Monday, June 18, 2018

Free Books #OpenBook Blog Hop

What's your opinion on authors giving their books away for free?

If you are a heavy reader of e-books, you probably know that there are a lot of free books out there. Enough that you could fill whatever e-reader you use without spending a penny. And you know what? Some of those books are good. Really good.

But you won't find any of my books on that list. and that's on purpose. I don't give my books away for free on a mass basis. (I have been known to give away a copy or two to interested readers.) My reasoning is simple.

I work hard on my books. I put a lot of time and effort into writing my character's stories. My time should be worth something,

But beyond that, It's not a totally free process to get them ready for publication. I don't have the skill set needed to format them in the way they need to be set to work properly with all the various e-readers. I pay someone to do it for me. There's the cost of editing and covers, too.

Then there is the delivery fee. At least one of the major sites (cough, Amazon, cough) charges the author a small delivery fee when their book is downloaded. (not on free books, however.) That's on top of the cut they take for their share of royalties.

Now, I am very aware of the concept that readers will so love your free book that they will go right out and buy the rest of the books in a series. I've seen that stats that indicate that this use to work. I've also heard the discussions about whether it works any more or not, and I lean toward the side that says it doesn't. Why?

I believe the market is over-saturated. There are too may free books out there, and even if they get
downloaded they don't get read. Sorry, my author friends, but I'm a poster child for that. I'm not sure how many unread books I have on my app. Too many. And I'm fairly picky about what I download.

So, I won't price my books for free. I do try to price my books at an "attractive" level, one that won't scare off potential readers to a fairly unknown author. And I have one book (The Marquesa's Necklace) priced at 99¢ to attempt to draw in new readers. (Haven't read it yet? Go buy it! Please?) In advertising terminology, it's my loss leader. My hope is that if there's at least a small investment made to obtain the book, there's a higher chance that it will actually get read.

But I would love to hear how readers feel about this topic. The comments are open! And while I'm waiting, I'm going to hop on over and find out what the other authors think.

June 18, 2018
What's your opinion on authors giving their books away for free?

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2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
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