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View Poll Results: What have you done after reading a free story online?
Bought the story / donated an equivalent amount 9 21.43%
Bought other stories by the same author 29 69.05%
Written a comment / review on the authors site 10 23.81%
Posted about it on a forum 16 38.10%
Posted on Facebook, used Facebooks "Like" button, or become a "Fan" 2 4.76%
Blogged about it (or "microblogged" on twitter...) 3 7.14%
Posted on social bookmarking site (e.g. Delicious.com) 0 0%
Mentioned it to friends in Real Life 15 35.71%
Other 5 11.90%
I've never done anything like that :-) 1 2.38%
I don't read free stories online 7 16.67%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-01-2010, 08:02 AM   #1
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What have you done after reading free stories?

You can find a lot of free stories on the 'net, of varying quality.
Posting free stories online is an easy way for new authors to promote their work. The idea is that

a) people who like the stories will help promote them through word of mouth ("virally", as the cool kids say)
b) people who like the stories will be willing to pay, to read more stories by the same author

I've read a lot online - in fact, that's the main reason I bought an e-reader. Otherwise I'd have very little to read on it, because I'm not willing to buy DRM'd ebooks. I'm very thankful for Baen's DRM-free "Webscriptions", but I'm only really interested in a couple of their authors.

I recently read Fine Structure by Sam Hughes, which I found via the Web Original recommendations on TvTropes. (It's "hard" science fiction) In this case there's no "donate" button, and no commercial books or merchandise; it looks like the only contribution I can make is to spread the word.

It made me think about joining Delicious again - and "voting" for the book, by entering the website as one of my bookmarks. But I wonder what other options people use...
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:15 AM   #2
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There are a few nice folks on MobileRead who run blogs specifically for the purpose of promoting books they have read, and many of which are freely available. That is a very effective "word of mouth" extension.

Here is another suggestion, should anyone feel like trying the idea:

If you find an author whose stories you really, really like, and you also happen to know of a publication for which those stories would be a good fit, why not write a letter to the editor suggesting the author? Magazines want to publish the authors that their readers want to read. The right word in the right place, if repeated enough times, might help to put the two together.

- M.
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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I don't read stories on-line, that's why I bought a reader.....
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:51 AM   #4
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GeoffC: I blame the forum software :-p. Read it as just "free stories", like in the thread title.

Thanks for pointing that out. I did mean to include e.g. free downloads from the Kindle store.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:29 AM   #5
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #6
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I have made "donations" at Baen's free library. Since there may not be a price, I may split the difference between a normal edition and 0
As Eric Flint noted, Get them on the hook and the rest will be paid for .

Yep!
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:22 PM   #7
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During last e-book week, I went and downloaded a bunch of freebies.

For two authors (so far - I'm a bit slow getting through my TBR list...) I've gone back to Smashwords and purchased all the authors' works.

The authors are Connie Shelton (Charlie Parker mystery series) and Kristine Williams (various SciFi works).

I try to get more (or all) of the author's work if it's available if I like the book. If I didn't like the book, or found it just "meh" - I'll just delete it and move on.

Marilyn

P.S. Hey, cool! When I went to Smashwords to make sure I spelled Connie Shelton's last name - I found book number #11 out in her series. So, thanks for starting the thread and reminding me to look/buy.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:11 AM   #8
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It really depends on if I like the story, Author, style, etc. I'll usually share the stories with friends online and offline, and if I can find it, I'll usually buy a physical copy.
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