First let me start out by telling you about the books in the test. I used Michael Sullivan's Riyria Revelations (5 books released, first four normally $4.95 and the last one $6.95). Before the test I had a post holiday steady sales state of 270 per day.
Below is a graph showing my sales during the promotion:
Avempartha became unexpectedly free in January for a period of time. This "moved" a lot of books (866 per day). But produced a pretty substantial hit to monthly income.
After Avempartha was returned to its normal level I found sales had reached a new base level of 314 books. I then took the first book Crown Conspiracy to $0.99 to make it a loss leader to the series. My intention was to try and see if I could get this book into the Amazon Top 100.
My hope was that the people who actively look for $0.99 would buy in droves and I felt a 200% increase in sales could drive it into the Top 100. To my surprise the sales increased only 10% !Far from the 200% increased I needed to become firmly planted in the Top 100. Rank did improve (from 600 to 300) and the "other boats" did rise as well - but even so another substantial hit to the monthly income.
monthly income please refer to this table:
- Adding a $0.99 loss leader results in approximately 10% increase in number of books sold but a loss of income of $9,665 a month!! Okay, probably not a worth doing for an extended period to try and get to the Top 100.
- Using a free book results in a significant number of books getting into the hands of the reading public 275% and results in an income loss of $7,072 per month. Not as drastic as the $0.99 but still leaving a lot of money on the table.
- The current pricing model $4.95/$6.95 is working well and seems to be producing the best income ratio.
- Sales levels rebounded to almost identical steady state income levels although the distributions of books shifted to provide a nigher number of the first book.
So...I'm not sure you will come to the same results with your book(s). Each book has its own sweet spot and the $4.95/$6.95 may not work for you. That being said I encourage you to do your own testing (change only 1 variable - price (don't change promotion etc)) to help you determine what pricing technique will provide you the best results.