As the eBook has increased in popularity, it has been matched by a proliferation of Internet sites that offer you FREE books. To get these FREE books, you must subscribe to the site. This usually costs nothing to you but your e-mail address.
Many of these books are FREE to you, the reader. Other books are discounted. You’ll find books listed anywhere from FREE to $3.99.
Rarely, you’ll find a book listed at a higher price. It is usually one that is traditionally published. We, the authors, pay dearly to place the books on the listings. That is how the site makes its money and is able to get you the FREE book.
I book the promo day on a popular service such as Ereader News Today. The Ad can cost from $30 to $135 on Ereader for one day, depending on the genre and price of the book.
A cozy mystery being downloaded for FREE will cost the author $458 at BookBub for one day’s promo. There are many sites that cost a lot less but are not as effective.
This email featured twenty four books on promo. Most were priced at $0.99 to $1.99, but THREE were FREE!
Why would authors pay to give away their books? Simply because hope springs eternal.
Every author hopes that if you read that first book, you’ll fall madly in love with the characters and the author’s writing. You will then buy all his or her other books.
This strategy, one which a few years ago produced many self-published best sellers, worked extremely well for a while. I myself discovered favorite authors Monique Martin and C.L. Bevill when I read their “first in a series” for free a few years ago.
Some download books they have no intention of ever reading, the virtual hoarders of the eBook age. An interesting post on Good E Reader reports that Kobo has found that 60% of its sold eBooks are never opened.
The more expensive a book is, the more likely it is to opened. If the book is FREE, it sits at the growing pile of unopened, hoarded books.
The problem goes even deeper. Some readers ask for free review copies they will never review. Some ask for Free gift codes from an author meaning to spend the code in another author’s title.
Last year, I hosted a Giveaway of Strongheart’s Woman printed edition, giving away four copies at Goodreads. Within days, two of the copies were offered for sale as new at a fraction of the book’s selling price. This forced Amazon to lower the price of my book across the board to match it!
Logic tells you that writers can not work for free anymore than Macdonald’s workers or teachers or nurses can. As a result, many seasoned indie authors are no longer offering free novels. I believe that number will keep growing.
There will probably remain a small group who continues the practice, especially new authors just entering the writing market. Those still have not learned the lesson that if you want your work valued, you must place a value on it first.
Now, you might ask, where are these sites that feature FREE and discounted books?
Here are the links to some you might like, but remember: sponsor the authors you like by buying their work. You would never work for free. Why should they?
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