People like free stuff!

Some more book sale number-crunching for those interested…

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allows authors to offer their ebooks at a discount or free for limited periods of time. The free promo is only available for 5 days out of every 90 days. I can’t find how often the author is allowed to run a discount, but you can discount for up to 7 days at a time. Normally if you sell your ebook for less than $2.99, you only get a 30% royalty, whereas you get 70% for ebooks over $2.99. But KDP allows you to keep the 70% royalty during the discount. Yay! This is interesting because it means that on a 99p discounted ebook I still make about 69p – compared to 35p per book on an £8.99 paperback ordered via Ingrams and sold through a bookshop. Let’s hear it for eBooks! (on paperbacks sold via Amazon I make £1.53 per book, which is better).

Anyway, I have now run a free promo and a discounted promo for each of my books and what has surprised me is the enormous difference between free downloads and 99p discounts. People really like free stuff!

Here are the figures:

Daughter, Disappeared free promo: 1,465 books downloaded

Daughter, Disappeared discounted from £3.99 to 99p: 38 books purchased

Glasdrum free promo: 2,103 books downloaded

Glasdrum discounted from £3.99 to 99p: 83 purchased

It is estimated (I’ve read) that around 10% of book readers will leave a review and since I haven’t noticed a surge in reviews after the massive numbers of free downloads, I can only presume that people are not reading them. They are just downloading it because they can – and the poor books are sitting there for the rest of eternity, neglected and abandoned on their kindles – but probably never deleted because hardly anyone knows how to delete books from their kindle. I have certainly never worked it out. It does make me think that despite the high numbers of downloads, which was initially exciting, there is little point in running free promos. Another book industry mystery to grapple with!

Back to writing Book 3 for me…

PS: neither are free or discounted at the moment, but if you still want to buy one, here are the links:



2 thoughts on “People like free stuff!

  1. Interesting point about the free promo downloads. I agree with the I servatiln that people are downloading and not reading because during seem to generate any reviews.
    Fantastic that you have got outlets to sell paperbacks ( shame there is no profit in the paperbacks 😟)

    I have decided to stop throwing money on promotion etc as doesn’t seem to help.
    On a positive note September has seen my highest volume of paid ebook sales since January! Just proves there is a big random element to all this 😎


    • Am very pleased to hear you’ve had a god month of ebook sales – that’s where the money is. It’s so difficult to know how much promotional spend is worth it. Someone pointed out that it might not lead to a direct immediate sale but might leave a memory of your book for a future browse/purchase. As you say, it seems quite random and mysterious!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s