“I never thought I’d say the word ‘freemium,’” says Kate Rados, group marketing director for F+W Media. But after launching a successful three-day free e-book campaign for Eric Lamet’s Holocaust memoir A Child al Confino (Adams Media)late last month to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, she’s not only saying the “f” word but planning a new one for Valentine’s Day, Pride and Prejudice: The Wild and Wanton Edition (Adams Media). “It’s a different genre and timing,” she says. “We’ll see how it affects the other Wild and Wanton Edition, Wuthering Heights.”
With Lamet’s support, on January 27 F+W launched its first major freemium campaign across four e-book platforms: the Kindle, the Nook, Apple iBookstore, and Google. Within 24 hours, A Child al Confino had not only moved into the #1 position on Amazon’s free e-book bestseller list, but it stayed there for several days. “Traditionally in marketing, it peaks,” says Rados. “The fact that it held the position is exciting and encouraging.”
During the three-day promotion, the e-book edition was downloaded 42,558 times, and the marketing team garnered over 200 media hits. In addition, rather than cannibalize print sales, the freemium boosted them. At Amazon A Child al Confino is now in the top 25,000 in print books, #54 in philosopher biographies.
Going forward Rados says that F+W is considering both e-book freemiums and lower price-point discounting. “We want to experiment and look at how our customers are using our content,” she adds. “When our partners are helping us promote and we’re promoting, that’s the perfect storm of promotion. It’s such an important piece in discoverability. We have to be smart. We can’t have these promotions in a vacuum.”