Dear authors, you have been very patient with us. Our free download tracker has been broken for too long, and the behind-the-scenes work towards getting it fixed has resembled the plot of a lengthy international spy thriller. Our development and analytics teams finally cracked the code, and finished crunching the numbers to get everyone’s dashboards back up to date.

What you now see in your dashboard is a counter of all-time free downloads as of June 1st, 2017, updated daily so you can track any ongoing promotions. Important things to note:

  • “Free downloads” means a customer received the book for free. This happened one of three ways: 1) you have priced your eBook at $0,  2) you opted to include it in a KWL promotion with a promo code that dropped the price to $0,  or 3) a customer used a Kobo-sponsored promotion and received it for $0. For Kobo-sponsored promotions, the price never changed, Kobo paid to support the promo code, and you received full royalties.
  • Please do keep that June 1 date in mind—it’s when we made several fixes on our side, and the time from which we can offer an accurate download count.Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 7.46.27 PM

You might be thinking, “Yay! But I want to choose a custom date range, not just see all-time downloads.” And we agree. We’re already working on it, and we plan to have another update to share here soon.

If you’re wondering whether you should price an eBook at free, we always tell authors to think of free as a marketing tool to keep in your arsenal when you have a solid catalogue of many books to offer. Remember, you can always price any eBook at free with KWL, no strings or exclusivity required. Here are a few strategies for how to use free:

  1. Offer the first book in a series for free permanently to draw in new readers.
  2. Create a short story or novella—same idea as a series starter, but it can be a prequel or unrelated story to showcase your writing and characters.
  3. Do a temporary price drop to free for a Bookbub or other marketing campaign.
  4. Send a free eBook or unique story directly to fans for signing up for your newsletter (instead of pricing it for free at retailers).

What are your thoughts on Free? Has it worked well for you—or would you never dream of giving your eBook away? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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