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Old 01-10-2013, 04:27 AM   #16
sarahdalton
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If you want to run a free promotion then definitely advertise it. There are plenty of websites that promote free books - here's a list http://katrinaparkerwilliams.wordpre...s-promo-sites/

Personally, I'm not a fan. I just think that the only people who truly benefit are Amazon. They sell Kindles to people expecting free books.

Authors suffer overall because readers expect super cheap and free books.

I can see why people do it, and on an individual level it can be a good thing, but for the big picture I just really dislike it. Just be careful with your expectations. There are a lot of free books out there now, it isn't the fast track to success it used to be. Having said that, I wish you all the luck in the world
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:32 PM   #17
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I keep all of my short stories and poetry works free, and they see much heavier views/downloads then my novels which I charge for. I distribute free on Smashwords, Sony, Apple, Barnes & Noble and Feedbooks. Of those, Feedbooks has given me the most downloads, with Sony and Barnes & Noble following up. I have yet to try the Amazon KDP select, so I'm not sure about that one. I'd rather people read my work free or not, going free is a great publicity tool, getting your product out there.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:17 AM   #18
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As I think the free book has been conscientious for people purchasing a little of my other books, but not various. The free book has been downloaded over 100,00 times.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #19
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I currently have 3 free and 7 pay novels up at various stores. My ratio of giveaways to paid sales has been pretty constant over the last two years at about 50:1. I tend to make the first book of a series free once the series is complete (I have one trilogy and one quadrilogy) and have noted that there is about a tenfold increase in sales of the paid books once the free one has been out for a while. My sales are fairly modest so the data points are small, but take that for what you will.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:21 PM   #20
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I currently have 3 free and 7 pay novels up at various stores. My ratio of giveaways to paid sales has been pretty constant over the last two years at about 50:1. I tend to make the first book of a series free once the series is complete (I have one trilogy and one quadrilogy) and have noted that there is about a tenfold increase in sales of the paid books once the free one has been out for a while. My sales are fairly modest so the data points are small, but take that for what you will.
It helps confirm/support the experience that Vydorscope has reported. I was thinking that I might try something similar once I finished my first series, though I was thinking I would try free/cheap only for a limited period only* - probably some months - did you consider that option?

(* That's assuming I don't get swamped with sales in the mean time, it seems a pretty safe assumption .)
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:25 AM   #21
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I am always hesitant to buy an ebook from an indie author because so many of them are poorly edited (if edited at all). Consequently, it has been my practice to look for free books by an author, "buy" them, and if I like the author and find the book at least moderately well-edited, actually buy other books by the author. I did this with VydorScope's books (although I still have to buy the newest release) and just yesterday with a series by Melissa McPhail. I haven't even quite finished the free book from her when I bought the second book in the series.

The same has been true with numerous other indie authors: Shayne Parkinson, LJ Sellers, Rebecca Forster, Tracy Falbe, Michael Hicks, and Vicki Tyley to name a few. In each case I read their free book and immediately purchased everything else they had published. I would not have bought any of their books in the absence of the free book to start.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:54 AM   #22
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it has been my practice to look for free books by an author, "buy" them, and if I like the author and find the book at least moderately well-edited, actually buy other books by the author.
That's the ideal, and why most people will have at least one free title, but something else to think about is that the vast majority of the free books downloaded will never be read. If it's free and even looks vaguely interesting it will be downloaded along with lots of others. That's the main reason why KDP Select is a waste of time. People already have more free books than they can ever read in a lifetime. That and free purchases don't count as a sale any more when it comes to rankings.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:57 AM   #23
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That's the ideal, and why most people will have at least one free title, but something else to think about is that the vast majority of the free books downloaded will never be read. If it's free and even looks vaguely interesting it will be downloaded along with lots of others. That's the main reason why KDP Select is a waste of time. People already have more free books than they can ever read in a lifetime. That and free purchases don't count as a sale any more when it comes to rankings.
Yes but if it is downloaded as part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library you get paid for it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:43 PM   #24
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Yes but if it is downloaded as part of the Kindle Owners Lending Library you get paid for it.
They can only download one a month, I can't see many choosing a cheapie from an unknown writer.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:53 PM   #25
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They can only download one a month, I can't see many choosing a cheapie from an unknown writer.
Not the point. Just pointing out a discrepancy in what you said. I've had a significant number or downloads in exactly that manner and I'm certainly no household name.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:24 AM   #26
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That's the ideal, and why most people will have at least one free title, but something else to think about is that the vast majority of the free books downloaded will never be read. If it's free and even looks vaguely interesting it will be downloaded along with lots of others. That's the main reason why KDP Select is a waste of time. People already have more free books than they can ever read in a lifetime. That and free purchases don't count as a sale any more when it comes to rankings.
Yes, this is a problem and I'm guilty of it as well in that I have downloaded hundreds of free ebooks that I want to read, but haven't yet gotten to.

OTOH, I also tend to buy hardcover books that I want to read and don't get to for years.

My current TBR pile includes more than 2000 ebooks and about 125 hardcover books, some of which I bought 3 years ago.

I find that I download and buy books that interest me but rush to read immediately those that have the most interesting (to me) synopsis by the author along with a professional looking cover. Basically, I am downloading ebooks that I do want to read, but some authors really put effort into their summary and cover and those attract me first.

The flipside is that without the free download I will not read the author's books anyway, so what has been lost by offering the free download even if it sits in my TBR?

I should point out, however, that I do not read or buy books that are Amazon exclusives. I do not wish to support authors who give Amazon exclusivity. So even if a book looks interesting, I pass on it if it is an Amazon exclusive and by the time it is no longer an exclusive, I have wholly forgotten about the book and the author.

Last edited by rhadin; 01-25-2013 at 05:53 AM. Reason: fixed spelling error
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:49 AM   #27
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The flipside is that without the free download I will not read the author's books anyway, so what has been lost by offering the free download even if it sits in my TBR?

Exactly. This is why I do not worry about all the downloads that never turn in to sales - nothing was lost. You merely need to accept that free books are advertising, and not the labor of your love or something.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:55 AM   #28
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Interesting. Thanks Richard. I (and I suspect many) do the same with pbooks, purchase and either never get to or get to much later. Too many books, too little time.

It does have to do with marketing and tastes certainly. And certainly if something is offered for free it may get downloaded but not read for a variety or reasons including tastes and interests and the depth of the TBR pile.

On the other hand what is 'lost' by the author giving the book away under those conditions is possible future sales. If a reader enjoys the free book they are likely to purchase other books from the author. After all that's the main point of given them away in order to sell books. If one just wants to give their work away then that is a different situation.

Interesting about your bias against Amazon exclusives. Do you hold the same views for the print publishers? For B&N Exclusives? Baen Only books?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:58 AM   #29
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Exactly. This is why I do not worry about all the downloads that never turn in to sales - nothing was lost. You merely need to accept that free books are advertising, and not the labor of your love or something.

and not expect them to turn into sales. Interesting this concept. I'm involved in a discussion on a poetry forum about poem postings which is about 'views' vs. 'comments' ratio and someone is whining about "Why are the so many views and no comments on my poem?"

Seems a similar situation, and many and varied reasons.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:25 AM   #30
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[...]Seems a similar situation, and many and varied reasons.
Very much so. Everyone seems to have their own biases and habits, and those biases and habits change over time.

There was a period when I tended to follow particular authors, and when one ran out I'd look for similar authors. Then there was a period where I made a point of finding new and different things. But for the last few years I haven't read all that much new stuff (perhaps only a dozen or two each year), instead I've been re-reading a lot. I dare say I'll get back into looking for new again sometime soon...ish.

Much of the new stuff that I have read in the last couple of years has been inspired from comments I've watched going past on MR. After participating here for a while you get a feel for those that seem to like similar books and pay extra attention to the things they report on. That, to me, means more than most of the Amazon reviews, book blurbs and covers I see flooding my screens. Who/how published and even price (within reason) doesn't play that big a part in it.

Another difference I see is that I don't really keep a TBR list as such, or not a long one - no bigger than the handful of books I picked up on the last shopping jaunt. What I read next is very much a mood thing. I do keep a "want" list of books/authors, but I won't dignify that with a title like TBR, it's more like a keep-watch list for when I go shopping, and if I see or think of a book on that list and my mood's right, it gets added to the cart. Some of the stuff's been on that list for many years.

All of which is not all that helpful to authors trying to sell books to me. I self-published my own book hoping that there's not too many out there with habits like mine.
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