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Free eBook Offerings on KDP Select Drive Sixfold Increase in Paid Downloads

New data from quantifies the power of free marketing for self-published authors.

Chapel Hill, NC, September 21, 2012 --( Indie authors who offer their eBooks for free see, on average, a sixfold increase in sales and revenue within a week, according to new research from released today.

The site, a curator of free reads for popular devices including the Kindle, Nook and iPad, surveyed authors who have used free promo days as a marketing tool. The week before the offer, authors sold an average of 19 eBooks and collected $59 in revenue. The week after, they sold 140 eBooks and earned $435.

“Authors are discovering what marketers have known for years: Free sells,” said Ricci Wolman, the CEO and founder of Freebooksy. “A free eBook offer builds momentum, fuels referrals and, ultimately, drives paid downloads.”

Data supplied by authors who offered their eBooks for free showed that having a social media presence, being featured on a third party site and receiving a high volume of reviews is most critical to downloads and sales.

According to the research, most authors are using Amazon’s KDP Select program to offer their eBooks for free for 48 hours. Those who used Twitter or Facebook to promote the book had 3,500 downloads per day, versus only 825 for those who did not. The number jumped to 3,790 downloads per day for those whose eBook was featured on at least one third-party site such as Freebooksy. And those who used social media in conjunction with placement on a third-party site had, on average, 4,000 downloads per day.

The broader exposure is critical to another factor key to long-term success: reviews. Freebooksy found that the number of reviews on an eBook is a more significant predictor of success than the overall review score.

For the full data from Freebooksy, please contact Ricci Wolman.
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Ricci Wolman

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