Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless

Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless (To People Over 30)

You know you want it! Er… hang on. Do you…?

I’ve been wondering about book pricing for a long time. Specifically, whether making your book free makes me bothered about reading it or not.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not. Bothered, that is.

But before you start weeping and wailing (yes – you in the back, there) this has to be taken in the context of the market demographic to which I belong. And the fact that a clunky, unsophisticated and downright annoying scatter-gun approach to book marketing, which I keep ranting and raving about even though nobody is bloody listening, is yet again way off target.

I said before that books were decreasing in value – and they are, on two levels: both in sales and production.

Firstly, it stands to reason that if you charge me 99c for your book, or make it free, it’s not as valuable to me as something which cost me more.

Secondly, there isn’t as much investment in books at the production end, which makes them feel like lighter, less prized possessions. Indie publishers usually don’t spend as much on editing, packaging, and marketing as traditional publishers, and the end product can very often look cheap. (Actually, even traditional publishers don’t spend half as much on these elements as they once did. For instance, many traditionally-published authors are having to do all their own marketing if they want to sell any books at all. But anyhoo.)

Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless (To People Over 30)

I know this is what you think you’re doing…

A decrease in value means we don’t respect these books as much. We may not finish them. We may not even start them. They become wordy flotsam: we wade through them to get to what we hope is the good stuff.

So what is this doing to your readership? Your potential future sales? And your writing career? I’ve been forming some not at all hasty and tenuous conclusions, based on my own reading and buying habits.

What’s Wrong With Free Books?
1.   If you make your book free, I am more likely to download it, but less likely to read it.
2.   If your book is temporarily on sale at a heavily discounted rate, and I download it, there is an increased likelihood that I’ll forget I have it because I put off reading it indefinitely in favour of something I prize more.
3.   If I download one of your books and end up a) not reading it or b) not finishing it, it’s a safe bet to assume I will never download anything of yours again.

What Price Should A Book Be, Then?

Some research has been done on the so-called “sweet spot” for e-book pricing. A couple of years ago, it was suggested that the pricing floor, beneath which a book was considered to be of poorer quality and thus rendered less attractive (to an adult market), was 2.99 (dollars, euros or pounds, apparently). I would say that floor is around 2.50 for me, and odd prices also work (i.e. if your book is 2.67 it looks better to me than a flat 2.50, for reasons not entirely clear to me, but probably something to do with coming across more like a sale percentage discount to a more conventional RRP).

But free? No. In 95% of cases, for me, it’s a turn-off.

Ask Yourself – Is There Really A Strategic Benefit To Discounting Your Novel?

STRATEGY A.  It’s the first title in a series.

I’m less likely to dismiss your free book if it’s the first in a series and you’re charging for subsequent titles, because then I can see a good reason for what you’re doing: you’re trying to hook me with a freebie, only to charge me for the sequel. But making single or standalone titles free just makes me think that they’re lame ducks that nobody wants.

STRATEGY B.  Your target market pretty much only responds to free or discounted stuff.

You must know your audience. A professional marketer would segment their target market and tailor their promotions accordingly. Why aren’t authors doing this?

Lookit: I am over 30. What I pay for things has a significant psychological effect upon my valuation of them. Young adults, on the other hand, may feel differently. An entire generation is now used to getting things for free (just ask the music industry). So, whilst making your book free to me does you no favours whatsoever, making your book free to an 18-year-old may conversely prove the secret to your success and fame (leading ultimately to a legendary and gloriously blind abuse of power).

So if you think your target market is more 18-year-old, and less Irish cynic of an unpublished quantum over 30, for Blog’s sake, don’t treat us as the same market with a One-Size-Fits-All strategy.

STRATEGY C.   Your discount comes at a cost. Sort of.

Perhaps those of us more likely to judge a book by its price should be made jump through a few more hoops in order for us to value your free or discounted book more highly. Give us a special promotional code. A clue in another book. A question which must be answered. A special discount to fans or previous readers. Special offer bundles. Make us make some sort of effort. Because otherwise, why would we bother?

Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless (To People Over 30)

This is categorically not an author of fiction

What’s your view on free books? Do you have a cut-off price for discounted books (outside of sales promotions in actual bookshops), beyond which you think the book’s going to be a bit pants? Or is anyone out there a massive fan of the free e-book, and willing to fight me til tea-time about it?

  136 comments for “Authors! Your Free Book Is Worthless

  1. tbrpiledotcom
    June 25, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I so agree with all of this, Tara. I think 99p falls into the same category. I tend to think about the author: if you don’t value your work, why should I? I have had this discussion (read “argument”) with several authors in the past, and they tend to say, “Ah, but the advice is …” And although I’m always banging on about know your audience, I’ve never thought of this in pricing terms. Dammit, you’ve done it again: thinking what I’m thinking, but thinking it better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Arrah, would you stop. I’m going beetroot, here, and it’s not a pretty sight. But yes. People are constantly talking about advice… which is not necessarily for them. Sometimes it feels like we’re back in 1950s ad-land, and someone says “do this one thing and success is guaranteed!”, and everyone believes it…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack Tyler
    June 25, 2015 at 8:47 am

    “Cheap, but never free!” That’s my motto. Actually, I’m right there with you, and have been since way before Kindle was ever thought of. I’m a firm believer that only the mediocre work for free. I have done work to produce a product (a book), and if I value it at zero, how can I expect you to value it more? I sell my e-books for 2.99, which is, I think, my own floor, and while I may only sell ten books, those are honest sales to people who found value there worth paying for. Personally, I’d rather have those ten sales on my resume than a million giveaways.

    It’s always a pleasure to read your work. You may not think of yourself as an author, but you’re a brilliant writer, nonetheless. Until next time, read well, and write better!

    Liked by 5 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Oh, but I do think of myself as an author, Jack, just not one who’s ready to publish yet. I need to get all this spleen-venting out of the way before people start feeling they can attack me personally for being an author with an opinon! The Internet is much nicer to readers with opinions. Much, much nicer.

      And I agree – honest sales are better, because at least they’re probably actual readers. I’d love to know what % of a million giveaways are actually read, but I’d guess about 5.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ali Isaac
    June 25, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I have always thought that if I as the author don’t value my work, why should anyone else? I have bought books on temporary free promos, but thinking about it, have never gone on to buy any of the authors othr books. On the other hand, if I like an author, I don’t care the price of their books, I’ll always buy them. Jane and I decided to test the free giveaway thing with our Gra mo Chroi, and although it’s great to see all the downloads, it hasn’t helped to sell any of my other books. Or Jane’s, I don’t think. The free eBook is just a myth. And as for the 99c ebooks, have you ever browsed the titles and covers??? I’ve never yet bought one. But then I’ve never been a fan of sale time in any other sphere of life, either…

    Liked by 5 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:13 am

      I don’t mind the temporary free promos, as long as I know they’re temporary. I’ve responded to tweets sometimes which have promoted a book I’ve heard about before which is discounted for only 24-48 hours. I end up feeling then like I’ve got a bargain and everybody’s happy. That’s interesting about yours and Jane’s experiences: just goes to show you that your particular target market didn’t bite. I do think you could consider Gra mo Chroi itself to have been a success, though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ali Isaac
        June 25, 2015 at 10:17 am

        You are very kind lol! It is getting lots of downloads on Smashwords and related sites, and selling a few on Amazon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 2:50 pm

        I’m like that too. I’m happy to download for free a book that I had my eyes on and I find free for a limited time. I think downloading free the first book of a series also makes sense, though I actually don’t often do it.

        As for the rest, I downloaded a few free ebooks when I first bought my Kobo, but I’ve yet to read any of them. Nowadays, I only dowload for free books I actually mean to read.

        I think on a general level I agree with you, Tara. The free ebook makes sense if it’s part of a larger strategy. It makes sense for the reader as well as the writer. Otherwise… I don’t know. I still think that if you wrote a book professionally, edit and packeged it professionally and marketed it professionally, you can’t afford to sell it at 99c. That’s why I still don’t trust books with too small a price.

        Liked by 2 people

        • June 25, 2015 at 3:24 pm

          There seems to be 2 clear camps: those for whom 99c is too low, and those for whom 99c is reasonable. That’s probably personal taste and never completely reconcilable with a foolproof strategy. But I’m with you – for me, 99c is too low, unless it’s only for 1-2 days max.

          I think we all went a bit nuts when we first got eReaders! It only took 2 or 3 terrible free books to put me off them for life, though…

          Liked by 1 person

  4. June 25, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for another interesting post. I mostly agree with you. As you point out, free (or 99c) has a place as part of an overall marketing strategy. Say, you give away the first book in the series, in the hope of hooking readers. How well does that work out?

    As you know, I love numbers. And the nice people at Boobkbub Insights have provided us with some on

    Turns out that, if you feature the first book in the series for free, the later books in the series will sell 8x more copies than if you price the book at $0.99 or higher.

    However, to make sense, this has to be part of a promotion. In other words, said first book can’t be free to begin with. As you rightly explain, the point is to make people feel they’re getting something worthwhile.

    Interestingly enough, Amazon seems to agree that books shouldn’t be priced under $2.99. I believe that’s why they start offering 70% royalties at that price (under that, royalties are only 30%).

    So, why did I start this comment by saying that I *mostly* agree with you?

    Because I think a common mistakes for first-time authors is to price their work too high. Sure you can ask for the same price as Steven King. But only if you write like him and have an established fan base like him. Until then, do whatever it takes to fight the obscurity that inevitably befalls us all in a marketplace where 6,500 new books are published daily… and part of that may be a free or 99c strategy – albeit for a while and as part of an overall marketing strategy.

    Liked by 5 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:18 am

      That’s a great article from Bookbub, Nicholas, thank you for sharing. And you’re dead right – I completely agree, I just didn’t get around to mentioning price ceilings in my post: but this ceiling for first-time authors I think is pretty stringent. Probably around the 5.00 mark really. But I’m quite comfortable taking a chance on books in the 3.00 – 3.70 space. If I were publishing tomorrow, that’s where I’d price it.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. June 25, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    I agree with Tara on this topic – you worked hard and long to create, enhance, edit, select covers for and finally publish your book(s) – so competitions, tempting extracts, character interviews to build up your brand, book and yourself are better than Free or heavily discounted promos unless it’s the first of an established series.
    OH – and spamming “BUY MY BOOK” is a BIG Turn Off as well…

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:21 am

      Thanks for re-blogging, Chris! I’ve got something brewing about the idea of building up the offering, or special edition books – the music industry has been using this concept to add value for years…

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 10:36 am

        To add value to any book or offer is a great idea too Tara – let me know when you post about it (in case it gets lost in the 3000+ notifications I get each day from all over the place) – then I can reblog and spread it as well 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  6. June 25, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Quite true. Free has to be part of a temporary marketing strategy. (I believe the term is ‘loss leader.’) In the past, when I was young and foolish, I had the usual Amazon giveaways; maybe a hundred downloads in total, resulting in no follow-on sales and no reviews. The whole exercise was pointless. Did it with the first novel, never did it again.

    My books sell, sorry are on sale (they don’t sell!) for £2.49, which is 363 Yen in Japan. Maybe I should up the price a bit, £3.49 say. Or take it to its logical conclusion: if free is worthless, then I could do what some weird booksellers do and price it at £11,750. Absolutely priceless.

    You make some good points, particularly about young people wanting free stuff, and older people prepared to pay. What about people who are immature?


    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Oh, people who are immature are the best market imaginable, Chris. You just need to give them a little more for their buck – like a special edition insert which only the superfans have, or a code word which, when uttered under a full moon, will connect them to the author telepathically. It’s a goldmine. Although I’d be careful about your £11,750 price tag. Until after you’re dead, obviously.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. June 25, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I respect what you’re saying, and I think it was well thought out, and has some merit to it.

    I have two points to make, though.

    Firstly, I think you’re talking about full length novels. I only write shorts – my longest being just under 11k words right now. While I don’t think they’re worth 99c, I don’t think they’re worth $4.99 either. My cheapest non-free book is $2.23, and my most expensive is $4.20. I just recently adjusted to those prices (about a week ago), in the hopes of doing some reverse psychology along the lines of what you’re blogging about. I have no feedback yet. 😉

    I have another story, which is incredibly short and is perma-free. It serves two purposes: 1) it hopefully hooks you into my writing style so you’ll buy more books (I should mention that all my stories are standalones), and 2) it makes you an offer of another free book in exchange for a newsletter sign-up (so you have to “work for it”, like you mentioned).

    Which leads me into the second point: I wholeheartedly agree with you that free and deeply discounted books that you have to WORK for can be very valuable, because it feels like you, as a reader, are getting something truly special. That’s why I love Smashwords Coupons!

    I even started a dedicated mailing list where authors can advertise their discount coupon codes for free, and readers can sign up to receive them. Check it out: 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

      I am indeed talking about full length novels, Graham, and not only that, but select genres, really, which is my point about knowing your audience and segmenting your market. I think it goes without saying that short stories and novellas are a whole different market and therefore need a different pricing strategy.

      I know what you mean about ‘hooking’ people into your writing style, but I’m not sure how well this works. I think people get hooked by stories, not style, unless it’s literary fiction (which I would suggest is not a genre which lends itself at all to discounting). That’s why making the first book in a series free works so well as a strategy: readers buy subsequent titles because they want to know what happens. But if you’ve found otherwise, I’d be very interested to know how it’s working for you.


      • June 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

        Truth be told, I’ve yet to find any strategy that really works. I sell a single book every couple of months or so, seemingly regardless of my price. I’m going in the opposite direction now, with my pricing strategy, and your article has given me some validation for that strategy.

        I’ll let you know. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        • June 25, 2015 at 10:47 am

          Please do! Come back and tell us once you’ve seen the response…


  8. June 25, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I generally offer my short stories for free when i’m doing a launch or a promotion for any of the novels. I reckon 99 cents is great as part of another promotion, but not lower than that for a full length book for me. I must admit though – I’ve found some great reads for free and have gone on to buy up all the other books by their authors even though not part of a series.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:45 am

      I think that’s a great idea, Jo, because it’s added value – giving your short stories for free to promote other work. I haven’t had much luck with the free novels I downloaded, which is why I’m turned off now. I tried a few free standalone titles when I first got my Kindle years ago, and they were fairly rubbish, so once bitten, and all that…


  9. June 25, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Reblogged this on Learning as I write and commented:
    I confess to free promos. This article has given me some perspective, thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. June 25, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Very useful. A whole new perspective

    Liked by 2 people

  11. June 25, 2015 at 10:39 am

    Thanks Tara, very interesting article!

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Thanks, Michael.. Don’t ask me about pricing poetry, though. I wouldn’t even know where to begin!


  12. June 25, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I’ve never really thought about it too much but you’re right. I’m always suspicious if a book is free or heavily discounted. I do think “this must be rubbish”. I wonder how the author values their work if they allow such promotions.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 11:31 am

      And the sad thing is that the authors concerned are trying to do the best thing by their work, as much as they can to sell and promote it, precisely because they value it so highly. It’s just poor marketing – there’s so much of that out there…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ben
    June 25, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I agree in principle. But here was an exception to the rule: William Walsh’s Pathologies. Free download very much worth consuming. It’s a collection of short shorts, each a pithy, sharp rendering of the odd. I treat it to a full review at benonbooks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      I would hope there always would be personal exceptions, Ben, based on the individual opinions of certain readers… it’d be a sad place if there weren’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. June 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    I love the way you write.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Jaq
    June 25, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    How many of us have a gazillion free books on our Kindles that we might get around to reading someday, or not? I have about 300 actually. If I paid, even 99 cents, I’ll read it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      I’m not sure, but I think it’s around a besquillion Kindle users. Give or take a hundred. Your take on the 99c book is interesting. It’s not too low a price for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 1:36 pm

        Ok, I’m going to defend the role of the free promotion (or even permanently free book), with caveats. The biggest challenge facing most indie authors is visibility and one of the best and cost effective ways of overcoming this is to either run free promotions or to make one of your titles permanently free. You are right that this isn’t a great strategy when starting out, but if you have more than one title on sale it can be very effective.
        While I appreciate your own personal thoughts on free books, the stats (and feedback from many experienced and successful authors) show that many people disagree. Free is an effective way of gaining new readers. However, these new readers will only be a percentage of the hundreds or thousands of people who downloaded your free book.
        I recently ran a free promotion for a weekend. It was very successful in terms of downloads, but also in terms of book sales. The increase in visibility has led to my highest monthly level of sales (for my second book, along with a spike in sales for the free book after the promotion had ended) to date.
        Yes, I’m sure many of those who downloaded my book for free will never read it, but then in all likelihood they never would. However, by using their download as a means to give visibility to my books (through rankings and ‘customers who bought x, also bought’ listings), I’m in a better position than before.

        Liked by 5 people

        • June 25, 2015 at 2:00 pm

          Apologies for posting this as a reply, it was meant to be a comment in its own right.

          Liked by 2 people

        • June 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

          Hi, Dylan! Let me pour you a cuppa… Now, I never said that free titles never work (other than in my clickbaitey headline, natch). But I still insist that it depends on the genre and target market. The only exceptions are series of any genre (and I think you’ve written in a series, am I right?), by making the first title free; and authors who have a substantial number of titles out there. But for authors who have published 2 standalone titles or less, it seems to me that making one of those titles free can only do harm. The experienced and successful authors who employ this strategy usually have more than 5 titles to flog.

          I think making a standalone title (in an incompatible genre) free can actually turn off prospective readers for subsequent titles, if the initial free title hasn’t been read in the first place, which was really my point. You make a very important point though on the rankings issue, because that improves visibility where it’s almost impossible to get visibility in other ways.

          Cream bun?


          • June 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm

            Please don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t having a rant (and you have my apologies if I came across that way), I just wanted to put across another perspective.
            I think the point I disagreed with the most was that making it free means people don’t value the book. This may be true for some people, including yourself, but it’s not true for all and it’s these readers the free offer is targeting.
            Anyway, thanks for the cuppa. You even remembered how I take it 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • June 25, 2015 at 3:27 pm

              I know. I’m weird like that. But I suppose not too many people like lemon curd in their Earl Grey. And please accept my apologies too if I came across like I thought you were ranting! I wasn’t at all. Just dying to bring in the teatime joke 😛

              Liked by 1 person

  16. therailbaron
    June 25, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    My book is first in a series. So now I feel safer…and more nervous. Seriously though I have yet to do the free deal and won’t. Once my KDP Select service is up in July I post my book on Draft2Digital. Reduced rate helped out but the real struggle is in selling paperbacks. A bluntly eye opening and educational post ma’am

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Why thank you sir. I think you’re right to stay away from the free promos until you’ve got lots more to sell. If it’s not enticing people to look at something else you’ve got to offer right now, it’s a sadly wasted effort.


  17. armenpogharian
    June 25, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Very enjoyable post. As you said, it’s all about your target market, which is one of the first rules I learned about marketing. I occasionally need a repeat lesson, but that’s more about me, which brings me to the corollary – your own likes/dislikes rarely match those of your target market, even if your demographics match. It sounds simple, but it’s something that many marketers (and authors) forget.
    We also need to be wary of aggregate data and averages. Many people look at data on book sales and strategies that work without taking into account genre/target markets. It only takes one or two big hitters to really skew the average. The average book sells 300 copies (a number I vaguely remember from a few years ago), but that average could include a one author with a million sales and 3,450 authors with 10 sales.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Averages are the enemy of the researcher! I need breakdowns to make proper conclusions in my professional life, and if they were available for all the pontificating I do here, I’d be all over them like a rash… but it’s so hard to know what to do. I think the best thing might be for authors to try and match their book to a successful one, and see how they did it.


  18. June 25, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Does it make any difference to you if the book has lots of good reviews from verified purchases? Or does that not really make an impact on readers?

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      That’s a tough one, Carrie, because it depends on what attracted me to the book in the first place. If it’s a book I already heard of, and I buy it while it’s discounted or free, reviews won’t matter at all, really, because the promotion was merely giving me a final nudge.

      When it comes to buying something which I’ve come across for the first time, the reviews will hugely influence my buying decision (usually only the 3* ones at that), but if it’s free, I think I probably read the first chapter with a far more jaundiced eye – and if it doesn’t grab me by one chapter, I’m gone. It’s a tough market too!

      Perhaps another commenter could add their view here?

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 4:18 pm

        also, do potential buyers read the “Look inside” option and base their decision to download on what they read there? Or do they ignore that? I had thought that the combination of free, lots of good verified purchase reviews, and the ability to read the first 10k words would make a difference in whether someone actually downloads and READS the book. Then again, I honestly don’t understand the workings of the human mind at ALL, including my own, so go figure. I’ve never had a desire to make money from my book, although I dabbled with donating all proceeds to charity at first. Sales were dismal, and my main goal was to actually get people who could benefit from it to read it, so I made it perma free last fall.

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 25, 2015 at 4:32 pm

          Was your book fiction or non-fiction, Carrie? Because I think non-fiction abides by a whole different set of behaviours, and might even respond better to the free notion.

          Regarding your question on the free sample and reviews etc, you should find this post interesting:

          It’s not entirely scientific, but hopefully enlightening, and as it’s based on a sample of over 70 answers, it’s better than nothing!

          Liked by 1 person

          • June 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm

            ehh…it’s fiction based on reality. I suppose it’s sort of “inspirational”… It has gotten way more downloads and reviews after going free, but of course, how many of the downloads get read? Aside from the readers who review, obviously, I don’t know. I’ve felt like, perhaps incorrectly, that the fact that it’s been in the top 10k free kindle book, and the fact that it is pretty much always in the top 5, and usually #1 in the “free top 100” for “suicide” also gets it in front of more potential readers. but then again, I don’t know how much that actually means…I mean, are readers actually going to the free kindle book page and typing “suicide”? Who knows. I have no idea how readers actually SEARCH for books on the Amazon website, lol. This second article is fascinating. I had no idea covers meant THAT much. But then again, it’s important to ME when I’m shopping books… I AM glad to see the sample means quite a bit, because obviously, in my mind anyway, that SHOULD be the #1 factor in determining a success – the actual writing, lol. It’s giving me a lot to consider. I’m not really marketing it anymore. Perhaps I should give it another go… Thank you for all the input and helpful advice! 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            • June 25, 2015 at 6:28 pm

              You’re most welcome, Carrie. I wish you every success with the book- why not give it one more push? Can’t hurt, at any rate!

              Liked by 1 person

  19. June 25, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Interesting post, Tara, with lots of great comments. I agree with all the points (yours and comments), even though many of them contradict each other. As a whole, I don’t think giving away books is helping the industry or its authors. That said, I’m experimenting and monitoring results. My giveaway generated interest, reviews, and sales, and I will likely do it again, but with less and less frequency as readers come to know me and value my work. BTW – I purchase the books that I read…my way of supporting other authors.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Oooh, if you get results, will you please come back and tell us? You know I’m a sucker for the data if I can only get it! I like your phasing-out strategy of giveaways. Sounds like you’ve got a good handle on what the best path for you is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 2:41 pm

        You mean a graph?!? Ha ha. How about anecdotes?

        To my thinking, the number of books an author has available is a huge factor since sales start to grow naturally as readers enjoy one book and move on to another. The introductory discounted or free book is a much better idea if an author has ten other books out there that may benefit from sales. Giving away your ONLY book isn’t going to do much good, and this is what seems to happen with some frequency.

        Liked by 2 people

        • June 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

          You give me the anecdotes, I feed it through the machine (in my head), and out come… graphs! Everybody’s favourite teatime treat!! And yes, completely agree – for this strategy to work an author needs many titles under their belt…

          Liked by 1 person

  20. June 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    Tara, I’ve been long ranting on this topic, it so gets my goat! When authors chortle about their “6000 free downloads!!” only to admit later there were no subsequent reviews, repeat business, or sales of other books (as statistics prove happens so often), one has to wonder if a briefly-spiked Amazon ranking is worth the cost of the promo, the loss of the book income, and the continued devaluing of writers and their books.

    Much has been written echoing that plaint, but the bazillions of ‘FREE/BARGAIN BOOKS RIGHT HERE!!” sites have not only spawned a culture of readers who now expect dirt-cheap books and are unconvinced ANY book is worth more, but a culture of indie authors so desperate to build careers they go along with the program. In the meantime, the formerly-vaunted art and craft of writing has been demoted to an “anyone can do it, so big whoop” exercise.

    The two-tiered system has further perpetuated the “you’re not worthy” stigma attached to self/indies with this pricing paradigm. Trad. pubbed ebooks are sold at one price range (usually $6-$13), with self/indie ebooks dumped at the bottom of the barrel ($0-$3). It’s justified as “you’re unknown,” but it’s really saying, “you couldn’t get a publishing deal so your book isn’t worth even as much as a cup of coffee.”

    As a reader, I avoid free/uber cheap books (unless it’s a temporary sale) because I’ve discovered most (not all, but most) suck. Additionally, like you, I tend to automatically categorize them as having less value and therefore am less likely to read them (again, unless it’s a temp sale of a good book).

    As an author, I won’t give my books away for free, and if I do a discount sale, it will be selectively brief. I price my books somewhere between trad. pubbed authors and the bottomfeeder prices expected from indie/self-pubbed authors (though higher than many here price their ebooks), but I think $6.99/7.99 is fair for well produced, well written novels. If I lose or don’t attract readers because of that price point, those likely weren’t readers who’d have been drawn to my work anyway. And I’m on a mission to raise the bar for indie writers, dammit!!

    My takeaway: 1. You generally DO get what you pay for, and 2.) Every artist in the world should push against the continuing devaluation of art (see Taylor Swift this week).

    Thanks for letting me rant; thanks mostly for blaring the trumpet on this topic. It’s good to have a voice like yours making the points.

    Liked by 6 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 3:31 pm

      Great points, Lorraine – but of course we’re in the same camp! I think people who expect books to be free get what they deserve, to be honest. An established author with many titles can get a great boost out of a short-lived free promotion, but anyone who downloads perma-free books generally gets a certain quality book that makes an already short life sadly wasted!

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 3:48 pm

        Yep. There are so many reasons to NOT like this idea, we could ramble for hours. But certainly the quality of most free books seems the most salient reason to look elsewhere. Give me an excellent book at $10, rather than a crappy one for free!

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm

          If only we could work out whether the $10 book was really excellent before we read it, Lorraine, we’d be on the pig’s back…


          • June 25, 2015 at 4:49 pm

            Ain’t that the truth! And I’ve paid more than that for trad. pubbed books that I didn’t end up liking at all!

            But I do think you can hedge your bets by looking at the quality of the cover, the blurb, and the sample (elements authors can’t short change), even the honest-sounding reviews. After that, it is a crap shoot. Not unlike the ones we take going to the movies (which cost lots more than books), and even trying a new restaurant…. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  21. June 25, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Reblogged this on After the Sucker Punch and commented:
    Again, because the topic of book pricing is a bugaboo of mine, I’m reblogging a good piece written by a writer I not only thoroughly enjoy, but agree with on most things… well, ALL things, so far! This piece is a good companion to my article about Taylor Swift (the one right before this one), so read them both and the, come on, let’s raise the bar on the value of art!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks for the re-blog, Lorraine! I saw the headline of your Taylor Swift piece, Lorraine, but couldn’t access it from the device I was on – thanks for the reminder, I’ll be all over it later… it was on Huff Post too, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  22. June 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    As a reader, I agree with this. I tend to read books I pay for first, which means free downloads tend to get shoved to the side. Not always, but this is usually how it works. As a writer, I agree with you for the most part. With one of my standalones, I decided to do a free promo because the book wasn’t selling anyway. The promo resulted in tons of downloads and reviews, and as a result, I had loads of sales and KU borrows the next three months. I tried this approach with a different book and it bombed. So, you just never know. In general, I believe you’re right that freebies should be used as a marketing tool under very specific circumstances. Thank you for writing this article!

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      That’s fascinating, Tricia, that you’ve seen both sides of it for different titles – were they in the same genre?


  23. June 25, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    Yep, agree, I think it devalues and yes, the free books I got are still sitting unread on Kindle. However, I do like getting books on a temporary 99p thing though, makes me feel like I got a bargain and it’s a fairly cost effective way to try out a new writer too or the first in a series kind of thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      Yes indeed – I’m a fan of 99p only as long as I know it’s a temporary price. I think any consumer wants to know that an advertised special offer really is a proper special offer – not a Tesco-type “it was double this price for 20 minutes yesterday so now we can call it half-price” thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  24. June 25, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    Oh Tara, Tara, Tara… lol Nobody’s listening to you and you have 45 comments and 34 likes within a few hours of posting this? *wags finger and chuckles*
    For all kinds of reasons you’re right of course. From a ‘serious’ author’s viewpoint, whether that’s qualified as you want to make a living at it, and/or you want to be known as a writer of great books – giving it away (and 99p is DEFINITELY giving it away) has to be a no-brainer for even the least economically minded numpty (me in other words).
    Loss leaders are to get people to change their shampoo/laundry detergent/fast food habit NOT for a piece of your internal landscape/life experience/soul and yes, I include non-fiction in that cachement – you’ve put time and effort in and that HAS to cost, even if it’s not too much at first. A couple of currency units may not have much gravitas but hey – you haven’t got a rep yet, so of course you’re NOT going to make much of a profit at first, but a sensible priced item is part of establishing your credentials and starting in the bargain basement ain’t saying too much about you except that you’re prepared to ‘do it for nothing’.
    Have some pride – whores get paid, so why shouldn’t you for all your hard work? Even if you live in an ivory tower, don’t care about the money and just love to write doesn’t mean to say your work is priceless – literally. Get real and take no crap – you deserve to get something back for putting yourself out there especially if you self-publish as the deal is that FAME COSTS! If it costs you so should your oeuvre cost the reader – get cracking with those omelettes! 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      I think that’s a great point, Jan, that what works for so-called fast-moving consumer goods doesn’t necessarily work for books. And loss leaders only work if they’re pulling in sales in other areas. If they don’t, they’re just losses!


  25. June 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    The lovely Tara Sparling waxes lyrical about the cost of giving it all away… What price Fame when FAME COSTS!? Read on and be enlightened! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      And in the time it took me to write all that your stats went up to 78 comments and 55 likes & counting. What are you LIKE woman! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm

        I’m trying a new strategy, Jan. I call it mass dehumanising cyberhypnotism. It’s completely illegal but immeasurably enjoyable 😉


  26. June 25, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    It might have been mentioned already (I haven’t read through all your comments yet -there’s a lot of them), but this is a subject that I’ve been researching quite a bit. According to Mark Coker at Smashwords, free books are downloaded 19x more than paid books. While it’s likely true that readers value this works less than that they pay for, that’s a lot of eyes on our work. When you compare that with how many authors PAY for advertising with negligible results, it seems like something worth considering. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to put your thousand page epic fantasy novel that took two years to write for free, that wouldn’t make any sense. But if you then wrote a short story related to that world and put it perma-free, or something else that would give readers a taste of your style, that could bring in new eyes for your other works.

    In other words, if you look at free like a marketing angle rather than a money making thing, it’s another tool in the tool box.

    Liked by 3 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 5:27 pm

      It’s only effective advertising if the people who download the free thing buy another thing, though. It might seem like eyes on your work, but if I download something, never read it, forget about it and eventually think of it only in vague terms of something I rejected – whether I meant to or not – that’s not an effective tool, because I’ve probably been lost as a customer forever. For that reason, I don’t respect download numbers.

      I agree however that short stories are good things to make free, because you’re adding value with a brand-building tool, in the same vein as a special edition: but that’s not the same thing as giving away your main product – your novel – for free.

      Liked by 4 people

      • June 25, 2015 at 5:59 pm

        One could say pretty much the same thing about paid advertising. How many authors put serious money into marketing but get little returns?

        The biggest consideration for both situations is that the book or short story needs to have a good cover, be engaging, and be a good read. Quality will attract and maintain readers.

        The difference is that the “cost” of having a perma-free work is time and editing, cover, etc. But then it’s permanent advertising and marketing. Compared to the cost of paid advertising, which only has moderate results (for some) and a generally short term affect.

        Like I said, it’s just another tool in the tool box. For example, some authors on Wattpad (free stories) gain a good following there and then when they publish they have a large platform to boost future sales. Conversely, if the work is no good then no matter what marketing or giveaways are done, the results will be insignificant.

        Liked by 4 people

  27. James Fadeley
    June 25, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I just finished writing and editing my first novel. I’m really not sure I could ever give it away for free after the effort invested in the process. I don’t mind keeping the price below $5 if the customer is concerned about cost. But free? Come on.

    Now, short stories… I could give away for free occasionally. Especially if they promote a larger body of work. Especially if they showcase an author’s ability, and satisfy any concerns about structure a plot, developing characters or generating well written prose.

    Still, I like to think people are going to read what they pay for. Otherwise, you get the folks who either fill their Kindle with free stuff they’ll never read or the audience who might browse it and maybe even enjoy it, but still wouldn’t pay for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • James Fadeley
      June 25, 2015 at 7:26 pm

      structuring a plot*

      Blah. How do I words…?

      Liked by 1 person

    • June 25, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Absolutely. It’s those of us who fill our Kindles with stuff we never read who would bother me most as an author. It’s just such a waste! Like winning a prize only to find out it’s broken.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. June 25, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: .

    Liked by 2 people

  29. June 25, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    I don’t download free books because I can’t keep up with the ones on Kindle I’ve purchased on top of the paper copies I keep buying.

    It does feel a dis-service to the author to give away books free for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Or for me to download them if I’m not going to read them. That’s like a double slap. So I won’t pay for it, but I won’t appreciate it either!

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 25, 2015 at 9:33 pm

        I have 3,000 books and dozens on my Kindle, and any I buy I ‘mean / want’ desperately to read. Time is the culprit. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • June 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm

          And for me, remembering that I have them in the first place 😉


  30. June 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Thanks, Tara, for sharing this helpful information. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  31. June 25, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    Not changing my mind in any way about freebie downloads on retail sites, but I think there IS a place in your marketing strategy for giveaways NOT on Amazon et al if you put excerpts, teasers, chapter releases and/or shorts on your own platform (so blog or whatever). That way you’re engaging with the VIEWER in a personal way in an arena where there’s no expectation of payment, other than in time or commentary.
    It makes more sense as it’s happening in an area you control, where there’s no competing lures from other titles and authors, so at least you have a chance of catching the idle passer by with just the one shop window – the trick if of course getting them there in the first place… but that’s another marketing tale. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 25, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Yes, the value-added stuff. I think there’s loads more scope for that, too.


  32. June 26, 2015 at 4:29 am

    The sales I have are all at full cover price ($9.99 digital, $21.99 paperback, saving the occasional discount offered by A Major Online Retailer, which comes out of their cut, not mine). I write literary fiction, so I don’t do free, and the lowest e-book promo price I ever offered was for $1.99. Sometimes I run a 51% e-book preview for holidays, which may have been instrumental in making a paperback sale in the spring: I was told that a reader had started on it, thinking it would be “a simple romance,” but then discovered that it was “so much more.” By the time she was halfway through the book, she was raving about it – even about the cupla focal as Gaeilge it contains. Believe it or not, there seems to be a small niche market for a 200,000-word novel about contemporary Irish characters (whose English dialogue is not written in dialect) and their knotty modern problems. My marketing job is to find the right keywords to help the readers in that niche to know it’s there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

      That’s really impressive, Christine, to have sold any paperback at $21.99. Even new release Trade Paperbacks from big-name authors would never sell for more than €15 over here, so it’s quite an achievement. Congratulations!

      Liked by 1 person

      • June 26, 2015 at 3:34 pm

        Thank you, Tara. My case is an outlier, cropping up to skew the normal distribution curve. The niche is small enough to be lost on a microscope slide. I have no fawning friends and relations to write servile reviews (the two 4-stars at A Major Online Retailer were written by strangers, and, some of my remaining relatives disapprove of my writing). My online following numbers in the low hundreds, and they’re predominantly writers, so they follow not for the sake of the book, but for the blog posts (which I greatly appreciate, because even my kids are blog-Luddites). More than a hundred digital previews have been downloaded, although only one e-book ever sold, and offering digital copies at discounts ranging up to 80% sparked no interest whatsoever. I’m glad to have given my low-double-digit paperback audience something of value in exchange for their time, treasure, and vacation lodging inside their heads for my crew of disreputable characters (with the cover taped shut, the book would re-purpose nicely as a sturdy and attractive paperweight or doorstop).

        Liked by 1 person

  33. June 26, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Reblogged this on newauthoronline and commented:
    Tara makes some good points. However I think the picture is rather more complex than portrayed in her post. For the author just starting out with few (if any) followers on social media programmes such as Amazon’s KDP Select can help to bring their work to the attention of people who, otherwise would have been unaware of it. For authors with a bigger following on their blogs or via other social media the use of giveaways may be less effective. My book, “Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry And Prose” is not free and I have no intention of making it so. I have, however provided readers with free copies in return for an honest review (I.E. targeted use of free offers). It is, ultimately a matter of horses for courses. For the author just starting out free promotions may help. While for the author with a greater presence offering books free (other than targeted promotions) may not be so effective.


    Liked by 2 people

    • June 26, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Hi Kevin, thanks for the re-blog! It’s not that I think it’s simple, incidentally, I’m just more convinced that it’s down to genre. Free giveaways don’t necessarily help any author whose genre is outside the sphere of readers looking for free books.


  34. June 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Thank you Tara. As a new author I chose to publish via a company with a good track record who assisted me me with all the tasks that I didn’t want to take the ime to learn to do myself. Always impatient! I found their recommended retail price too expensive compared to what I felt reasonable for a book so cut my margin. This still makes a book £9.99 and an ebook £3.49. Then I saw how many books were free or .99p and panicked. I needn’t have worried, my target readers do pay that price as they want the book. My conclusion is that it is all down to your marketing plan and clarifying your target audience. X

    Liked by 2 people

  35. June 26, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Reblogged this on Anita & Jaye Dawes.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Alex Hurst
    June 26, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Strategy B is a really good point about attracting only people that want free things. I recently put in the works a permafree title, but only because it’s about 2,000 words and it felt like a ripoff to even charge 99 cents. Maybe I’m misguided, haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      I don’t think that’s misguided, Alex, it’s a strategy in itself. I think we have to ask ourselves – would someone pay money for this? If the answer is no, but we want someone to read it anyway, then yes, it should be free. Much like our blogs. Our blogs are so free, they belong at a 1970s music festival. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alex Hurst
        June 26, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        Haha! Good one. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  37. June 26, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I have a fair few free books downloaded on my kindle, but maybe only read one or two of them. I do look out for sales though, especially 99p ones, when I will pick up a book I’ve been waiting for and have bought later books from the author. I have the third in a trilogy out in the autumn and I’ve thought about reducing the price of the first to pull readers in, but other than that and sales, I won’t reduce to free. I heard that less than 10% of books downloaded free ever get read. Download numbers don’t worry me, sales do, I don’t want my book sitting unread just because someone thought they’d grab a freebie!

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm

      Exactly, Lisa. What’s the point of downloads which will never ever translate into sales at the end of the day? Do try a promotion for your trilogy, though – they do reportedly work.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. June 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Reblogged this on evelynralph and commented:
    I have never thought of giving my work away free, though I do pick up free mysel. But ye,s, I do forget i have them, there are so many.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. June 27, 2015 at 4:11 am

    If I am attending a webinar or following a particular presenter & they have a free or heavily discounted offer I am likely to buy, and read eventually. Even so I still consider whether it is a book that I will read before pressing buy. However just a freebie, unless I like the author’s work or the genre – no. I tend to “collect” books for reading or glancing at, but not e-books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 27, 2015 at 6:16 pm

      You obviously put thought into your buying decisions, Suzanne… I think a lot of people – me included – went a bit mad with our first eReaders at the thought of free books and downloaded a pile of them. Never again though!


  40. June 27, 2015 at 7:52 am

    When I see a newish book for .99, my first thought is ‘they didn’t hire an editor’. I only consider older books or classics priced that way as a ‘deal’. A book that’s 2.99, I might pick up if the description is well done and it’s got good cover art. However, a book that runs 7-12 (or more for hardcover), provided the blurb is appealing and the cover art is professional, I’ll pay. Furthermore, I’ll assume it’s been put out by a reputable publishing house and that every manner of editor has been thrown at it. I agree that there is an assumption of quality in pricing, it suggests demand. The figures posted earlier, though lovely, appear to disagree with each other (I don’t have all the data at my fingertips so I concede that I may be wrong and I’m only just making an ass of myself). The bottom shows lower revenue for $10 books, but the top figure shows $10 books making double the amount of 2.99 books, and that’s on the day where the 2.99 books sold many more units than the $10 books. This is what I’d expect to see, it’s basic margin/volume math. My opinion on marketing is to assume your book is an iPhone -spend the time and money to give it the absolute best packaging then price it accordingly (like an iPhone). Provided the story is good, it’ll sell. I don’t care what anyone says – books are judged by their cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 27, 2015 at 6:18 pm

      I think it’s really valuable to know what kind of a psychological price scale people operate on, Dave – thank you for this.

      Liked by 1 person

  41. June 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Hi everyone, so I decided, in the name of science and statistics, to go free on my debut, ahem, cough … BEFORE Tara had written this article.;) So, yes, I’ll be honest, it was a desperate attempt for reviews. As of yet, the only reviews have been from people who said they’d never touch chick lit with a barge pole ‘but it was free.’ Guess I’m a case in point here but you know yourself, you try different things to get people to read. I would love the e-readers to have a facility for authors to see how many people read their free book! On the other hand, I had two people come up to me at the Wexford literary festival the other day who’d downloaded for free and loved it, so you know, something came out of it, even if it was just a temporary sense of release and a smile. Also, my loan copies are steadily up since my ‘free’ days. I don’t know … In the future I’ll probably just use it for promotional short stories. Will keep you posted on whether there’s a surge in reviews, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Tara, if I win the lotto I’ll take you on as chief advisor for this mind boggling minefield!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • June 30, 2015 at 10:09 pm

      This is as close to scientific research we’re going to get, so thank you! I never fail to be astounded at the number of people who believe that the world needs to know their opinion of something they’d decided not to like before they even picked it up, but I hope your reviews were more positive than the norm. And I’m glad you got to meet some proper readers in person in Wexford – that’s what it’s for.

      I’ll take the position, by the way, as long as I’m paid in sunshine 😉


  42. July 1, 2015 at 12:56 am

    Reblogged this on theowlladyblog.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. July 3, 2015 at 9:57 am

    I’ve not been tempted by the free book either to sell or to buy… I lie, someone pleaded for an author who was in miseries, so I downloaded her free book. I ploughed through two glutinously wordy pages… and that’s that. I’m glad you brought up the increasingly poor quality of printed books by both Indie authors and ‘real’ publishers. They positively embarrass me. Is this Amazon’s Createspace? A publisher talked about a POD price (to him) per copy of 50 to 90 pence. I bought one of his products and I’d rather not publish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 3, 2015 at 5:14 pm

      Agreed, Hilary. I know we shouldn’t tar them all with the same brush, but the fact is that majority experience becomes the narrative, and too many tales have been told of poor quality free books to be overcome by the few gems. We’re only human.


  44. July 16, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I have seven books in a science fiction series and my blog reviews science fiction and fantasy. So I have to read at least a book a week. I have a slim budget and if I can’t get it at a reasonable price or free, I visit the library…where it’s free to me. No one thinks of that or devalues the library book because it’s free.

    I languished in anonymity until I tried KDP Select and exploded with 4500 downloads, (first book free for five days) followed by over a hundred books ($3.99) over the next month, including the first in the series once free book.

    No one is mentioning that you can now see whether readers are reading or not. KNP shows me every day that readers are reading, not just letting their books idle in the cloud. Of course, many have downloaded and not read, but I was surprised how many are reading. We can track it.

    If you are a new author, you can’t hide in the closet. However, I see we are heading toward the cliff exactly like the music industry that tried to shut Napster down (and did), but folks, I think the genie is out of the bottle. You can sniff and snort all you want about creative value and put a high price on your endeavor, but the cost conscious public will stampede right past you…unless you hit them over the head with the best gosh darn book around in the genre they like, and then, they might buy. ($15 for an ebook?) Most likely it’s big publisher backed and a well known name, and even then they might only line up like I do down at the local library for your $27 hardback.

    I agree with Dylan Hearn a lot, and Rossini has some very interesting numbers…and I know you like number crunching.

    Liked by 2 people

    • July 16, 2015 at 9:38 am

      Hi Sheron! I see what you mean. For a reader like yourself, free books are essential to good bookkeeping. As I say above, I would be in a different market bracket, as I don’t review books and I read purely for recreation. I would just be overwhelmed by that many books and would most likely end up reading none of them at all!

      I did have couple of recent posts on the technology allowing us to see whether readers are reading downloaded books or not, both the upside and downside. But different readers want different things, and whilst I by no means advocate $15 for an e-book, and I’m wholly in favour of intelligent discounting or special offer sales promotions, free books remain unattractive to me, unless – and only unless – they are the first part of a series, which I believe is also Dylan Hearn’s strategy, amongst others.


  45. September 20, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    You are welcome Tara.


  46. September 20, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    I have read a lot if comments, thoigh not all, but very interesting. Makes you think.


  47. November 16, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I’ve just come upon this post. I’m so glad that I did – it was excellent, and offers much food for thought. Many thanks, Tara.


    • November 16, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      You’re more than welcome, Liz, I’m very glad you liked it.


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