Tag Archives: free books

BookFunnel for Readers

Have you heard of BookFunnel? If you haven’t, it’s time you did.

BookFunnel is a service many authors use to deliver books to their readers. These may be Beta copies for Beta readers, Free books for promotional purposes, or plain freebies. Some authors use the service to grow their email lists.

BookFunnel has a great way of delivering your book straight into your Kindle Library or your iBooks Library. The books are installed and appear alongside all your store-bought books. BookFunnel has an App you install in your device. The App is free and does it all for you.

Apple Devices

The BookFunnel App is a free App at the Apple App store. You do a search for BookFunnel App and download it the way you would any other apple App. Once you download it into your iPhone or iPad, you are set to receive BookFunnel books.

Kindle Devices

The Kindle App store does not offer the BookFunnel app, but it’s a simple process to install it on a Kindle Fire.

For other Kindle eraders, check out this link: https://vimeo.com/157887624.

For Kindle Fire tablets, do the following.

  1. At your Home screen, go to “Settings.”
  2. On Settings, Click on “Security & Privacy.”
  3.  Click on “Apps from Unknown Sources.”
  4.  Click on “Silk Browser.”
  5. Turn on “Allow from this source.”

This is a simple permission which allows you to install certain outside apps to your Kindle. Now, in your Silk browser (internet) go to the following address:      https://getbookfunnel.com

There you will see the option to install on your Amazon device. Click on it. In a few seconds, the App will be downloaded.

  • On the upper left of your screen, click on the Menu button (three small lines)
  • Tap on Downloads.
  • Find BookFunnel download and tap it to install. Now you are ready to receive books from BookFunnel.

Now, to show you how to use the App, I am going to gift you a copy of my story, Edge of the World.

WARNING: This book is not for younger readers or for adults who object to sexual content and graphic scenes of violence.

Click Here for Your Free Copy

The above link will take you to my BookFunnel book.

  1. Click on GET MY BOOK.
  2. Choose your device.
  3. You will see the download link-   BookHip.com/KDMKGB
  4. The letters KDMKGB are the only thing you need.
  5. 5. Open your BookFunnel App’s Home Tab.
  6. Enter those letters into the Submit Code box. The book will show.
  7. Tap your choice- whether to read in the App or to save to your Kindle, iBooks, or another library. Save to your library and the book will appear along all your other books.

Remember: The App is designed for both readers and authors. To download your books, always open to the HOME tab.  The Library tab in the App refers to the BookFunnel library, not your Kindle or iBooks library.  

Open your iBooks or Kindle library. There you will find all your books, including your copy of Edge of the World.

Enjoy! If your have any questions or need extra help, feel free to email me at zeecelugo@gmail.com, and I will respond.

FREE CLASSICS!



Are you a lover of classic literature? If you are, you can read to your heart’s content for FREE!  No, you don’t have to borrow from a library. You can own books by authors such as Charles Dickens, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, etc. totally for free.  





You will need a wifi connection and the time to peruse Amazon’s list of free classics. Of course, you’ll also need a reading app for your phone or tablet, but those are also free and widely available. I use the Kindle app on my iPad and iPhone. 




No, I am not talking about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, for which you have to pay. I am referring to the immense list of totally free books available which are out of copyright protection and part of the public domain. Of course, you can traipse over to Project Gutenberg and spend hours sifting through their complex listings. You can also head over to Amazon and check out the Free Classics.





The Amazon listing is a lot easier to search and most importantly, to download.  Plus, many of the books have nice covers. Of course, a few will have the generic Gutenberg cover.

There are also works which are not free, but which are sold for as little as $0.99 for an entire collection. I happen to be a lover of P.G. Wodehouse’s work. I’ve collected most of his works at very little cost.




The same for John Carter! I love those books.


Kindle Unlimited: A Good Deal or Not?

I am almost done with my trial FREE Month membership of Kindle Unlimited. I had been fighting the urge to try it for a long time.  It only amounts to pennies a day, and Amazon claims you can read all you want for free. That is truly not correct. You can read all you want for $9.99 a month. To an avid reader like me, this could turn out to be a great deal.
Before trying the service, I took inventory of my reading expenditures. In the last six months, I spent $150.69 in paid books. That averages out to $25.12 a month (the amount does not include taxes). Compare that to $9.99 for KU, and KU seems like a great deal. However, a little analysis is necessary.
Of my total expenditure, $131.79 was for books by authors who are not offering their books on KU. Most of those authors are published by traditional publishing houses, but some are self-published authors too.
My entire collection of Elizabeth Peter’s Amelia Peabody Mysteries is not available on KU. I paid for Game of Thrones, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger books, etc. In fact, only $18.90 of the $150.69 would have been covered in KU. That’s less than $3.15 a month.
This month I have borrowed ten of J.R. Rain’s Vampire for Hire (at 4.99 each), four of Mark Dawson’s John Milton series (at 3.99 each), three of Alex Lidell’s Power of Five series (4.99 each), and five of Auryn Hadley’s Rise of the Iliri books (3.99 each).
Total read is $100.87. Subtract $9.99 monthly charge, and I had a savings of $90.88. The savings is slightly more because I did not include sales tax. I think I like the savings very much! Keep in mind that I can read a book in a day, depending on its length and how much time I can spare for reading.
If your favorite authors are self-published, you may be getting a very good deal from Kindle Unlimited. Do keep in mind that many self-published authors are not offering their books on KU. KU requires us to keep our books exclusive to Amazon. Many authors are unwilling to miss out on Apple and other online sales outlets. My own books are not available on KU at the present time. That may change from time to time.
An interesting point to mention is that because of the cost advantage of KU, I discovered two new authors I am really enjoying. Auryn Hadley and Alex Lidell are authors I’d never read before, but because I could read them without buying the books outright, I gave them a try. I loved both of them.
On March 7, I examined Amazon’s paid best-selling fifty books. (I took the top fifty from the best-selling one hundred).
— Only four appear on the USA Today Bestsellers list. These four are published
      by traditional publishing houses.
— Of the four above, none is available on Kindle Unlimited.
— 34 of the 50 are offered on KU. They are exclusive to Amazon and cannot be found at
      B & N, iBooks, Kobo, etc.
— Of the 34, eight are regularly priced at $0.99 cents.
So, is Kindle Unlimited a good deal? A better question would be, “Is it worth it for you?” Consider the following questions.
— Who are your favorite authors?
— Are they on Kindle Unlimited?
— Are you willing to explore and try new, self-published authors?
— How many books do you read a month?
I realize there are numbers of readers out there who are highly critical of self-published books. They refuse to accept that there are many authors worth reading who are self-publishing. They refuse to try those authors. The rhetoric is often fueled by some traditional authors and publishers who obviously fear the new competition and the way self-publishing has changed how readers buy.
If you are willing to begin exploring on KU, then you might find a great deal. It will depend on your expectations and your discoveries. My advice is that you try the One-Month Trial Membership. It costs nothing and you can quit at any time with a click. At the least, you’ll really get to read for “FREE” for one month! Every month after that, you will pay $9.99 per month, no matter how many books you read.

I will be keeping my Kindle Unlimited membership. For me, it’s a very good deal. Some of my favorite self-published authors such as Rick Mofina and J.R. Rain have multiple-book series which are available on KU.

Free Book?

Does the offer of a Free Book entice you to join a mailing list?

Once you get your book, what is your most likely action?
Pertaining to the book.
a.     I read the book immediately.
b.     I read the book in a few days.
c.     I add the book to my immense collection of freebies and may someday read it.
Pertaining to the membership.
d.     I immediately unsubscribe from the list because I agreed
to sign up, not to stay.
e.     I wait a reasonable time (a month) before I unsubscribe.
f.      I stay with the membership because I’m interested in the author.
g.     I stay with the membership hoping for more freebies.
Pertaining to emails sent from the author.
h.     I delete them.
i.       I have them tagged by the junk filter so I never see them.
j.       I click on some once in a while.
k.     I click on each one to see if there are more freebies.
l.       I click on them because I truly want to hear from the author.
Most self-published authors will likely be surprised at the number of options. I was when I began asking friends, family, and acquaintances about the topic. Their answers populated the above list.
I seldom join a mailing list in response to a free-book offer because I get my free books from Amazon’s Top 100 Free. I only download a free book if I already like the author or if the blurb and reviews really grab me. I don’t want three thousand books in my library. I prefer one hundred really good ones that I can re-read every couple of years.
However, I’m the exception, not the rule. I do know readers whose digital libraries have thousands of books, most of them unread. They take special pleasure in getting free books. It’s the equivalent of having a digital music library of thousands of songs. Most of us listen only to about 5% of our music.
As an author, I found this information rather unsettling. I have a few offerings on Instafreebie, a service for which I actually pay. Readers do not pay. They get the books for free.
Instafreebie says they have thousands of dedicated, loyal readers who will populate my mailing list and become avid readers of my work! An avid reader is great if he pays for my work. Otherwise, it’s like funding a reader’s welfare system.
I do understand the draw of freebies. I love Rick Mofina’s books and was thrilled to get several of them as free downloads in Amazon’s Top 100 Free. Now, I keep waiting for the next free offering from him. I’d be really irritated if I paid for the next book only to see it offered for free next week. It’s not that I won’t pay for a book; I buy most of my books. It’s that I feel cheated if I pay and everyone else gets if for free.
One author I fell in love with years ago is Monique Martin. Her first book, Out of Time, was a free download. She never offered the others for free, so I bought each one, some on sale. I bought them realizing that I could wait forever and never get another for free. I loved her work, so I spent the money.
As an author, my expectation is that every free book I give away, will quickly (or relatively soon) be read. Hopefully, one in five readers will love my work and actually buy the next book in the series or try another book by me. Another hope is that said readers will write reviews even if they don’t buy the next book.
Expectations are unrealistic where the numbers show otherwise. Several articles I read last year claim that a free book is ten times less likely to be read than a paid one. Also, the more a reader pays for a book, the more likely he or she is to read it. Amazon actually has numbers that support this. Their system keeps page-read counts for every book they sell/download.
Analyzing my mailing list, I learned quite a bit. It’s important to note that I send out very few emails. First, I was surprised by how many members stay on but seldom or never open a message. Those I believe are the ones that set the filters to send mailing lists emails to junk. They probably never see the email.
A small percentage unsubscribe as soon as the first email arrives. Interestingly, some sign up every time I offer a new title and unsubscribe shortly after. These only want the free books and feel no guilt about working the system.
A significant number do stay and open emails once in a while; these are the majority. Many stay as members and open most messages. I appreciate those and try my best never to spam them.
I have author friends who send out constant emails to their members. They do things like ask questions such as “What is your favorite fairy tale?” and “What topic do you want me to write about?” They claim that readers love to be engaged by their authors. Personally, I don’t want to annoy my readers with silly questions.
My lessons learned determine my marketing strategy. I only give away samples (a few chapters) of my books. A reader will know by the end of the 3rd chapter whether the novel is one he can’t put down. I usually know by end of 1st chapter.
I will gift full books to members of my Beta group. A good beta reader is worth his or her weight in gold, and most authors will be very grateful. I have found that offering books in return for fair reviews does not work either. If fifty readers respond and are given the book, maybe three or four actually keep their word and do the review.
What kind of reader are you? Are you likely to be swayed by the offer of a free book? Do you unsubscribe soon after? Are you likely to buy a book by an author who gave you a free one? Do you read the free books, or do you tend to hoard them?
I’d love to read your comments.
NOTE: If you’re interested in joining my Beta group, email me at zeecelugo@gmail.com.
Beta readers get the book before publishing. I ask them to read deeply and give me their thoughts on how to improve the book before the book is finalized. Beta books must be read as soon as possible so that changes can be made before release date.

Free Books or Not?

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. 

How do these sites work? How are they able to get you the books for FREE? Are all the books offered FREE?


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. 

Let’s say that I want to  draw readers to my Daniel’s Fork series. I choose the first title in the series, and I run a FREE promo on Amazon for 1 day.


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 promo on BookBub, the most sought-after and successful promo site for eBooks, can run as high as $1800 dollars  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.

On the FREE day, the promo site places my book on its newsletter and sends an email to all its members showing that my book is FREE on that day. It will post the book on its website also. Of course, my book is one of dozens featured  that day.
As a subscribed member, you are notified about the Free and Discounted books being featured. Using such services, you may download hundreds of free books a year.
The beauty of these sites is that they send you an email featuring many books on promo and the links to them. All you do is click and download. Below is a partial screenshot of an email I received from BookBub  this week.

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.

Presently, the proliferation of the Free book has produced a generation of readers who want to read only for free. They scope the sites daily, downloading every free book they find. They rarely buy.

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.

I will no longer give away free novels. I have a short story,  Vampire, Not Monster which I give away to anyone willing to sign up to my VIP list. I have it listed as Free for a time at various seller links in order to attract readers to Angel’s Guardian, my latest full novel.


I also offer samples of three chapters from my full novels at Instafreebie. I do promos on the sites mentioned, usually at a price of $0.99 or $1.99 but no longer for FREE.  


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? 


http://bookgoodies.com/mega-submit/

http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/for-readers

https://choosybookworm.com/free-ebooks/

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