Just one sale...one measly sale of Fractured Facade on Smashwords was all it would have taken to keep The Valentine's Day Curse available everywhere. But after a year, it never happened. Oh sure, I got plenty of sample downloads of Fractured Facade, but I just couldn't make the sale, which is odd, because I still was getting sales on Amazon. No, not many, but at least I was thrown a bone once in a while. Nook readers, iPad people, Smashies, Kobo tablets, had no problem "buying" the free short story, but unless Smashwords was screwing up, they just wouldn't part with $4.99 for the novel. Also, not one of them left a review of the Valentine's Day Curse either. Hmmmm, so much for my grand plan!
My thinking was that if I made the short story free everywhere, Amazon would have to price match it as well, and they did. Great, right? Well, along the way, freebies on Amazon suddenly no longer had the same punch as they did once before. Why? The only thing I could figure out was that the new Amazon program, Kindle Unlimited, stopped not only downloads of freebies, but also sales of books. Kindle Unlimited is a program whereby a reader pays a yearly fee and can then borrow as many books on their kindle as they like (up to 10 at a time) instead of only one per month as in the past, for free. I figure readers aren't bothering with freebies any more as their thinking may be, why borrow something that's free when I could borrow something that would have cost me money.
In order to have a book in KDP select, which would then be part of the KU, the book had to be exclusive to Amazon. And that is the one thing that really bugged me. So, I said I would NEVER go into KDP Select. And now over a year later I am eating my words. I gave all the other outlets a shot and they all fell short. So I figure now is the time for me to try another tactic by putting The Valentine's Day Curse -- A short story back into KDP Select and price it once again at $.99.
My thinking last year was that folks will be getting Nooks, iPads, etc. and they will seek out the free story, download it, and then hopefully review it and/or seek out my novel and buy it. Never happened anywhere except on Amazon! So now the thinking this year is the same thing - that folks will be getting kindles for Christmas, only this time with each kindle they automatically get a free month of the Kindle Unlimited deal. My hope is that they borrow the Valentine's Day Curse which would translate to a higher royalty than if they bought it. Will this work? Who knows, but as an independent author I can change my mind and give it a shot. I'm still debating if I should pull Fractured Facade everywhere too and put that exclusively on Amazon as well.
Of course, the best way to sell books is to write more books, and I am doing just that...just not quickly.