I want all that free shit!
When it comes to selling ebooks, there is one salient factor to consider. It is that ‘free shit’ ebooks sell much, much better than ones that actually cost money. Here, sell is, of course, a redundant verb, as selling does not enter the equation when something is free shit.
I have a long list of ebooks available on Amazon and other retailers, but I do have one old, ancient, out of date, hardly worth reading in fact, ebook that is often free. Yet it is, according to Amazon, iBooks and others, ‘bought‘ extremely regularly every day. In fact, it is my best seller! It even has a best seller rank on Amazon! Well, whooppee bloody doopee.
This has led me to an obvious conclusion. It is that some people don’t give a rat’s arse as to what they download, buy or acquire, so long as it is free.
This is a relic mentality from the Internet of the 90’s, yet it persists. The Internet is all about free stuff. Yep, go collect free porn!
Well, I have something to say about this. Yes, my free ebook is out of date, stale, old, long-tailed and hardly worth reading, but you know what? I’m sick to the back teeth of those who think that everything in life should be free. Try getting free electricity, or buying a free coffee.
But if you are really into free shit, simply from the point of view of collecting free shit because it’s free shit, get in quick. Because I’ve had enough of offering free shit, for those who simply collect free shit, because it’s free shit.
As a sign of my angst against this free shit mentality, I’m going to change the price of this out-of-date, redundant ebook from free to a whole damn $0.99, and then I’ll watch the downloads stop.
I’ve had enough of giving away my work to addicts of collecting free shit, and probably never bother reading it anyway. Or worse, as I have discovered to my chagrin, those who can only repay my generosity by way of a scathing one-star troll review on Amazon.
I think it’s time to say, enough free shit is enough free shit.
6 thoughts on “The Land of Free Shit”
Well said Derek. No way will I be offering any free copies of my latest for promtional purposes. We sweat blood over our books, not that the tightwads give a damn. ;)
I have to be balanced Jack, and say that this one free ebook has garnered some great reviews over the years. But the spoil sport one star trolls kill the fun for everyone. I’ve had enough of giving these creeps a free ride.
Trolls are precisely the reason for my decision Derek. Just because of them, no one will get their hands on a free copy of my soon to be published novella :)
I absolutely agree with you. So far I have flatly refused to download anything that is totally free! Cheap I like but free – never!
Maybe if enough bloggers point it out to Newbie authors who seek fame and fortune like heat-seeking missiles . . .
This, Derek, is the rant of Harlan Ellison that I have used for the past two years; i.e. “Pay The Writer” http://youtu.be/mj5IV23g-fE ; and although Ellison’s diatribe against fame-seeking-writers has garnered over 800,000 views – the locomotive that is bearing down on the eBook industry — “Free! will make me Famous!” charges forward.
Free worked well for Boyd Morrison; but he employed the gimmick six years ago. Writers who are using gimmicks that old might as well use rotary phones to place their calls. Writers who employ this modis thinking it is the quick road to fame, or deluding oneself into thinking that a high Amazon ranking resulting from “giving away the store” [see? there’s even a cliche for it!] will give them a competitive edge are — dare I say — ignorant.
I’ve moved on. I no longer sell eBooks; and barely pimp my softcovers — thanks everyone for the $20,000 I made over the four years that I was a “Player”. My new gig is running an ‘advice column for newbie authors’. I saw the writing on the wall two years ago and being a Futurist pays, regardless of industry.
Authors killed the Golden Goose with “Free!! Free!!” The jury is in.
I have to agree, Emily. The ebook I referred to in this post is as old your Boyd Morrison example. Older perhaps, as I think some of the content harks back to 1996. I made it ‘perma free’ so long ago, that I had forgotten about what it was really doing. When I first made it free, some years back, it was doing what it was intended to do. Attracting new readers, and new book and ebook buyers. In fact, it did an admirable job of that. However, over the last year or more, due to my laziness, I didn’t see, or bother to look at what had changed in the market. Free ebooks are now author reputation killers, as all they achieve in doing is attracting one star trolls. And who wants to feed these savage beasts?
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