Last week I participated in Read an Ebook Week.
I got the email from Smashwords and figured it would be a good boost to my books that were having rather lackluster sales. If nothing else, at least I could get a few more eyeballs on them.
So, I discounted four of my books by 50%, and four by 75% through the ‘Manage Site-Wide Promotions’ on the Smashwords dashboard, and sat back feeling a smug (although really not expecting much).
For sake of comparison four books were non-fiction, four were fiction (two novels, and two ‘collections’).
The whole time I kept thinking what a good promotion it was, and how I wish Amazon would do something similar making it easy for publishers to discount books for a limited time.
And then it hit me. We can change the price at Amazon to whatever we like, whenever we like. Why don’t I just do my own ‘sale’ over there at the same time?
I changed the price of all eight of my titles that were in the promotion to the equivalent discounts on Amazon and put a note on all my descriptions:
** Discounted by 75% for a Limited Time **
In celebration of Read an Ebook Week, this title is on sale between March 3-9. After that it will return to the full list price of $3.99.
Nothing happened with the non-fiction. No sales on Smashwords and sales actually went down on Amazon. It seems that people are very wary when it comes to low priced nonfiction books. As soon as I increased the prices again on Amazon, sales returned to normal.
The collections didn’t sell on Smashwords, but did well on Amazon. I had increased sales and my ranking improved quite a bit. Probably not enough that I want to leave them at the lower price though.
The novels DID sell on Smashwords. Sold a couple of each at the 75% discount. Sales on Amazon were marginally higher, but not enough to show any real significant changes with ranking. I’ve since returned them to normal price.
Overall I liked the promotion and would (will) do it again. I think they have another similar type of promotion in June or July? Obviously 75% discount is going to do much better than 50%, and full length novels/books will do better than short stories.
Next time I might try putting a few of them free to see what happens.