Friday, June 15, 2012
The downside of free downloads
Apparently, the free offer of Murder By Magic was taken up by thousands, on both sides of the Atlantic. Great - except that it means no money for either Accent Press or me. In the week after the free download, Murder by Magic and Murder in Steeple Martin were both put up as 77 pence downloads and sold a reasonable amount. The downside is that people who would normally never buy your books trawl the free download charts (and I got as high as number 8 in the top 100) and that's the problem. I have now attracted two lousy reviews from people who, by their own admission, would not normally buy my books, even accusing me of lifting the idea of the series from another author. As the other author and I actually discussed the similarity of our series before either of them were written, this was infuriating. I have subsequently had a comforting email from that author (albeit from the Pelopponese where he and his wife are sunning themselves - sigh) and I know it shouldn't worry me. But it has shown me the problems free downloads can encounter. If my books are at a normal price, then people who like them and other books like them will find them and buy them. If they are cheap or free, anyone will download them, possibly to their detriment. So I think, perhaps, we won't do it again!