Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giving Away E-books for Free to Increase Sales

If you go through our archives, you are sure to find the number of posts which talk about giving away things (books, music, etc) for free. Most of them mention the success of these experiments (though there are a few which mention the negative aspects too). This post is about the effect of giving away e-books for free.

It's beginning to look like e-publishing may be changing attitudes to pricing within the industry, as an analysis of Amazon practices shows up an interesting trend: If you want to sell e-books, then giving some away for free is the way to boost sales.

The Associated Press has an article using novelist James Patterson's experience to prove the theory. To promote sales of his young adult books in the Maximum Ride series on the Kindle, Amazon's been giving away thousands of copies of the first book in the series, The Angel Experiment, which is four years old. The aim is to boost sales of the remaining books, and it's definitely working. Scott Channon, publisher of Del Rey/Spectra even notes that by offering the first book in Naomi Novik's Temeraire fantasy series for free, sales of the remaining novels rocketed up a "stunning" 1,000%.

So, as our trend-revealing chart shows, it's not a surprise that giving Kindle e-books for free stimulates sales. The consumer isn't daft--the Amazon Kindle is expensive in the first place, so scoring some free e-books is a bonus. And then, assuming a certain percentage of readers like the new author they've discovered by accident, sales of that author's other books, which Amazon charges for, are indeed likely to zoom upwards.

Read the entire article here.

Image Source: gwydionwilliams

blog comments powered by Disqus