Is Free the Key to Sustained Sales?

It would be nice if life’s big answers weren’t so elusive. Why can’t there be world peace? Why does the toast always land butter-side down? And why, if other people can do it, does it seem to be so damned hard to create strong, consistent sales from Amazon?

Sleeping Beauty Mark II

“Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale”: FREE March 18, 19, 20

As you may recall from a previous installments of this blog, I totally revamped “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale’s” SEO language to help it rise up the Amazon charts. My efforts were at least partially successful, but not enough to create sustained sales. After initial small bumps on both changes, I’m sitting on two sales this month. To use a technical term, that sucks. However, I have another idea. “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” is enrolled in Amazon’s KDP Select program, and it’s got a fresh five days for me to offer it free. I’ve run successful free events in the past, and I haven’t run one for SB since before Christmas.

Anecdotal evidence presented by colleagues suggests that, if you have a really good giveaway, it launches you up the charts in the free store, improves visibility, and leads to paid sales shortly after the free event ends, because it gets you in front of more potential buyers through being higher in the popularity charts.

I have evidence of my own in support of this theory. “Sleeping Beauty’s” sales have improved after free events, and it made it onto several bestseller charts during the free event. I’m hoping to repeat that with the new, improved SEO language.

But I’m also hoping to improve on it. My best free event saw 650 downloads. The game-changing ones I’ve read about have downloads in the five figures. A friend just did a giveaway on his techno-thriller and saw 30,000 downloads. Another saw 24,000 downloads for a memoir.

So is free the key? Well, we’ll see.

I’ve got a couple things working against me. First, “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” is a short story. It doesn’t qualify, therefore, for some of the web sites that announce free books, including the biggest one, BookBub. Second, short stories aren’t as popular as full-length novels, so I may be at a disadvantage there.

My goal, which I am not sure is realistic, is to get 10,000 downloads. That’s a third or less of my colleagues’ numbers but would still be a game-changing figure for me. I am advertising with several of the announcement sites, and I’ll be using my own social media network to try to advance the word. I’m also running the event for three days instead of two and one like I’ve done in the past in the hopes that’ll help sustain the momentum and get me to my target number.

You can help. “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” will be free Monday, March 18 through Wednesday, March 20. Click on the link to download it. Tweet the link to your own social network. Pass it on on Facebook. I’ve included some tweets and Facebook updates below you can copy and paste if you want.

I’ll report the results here once I’ve got them fully digested. In the meantime, I’d sure appreciate everyone’s help. “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” has six reviews averaging 4.2 stars on Amazon’s US site and a four-star review on its Canadian page. When people read it, they like it. Now it’s time to get more people reading it.

Thanks for your help!

Click here to download “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale.”

Here are some sample tweets you can copy:

Like #OnceUponATime? Check out “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale”: http://amzn.to/MT0UEn #FREE today! #fantasy #fairytale #RT

A new take on a classic story: “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” #FREE today! http://amzn.to/MT0UEn #fairytale #OnceUponATime #RT

#FREE! He wanted to save her. He got it all wrong. “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” http://amzn.to/MT0UEn #Kindle #fairytale #RT

Here are some Facebook updates you can make if you’re so inclined:

FREE book for your Kindle: “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale.” 4.2 stars! http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EDP7TO

If you like ONCE UPON A TIME, this book is worth checking out. And it’s FREE today! “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008EDP7TO

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