free?  With this thought, over the past year, I have only focused on marketing my e-books when I have a free promotion going on through KDP Select.  KDP Select allows the author up to 5 days each 90 days for a book enrolled in the program to be listed as free, but the book must only be marketed on Amazon, not anywhere else during the 90 days.

Since my main goal when I began this venture was to write and get eyes on my writing (not to make money from it - although that would be a nice bonus), I have gone one step further.  I pulled one of my e-books from KDP Select and listed it on Smashwords.  This in turn placed it on Barnes and Noble, iTunes and several other markets.

Once it was available in these other markets, I asked Amazon to match the free price.  Initially, I received much push back from them and after several email requests, I gave up on Amazon matching the price.

Then, I got a brilliant idea.  I asked some fellow indie authors to click on the "report a lower price" icon on the Amazon page for my e-book.  Within a day, I received an email from Amazon stating that my book was now permanently free on Amazon.

You are probably wondering why I put so much effort into getting the title listed for free everywhere, right? The reason is plain and simple - readership.

After my book listed as free on Amazon, it was downloaded over 200 times in the first day!  From that, I received one new review.  Each day, more and more readers have downloaded the book. My little e-book has been in the #1 and #2 spots for the past week in its category:

Fade to Gray

After this, something unexpected and amazing happened. 

My other titles that are not free started getting purchased. This may be a fluke or just plain good luck, but I have started to garner more readers from this one simple act of offering one of my books perma-free on Amazon.

Have any of you done this as well?  And what have your results been?



  1. I saw your comment on the WOW post by Margo Dill, which led me here to your blog. What a fascinating post, and a great idea.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Gwen. I have had some good results with this. If you do decide to do this, please keep me posted on your results.