What Are Kindle Sample Conversion Rates?

The Free App Economy: How Sustainble is it?

This is the line that got me thinking:

Ivan says, “Our [free lite app to full paid app conversion] rate is pretty low and is somewhere around 5 to 10%, depending on the price and special deals”

Which really made me laugh a bit at his naivete.

As I mentioned several times before, there’s the lesson of direct mail that should be applied:

What are the average response rates to direct mail campaigns quoted as at the moment?

Is there anything specific to the test and measurement industry?


My industry is Office Products, and 99% of our business comes from direct mail marketing.

We see a 1% response rate when mailing to Prospects or inactive customers.

It’s closer to 2% when we mail a ‘special offer’ to existing customers. (like a big sale on a specific products line).


I’ve been told that a good rule-of-thumb is that 2-3% response rate signifies a successful campaign.

All requoted from quotes at: Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps. (Also related and of interest is my destruction of the “1,000 True Fans” BS: When One Thousand Means Over Fifty Thousand.)

But this made me wonder: Kindle Samples are akin to “lite” freebie versions of apps. What’s the conversion rate for those?

Does Amazon provide statistics to writers and publishers about how many Samples have been downloaded?

In fact, every eBookstore provides free samples. Do they also provide such statistics?

I’d be very interested in seeing some figures posted if anyone wants to do so in Comments. And please do your own math on the conversion rate percentage. I’d get us all in trouble.

Previously at Mike Cane 2008:

Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps
The New School: Saul Williams Vs. Trent Reznor
More About Trent Reznor And Saul Williams
When One Thousand Means Over Fifty Thousand
More On The 1KTF Matter
More Words About One Thousand True Fans



Filed under Amazon Kindle, eBooks: General, Free Ain't, Friction, Marketing, Pricing, Writers

3 responses to “What Are Kindle Sample Conversion Rates?

  1. Amazon wants us to browse, just like we would in a brick and mortar bookstore. How many times have you spent an hour or more browsing and walked out with one or two books? How many books did you pick up off the shelf and thumb through? When I’m looking for research material, I may thumb through a dozen or more books for each book I pick up. (And right now, dead tree is my preferred medium for research material because it’s easier to thumb through and mark up and put sticky notes in.)

    But yeah, I’d love to see some solid figures on this.

    • mikecane

      You are asking the wrong person. Before they raised it, I would constantly hit the checkout limit at NYPL — just from browsing. Had I been able to afford every single book, it would take a damn tractor trailer to move them by now. Thank god for eBooks (but god damn Agency pricing!).

    • Ray Racine

      A better way to browse deep into Amazon’s kindle books is with this cool chrome web app. Designed for thumbing in the digital ebook age.


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