In an earlier post about my use of a BookBub promotion back in May, I mentioned that I was guessing that Apple didn't seem to report how many free books they give away any more, but actually, they do. It's just it takes a lot longer to get free book numbers from Apple than it does sales numbers. Interestingly, since my May and early June sales of No Safe Haven (the sequel to the free book) were higher for iBooks than for B&N, I was assuming that I had given away more free copies of The Sixth Discipline on that platform than on B&N. Not so! I actually gave away noticeably fewer (only a little over 2,500 in iBooks, versus 4,000 on B&N). So what does that mean?
I could hypothesize either that there are more free books on the iBooks platform, which makes it harder for an unknown author to stand out, or that there are simply fewer iBooks customers. But either way, iBooks readers have a higher follow-through on actually reading books they get for free. I know from my own experience and from anecdotal evidence that lots of books downloaded for free are never even opened, let alone read. You'll notice I'm assuming that sales of the sequel will be higher for folks who read the first book!
On the other hand, in July, I had higher sales numbers on Nook than on iBooks, so go figure.