You will be accused of beating a dead horse, though that horse is still very much alive, as the freebies continue. At any rate, Amazon will do what Amazon will do, we can complain but all we get is arguments from those who say the freebies are wonderful. Why not just wait and see what happens come 2013?
Heck, if I see many more testimonials stating the freebies will increase sales 150 TIMES, I will certainly try that trick myself!
BTW, I am NOT saying anyone is lying, just that it is wonderful news if true.
Honestly, I think this thread will degrade to a point/counter-point debate because it lists a bunch of factual claims that are really distractions from the actual debate.
The crux of this debate isn't whether or not freebie promotions are beneficial to individual authors. Of course they are. That's been completely established. There is a definitive short term benefit (usually very small). To deny that derails the entire debate and distracts everyone from the real issue.
The real question is this: Do freebies harm the overall indie publishing industry?
Clearly, the people who are against it believe the answer to that question is yes. The people who are for it either don't care or don't believe that's the case.
Instead of debating several peripheral statements about its individual benefit, the question of what it's doing to other authors should be discussed.
The only real fact here is that none of us know.
I personally think that the freebies are hurting the community as a whole. I did it on my first book several months ago and, yes, I saw a bump in sales. However, it was so small that it wasn't worth exclusivity (IMO).
And after reading several other authors say they saw their sales take a dive as soon as freebies were introduced, I decided the possible benefit definitely was not worth doing if the cost was the possibility that it was hurting other authors. I'm simply not taking that chance.
But let's not pretend that this debate has anything to do with all the statements in the OP. It's about whether or not freebies are hurting other authors. That's it. If that wasn't a factor, nobody would care any more than they care whether or not another author releases a book with grammatical errors.
I'll be honest with you, they tailed off again after a couple of months but are still consistently higher per month than they were before. I think the biggest thing is that, as more people read it via the giveaway, you get more reviews and they drive sales.
I've had the same experience with KDP Select as you. I sold very little on Amazon, until I joined the select program in February. On my first free days, I gave away 16k to 18k freebies; later, on another giveaway, about 12k.
But I've sold over 5,000 ebooks due to the increased visibility. My sales continue, even though I increased the price of my two novels from $2.99 to $3.99.
[i]On the minus side:[/i]
It's a case of diminishing returns. Sales are slowing and I'm uncertain about doing any freebies in this 90 day period. For now, I'm letting things ride and working on my third book.
My question is; was the increased sales from the book offered free or your other book. I think the value of offering a book free is that if the reader likes it, they will purchase other books by that author.
One of the Amazon stable of authors offeres the first book in a trilogy free at my genre. (It is free without the five day limitation which Amazon will not allow us to do). The three books are then packaged into a trilogy priced at 7.99. If they like the free book, they buy the trilogy. That anthology is ranked number on currently.
That's a pretty good marketing plan by Amazon. It's just not available to the rest of us.
Personally I think the biggest problem for indie publishing is all the bad writers. I've lost count of the number of 'why isn't my book selling?' type threads that I've looked at and found writers that can't even spell and lack a knowledge of basic grammar. It's wonderful that this opportunity exists but I really wish some people would learn their trade first, the same way they would for any other profession. You don't leave school at sixteen and immediately start working as a lawyer. It's detrimental to the whole industry.
Thanks for the post. This guy's assertion is entirely different from just about everyone else's. How did he get over 3,000 copies a day downloaded over 5 days? I just don't believe it, for now anyway. Downloads have been small for some time- maybe he is talking about awhile back- those days are long gone. I am talking about NOW.
You know what I find really bizarre? Sites springing up all over the internet advertising free e-books --- "post your free ebooks here!" PIxelofInk has a one month waiting list to post "FREE" ebooks. Other sites like KindleNationDaily require payment to [b]advertise[/b] a free ebook. You have to [b]pay[/b] to give your book away!!!! This is the most bizarre thing. I've decided NO MORE! That's it. I refuse to take part in this madness.
headofwords - I seriously agree with your post. If grammar isn't important in writing, it should be. Even where a book is enhanced by the 'voice' of an unsophisticated person, it has to be comprehensible to the reader. I've written stuff in broad Devonshire dialect but it still has to be drafted over and over.
And, regarding freebies, I personally saw no benefit from giving my book away. Even when 924 were downloaded free in one day, I saw no change whatsoever in paid sales. I stopped giving my work away and sales increased at the same steady rate. I increased the price on two - same steady climb. KOLL (with 3 books over several months) has brought me a total of 5 borrows. All tied up but no 'visible' benefit. Not good enough. I'm out.
I like this eBooks opportunity but I don't like the deluge of freebies. I'd rather switch to 99pence promo days where everyone definitely benefits. If people can't pay 99p for a book they don't really want it.
I absolutely agree with your post!!! I would rather give my work away for .99 cents than give it away for nothing. I see no benefit whatsoever to this free promotion campaign. When I joined KDP Select I thought Amazon was doing more to get the books out there and seen. It's all about giving books away for free and nothing else. Who benefits???! Certainly not the authors.