The Great Self Publishing Experiment Part 2 – Number Crunching

Following on from yesterday’s post about my experiment with ‘Again’ today I’m going to post the figures and talk about what they mean.

Now, in terms of ‘Again’ making it free wasn’t loosing me money, given that it hadn’t been making me money in the first place (unless you count that might $2.31).

When we left off yesterday I had made ‘Again’ free. This kicked in, by chance, on a Saturday morning – the 19 November to be exact, and again by chance I happened to log on that morning and catch it. I spend the next three days in a whirl of refreshing and updating. The following is my tracking through that weekend:



Within an hour of becoming free ‘Again’ hit #1 on it’s sub genre list of ‘spine chilling horror’.

By lunch time it had entered the top 50 of the Romance list and was number 133 on the overall Free chart.

In terms of numbers this has taken 995 free downloads over a period of 8 hours. All on For reasons I didn’t know at the time (I had not pricematched on it just was not shifting at

In that time I sold three copies of ‘Blood’ the second book in the series, but even now, several weeks later there’s no way to tell yet if the free download will generate any real sales of the next book in the series, only time will tell.

After refreshing obsessively all day, I noticed that as the book climbs higher in the chart, the rate of downloads (not just the total number, but the amount of downloads per hour) increases, I can only assume that’s due to the increased visibility of the title in the charts.



As of Sunday morning there were 1526 free downloads of Again and two downloads of Blood.

Again was still number 1 in it’s sub category and hovering around #35 in Romance. It was #124 on the overall Free list.

By Sunday evening, that’s 26 hours after it went free,  I started getting a list of ‘customers who bought this also bought’ that was quite vast.

Until this point there were only two book showing in that list, the second book in the series and another werewolf book.

There were by then around 30 books there now, and what I noticed was that most of them are SP urban fantasy and paranormal romances, but also that they were mostly priced around the $2.99 mark, with very few lower priced or free books.



Again has been free for 48 hours and in that time has had 2300 downloads. It was still sitting at around 120 in the overall free chart, although this had been fluctuating slightly between 120 and 135.
(As a note, it was and still is showing on my dashboard at being the old price, which can be kinda confusing.)

UPDATE : @12.43 Monday

First negative review is up. Well, I say ‘negative’ but it’s actually just another author pushing their own book. So that’s one very positive review and one spammy one so far out of 2300 total downloads.

Edit: @15.17

Sales have slowed a lot to 2402 sales over a 50 hour period, which is, percentage wise, down from the previous day. It seems that free SP books seem to peak quite quickly.

That said, I’m still seeing a good amount of downloads, although my UK downloads are just a handful. There has been some interest in the second book, although it’s still only showing a couple of sales a day.

Currently the book is still #1 in it’s sub genre, #39 in romance and has slipped back to 139 in the overall free list.

As of Tuesday morning there were 2,800 downloads, which means there was only around 200 downloads overnight, so by this stage the rate is slowing down for sure.

At this stage I still have not done any publicity for this other than a single post on my Twitter feed, which has a very small number of followers and is unlikely to have impacted much.



Total of 3,500 downloads so far.



Downloads seem to have petered out and book has slipped back down to #342 on the overall list, although it is till #1 on it’s subgenre of ‘spine chilling horror’


A month later and ‘Again’ has totally 4216 copies, with about 100 downloads a week for the last few weeks, with a total of 5 units refunded.

Not exactly awe-inspiring numbers, but real numbers from a believable basic self publishing experiment.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about reader reactions and apologise some more.

See you then.





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