A while back, I published To Catch a Billionaire Dragon, a short contemporary romance. As I blogged at the time, I wrote and published it in three parts, each with its own story arc and cliff-hangers at the ends of parts one and two. I set the first book free – on all retailers other than Amazon, which refused to make it permafree.
The first part was downloaded really well from the start. And at first, parts two and three got some attention too, although not nearly in proportion to how much the first part was downloaded. In recent month, however, even the free downloads have dwindled to one a day and almost no one buys the rest of the book.
The experiment was useful though. I’ve learned that people like to download books for free. I’ve learned that readers liked the first part, some enough to buy the rest. But I also learned that nothing enrages some readers as much as having to pay for something when they have got something else for free first – even when they really liked what they had got. I also learned that having a book permanently free doesn’t lead to great sales for the rest of the books. However, it might have worked better if Amazon had made the first part free.
Because the book in three parts doesn’t move as much as it used to, some changes are required. So I’ve published it as a complete set, all three parts together. It’s only available on Amazon for now, and the separate parts are still on sale too. I will unpublish the separate parts later, so that the readers won’t be confused by them. Currently, the book is only $0.99/£0.99, so if you like quick romantic reads, this is a chance for you. And the first part is still available on my website for free too. Take a look!