Since I had Project Hermes listed for free this week, I got a little curious about the numbers. Oddly enough, I'd never actually looked at the numbers for my freebies before.
Let's hop into the wayback machine...
2015: I listed Dying Embers as free in March and moved 356 copies. I also sold 26 copies of it that month. Since there were no other books published at that point, that was all DE.
2016: I did quite a few freebies in 2016. The biggest one was for DE, during which I moved 2431 copies. That was February. I also had a freebie for PH (then BloodFlow) during February and moved 127 copies. In March, I listed AD for free and moved 759 copies. FG was free in August - 100 copies. WIOH was free in both September and October - I assume for one day each month - and 321 copies went out the door. All told, I gave away 3738 copies in 2016.
2017: I held two freebies for WIOH only. I moved 858 copies and then sold 75 copies of the next three genie books - on sale during the freebies for WIOH.
2018: In March, I put AD for free and moved 118 copies - after which I sold 4 copies of NC. Then in April, I listed DE as free again and 1007 went out the door. Residual series sales for FG and EG ended up being about 40 books.
2019: In February, I put Unequal for sale for a day. Moved 22 copies. Afterward, I sold one copy of UEQ and one copy of Blink of an I. This week, Project Hermes was free for three days. 161 copies went out the door. Since there isn't any book that relates directly to PH, I don't expect a lot of movement, but there's always a chance for KU reads and other sales. :fingers crossed:
All told, I've given away 6260 books since 2015.
Sometimes, I see an uptick in sales of the book I made free. Sometimes I get sales for other books in the same series. Every rare once in a while, other unrelated books get sold because of a freebie promo I've run. It's hit and miss.
Personally, I hate giving anything away. But I understand that sometimes giving books away helps sell books. And I have to remind myself that the people who get my books for free might not have slapped money down to buy them because I am an unknown author to them. Once they give me a try, they may go on to buy my stuff.
As a reader, I rely on free books to feed my reading addiction. The budget's so slim right now I can't afford to try new authors, so I pick them up during freebie promos. And if they're good, I try to find space in the budget to buy their subsequent books. That's kind of how the freebie promo is supposed to work.
What about you? Have you tried freebie promos for your books? How did they work out for you? If you haven't tried them as a writer, do you use them as a reader to find new authors?