Woo-hoo! Shizzle, Inc is finally perma-free!
In case you’re wondering what that means – basically, it will be free from now on, or until I change my mind, which has been known to happen. If you’re wondering why I’m so excited, well, let me tell ya…
First of all, I had no idea it will take so long. My understanding of the process was that you make the book available for free on Smashwords, then go to your Kindle edition, click on the “tell us about a lower price” link, provide a link to Kobo or Nook where it is free, and voila! When voila did not happen right away, I’ve asked peeps on the blog and Twitter to help me out by doing the same. Don’t know how many actually bothered to notify Amazon, but there was no voila in sight after two weeks of waiting. Finally, because I have no patience, and a pair the size of Texas, I did the unthinkable.
I emailed KDP and asked them to match the price.
I hear you, and your sharp intake of breath. After all, the Internet is full of advice on “loopholes” and how to stick it to the man/Amazon, who would surely suspend my book or do something equally nasty if they ever find out that I’m trying to loophole them out of their cut. But no – I don’t know if the fact that Indiot, the second book in Isabella Maxwell’s Escapades series is already available for pre-order, but KDP were cool with it. I got a courteous reply saying that they’ve confirmed that my book is available elsewhere for free, and that in 2-3 business days it will be free on Kindle as well.
It took two hours.
Yay for KDP Support! The second reason for why I’m bouncing in my chair is that after two weeks of waiting, searching the Internet for stupid advice (apparently putting the price up and dropping it down repeatedly has worked for some), and watching my dull, lifeless sales charts, I have liftoff. And boy, what a liftoff it’s been:
What is really surprising, is that 427 copies were downloaded without any paid promotions whatsoever. I didn’t know when this was going to happen, so I’ve been waiting to schedule them after I knew for sure that KDP will match the price to zero. On the chart above, the left-side surge in free downloads of 600-1000/day had cost me $139. I don’t know if this current trend will continue, but so far I’m very happy with the result, which landed me in the top of all category charts:
With the paid promos, I got as far as 111 Free in Kindle store, but basically in the same positions in all categories, so what does it matter? I would prefer for people to find me through a category, anyway – hopefully resulting in fewer random negative reviews.
So the new era has begun – moreover, I have now managed to formulate my promo plan in one simple sentence:
I will give away 100,000 free copies of Shizzle, Inc by the end of 2016.
I hope that will generate 2% of sale-through of Indiot, or about $4,000 in royalties. This goal will require some paid advertising, of course, but it no longer seems ridiculous, like it did after the first promo (at the same spending rate, 100,000 downloads would cost me $3,500). It will also depend on whether I manage to secure a BookBub run, and guess what – I have applied for it. Again.
Exciting times and exciting sales charts coming up!
(P.S. Thank you, my British colleagues, for pointing out that the price was not free on the UK site – apparently this is why I was told to wait for 2-3 business days. I’ll wait, but in the meantime, I’ve fired up another email to KDP.)