Today is Day 1 of Permafree for Dead on Demand, at least in the UK.
We've taken the decision to go free on this for a few reasons:
1. Dead on Demand has long since 'earned out' - all the sunk costs have been paid for, so it's not a loss leader in the strictest financial sense, but only a loss in terms of opportunity cost.
2. It's our first book and the first in a series, which should lift sales of the second in that series.
NB: While DoD is going free, Cleaver Square is going up in price so that the overall 'series total' is roughly the same ($0 + $3.99 instead of 99c + $2.99). This removes risk for the reader (as they get a full four hundred page book for nothing) and maximises our income as everything is in the 70% royalty rate (which, for any readers, is calculated after VAT and after a small delivery charge for data transmission. Our total income per 'set' of two books is about $2.66, or £1.80 in Stirling).
3. To increase overall volume. Free gives us more list visibility - there are fewer free titles than paid, so hitting those lists. This ties back into reader risk: more people will take it for free than paid (duh!). We know from experience that free can be highly effective at gaining downloads, and we're hoping that the conversion percentage will increase our overall income to help us keep writing.
We're still waiting on an Amazon.com pricematch (it's free at Apple. B&N, et al, so hopefully it'll happen soon) so we're not actively advertising it yet. So far, 44 downloads without telling a soul - in about 12 hours.
It's not the 'one every three seconds' rate of 2012, but it should increase as we begin to turn on the promotional juice.
The 're-edited' elements are not live. We want to make DoD more consistent with CS in style, but it's a fine balancing act between fundamentally rewriting the story and performing a light copyedit. This is still in progress, but (again, being more honest than is probably wise) we have to consider the trade off between improving DoD, and spending time on our other work.