Thanks to information shared with me behind the scenes, we’ve stopped the experiment with “Parallels.” I was looking forward to testing out how fast price changes travel, but there turned out to be an unexpected issue. Depending on how a sale is set up and which distributors it goes to, the sale can go on for months after it was supposed to stop.
Unfortunately, the way “Parallels” is currently distributed, that likely could have happened to it. So instead a different experiment will be done in a month or two, where a free short story (that ties into a novel) will get shipped off into the world that will stay free permanently.
We’ve also got some ideas on how to deal with the “temporary sale price becoming a near-permanent sale price” issue and will probably try one out next year.
And yes, I’m being deliberately vague here. I will say that this is only a potential issue if the ebook is being distributed on many different e-retailers at the same time. It’s a bit like herding cats–it can be difficult to get them all to move in the same direction.
I highly recommend that a tiny press or indie author use a short story first to test where possible snafus might show up in doing a temporary sale.