Will The Governess Affair always be a free ebook? How and when did you decide to reduce it/ How do you think your strategy has played out?
I don’t know about always, but it’ll be free for a good long time—probably at least another six months to a year or so.
I set it free in March of 2013, and the sales it spurred of other books in the series were so phenomenal that I just decided to keep it there and see what would happen.
Anecdotally, I heard what you just said from hundreds of people: that a friend told them to try my books, and the fact that the first one was free is what pushed them over the edge.
As a matter of statistics, based on prior sales patterns, I can make an educated guess about what it has done for me. My best guess is that having had that book free for the last 9 months, and having given away (at this point) multiple hundreds of thousands of copies on many venues, has cost me maybe $2000-$4000 in sales of The Governess Affair, and has brought in six figures in sales of subsequent books.
So it hasn’t really been a hard choice to keep it free.
The letter writing between Hugo and Serena in The Governess Affair was some of the best “written” dialogue I have ever read between two characters in a book…Can you describe how you came about writing the scene?
I remember this fairly clearly. I was with some friends of mine (this particular conversation was with Darcy Burke and Natasha Tate) at a writer’s retreat. We were talking about the books we were working on, and I mentioned that I was missing something in the middle of mine.
Basically, I whined at them over dinner that something was wrong, they helped me brainstorm, and then the last lines of that scene sort of dropped into my head. I then went back to the place where we were staying. I was half-drunk (not hard, because I have no alcohol tolerance at all—this means I had half a cocktail, and I remember not even finishing) and I just sort of wrote that out in a daze.
So there you are.
I’ve actually found that whining about why something isn’t working is the best way to fix it.