I was curious whether releasing Old Man’s War as part of Tor’s free eBook series would have any sort of immediate impact on sales of my books, so I had a friend with access to BookScan check out if there was any sort of significant movement in the last week. So, according to BookScan, in mass-market paperback:
The Ghost Brigades sales are up 33% from the week prior;
Old Man’s War sales are up 20% from the week prior;
The Android’s Dream sales are up 9% from the week prior.
Now, percentages are not impressive if you’re not selling huge numbers (if you sold three books last week and this week you sold four, that’s a 33% jump, after all), but each of these books is still selling hundreds of copies weekly, so the increase this week is not insignificant in terms of sales numbers.
The real question is whether these sales bumps are due to the eBook release or to some other factor(s). And, well, I have no idea. I asked my friend if science fiction sales in general were up last week; he said that BookScan noted a 6% bump from the week before in the entire category. TAD might be part of the general movement, but OMW and TGB are significantly outside that. The last week has been busy around here, thanks to various topics and links in from Boing Boing and Instapundit among others, so that might have been a factor as well. But ultimately the biggest news in terms of my books in the last week was the free eBook release of OMW.
My thought on the matter is that while I don’t think there’s definitive proof of this, I do suspect that the free eBook release did have an immediate impact on sales, and that the impact was positive. Now what will be interesting to see is how the books — and particularly the mass market paperback of OMW — do over time.
So there’s some data for you folks to chew on.