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Thread: Do not give your book away free! EVER


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juliecavanagh2

Posts: 44
Registered: 02/28/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 5, 2012 4:03 AM   in response to: smutnut in response to: smutnut
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It's exactly 11 months since Amazon price-matched my first free book on amazon.com, and 8 months since they matched it on .co.uk. Those figures are of both platforms added together. I get a handful of sales in other countries but nothing worth mentioning. So not a month, but not 7 years either :)

My sales/downloads of both free and paid books at all other ebook retailers in total are about a third of Amazon's - so it was worth it to have it free here also. I barely had a single sale of my paid books on Amazon before they price-matched the free one.
rambo53

Posts: 11
Registered: 02/15/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 7, 2012 12:07 PM   in response to: detectingfun in response to: detectingfun
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Okay I understand the philosophy but if you give Part one away for free then charge for Part two you are standing by your work and hoping that your skill as a writer stands up and readers cannot wait for the next part to be published. It has worked for me and against me but the balance is in favour of the firt part free. Even when you give something free you still get the pigs who just want to criticise your work as they have nothing better to do with their time. I have 7 books published including a trilogy of detective novels based around and Irish cop called Inspector Doyle Daly and I have allowed two of the three books to be freebies for 5 days and I am still selling around 60 books per month so dont be too hasty in saying ┬┤dont give your book away for free. Dabid Jay Ramsden
saveit4some1who...

Posts: 87
Registered: 03/20/11
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 13, 2012 7:34 AM   in response to: rambo53 in response to: rambo53
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It's terrible that this "freebie" idea of Amazon's pits authors against each other in a new way. What I mean is this: You'll see several authors complaining that they believe free books are hurting authors overall. Then you'll see some who say they don't think it's making a difference. Then you'll read someone else's post that tells how it worked for them.
I know we're in this business separately and of course we are competition for one another but one thing that really urges me not to give away my books is that I believe it is hurting everyone in the long run. I don't want to slip and start giving my books away for free if it hurts other authors too. I don't want to be able to come on here and say, "Well, it worked for me," and tell you how many books I've sold if I've helped to undercut your sells.
I don't want Amazon's big give away of our hard work to be successful for a few and cause big problems for others. Also, I have a sneaky suspicion that in the long run, even those who once were helped will be hurt too but it will be too late. Their books will already have been given away and there will be no need to even try to sell more over the backs of others who warned them time and time again.
smutnut

Posts: 160
Registered: 09/19/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 13, 2012 11:47 AM   in response to: saveit4some1who... in response to: saveit4some1who...
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It's real simple. What are you objectives? To make money or to be credible. Yes, you can do both but why are you here on kindle instead of bitching at your agent if you really think you can do so. If you care about money, give nothing away for free. Amazon lets them return stuff anyway. If you care about people reading you, don't charge. It's that simple.
saveit4some1who...

Posts: 87
Registered: 03/20/11
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 13, 2012 9:26 PM   in response to: smutnut in response to: smutnut
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Most authors desire monetary compensation for their hard work. Freebies undercut everyone. That's why I'm on here.
bioanswers

Posts: 4
Registered: 08/06/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:40 AM   in response to: smutnut in response to: smutnut
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Yes my recent experience echoes everyone else's. Free promotion of first book in a published series and 260 copies 'sold' within 12 hours. Very little before or after. I wonder who we are 'giving' the books away to?
bioanswers

Posts: 4
Registered: 08/06/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:42 AM   in response to: saveit4some1who... in response to: saveit4some1who...
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Well said
Leon Gower

Posts: 1
Registered: 11/16/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 16, 2012 11:45 AM   in response to: detectingfun in response to: detectingfun
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I'm thinking i'm neutral on the matter.

I write because I have an inner burning to tell stories. The book i've published is the first book I've felt is worth publishing and the first story I've wanted to share with people outside of my family.

I'm not writing for profit or to make money but obviously you don't want to give things away either because that's not how the world works... the local fruit shop doesn't give me free food.

I put my book on Kindle and it didn't sell. So, I put it on the free thing for a few days. 200 people downloaded it, and i'm sure Amazon makes money from that in the way of selling their little hand held devices. At the end of the promo i made nothing and have since sold ZERO copies.
I don't advertise my book and i don't encourage my family to download it, i give it to them as they are family.
So, the sales of my book on Kindle depend purely on Kindle. That means, if i'd sold 1 copy after the promo then i could say "giving it away effects sales" BUT i sold ZERO before the give away and i've sold ZERO after the give away. That means, giving it away has ZERO effect on sales.

Will i put it back on promo next time around? sure why not, I wrote the thing i'd like to see it read. Do i expect it will have any positive effect on sales, NO. do i think it has a negative impact on sales? YES.

Why would i think YES? because if there was no free give away at all for anyone then people would have to pay to download books. the fact that free promotions exist means they can look at my book and think "hmm i'd like to check that out but i'll wait till it's free." With that mindset and only ever downloading free books, writers will soon realize they are not making money through this system.

I think, if you are a writer who wants to make a profit, then you would be crazy to use Kindle at all. it's only going to negatively impact your profit margin. Kindle will soon gain a reputation as having only amateur books available. Which is fine because my book is amateur and is in the right place. If i was a pro i'd not touch it with a ten foot pole.
robertgrah

Posts: 192
Registered: 03/30/12
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 17, 2012 2:13 AM   in response to: Leon Gower in response to: Leon Gower
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I confess to having done `free books` in the past. I had been warned of the dangers. I knew it was a powerful addiction. But when the world is refusing to acknowledge your genius sometimes you weaken and you just need that `hit` from seeing 100 downloads in a morning . You get that glorious `high` from imagining that professors in Creech St. Michaels, Somerset ( yes, that really exists) and cowboys in Twisted Gun Barrel Dakota ( that probably doesn`t) are absorbed in your work and emailing all their friends to buy it. You`re on this glorious `trip` imagining film rights with Spielberg, Nobel prize round the corner, Halle Berry begging to play the lead. Then you begin to chill out. Professors in Creech St. Michael and cowboys in Twisted Gun Barrel have not given you a 5 star review or any review at all because they aresimply addicted to downloading `freebies`, not reading any. They get their `hit` from seeing their Kindle fill up. You go cold turkey and get the shakes as you look at one blank sales report after another. There is no rehab clinic for this addiction. And yet, every so often you think you`d do anything for that high of the 100 downlaods. To hell with the hangover. No, I`m clean now and I`m staying that way. I`ll become one of these `recovery` bores who tour the country telling the addicts `I`ve been down there and I know what it`s like`. I`ll be a terrible example to others. `This is what you`ll turn out like if you go for freebies`. Don`t touch it. Be all you can be and treasure the simple things in life, like -I sold my first book in Spain this week. It felt good and no one can take it away from me. Learn more of this sad but inspiring tale on www.rngnovels.co.uk

Robert Graham
www.rngnovels.co.uk
author of
Masks of Venice
The Women from Crete
The Celebrity of Anders Hecht
saveit4some1who...

Posts: 87
Registered: 03/20/11
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 17, 2012 8:07 PM   in response to: robertgrah in response to: robertgrah
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I enjoyed reading your post.
scbeam

Posts: 247
Registered: 05/29/11
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Nov 19, 2012 6:39 AM   in response to: robertgrah in response to: robertgrah
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You have told the truth. It is an addiction. Yes, it has changed the marketplace. Their are so many new blogs and websites promoting freebies, more everyday, to feed that addiction. To get that fix.

I am not auto-renewing KDP. I'm pulling out. This just isn't working anymore. There has to be a better way than the over crowded, screaming, freebie promotion scheme. The market has changed, and if you haven't discovered that yet, you will soon.
Ronald N. Harvey

Posts: 1
Registered: 03/29/15
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Mar 29, 2015 10:35 AM   in response to: saveit4some1who... in response to: saveit4some1who...
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Thank you. Even when people buy my book, there is only a 50% chance they will read it, and 90% they will not write a review. Talk about disheartening! I really hope for the reviews, so that is why I have moved to new associations, in search of reader who also write!
J.P. Logan

Posts: 1
Registered: 11/20/14
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Mar 29, 2015 1:35 PM   in response to: robertgrah in response to: robertgrah
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Mr. Graham,
I loved your post! Freebie promotions are an addiction. I partake in them to finally see some action on my "Reports" page. What a momentary thrill!
Otherwise, my poor unicorn stories are languishing on the bottom of page 400-something in Children's Books. It has become painfully obvious that the only way they'll see the light of day is when they're set 'free'.
Gotta go - I need to see how many freebie days I have left in this cycle. It could be a long, lonely 3 months.

Edited by: J.A. Logan on Mar 29, 2015 1:39 PM

Edited by: J.P. Logan on Mar 29, 2015 1:42 PM
Martha Farabee

Posts: 42
Registered: 02/21/13
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Mar 30, 2015 6:28 AM   in response to: skyebluebooks in response to: skyebluebooks
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I've always felt that giving away a book which some people had already purchased was cheating. If one buys a book and then sees it given away free, they may never try another one.
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,872
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Do not give your book away free! EVER
Posted: Mar 30, 2015 7:00 AM   in response to: detectingfun in response to: detectingfun
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I have made two gross mistakes since publishing books. Number one, I have given some away! Number two, I have two out there for only 99 cents. How to sell books? The answer is simple.
#1. Write a good story, in a genre that people are looking for. (If it isn't what they're looking for, they won't buy it)
#2. Edit it over and over, then set it aside for at least a few days then re-read the entire book. (no exceptions)
#3. IF, you decide to let another person edit your book, make VERY SURE that the editor likes the type of stuff you're writing or they won't do a good job!
#3. Make or buy a great cover with coordinating fonts.
#4. Price it at $2.99 or a little higher... otherwise most serious readers will think "you get what you pay for".

It sometimes works for a series to give the first one away hoping that people will buy the remaining ones, however, before you do that, check out some series books of almost any genre and you just MIGHT see that the giveaway has way more reviews (proving more ppl read it) than the second book and the third will have even less. UNLESS, readers really love your series. IN addition to that, don't keep writing on a certain series after you've ran out of something to say.

Also, it might be good to do a free promo if you're starting a totally unknown pen name

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Mar 30, 2015 7:01 AM

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Mar 31, 2015 10:10 PM

Edited by: Patrick A. Smith on Apr 18, 2015 8:53 AM

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