Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What going free can do

People are still posting links to stories about the author who "lost" royalties on 6000 copies of his book when Amazon incorrectly made the book free. A lot of the comments on these articles make it clear that people have no idea how much the difference in sales can be between offering a book for a price, and for free.

Case in point: my book In the Mood. Last month in the UK, I sold 16 copies (at 99 cents-- the book in the above-mentioned case is priced at $5.99, which is a lot for an indie). This month it went free, and within a week I've given away 4277 copies. And that's just the UK. Successful freebies on Amazon.com can move a lot more copies than that.

I'm not saying Amazon didn't make a mistake here. I'm just saying the people commenting who react as if the author would have earned thousands of dollars in any event don't know much about how sales and freebies work on Amazon.

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