How do you feel about free books?

How do you feel about free books, giveaways, etc.?

  • Possitive

    Votes: 12 75.0%
  • Negative

    Votes: 4 25.0%

  • Total voters
    16

ajdobbs

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#21
No. I've got a small publisher that took the book on. I paid to get it copy edited and proof read and into a "fit" state. I gave them cover concepts as I had a clear idea and they took it from there. I agree with all your points and it's a real minefield. I'm told by my publisher I need to get busy on social media, which is easier said then done, but I'm trying.


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alicia

Warded demons with Arlen
#22
Just don't let them turn you into a spammer. So many authors on sites like Goodreads just alienate readers!
 

ajdobbs

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#23
That's what I'm struggling with a little, it can all seem a little contrived. Social media is not a natural environment for me but I guess it's finding the right balance; everyday's a learning day!


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ajdobbs

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#25
Ok thanks for that. I'm signed up with Goodreads so I'll check that out


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Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#26
Ok thanks for that. I'm signed up with Goodreads so I'll check that out
See you there - eventually. I use Goodreads a lot less than I used to - since the site was sold to Amazon it has a lot less going on, and a lot less to offer - with very few clear advantages. I think Amazon just wanted it so they could be in control if they ever needed to be!
I am still investigating Facebook - so far I don't much like it, but I can see its potential value. If you can afford the time, set up two pages - one in your own name, where old friends can appear out of the mists - some of them you may be glad to see, others probably not; and the other in the name of your book or some related term. That is where you do your promoting. Have those two pages 'Friend' each other. The real problem is simply finding time to keep on top of it all!
Also - I recently joined in with a free promotion on Smashwords. It was the second time I had done so. The first time I did no extra promotion, I just relied on being part of the Smash promo - and I got no extra sales. Say again, NO takeup, even when 75% off or FREE. With nothing to draw attention to the work, nothing happened. This second time I spent a fair amount of time on Twitter - and it had some effect. To be honest, I think I needed to spend more time building up Twitter followers first, and then more time twittering during the promotion - but a few things happened (just not enough yet!)
And finally, run your own website - with a counter, so you can see how much interest you are getting. The results will be soul-destroying - but it is better to know what is happening than live in a dream. At least you have a chance to change things!
You haven't told us . . . US or UK or somewhere else?
 

ajdobbs

Hung out on a briar with Honorable Jorg
#27
Well I've got facebook, my own page and my personal account and I have a website/blog. I haven't got into Twitter yet but it's on the list. I feel like an apprentice in a world of masters! I'm from the UK and the book is listed on Amazon UK and .COM but only a kindle edition on .COM. Thanks for the advice, it's nice to hear other peoples experience


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Nuomer1

Journeyed there and back again
#28
No. I've got a small publisher that took the book on. I paid to get it copy edited and proof read and into a "fit" state. I gave them cover concepts as I had a clear idea and they took it from there. I agree with all your points and it's a real minefield. I'm told by my publisher I need to get busy on social media, which is easier said then done, but I'm trying.
Hi AJDobbs. Re this - I have just started a conversation. If you can find it on the toolbars, RSVP. Thanks
 

alicia

Warded demons with Arlen
#29
Ok thanks for that. I'm signed up with Goodreads so I'll check that out


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Just do a search under groups on the word 'reviews'. Some are better than others and genre can vary. Watch out for trolls. There is etiquette about approaching reviewers and any group rules are not worth violating.
 

alicia

Warded demons with Arlen
#30
Back on topic, I got a freebie last week, Ghost Story by Jeff Brackett. Normally .99 but it's only 67 pages. Great Halloween Horror read! Had me at the edge of my chair. As long as you don't mind a little blood in your ghost soup.
 

Derk of Derkholm

Journeyed there and back again
#31
Hmm, to me, my free time to read books is unfortunately more valuable than the 3 EUR (or similar) that I would have to pay for a new book by an unknown author.

That aside, I am always interested to hear about good books by new authors. Of course, every author thinks that his own book is awesome (otherwise he would likely not have written it).

Best regards,
Andy
 

Laughing Mime

Mixes poisons and sharpens knives with Kylar
#33
I'm a 28 year old full time student supporting myself (albeit in a country with good min wage), so any money I can save on my huge book expense is worth it to me. Personally I like the idea of legal online libraries where you can read an e-book if no one else has it out at that moment. Free never had bad connotations when i was going to libraries as a youth.

In regards to self publishing authors its a tough question if offering book 1 free will bring in additional readers to your sequels. Surely there are some metrics out there though right? If not a night of work crunching indie author kindle stats would give you a decent idea of this strategy's viability.
 
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alicia

Warded demons with Arlen
#34
Hmm, to me, my free time to read books is unfortunately more valuable than the 3 EUR (or similar) that I would have to pay for a new book by an unknown author.

That aside, I am always interested to hear about good books by new authors. Of course, every author thinks that his own book is awesome (otherwise he would likely not have written it).

Best regards,
Andy
I vet free books the same way I used to vet books in bookshops. I read a few pages and if it doesn't grab me, I delete it and move on.

Having said that, I've found a couple of good ones this month. The one I posted above and A Halloween Tale by Austin Crawley, which would make a great creepy Christmas read. Three women do a seance to invoke the Christmas ghosts from A Christmas Carol. Of course they get more than they bargained for.

Personally I'm finding more good stuff from indy authors these days than trad publishers. The latter are trying too hard to cater to the lowest common denominator.

Oh and while I'm on Horror books, I highly recommend the High Moor series by Graeme Reynolds. Seriously good werewolf stories at a quality level that could match any of the literary stars.
 

jjwilbourne

A farm boy with a sword
#35
I'm okay with free books. I don't think there's anything wrong with them personally.
But I don't take a free book just because it's free. I only take free books I fully intend to read.

If you're an indie author, I think it's a really great way to kickstart your career. But you can't just set a book for free arbitrarily. You need to know what you plan to actually accomplish from it. You may be setting your book for free when what you really need to do is something else (like getting a decent book cover or refining your book description).

A free book falls in the widest parts of your sales funnel. Don't neglect your retention and conversion plan when moving your readers down the funnel. Otherwise the free book will do you no good.
 

intensegravity

Listens to The Unbeliever whine about life
#36
Quick question: How do you feel about free books - temporary giveaways and other such things? I'm asking as an indie author from a non-English speaking country, who plans to get self-published in the English-speaking side of the world. In my home country (Bulgaria) people are still jumping eagerly for free books, but I'm wondering whether that is so in the west too. I guess not so much.
I've read through some of the comments in this thread. It wouldn't be wise to depend on the sampling here. As an author who makes his entire living from self-publishing through four different pen names, I can tell you that offering free books on a promotional basis is absolutely necessary. This isn't a new tactic. It has been used by many authors in their humble beginnings and isn't limited to self published authors. In order to develop a strong following you will have to sometimes give both hard copies and digital copies away. If you've done your job well and written a book that readers love, they will go on to buy more of your work.
 

Mason

A farm boy with a sword
#37
I give away free books all the time. My first three book number ones in my 3 series are all free, and it helps draw in other readers. But understand that there are some readers out there who only read free books. They will never buy a book because there are so many free ones around. And then there are the "Everything must be free" loons, who are not writers, and who do not have to make a living as a writer. I even have fen email or message me and say, "I can't wait until you make this book or that book free, so that I can read it." Like any other artist or person who creates a product which has value, writers have a right to charge a fair market price for their work. They have as much right to make a living as someone who sells shoes or anything else. Don't go to the shoe store and demand a free pair of shoes, anymore than you would walk into a bookstore and demand a free book. Like many artists, writers work very hard for many years without any pay or recognition. When they do start to sell, they have a right be paid fairly for their work. The average income for writers is still only around 18K a year. That's not much--still well below the poverty line.
 

alicia

Warded demons with Arlen
#39
I read somewhere recently that 99 cents is the new free. The glut of free books has created a culture of readers who wait for everything to be free, as a couple of people above have said. I know that spending a nominal amount on a book makes me feel more inclined to read it sooner than later. I still have loads of free books sitting unread from when I first got my Kindle.

Having said that, I actually put down a whole .99 on a pre-order for the first time, for a Horror story coming out in October called Letters to the Damned by Austin Crawley. I read one of his other books last Halloween so at least I know he writes well and edits properly, something too often missing in the freebies. The plot on this one sounded too good to prevaricate. Haunted post box, people writing to dead relatives so they'll do favours for them, what could go wrong? ;)