My ‘failed’ wide experiment: update on Royal Scales series

Hey all! So it’s a bummer–it is what it is–and I’m ultimately happy with having tried the ‘wide experiment.’ Why? Because if nothing else, we garnered a couple new reviews (favorable which is nice, but we like getting any and all reviews even if they might hurt) my favorite one coming from a lovely blogger, Greta Cribbs, who featured Once Lost Lords Royal Scales Book 1 as her Indie Book of the Month for June! How awesome is that? Here’s a little snippet from her post:

This time it was an urban fantasy with…gulp…vampires and werewolves. I almost rejected it outright just from reading the blurb, but my submission policy clearly states that I will at least read the sample chapters before making a decision. I wasn’t expecting much. So many people have come along, in the aftermath of Twilight, trying to write the vampire/werewolf story, that I was sure nothing original could come out of the genre, but I was wrong. This month’s book proved me wrong.

I submitted the book on her blog and there were quite a few others who submitted their books in the comments, so to have been selected and then to have surprised her with how much she enjoyed it, well… it makes me even more proud of Stephan.

That aside, as far as the ‘fail’ part of my wide experiment, this is for those of you who like numbers:

Permafree since Feb. 2017

  • Amazon total free books:  5,643
  • Kobo total free books: To be fair, we went direct with them as of March. Their free book counter never worked while with them the only number I have from them is 95, I’m sure it’s more but we’ll never know the true total.
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) total free books: 65
  • D2D (Draft2Digital vendors Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc…) total free books: 687
  • Smashwords total free books: 32

So a little over 6,000 free books, which yay?! I’m going to attribute all reviews from Feb. 2017 to the permafree experiment – we started with 5 reviews on Amazon and it went up 7 reviews! While that doesn’t seem so great, consider the last review before this all started was Nov 2016 *gasp*. We got our first new review in March and 6 more trickled in, it was nice!

Okay great, so what does this mean? I’m not sure, but here’s more numbers:

  • Amazon: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 109 sales
  • Amazon: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 95 sales (a good portion of the total was from the $0.99 preorder price THANK YOU all you awesome people who preordered!)
  • Kobo: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 19 sales
  • Kobo: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) Released end of April-May = 5 sales
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) = 1 sale
  • Pronoun (GooglePlay) Trials of the Chief (Book 3) = 1 sale
  • D2D: Lady’s First Knight (Book 2) Feb-May = 9 sales
  • D2D: Trials of the Chief (Book 3) April-May = 9 sales
  • Smashwords: 0 for both since I did not list book 2 or 3 there… honestly I’d pretty much forgotten about them >.>

Total of 248 sales… hmmm compared to 6,000 free books that seems underwhelming, doesn’t it? Maybe I’m wrong, but Stephan basically said if it’s not making traction wide then it needs to return to KDP Select. And that’s what I did, so –shameless plug here– the entire Royal Scales series is now free to read with Kindle Unlimited. I do wish I hadn’t pulled them from wide so quick, as some of you may have noticed the books got brand-spankin’ new covers that better depict the genre (Urban Fantasy) and I noticed with each passing month as wide–even though it was only 1 or 2 sales–there were more copies being sold with each month. Oh well… maybe I’ll get to try again with another series.

*Edited to add – I just re-read my prior post about going wide and permafree with book 1 in the series and wanted to mention we still never got the elusive Bookbub even with the new covers and being widely available!

What do you awesome readers think? Was it a ‘fail’? Do you love/like/hate the new covers? Feel free to comment below!

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