I had dinner with another erotic author a couple of months ago, and she gave me some advice on pricing. Apparently, I was selling myself short by giving my stories away for free. My theory was that I would build up my readership by giving away a selection of stories, and that my readers would like them so much they would then buy a few of my other stories. Rubbish, she said. All that would happen is that you just get downloads from the people who only read free stories, and that would be that. Well, it turns out she was right. I looked at my stats and though I was getting hundreds and hundreds of downloads of my free stories, no one was then buying anything. So I took her advice, and only left one story free so that readers could sample my work. I did experiment with two 'reader sets price' books, but all that happened was that every single reader set the price to zero. So I changed those too.
Well, following that change I've had two great months of sales. Readers are buying my books, at a price both they and I hopefully find fair, and I have passed a few few more milestones; first book in profit; best month; first review on kobo. I also had one sad first. First book returned after reading it. I guess the freeloaders will still be around, no matter what you do. But I will ignore that one sad person who thinks he is so clever by playing the system and getting books for free; instead, a big thank you to my readers who have enjoyed my stories and come back for more. Also, a huge thank you to the other erotic author for your advice. You know who you are. ;-)