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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Should Indie Authors Give Away Free ebooks?

One of the things that really make me happy are getting free ebooks. Usually they are promotional in nature, and I try to remember to leave a review on Amazon.com and Goodreads. Sometime I have to sign up for the author's newsletter, which is fine with me. I want to get to know mystery author's, because one of my current WIP's is a mystery that I want to turn into a series.Win/win for author and reader, as far as I am concerned.

It turns out that there are pros and cons to this issue.


  • We have to take into account how many people will unsubscribe as soon as they get their free ebooks. My thought here is that if the newsletter is viable enough, people will stick with an author that interests them. 
  • Another thought is that with all of the free/low cost (99 cent) ebooks out there, readers will not purchase a full price ebook. There is always going to be that segment of the reading population, but there will be those who do go on to purchase at full price. My belief is that the numbers here are greater than the number of people purchasing at full price without having read a free ebook as a dangling carrot.
  • Then there is the thought that free ebooks may not get read. Personally. I have never chosen to not read an ebook that I have downloaded - paid for or free. So we take a chance as authors sending out free e-books. IMHO, the what I consider to be a small percentage of books that don't get read are far outweighed by those that do get read.
  • I should make note here that if you have a book up on Kindle, you can offer it for free for five days out of ninety with KDP Select.
  • Free ebooks are a great way for new authors to get known, and for established authors to introduce new work (as in a new series). It is a good idea when offering a free ebook to have a paid for ebook ready to go at the same time. Include an excerpt from the paid for ebook in the free ebook.
There are many sites where you can download free ebooks. This includes: