Gather round class, we’ve finally hit the last week of dissecting my summer marketing experiment. After three months of offering my first book, Shadow’s Edge, as free to readers, what happened?

Let’s start with sales ranks. The graph below shows my sale rank on each book from end of May when the free status “unofficially” went into effect, through the end of August. August is on top, then July, then June, and the end of May. Sales ranks are along the bottom, so the short the line, the better.

Month Rank

Now, I’m going to share an image with the same information for just June. The days are along the left, and sales rank along the bottom. Again, shorter the better. You’ll note that Hunted By The Past followed a pattern: each week it cycled up and down the sales rank, higher earlier on, lower later on. You can’t even see Shadow’s Edge because it ranked 181 at the beginning of June, and ended at 5400.

So, to see Shadow’s Edge on it’s own we have these nifty charts. The breaks are days I biffed recording the rankings:

Rank

Cool, uh? Unfortunately my publisher and I can’t get actual numbers on Shadow’s Edge, but obviously people were picking it up since a handful could cause a jump, and enough were downloaded to keep it above the 10K rank.

Now, here’s what convinced me this whole experiment was worth it. The chart below shows a comparison of how many books I’ve sold since their release dates against how many were sold during end of May and June. I won’t have July and August numbers until November.

Units

And that’s just The Kyn books. This means, when readers picked up Shadow’s Edge, they were engaged enough to continue with the series, and that was my main goal from the beginning. I was so excited when I saw this.

Next time you’re wondering, is it worth it to offer my precious for free? Feel free to use this information to help make that decision. For me, the increase of sales on my other books was worth luring them in with my first one.

An additional note to this campaign: I timed this promotion to end a month before I released a collection of short stories in the Kyn world (Tangled in Shadows). My hope is that my new readers will be eager for this book and the buzz will continue to grow.

Will I do a similar promotion in the future? You betcha, but first, I need to make sure there are enough books on the shelves to make it work.

If you’re heading out on the marketing route, I wish you all the best. For those who’ve traveled it before, share your adventures in the comments below. We are always open for suggestion.

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