I’m happy to show the results of my pre-order “Go Direct!” experiment now that it’s over. You can order the book and get it right away now if you still haven’t gotten a copy. Remember, you get the PDF plus the audio book all in one when you order.
In my last earnings report I talked about the numbers from just a few days into the launch of the pre-order which you can read here.
It’s now about five weeks later and I have some more solid conclusions to share. Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the experiment and strategy. Here are some insights. A couple of notes.
1. There have been 852 pre-orders so far. Not too shabby.
2. I have earned almost $2,000 in sales, minus the Gumroad 5% commission.
3. I spent $255 on Facebook ads to drive people to the pre-order page.
4. 84% of the people who pre-ordered confirmed their email address after ordering which means I’ve added quite a bit of people to my email list for the book.
Not bad at all I would say.
Now on to some facts and conclusions…
Free vs. Paid – In my first report I mentioned that “Approximately 55% of the people who ordered the package signed up for free, while 45% contributed anywhere between $.99 and $10.” That number of people who got it free vs. paid has since shifted significantly. Now over 75% of the people who pre-ordered the book and audio book paid for the book, while the rest got it for free.
Conclusion: The “pay what you want” model allows you to offer people a choice. They either see value in it up front, or just want something free. That’s fine either way. The people who paid for it paid whatever they wanted for it. All the way from $.99 to $20 in some cases. The bottom line is I offered them a choice to consume my content free or paid, and the vast majority of them chose the paid option.
Suggested Price Thoughts – At first I suggested a price for the pre-order of $1.99. What I found after a few days was that the average paid order was exactly that: $1.99. So I experimented and upped the suggested price to $2.99. Well, there should be no surprise that that statistic has held true. Most people just went with the suggested price.
Conclusion: When you offer people a choice first, and then also offer them a suggestion; most people will take that suggestion. I wonder what would have happened if I upped the suggested price to $4.99 or even more? I will try that in the future with regular orders.
Emails Are Valuable – Amazon is great, but they don’t share YOUR customer data with you. You have no idea who has bought from you. Using this method, I was able to collect hundreds of emails from people who bought my book. That’s EXTREMELY valuable. Now anytime I launch a new book I can email them and tell them about it. Amazon doesn’t let you do that. Building an email list by Going Direct! makes a lot of sense doesn’t it?
Sure, I missed out on “rankings” on Amazon for now. I’ll eventually put the book up there for sale. But I would suggest that my sales and the addition of gathering future potential customers totally outweigh the “rankings” I would get from Amazon. Going Direct! isn’t a fad; it’s the future. Every author, or comedian, or musician or blogger or anyone who creates content for an audience can, and should try it.