Well, you are in for one heck of a bumpy ride with this thread. I started one a few weeks ago that ended up with over 160 replies before it was done and many people have very strong views on this topic.
I think many of us are coming to the same conclusions.
I will NOT be renewing KDP select and will be looking to put my e-book into other places, also as my book is more popular in the UK I have had no borrows.
Yes I feel it did help me as a new author to get off the ground, but there will be many behind me who will use it as I did, so unless Amazon changes their policy it will be a vicious circle.
I still feel that it should be a minimum of 50 cents and maybe limited to new books, although the lending part I know is good for many authors so that should remain the same.
There are many new books on Amazon daily, so we are bound to see our market share diminish slightly.
[b]Very good post.[/b] IF the Select program could be modified to l[b]imit the Freebie number, [/b]OK. But electronics makes it possible to download free [b]far too many ebooks, saturating the market.[/b]
Every statement is a fact. What ones are conjecture? Why? When is the last time you bought something, after getting as many of it as you wanted free? We are talking here about the probable destruction of the Indie paid sales program.
No one will buy what they can get free. That is a fact.
After a lot of consideration, I've come to the conclusion that I agree with your opinions here, but some of these facts aren't facts.
For example, we know that freebies do, in fact, help an author's future sales. Nearly every person that has done a freebie will attest to this. However, that 'help' is typically tiny (netting a dozen or so extra sales), and the long-term impact it has is completely speculative. I personally think it has no real impact, which means it's not worth the effort.
Also, saying that people don't respect something they get for free is not a true statement. When my wife first got her Nook (she's since transitioned to Kindle), Bram Stoker's Dracula was already loaded onto the Nook. This is my all-time favorite horror novel, and it excited me greatly to see it on there. I immediately searched BN to see what other cool books were on there for free. As a customer, the fact that books are free plays absolutely no part on whether or not I respect the work.
I'm sorry to be argumentative here, especially since I agree with your sentiment. I've pulled all my novels from Select. But I think if you really want to do your cause good, you need to acknowledge that some of these facts are opinions and assumptions. And we should accept that there are benefits to the author for doing a freebie. The benefits simply don't outweigh the potential downsides (IMO). If there were no benefits at all, authors wouldn't still be doing it.
There are plenty of good reasons suggesting freebies are bad for the indie industry without hyperbole.
On the flip side, I personally think there are some ways an author can use freebies to help exposure without harming the community at large.
Even your response to my post has opinion in it. Most of what you said here is generalization and stereotype with no facts to back it up. Simply stating that no one will buy what they get for free is a generalization. That's akin to saying all Italians talk with their hands. Generalizations are misleading and false. Provide research based facts instead of opinion to support your statements and then we can call them facts.
I agree with all your comments. I do.
I know I've just done my first promotion, but I do agree with all of your comments.
However, I struggle, really struggle to get any awareness of my book out there. I'm trying different ways, and this is merely another tool. Do I want to use it? Absolutely not. Do I want to give my books away, or do I want to sell them? Sell them. I'm trying this to see where it gets me.
I know that giving away books is not the best way, but it is A way to get some awareness.
I would raise a couple of counter-arguments to your points, though:
[i]Every free ebook download is NOT a paid sale for an Indie author.[/i] True, but there's no guarantee that the reader would have made any purchase at all, let alone from an Indie or self-pubbed author.
[i]Giving away your poorly OR well written and edited ebook will NOT help your future sales.[/i] Possibly. It goes along the same line as impulse sales, and free samples in all manner of marketting. Try it, like it, come back next time and get something else. Ideal? No. But marketing companies around the world regularly employ it.
[i]A person reading a free ebook is a person who is NOT reading a purchased ebook.[/i] No, but it IS a person who is reading, and that can't be a wholly bad thing. I would rather somebody read my book for free than not at all, but I would rather they pay for it than get it for free.
I freely admit that I'm a newbie, and I'm trying to absorb all the information I can (and thank you all for your passion and willingness to share/help). There are lessons to be learned - some from advice, some by experiencing. And I always appreciate someone who will stand up for what they believe in, and put a valid argument behind it, rather than just shrug and walk away.
The one about freebies not increasing sales.
I had sold about 100 copies in a year. I then gave
away for free for a week (and moved 16,000 copies).
Since then I have sold 2,500 copies in a couple of
Therefore your assertion is NOT a fact.
Well, you take first prize as the one claiming the most success with freebies. Going by your post, I might try the freebie trick, and (keeping your magnitude of sales increase) I will soon be making about 150 times what I am now (is my math correct? I have no calculator with me) and make over 7 million pronto!
A few more testimonials like yours and I will certainly try the magic of free.
Oh, does this magic wear off before a year is up? A month?