Setting A Lonely Magic Free

This was a nice surprise this morning. Merry Christmas!

I’m experimenting with benign neglect on the release of A Precarious Magic. So far, I sold 31 copies in the first several days, from readers of my blog & possibly Facebook followers. Amazon sent out an email to my followers, which I know because I received it myself, and that caused a short spike in sales. I don’t believe that BookBub did, however, as I haven’t received an email from them. Meanwhile, I haven’t even emailed my mailing list or updated my book pages. Benign neglect = not good for book sales.

But I decided to set A Lonely Magic to be free. It’s more work than it used to be: Amazon no longer price matches and they caution you that they have discretion over their prices. Fortunately (or at least I hope fortunately), they did agree to let ALM be free and it went live as such yesterday. And this morning it hit a best-giveaway list, yay.

For my own future reference, my rationale was/is that ALM has earned $4500 in its lifetime. In the typical business model of publishing, APM would therefore earn less, because not all buyers of ALM would go on to buy APM and no one is likely to buy APM who hasn’t purchased ALM. Ergo, my expectations for APM are pretty low. (Note that there are plenty of indie authors who would be delighted to have made $4k on a title, so I don’t wish to sound ungrateful about earning what I have. It’s a lot better than zero and I definitely have earned back what I spent on it, which was in question for the first year or so.)

At any rate, expanding the readership of ALM might open the door to improved sales of APM. I figured it was worth a try and set ALM to be free for one year on B&N, Kobo, and D2D.

Of course, it’s possible that having the second book in the series would have improved sales of the first book, especially since so many readers thought the first book ended in a cliffhanger. Still, it’s impossible to control for all variables. In the past year, ALM earned under $400. I’m considering that to be the opportunity cost of giving it away: ergo, this is a $400 marketing expense for APM.

And I suppose I’ll check back in with myself next December to see how it went. I’m just posting now so that I retain this thought process & the numbers that went with it. Also, so I don’t lose that picture of ALM at the top of a best-seller list. Go, Fen, go!