Authors offering their books for free is one, among many, promotional ideas and one which tends to spark fierce arguments. Some authors find success, and see an uptick of sales shortly after the promotion ends, some see little or no benefits. Promotion and marketing are one of the hardest aspects of being a self-published author and there is a lot of, mostly contradictory, information around.
Have I offered my books for free? Yes, I have run a couple of Select promotions for Book 1 of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles with mixed success, but you can read a bit more about that in the follow up posts.
What do readers think? Do they actually download free books and do they read them? From my own point of view, yes I do, although not so much as I used to. I won’t download a book I would not actually consider reading but I won’t always read the books I get, at least not immediately and that goes for books I spend money to buy. Usually by the time I read them I can’t actually remember if I paid or not.
It is certainly the case there is some real dross on the free book shelves but, again, that is the case with full price books. Free does not always mean the book will be rubbish and expensive does not always signify quality. I have read books I have downloaded and then gone on to buy further works by those authors.
As a guest post on the http://mythicscribes.com fantasy forum and blog I have interviewed some readers about the merits, or otherwise, of free books. Check it out here. http://mythicscribes.com/marketing/the-great-free-book-debate-the-readers/