Giving away the books you have written seems to defy logic. Why give away all your hard work for nothing? Well, welcome to the new world of Internet based publishing and book selling, where you can throw all you old logic straight out of the window.
Since day one of the Internet free has been the operative word. Everyone loves free stuff. It doesn’t matter what. Music, photos, videos, software or games. Software and app developers figured this out a long time ago and have almost perfected the art of hooking users in with free products, which then lead to sales further down the track. This same logic can be applied to books.
Unless you name happens to be Steven King or J.K Rowling, you are probably a writer in amongst the pack like the rest of us. All flapping around in an ocean of writers trying to garner the attention of readers. Without a huge packet of money to spend on promotion, the best way of doing this is to give your books away.
There are many opinions as how best to use free books but they all have the same purpose. To create attention and bring the author’s name under the noses of readers. The practice is now so common that this article points out that half the books on Kindle’s bestseller list are free books. The logic is simple. If you are not known, readers won’t buy your books.
Since the advent of the Kindle and other e-reading devices, books have joined the harsh reality of the world of the Internet. The old book selling logic just doesn’t work here.
Whether you choose to have one or two books available for free at all times, or select certain books at certain times to be free, such as with Kindle’s new KDP Select program, your books will be downloaded in considerable numbers. But don’t think with the logic of ‘Oh my dear, I’ve just given away 500 books and lost a bucket of money.’ The proportion of these downloads that actually get read is very low indeed. Some might read a little and not like it. Others may get to reading it one day. And others may well be those who just can’t resist anything for free and will never read it.
What you are seeking with free books are readers who like what you write and will return to buy more of your books. Or if you have only one book, those who will recommend your book to other people.
Readers habitually buy books by well known authors. In today’s publishing world, free book giveaways give you a better chance than there has ever been to achieve this. But it starts with getting known in the first place.