Free-to-Paid. Was it worth it?

The Half truthI had an email from my publisher last month to say that The Half Truth had been selected for a free-to-paid promotion and was I happy for it to go ahead. I must admit, I wasn’t sure at first. I’ve never had a book in a free promotion before and I know it’s a love hate thing with some authors. However, I decided that there was no way of knowing unless I gave it a go.

The Half Truth went free for around ten days and in that time, I’m pleased to say, it did really well in the Free chart, reaching:-

#1 Romantic Suspense

#1 Women’s Fiction

#1 Crime

#4 Overall Amazon rankings

Closing_inOnce the excitement of that was over and the book went back to paid, how did it do?  Well, it certainly had a knock-on effect with paid sales and it definitely generated more reviews, which had been slow in coming. I also found it had another positive impact on my other titles. It’s hard to measure, but I certainly saw a spike in the Amazon rankings with Closing In and my novella The French Retreat.

So, did I think it was worth it? Yes, in this instance, I’m very pleased with how it has all panned out.

The French RetreatNow, though, it’s back down to business and writing. I’ve started my next Falling for France novella, The French Affair, which I’m hoping to publish by the end of February. The cover is coming together nicely.

Also, my full-length novel which has been out on submission has had some encouraging interest. I can’t say anything at this stage, but I’m hoping to have news on that soon.

In the meantime, back to the keyboard. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Free-to-Paid. Was it worth it?

  1. Interesting post, Sue. I’ve resisted the ‘Free’ option so far – primarily because of concerns of devaluing writing and also that it is more likely to attract readers less well-suited to the book. This may then lead to less positive reviews. When The Alone Alternative was first launched as an ebook, it was offered free on NetGalley for a limited time for review purposes. Access goes beyond reviewers from mainstream media and I was alarmed to find a blogger had downloaded it and then written a very negative review on Goodreads before she had even read it and on the basis that from the synopsis, she didn’t think she would like it! This review disappeared fairly quickly before I got round to objecting, but it does illustrate a potential problem. However, I think if one has several books, then the advantages of having a free promo may outweigh the disadvantages. I shall be interested to hear your thoughts in the longer term. Good luck with the next one.

  2. Hi Linda, like you, I was apprehensive about the whole thing and it wasn’t something I had any particular ambition to do. However, it was my publisher who suggested it, so I convinced myself to give it a go. I ignored my reservations about giving the book away for free, especially after all the blood, sweat and tears that go into writing, as you know. So far, the positives have outweighed the negatives.

    I think that can be said of NetGalley and Goodreads too. The latter can be a very harsh place at times and it’s not somewhere I frequent too often, not unless I’m wearing full body armour! I’m glad that review of yours was taken down, it reminded me of some reviews I’ve seen on other books where the reviewer gives a low rating because they haven’t received the book. Obviously, they are rating Amazon rather than the book. I have a low rating for one of mine because the reviewer muddled it with another book. They very kindly added a comment that they had made a mistake but sadly never changed their star rating.

    I’m not sure if I would rush to do a free promotion again, it’s not something I would want to make a habit of but, in this instance, so far, I’m happy with the overall benefits.

    Thank you for stopping by. Best wishes. Sue.

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