At what point is FREE detrimental to sales? If you follow my Back To Basics Blog and The Frugal Way Facebook page, you know I'm always sharing freebies. This includes books.
I've lost track of the number of books I've downloaded for free. Most of them are nonfiction, but the conclusions are the same. Why buy when you can get so many other books for free?
My 'To Be Read' pile is immense. The only time I buy anymore is if it happens to be a book from an author I know and can trust to deliver the goods. New-to-me authors come via the freebies. But my batting average for finding an author I really like through the freebies has been relatively small.
So do freebies help or hurt the author?
I have to filter in the fact that I'm particularly hard to please (so sayeth my husband). The law of averages says that eventually I'll find the right author for me. But even with the thousands of books published every day and so many of them offered for free or very cheaply, it's a little like being a fish in a pond with a thousand hooks but no bait.
A hungry reader might snap at the empty hook, but most of us are looking for meat. Sometimes it's the pesky fly who is constantly pimping her books. Sometimes it's the meal your buddy-fish are nibbling on.
I regularly see listings for free books from various groups. Often, the only thing guiding me are the titles and genres. To learn more, I have to investigate each one individually.
A lot of factors have to be met before I click the "buy" button. Did I like the blurb, the cover, and the reviews? More importantly, did I like the writing style? It must be doubly interesting if real money changes hands.
So does FREE help or hurt sales? I look at it like playing the lottery. You might hit the jackpot, but most likely, you'll walk away with a small prize. A little distraction, quickly forgotten by the next day.
Have you ever tried a free book? Do you think the author made the right decision giving it away for free?
This week on Back to Basics I posted a complete supply list for creating your own Pet First Aid Kit, and also a super-duper remedy for cleaning toilets.