These posts grew from an argument on the KDP forums about authors offering their books for free as a marketing strategy. It is a contentious issue, to say the least and many authors feel it devalues indies and their books. The previous guest post on Mythic Scribes covered the point of view of the readers, this particular post covers the authors’ points of view.
So does it work as a strategy? I think it is safe to say the jury is out on that one… It can work, but not for everyone and not with just one book. Perhaps with other marketing ploys it can benefit but unless a reader states he or she got the book free it is hard to tell. There are certainly some folks who like to fill up their Kindles with freebies which won’t get read. And there are certainly some books which are trash, paid for or otherwise. But there are readers who will download a free book and then purchase a full-priced book by that author, and there are authors who have seen good results with KDP Select and other free promotions.
Smashwords give the ability to create coupons and these can be given to individual readers as gifts, prizes or for review copies. In my opinion these are easier to control and thus work better than a blanket freebie day. Another thing to consider – KDP Select limits the author to publishing their e-book on Amazon only – in return for entry into Amazon Prime, the freebie promotional tool, and now Kindle Countdown (which allows an author to discount their books for a limited time. I haven’t used this one but from what I’ve seen from other authors this too has mixed results.
So what do the authors think of KDP and the free promotions? Well as it would be rude to simply post the guest post here, you will have to see for yourself…
And here is the link to the reader one https://libraryoferana.wordpress.com/2013/11/24/the-great-free-book-debate-part-1/