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Thread: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?


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Henry Osborn

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Registered: 12/07/15
I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 10:57 PM
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I have written seven novels and offer all of them free. My theory was that if I offered them free and people liked them, then I would establish a fan base and readers would download my books after finishing the first one. Is it better to charge .99 cents for all of them than it is to offer them free since it seemed that I have only had a total of one thousand downloads; ninety percent of them being only one of my novels.

Edited by: Henry Osborn on Sep 12, 2017 10:58 PM
Donna St Felix

Posts: 4,884
Registered: 09/18/13
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 12, 2017 11:00 PM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Henry Osborn wrote:
I have written seven novels and offer all of them free. My theory was that if I offered them free and people liked them, then I would establish a fan base and readers would download my books after finishing the first one. Is it better to charge .99 cents for all of them, than it is to offer them free since it seemed that I have only had a total of one thousand downloads; ninety percent of them being to only one of my novels.

A free book is not a sale. Few read free books and they doubtfully will remember who you are.
Your price depends on what you have and the size of it.
The only time a giveaway works for more sales is if you have a series and you offer the first book free.
wirdmonger

Posts: 1,056
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Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 2:06 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Are you rotating them for free? If so, this might work. Might. It depends if your books are any good, if the covers are nice, if the blurb is enticing, if you deliver on the drama etc etc.
Notjohn

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Registered: 02/27/13
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 4:00 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Never give anything away, away, away
That you can sell.
Ev'ry night, ev'ry day,
Try to remember, ma belle,
Never give anything away, away, away
That you can sell.

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
writerbn

Posts: 4,803
Registered: 05/12/12
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 5:07 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Yes, it's an error--a huge one. However, you aren't the first person to make it, and I'm sure you won't be the last.
Blue Orbiter Co...

Posts: 234
Registered: 02/12/15
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 5:26 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Yeah, you are not only committing professional suicide in this field but also having an adverse impact on everybody else. Do you not realize that giving away books destroys the market for other writers too? I know two persons with six figure incomes and seven figures next worth that won't pay for any of these services because they can read for free. They don't even bother to pay the $9.99 monthly fee because of the thousands and thousands of books they can read completely free of charge. It doesn't do you any good, and you are harming the rest of us.
janni2525

Posts: 402
Registered: 12/23/11
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 6:00 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Hello.
When I became a published writer about six years ago I did all of that. Then one day I just left them all at .99 cents permanently, because they were being read often which was very nice.
I finally found what works well for the price range and this is what I did. I'm also very involved in social networking which gives me a lot of exposure so people learn more about my work by reading my public profiles.
With this price range of .99 cents my work became best sellers and I never thought this would happen. It happened through out the years. I guess this is what it was suppose to happen. I learned it takes year of exposure. Great success to you on your work. :-)
Henry Osborn

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Registered: 12/07/15
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 7:39 AM   in response to: Blue Orbiter Co... in response to: Blue Orbiter Co...
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I only get one poimt five downloads a day total.
Blue Orbiter Co...

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Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 8:26 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Multiply the five downloads per day by several hundred thousand (or maybe more than a million) and you will see how many books are being read for free. One person that I talked to downloads twenty or thirty books a month. If she can't get into it within the first few pages, she puts it down and downloads another one. An endless supply of books and she never has to pay.
Ward Rogers

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Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 8:48 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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Driving away customers by giving away all your books is not a pathway to success. If you have seven books and no sales, the problem is in your books. Free does not make them better, but it does make them worth less.
Emily Veinglory

Posts: 3,228
Registered: 04/25/13
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 9:00 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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That said, charging a price is almost certain to reduce the number of downloads you get. Increases in price only increase demand under very specific circumstances, which don't see to apply here.
KK Brown

Posts: 14
Registered: 12/31/12
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 10:51 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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.

Henry,

1. Can you write GOOD short stories ?

2. Are your novels good ?

If the answer to both questions is "YES", then you would be far better advised to write seven really GOOD short stories and give them away as Kindle e-books, while Including in each of them a (substantial - 100 page ?) preview of one of your novels, which you should price at a value you think they would command from someone whose interest has been aroused by the 'preview'.

If you then go a stage further and insert URLs in each short story- linking it to all the others and to your novels - you can build an advertising pyramid that is self-generating.

This is one of MY (free) short stories, with an excerpt from one of my novels. http://authl.it/js

Rule # 1. Never give EVERYTHING away !

Good luck.

KK

Sorry Henry, I see that this short story is priced at £ 0.99 ....... But you get my reasoning ? (You can use the "Look Inside" feature to see what I mean.)

Edited by: KK Brown on Sep 13, 2017 10:57 AM

Edited by: KK Brown on Sep 13, 2017 11:05 AM
gershonbenfranja

Posts: 76
Registered: 01/07/11
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 5:25 AM   in response to: Henry Osborn in response to: Henry Osborn
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I have enough books that I can offer one for free each day. I find my paid sales are higher when I do this.

I'm not worried about losing sales for the whole ecosystem. There are plenty of places people can find free things to read.

Novels are especially difficult to make money on. The only reason I write some is it's fun for me.

The best thing an author can do to become successful is to publish an average of two thousand words a day. The pay in the short term is low. In the long term, it can generate a reasonable income/hour of work. However, it likely won't be enough to live on. I guess it beats watching Netflix for two or three hours a day.
A Woodley

Posts: 316
Registered: 03/06/17
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 5:53 AM   in response to: Blue Orbiter Co... in response to: Blue Orbiter Co...
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Blue Orbiter Corporation wrote:
Yeah, you are not only committing professional suicide in this field but also having an adverse impact on everybody else. Do you not realize that giving away books destroys the market for other writers too? I know two persons with six figure incomes and seven figures next worth that won't pay for any of these services because they can read for free. They don't even bother to pay the $9.99 monthly fee because of the thousands and thousands of books they can read completely free of charge. It doesn't do you any good, and you are harming the rest of us.

You took the words right out of my keyboard, even though I have expressed these thoughts before.

I get the 'first in a series free' but the rest of the free books make my blood boil. :)

All of my 12 books are in KU & occasionally I do the countdeal deals but none of mine will ever be free because I believe authors should support each other not harm other authors by this 'I'm ok Jack, sod you' attitude.

If they're not in a series, price them, I started with low prices but upped them on the advice of other forum posters.

Even if I never sell another book, I still don't want to be part of the cause of other authors losing out on sales, for some it's their living, they have kids, mortgages etc, if millions of books are free, that can seriously hurt them.

99 cents/pence should also only be for short term promos, in my opinion.
Henry Osborn

Posts: 17
Registered: 12/07/15
Re: I have written seven novels and offer all of them free, is this an error?
Posted: Sep 14, 2017 12:40 PM   in response to: A Woodley in response to: A Woodley
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I get one download a day. Am I really destroying people? How can you say such a thing when you don't know how many downloads that I get. If you made your books free how many downloads would you get per day? One thousand? Two thousand? Thirty? It's not even comparable.
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