Daily Archives: October 20, 2014

Kindle Freebies – making money giving away free books

Okay – so WHEN is it better to give than to receive?

I’ve given away close to 3000 freebie Kindle e-books since the beginning of September.

That’s more books than I have sold for money, in a year.

So is that paying off? Am I making money, hand over fist, as a result of my masterful e-book strategy?

Well, I am making more this month than I did last month – and I made more in September than I made in August. There has been a definite improvement and I believe that some of that improvement stems directly from my freebie promotions.

In addition to the higher sales rate I have seen a solid influx of reviews.

A whopping TWENTY-TWO new Kindle reviews since September 1, 2014.

That’s a pretty good rate of return, especially because most of them were unsolicited and VERY positive.

I’ve also seen an increase in the “borrows” through the Kindle Unlimited program.

About a dozen of my e-books were borrowed and read in September. Over thirty e-books have been borrowed so far in October.

Now – as most of you folks realize – Kindle gives a a payment for each Kindle Unlimited borrow THAT IS READ TO AT LEAST THE TEN PERCENT mark. So if somebody borrows your e-book through Kindle Unlimited and doesn’t open it and read at least 10% of the content you don’t get paid.

This payment varies, month by month.

In July the payment was $1.80 per borrow.

In August that went down to $1.54 per borrow.

September was $1.52 per borrow.

As more authors become a part of the Kindle Unlimited program the payments will drop – just because there is a limited amount of funds available in the pot for each month. HOWEVER, if Kindle Unlimited continues to grow in popularity with readers – the pot will grow – theoretically.

I believe that Kindle Unlimited is a good deal for chronically addicted readers of e-books. It is – in effect – like Netflix for e-books – so I am fairly confident that Kindle Unlimited is going to continue to thrive.

So those free books that I give away through Kindle Unlimited are money in the bank for me. I am happy with the rate of the return so far – especially on my lower-priced e-books.


Well – if somebody buys a copy of BIG HAIRY DEAL – my Bigfoot YA novel which is currently 99 cents for the month of October – I earn 35 cents, roughly.

HOWEVER – if somebody borrows and reads a copy of BIG HAIRY DEAL they pay nothing and I earn whatever the Kindle Unlimited payment is that month. For example, in September I would have earned $1.52 for that borrow.

Which beats 35 cents.

HOWEVER, in the month of November I intend to raise that 99 cent price tag up to $2.99.

At that point a sale of BIG HAIRY DEAL would net me about $2.10 while a borrow would result in a return of whatever the borrow rate is THAT month.

So – theoretically – I lose money. But as far as I am concerned that is nothing but a theoretical loss. The fact is a person who “borrows” my book through Kindle Unlimited might NOT necessarily have bought it – if Kindle Unlimited hadn’t existed in the first place.

You see – theoretical money.

So – as far as I am concerned I am happy with my rate of return whether or not it is a borrow OR a sale.

Or even a freebie.

In a year or two my mind might change. I get to selling more e-books and it becomes more of an actual business for me I might actually have to take myself seriously and pay attention to profit margins and spreadsheets and financial statements and pie charts…

Damn it.

Why did I have to say pie?

Now how the hell will I get any writing done today?

While I am talking about free e-books why don’t I tell you about my latest Kindle freebie promotion?

Pick up a copy of FIGHTING WORDS today!

FREE - on Kindle today and tomorrow. Grab a copy now. You want to read it and leave a happy review that wouldn't hurt my feelings one little bit.

FREE – on Kindle today and tomorrow. Grab a copy now. You want to read it and leave a happy review that wouldn’t hurt my feelings one little bit.

So what is the book about?

FIGHTING WORDS is based on the true story of a Nova Scotia teenage fight club. It is a tale of bullying, peer pressure and the desperation of marginalized rural youth.

Max was just a thirteen year old nobody – until the fight. He didn’t plan the fight. He didn’t even want the fight to happen – but after he stood up to Rodney freaking Hammerhead to protect his sort-of-best-friend Tommy – Max decided that fighting could be a good thing. People looked up to fighters. Girls liked fighters. Now Tommy and Max have decided to create their own personal fight club.

It seemed like a good idea – but what can I tell you?

Sometimes stupid just gets in your eyes.

yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon

“Steve Vernon is a born storyteller.” – HALIFAX MAGAZINE