Thorkill71.... I would bet that if you gave away your books for free ONE time for ONE day, instead of selling 30 books per month, you'd sell 100 books the next day. You may sell less... and you may sell a lot more.
I published my book and in the first week had 20 sales... and half or more were to friends and family lol. I gave it away free for ONE day, and the NEXT day I sold over 300 books.
It works different for everyone, but it's sure worth testing. A marketer that doesn't test and track is losing a lot more money than what may be lost due to some book give-aways anyway.
There's arguments for both sides, but I believe some of the loudest people against the free book days don't all understand the basis and upsides.
If you give away 1000 books in a day, you don't "lose" the profits from those sales, because it's likely that 99% of those people would never buy a book from you anyway. You give them a book they'd never buy, (and likely won't read either) they give you exposure.
People also don't take into consideration the incredible scale and numbers of readers. It's estimated that 16 BILLION in e-books will be sold in the next couple of years.
Do you really think that a few million freebies will hurt that?
More and more people buy readers every day... and books are "consumed".
Who cares if they get a free one, once it's read, it's deleted and they start over searching for something else. And, like I state above, most of the people who get them for free may not read them anyway. (I'm guessing this, but I bet it's a high percentage) So when they DO want a new book, they'll still pay for one that interests them.
I liken it to television somewhat. People have cable and hundreds of channels that are free, but they STILL pay for and rent additional movies.
I'm not saying there's not a downside... but it's not the end of the world for e-book authors. Remember, when WE sell a book and make money, SO does Amazon.
I imagine they have their eye on the numbers and know what they're doing...
I'd also throw out there that it's springtime and people read a LOT LOT LOT less in the summer than when it's 10 degrees outside and they're shut-in. That alone can significantly put a damper on book sales. :P
Since my last post on this thread, I have opened a merchandise store and am selling Gunship Gear to fans of the series. Many of which became hooked during the "free promotional period".
Am I the only person here who understands that pointing the finger of blame solves nothing? Amazon(as well as other ebook publishers) have provided each of us with an amazing opportunity to make a career in writing. There is nothing to validate "free" or ".99" books are killing the market! If your sales are slow, blame yourself. There are self-published authors everyday selling thousands of books in all genres and on all platforms. They aren't lucky, they didn't find a drove of buyers at the tail end of a rainbow. In fact, the only real difference is when they hit a slow period of sales they chose to self-evaluate rather than begin the blame game.
I did not put a tooth under my pillow one night and wake up to over ten thousand followers on Twitter (@johndavisbooks). I started out with 0 followers, one book and a solid marketing plan. I work my tail off not only writing, but marketing my writing and engaging every single reader who messages me. Please STOP buying into this argument of "free" is hurting the industry. It was put out there by dying traditional publishing houses who don't want to fade away. Instead, join me in driving the final stake into their coffin. I wrote a very popular blog on this very subject.
[b]It is a simple, easy to understand and indisputable fact that if a person can get something free, and they do get it free, they will not then go out and buy it.[/b]
My concern is for the long run market saturation by many millions of free downloaded ebooks every year. Year after year after year.
Most experienced authors agree with me that the Select program is responsible for the sizable general drop in sales. Sure, there will always be people who buy ebooks, just as there will always be people who make and sell buggy whips. So what? So few are left that they can be essentially disregarded, and I FEAR THE SAME THING IS IN PROCESS OF HAPPENING TO INDIE PAID AUTHORS.
It. That is the key word from your post. If you have thrown all of your effort into a single book then I can understand your point. I also wish you well, because I can't think of a single author who has booming success and has but one book to offer.
If you have more than one, giving the first book away can be huge for introducing potential lifelong fans to your books. As long as the writing lives up to their expectations. If I have never seen the Star Wars series and happen to stumble into Best Buy to find they are giving the first away free on DVD. I will grab it. Yes, Lucasfilm lost a small chunk of change on the giveaway. However, if I enjoyed the film I will more than likely go back and purchase the other five.
You are correct to an extent. Indie authors(as well as traditionally published authors) are going to start dropping like flies. Right now, book publishing is the wild west. It's up to you to find out how to stake your claim. For some, giveaways work. If you feel this is hurting your sales, tough. Be creative and find another way to bring them in. I hope the market saturates with my first book. I honestly do. More sales for the rest of my series.
Yes, you have to be strategic in the use of freebies.
I've just published a "how to" article that I ran on a free promotion.
1) Get the download in the hands of a lot of colleagues who can recommend the article for their clients. Mission accomplished.
2) Use the freebie article to promote sales of backlist. I've already had a couple of sales of a book published several years ago through the article sales.
You have to take a long-tail view and work strategically.
I am glad to see this thread still going, as the Select program in combination with newbies keeps flooding the market with poorly written free books. I am going to write Mr. Jeffry Bezos again, and again suggest the Select program be terminated. The lost paid sales hurt him as well as Indies, and I doubt whatever he makes on the Prime program is any real compensation.
[b]The paid sales downtrend continues. It's not the weather, it's the many thousands of free downloads every newbie is happy to give away.[/b]
Price is determined by supply and demand. As supply goes up, price goes down. How far down can/will it go? How much does it cost to make, publish and distribute an ebook? Anyone with a computer and Internet access can send as many of their books as they want to free, by sending them as email attachments.
It looks to me the day of being paid to write an ebook is drawing to a close. There are a few exceptions to the downtrend, but they only produce false hope.
Bottom line is, write for love, not money. Before long you will be doing this, whether you want to or not.
I was lurking on the Barnes And Noble Forum (I would never have anything to do with publishing anywhere other than Amazon,com, because Amazon.com is so wonderful) and I see many posters there, all crying the blues over no sales.
[b]In theory the market saturation with free ebooks will eventually destroy paid sales for [u]all publishers.[/u] Evidently this is in process of occurring.[/b]
[b]Please buy one of my 17 published ebooks.[/b] See the attached briefly descriptive list. I thank you.
The article says nothing about the number of NOOKS or Kindles out there. It relates to sales growth. Eventually the free ebook phenomenon will sink most all paid ebook publishers, and most print publishers also. The printed word, and associated images, will be free, free, free. Everyone will have their own self published ebooks, blogs, websites, etc. and freely exchange them. Why pay for what is free? Perhaps this will be a good thing? In any case it cannot be avoided.
[b]Please buy one of my 17 published ebooks, thanks. My paid sales are disappearing. Thank you.[/b]
Will you accept bets that Microsoft will change this in a few months? Or do you think they put the millions into B&N for charity? And do you believe everything that is written? There are for sure more Kindles than Nooks outside but with Amazon not sharing any numbers (neither does B&N?) a lot of this article is questionable at least.