it’s been almost four years since i first uploaded some of my ebooks to smashwords and feedbooks and amazon, and it’s been an interesting ride so far. i was fortunate to catch a bit of luck and a bit of a wave, and i can feel it coming into shore now. my idea was that since my books tend to be somewhat eccentric, that i would put them out there for free as much as possible, figuring that since their likely audience was perhaps 1 in 1000 readers, then the more readers, the likelier they’d find those few. the data seems to bear out my hunch. with more than seven hundred thousand copies downloaded, true fans of the books are indeed few and far between, to judge by ratings, reviews, and direct feedback from readers.
downloads remain fairly steady but slowing, especially tailing off rather dramatically lately on amazon, who seem to constantly fiddle with discoverability and pricing and such. it seemed like a good time to try a new experiment. my books will remain free on feedbooks and a few other places, but most of them will now bear prices on smashwords, their affiliates and eventually amazon as well i expect. to go by the amazon experience, there have been about 1 sale for every 1000 downloads, so my guess is that downloads via smashwords etc will drop accordingly.
i’m curious about two things.
one. i’m guessing that ratings will increase, if slightly, because of the way people associate price with worth. someone who spends money on a thing, even if it’s only a little money (ninety nine cents!) are likelier to assign a higher value to it.
two. as a corollary, i’m expecting the written reviews to be a little less honest, a little more euphemistic. i don’t know why. it’s just a hunch
finally, i kind of feel, at this point, that if people want to give something a bad review, maybe they should have to pay for the privelege of doing so.
i will gladly supply free copies – in any e-book format – of any of my books to anyone who asks – or they can simply go to feedbooks and find them all there.