There's nothing quite so electrifying as getting something for free. It's like you're winning, getting over on our capitalist society by jeering at the idiots paying for something when you have yours free. Now I'm not talking about stealing, I'm talking about taking advantage of all the free stuff out there. And for a bibliophile like myself, I'm steering this conversation toward free books.
A few of my publishers have recently started offering books for free, and it's encouraging sales. Take a series that's been around for a while, offer the first book for free and hope to hook readers. Everyone wins. Readers get a taste of something new without paying a dime. Some like the book enough to buy the next in the series, and the author and publisher reap the rewards together.
I really don't see a downside to free...unless you're a new author giving away the farm. Free is a means of promotion. The something for nothing adage only works if there's another book to keep the reader happy.
I love writing. I love it so much, I'll write regardless of pay or publication. However, that said, I make a living by writing. My kids and I have a roof over our heads and food on the table because I sell what I write. To give away my time and energy is a liability if it interferes with my ability to provide for my family. I'm a fan of free, but it comes at a price. My price, and only I can determine if I can pay that or not.
I know several self-published authors who have put up books for free, and they have nothing else published. I don't understand this concept, especially because the authors want to quit their day jobs and make a living from writing. It's not good business sense. "But we want to grow our readership, expand our market." Smart, sure. But what market is there in one book?
Granted, if it's a Harry Potter, there's a lot of market. But even Harry had seven books to his name. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all, but honestly, it doesn't make sense to strive for financial independence (through writing) by giving away work for free.
Sigh. I'd meant this to be a positive post about the ef in free. Instead, I went way off track. But I'm just baffled at how many independent authors get giddy about being having a bestselling free book with nothing else in their library.I understand wanting to share a good story, but if your end goal is to write as a paying profession, one free book with nothing else to offer does not make sense.
Okay, rant done. I digress. On the plus side for free books, I wanted to share some good news I already took advantage of. Currently for free at Ellora's Cave this week are Skye's Trail by Jory Strong (great book, I just read it) and Let Them Eat Cake by Ravyn Wilde (haven't read this yet but downloaded it). At Samhain, there's Crux by Moira Rogers (bought it when it first came out, great book) and Just the Way I Like It by Erin Nicholas (which I need to download.)
All of these books are beginnings to series, and it's worth it to read the first to see if the rest pique your interest. So swing by EC and Samhain if you want some great reads for free. My good word on this Monday morning. And now, back to my regularly prescribed caffeine.