The indie publisher BelleBooks put five backlist titles in the Amazon Kindle store for free, and yesterday, discovered that four of those titles had rocketed to the top ten of the Kindle “bestseller” list.
Although the list changes every hour, as of this writing the highest ranked BelleBooks title was “The Crossroads Cafe” by Deborah Smith, which currently sits at number two on the bestseller list. The others were: “Murder Takes The Cake” by Gayle Trent (#3), “Mossy Creek” by Deborah Smith (#6), “Once Bitten” by Kalayna Price (#9)
In an email interview with GalleyCat, BelleBook’s editorial director (and BelleBooks author) Deborah Smith reported a print sales bump after the freebies: “Print sales for all the free titles have gotten a definite boost from the ebook giveaway, with ‘The Crossroads Cafe’ (a 2006 release) jumping from the lowly six figures into the six-thousands yesterday. So we can see a marked increase in print sales as a result. Print sales of our other titles have also increased at Amazon,” she explained.
Smith added: “We are major proponents of keeping ebook prices at a level that supports authors and publishers without alienating readers, so our participation in the Kindle program is not an endorsement of super-cheap or free ebooks. We believe content deserves a respectful value no matter the format. We placed five titles, mostly backlist, into the giveaway program in hopes of scoring some good PR and attracting new readers to our overall list.”
After the jump, her partner explained how they put books in the Kindle store for free.
Her partner Debra Dixon illustrated how they set up the free eBooks with Amazon. “I approached our rep about our desire to make some of our books available free during the Christmas season when new Kindle owners would be looking for content for their shiny new Kindles. And no matter how much fun it might be to download 100 year old classics, most people want current fiction. We’ve always felt our books were the best recommendation for quality, so it made sense to use our back list to drive readers to our front list titles.” she concluded. “This is a limited time offer. Not an assault on ebook pricing.”