WG2E Guest Liz Matis Goes “Free” and Here are Her Real Ebook Sales Numbers!

Another WG2E-Land Peep – Liz Matis – is “Ridin’ The Free-Way“…meaning, she’s got one of her Ebooks available for FREE. But…Liz has done it via Amazon’s KDP Select vs FREE across all platforms, all the time.

Here’s the scoop on what that’s meant to her in Real Numbers…

Take it away, Liz…

My HGTV meets Sex and the City romance called Love By Design was out for over a year when I decided to move it into KDP Select. My other titles Playing For Keeps and Going For It, both sports romances, sold well.

On Amazon

My sales for Love By Design in 2012 were 1744 eBook copies. I tried different price points without much success and a book blog tour, which resulted in great reviews but not many sales. Nothing seemed to create the excitement that my sports romances experienced.

As an experiment I decided to try KDP Select and do some free days. I’ve heard a lot of negativity lately that it wasn’t the success it used to be, but hey it’s just 3 months I thought.

I chose only to use 3 of the 5 free days allowed because I heard… (Gee – I don’t remember where/who/why – LOL). 1/23/13 through 1/25/13 were my free days and I purchased a Book Bub email ad for 150.00 to run on 1/24/13. I chose this date because I wanted to make sure that on 1/23 Love By Design updated to free and I figured for those readers who opened their Book Bub email the next day could still get it for free. You can find details for Book Bub here: http://www.bookbub.com/advertise/pricing.php

Below are my results.

Beginning Stats of Love By Design 1/22/13

Cost: $ 3:49

82,364  – Sales Rank

January 2013 sales (through 1/22/13)

19 Sales

2 Borrows

11 Amazon Reviews

21 Goodread Reviews

Date: 1/23/13  Cost: FREE

7:00 AM:

#7902 – Free in Kindle Store

11:00 AM:

#1902 – Free in Kindle Store

#47 – Humor

2:32 PM:

#616 – Free in Kindle Store

#17 – Humor

10:30 PM:

#211 in Free in Kindle Store

Units downloaded: 3,185

Date 1/24/13  Cost: FREE     Ad with Book Bub

8:48 AM:

#57 – Free in Kindle Store

#6 -   Humor

#15 – Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

2:00 PM:

#45 – Free in Kindle Store

#6  –  Humor

#15 – Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

7:18 PM:

#4  – Free in Kindle Store

#1 – Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

Units Downloaded: 22,184

Date: 1/25/13  Cost: FREE

9:00 AM:

#2 Free in Kindle Store

#1 – Humor

#1 – Genre Fiction > Romance > Contemporary

#1 – Genre Fiction > Romance

…and stayed that way all day!

Final Download Totals:

US:   38,726

UK:    1,182

DE:       212

CA:        97

FR/ES/IT/JP/BR:  32

GRAND TOTAL: 40,249 (WOW!)

After my free days ended the price went back to $3.49. At first I freaked out when Love By Design ranked at 211,720 (yikes!) but then it quickly reached #1406 in the overall PAID Kindle store and #21 in the PAID Humor. (as of 1/30/13 it’s sitting at #2463) Not bad for a title that’s been out over a year!

In the 5 days following free, borrows went from 2 to 101 and sales went from 19 to 236. 7 reviews were added to the Love By Design Amazon page. (4 and 5 Stars, except for one).

Have you put up any of your titles for free? If not, has my experience tempted you to try it? Any questions?

~~~Liz

Going For It – Ebook http://amzn.com/B008EP37B2
Love By Design – Ebook and Print http://amzn.com/B005U83XYW
Playing For Keeps – Ebook and Print  http://amzn.com/B0063KJIGI
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Comments

  1. Lois Lavrisa says:

    Great job! I also put my title frees every few months as a part of KDP- and I too had loads of downloads and (back in March 2012) made it to number 6 overall free, then later moved to the top 100 paid- it was a wild ride:)

  2. I put my books, “Mr Short, Dark…& Funny” and “Mr. Tall, Tan…& Tasteless” up for free on KRP Select and they did okay. Nothing like your numbers. Your books sound good.

  3. Sibel Hodge says:

    Great figures there, Liz. Super congrats! Book Bub is expensive but can get you amazing results :)

    • Liz Matis says:

      Thanks Sibel. It is expensive but well worth it and one of the few promo/ads that worked. The resulting paid sales more than paid for the ad. It was a good use of my promo budget.

  4. Tamara Ward says:

    Way to go, Liz! Thanks for sharing your success!

  5. Deborah Jay says:

    Fab! Thanks for sharing – that’s helped me with my plans for releasing my next book :)

  6. Thanks for sharing your numbers! I’m going to experiment with the FREE price point soon and see what happens (for the first book in my series)!

  7. Patrice says:

    Well done! I haven’t used KDP for awhile, and I did have great results previously, but my Kobo and B&N sales are picking up, and I’d hate to take it away. Not that they compare to Amazon but books are moving. I’ll see what isn’t selling and myabe give that a try.
    Thanks! Wishing you continued success.

    • Liz Matis says:

      Thanks Patrice. Once my 3 month term is up I’ll be putting Love By Design back on all platforms. I felt like I needed to do something with this title.

  8. PJ Sharon says:

    Great job, Liz! Congratulations. I did a FREE run for a YA contemporary on the same days you did. I had over 16,000 downloads and the book made it to the #1 slot in it’s category, but my after sales have quickly declined back to a few a day. I got a few more reviews and lots of exposure so I’m pleased with the results, but the book didn’t do nearly as well as the FREE run I did with my last one in the spring. The Book Bub add is well worth it IMO, but if anyone is going to get one, you have to book it exactly one month in advance. I missed out for the next FREE run I’m doing in February for a different book. I won’t be resigning the same books up for the Select program, but will likely put my newest title in for the spring to see if I can create buzz for the second book in the trilogy due out in June.

    • Liz Matis says:

      Thank you Sharon. Your numbers are awesome. But like you I won’t be renewing with Select but in the future will use it for a newer title.

  9. JamieSalisbury (@JamieRSalisbury) says:

    I’ve put a couple of my titles out there for free. One did extremely well (rose to #1 in historical westerns). The other two didn’t do as well. Right now I have nothing Select but may choose another of my titles in a few months to see if I too can create a buzz.

    • Liz Matis says:

      Hi Jamie! It’s great that we can experiment with different ways of doing promo. And what works for one title may not work for another.

  10. Julie Day says:

    This is interesting. I like to reach as many readers as poss by putting my ebooks on all platforms, but I might put my next story out on just KDP Select to see what happens. We shall see.

  11. Joe Bruno says:

    KDP Select works for me.

    I put 7 of my ebooks free 5 times each in the three-month period of KDP Select. Yesterday, five of my mobster books were ranked in the top #100 in Amazon’s genre “Organized Crime.” And a 6th, “Joe Bruno’s Mobsters- Six Volume Set” was also ranked in the top 100.

    But I never put the six-volume set up for free. Makes no sense.

    Like I said up top, KDP Select works for me. But I’m not sure it works for fiction. Romance, Chick Lit, etc…..

    My spoof/mobster novel “Find Big Fat Fanny Fast” has gone nowhere, despite being free five days in the same three-month period.

  12. Stacy Green says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Can someone explain exactly how Free boosts sales? I really thought it was because it got you up in the rankings, but Liz, it sounded as tho yours dropped after free and then back up again, so I’m not sure if I’m understanding the benefit.

    Thanks!

    • Liz Matis says:

      Hi Stacey: I think because once it goes off free you have no sales initially hence the terrible rank but I would imagine an Amazon algorithm kicks in – maybe based on downloads? My ‘also buys’ expanded which I think is important. Then there are the positive reviews. This is all conjecture on my part.

  13. Thanks for the info. Doing my first experiment with free days on Kindle Select from Feb. 13-15 for St. Anne’s Day to coincide with Valentine’s Day. Looking forward to see how it goes.

  14. Great to see you here, Liz! Congrats on your successful Select Free run! Despite all the negatives surrounding KDP Select, it is the only thing – except for Ereader News Today – that has helped my sales. I’ve done Select free with several of my books and made it to the free list top 100 overall as well placing in the top five in the contemporary romance list. And, yes, that initial post-free fall is horrifying! But as the system calculates the free downloads and you see your book moving into a good ranking that generates sales, it is well worth it.

  15. Liz, congratulations on the wonderful results from your free days. I did my first try at free on Jan 1 to 5 and was amazed at the results. While they weren’t as good as yours, they were still everything I could’ve hope for. I did not expect the added benefit of getting on the “also bought” lists, so I’m definitely glad I tried it.

  16. I’ve heard great things about bookbub. It seems that everyone who uses it has spectacular results! My second novel doesn’t come out until June so I’m not planning on trying to take advantage of it with my recent release until right before book two comes out. Here’s my question, though. Am I missing the boat? By June, will bookbub subscribers be so inundated by all their reduced price offerings that they sales numbers will lag? Thoughts?

    • Liz Matis says:

      Hi Michele: If you don’t have a second book up then I wouldn’t do Select or free. You could try advertising with Book Bub and lower your price from 2.99 to .99cents for a week or so. Of course that ad is more expensive and Book Bub is getting more expensive by the month. That $150.00 ad that I took out for Love By Design is now $190.

  17. Great numbers, Liz! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. :-)

  18. Dana Delamar says:

    Congrats, Liz! I’m glad it’s working for you, and thanks for sharing the stats with the rest of us.

  19. Jillian Dodd says:

    I’ve always been kind of against the whole KDP Select thing since I started in self-publishing. I didn’t want to give my work away for free. But since then, I’ve published three more books and have 3-4 more coming out this year and I’ve started a new six book series. The series has sold to my core fan base, (book one came out in Sept 12 and book two in Dec 12, book three is due out in April) but really hasn’t gotten much traction otherwise. The first book in the series was not selling well at all at B&N, Kobo, and Itunes. So I decided to do something crazy and pulled it off those sites and enrolled it in select. What didn’t make sense to me before, now made perfect sense from a marketing standpoint. I can give away book one and hopefully get readers addicted to the series. I did three free days Jan 30 – Feb 1st. I didn’t advertise, but my fan base made a great graphic and sent it out to a lot of book review blogs who helped spread the word. The best ranking was #23 overall Free. I had 11,000 downloads. Book two, which was ranked at 11,000 is now (4 days later) ranked at around #2000 and has sold 315 copies. (it did 478 copies for the entire month of Jan) The book that was free, has sold 30 additional copies since off free and had 37 lends) Overall, I’m thrilled with how it went and plan to time my two additional free days for this 90 day period for when book three releases.

  20. Liz Matis says:

    Those are great numbers Jillian. You have a great fan base!

  21. Seeley James says:

    Thanks for these hard numbers. This is valuable information.

    I’m curious, your paid sales on 1/22 were 19. What were they after the bookbub and free tidal wave died down. Were you still running ~20 per day? Or did you see an elevated rate? if so, how much and did it last?

    Peace, Seeley