Here's some different math: Say 1000 authors each have published an average of 10 books. They offer those books free all the time. How many free ebooks do you have? Answer 10,000. Compare that number to around one million ebooks that are avaiable. Now, if all one million ebooks are free, even for a limited time, then no one ever has to buy another ebook. Customers can just wait for the free promotion.
I agree the freebie has its power and you need to know how and when to use it. I think -although being new to the selfpublishing business - that some FREE promo can give you at least exposure. For 2 days for example, you can hit those unknown customers will never look for you in the real paid website, because they dont know you. And if you are not investing money in marketing campaigns, at least the freebie once in a while is your AD and your waving here I am. If your product is good and you publish more ebooks, that reader that got your freebie the first time may buy the others if your style was compelling. KDP lets you manage the promo time, so why not to try it once...not that you gonna give your book free forever.
You've made a good point. Say you run a two day free promotion and 10,000 copies of your book were downloaded. The odds are good that eventually 1 out of 10 of those who took the chance will read your book. That's a thousand people who will spread the word of mouth on your product. There are two catches. The first being, the book had better be good. And when I say that I mean a well-written story that grabs the reader and has been thoroughly proofread and edited and properly formatted. The second catch is no matter how good your novel, expect the occasional 1 star rating from those hostile individuals who, even though the book was free, will still complain they got taken.
But I say if you have confidence in yourself and your writing, go for it. You will gain more than you lose.
Great points. If an author isn't confident enough to offer a book for free, it shouldn't be published to begin with. In my opinion. As for the 1-star reviews, to my experience they are left by authors who are against giving away free books. Sometimes customers, but sadly a bulk of them are left by envious authors as well as traditional publishing agents.
I continue to see new posts asking if others have the same experience, of "sales suddenly stopping." Never underestimate the power of getting something for free, people love it, they will spend time and money to get it. They love all the free ebooks.
I think the new 70% royalty program might be hurting sales as people should be feeling ripped off. Short stories are being priced at the $2,99 to get the royalty. Books under 100 pages priced at $4 - $6. Many are not very good and way over priced and the reading public can get turned off.
Anyone who buys an ebook from Amazon.com can very easily return the ebook electronically within 7 days, and get a full refund. IMO the reading public is more likely to be "turned off" by the very misleading reviews. I would think it very frustrating to buy an ebook based on 5 star reviews (by relatives and friends) and find out it is poor quality. And, the numerous one star spite reviews make it harder to select a good book.
[b]Since you are interested,[/b] my motive is to make things better for all involved; authors, publishers, and Amazon.com. And, it is not ulterior, it is exterior.Take a look at my published titles in the attachment. Perhaps you will see something there you like? Even stranger things have happened...
Your argument "Why buy the cow when you can get do much milk is free" is self defeating. The answer is simple. Any free milk will not last forever, buying the cow insures that continuous supply of free milk.
Your maths is also not very credible
"If only 1000 Indies each offer one ebook free every week, and each book has only 200 free downloads, in one year that comes to this number of free ebooks out there:"
"Yes that is 73 million lost sales"
Sounds just as ridiculous as the thread header.
Your total does not equal to 73 million in lost sales at all.
though a large number may have downloaded the books for free, DOES NOT suggest they would have paid to download them.
It is quite probable to suggest, out of say 100 downloads. There will be a certain percentage who would have actually paid for the book. I would suggest that 95 - 95.3 percent would never have actually paid for the book. But, offering the book for free in the fist place would have given valuable exposure to your style of writing. If a customer who took advantage of your offering likes your book, the realm of probabilities rises considerable, they will buy any other book from you. There is also an equal possibility, they won't.