Friday, December 09, 2011

Free Books Are All The Rage

Since the explosive growth of digital books readers have the potential to read-for-free an almost unlimited number of books. All the major online booksellers offer free books and there are tons of web sites which list free books. They are updated constantly and I hear authors telling fabulous tales of "selling" thousands and thousands of books when theirs "go free." 

The question is, why would an author give away the books they worked so hard to write and there are quite a few different answers. If a writer has a number of books, giving away one may be a good way to introduce readers to their work. Sometimes they give away their books for a limited time period in the hopes of getting reviews or improve their ranking or get their books into the coveted "Also Bought" line on Amazon pages. And a lot of writers say they just want readers to read their work, they don't care if they get paid.

Amazon, always the savvy marketers, have introduced a new way of getting books onto people's Kindles with a new lending library. Kindle owners who subscribe to Amazon Prime can now "borrow" the books enrolled in their lending program and the author gets paid a small fee from a fund Amazon has set up to compensate writers who put their books in the lending library.

So, I thought I'd give it a shot and enrolled one of my books, The Reluctant Belsnickel of Opelt's Wood, in the program. This is how the page looks.

Two more of my books are being offered free on other web sites and I'm pleased they are doing this. My sampler called Romance, Crime, Good Food: The Kathleen Valentine Sampler is free in the Diesel E-Book Store in a lot of different formats and love, murder, etc. is free in the Sony E-Book Store and at Barnes & Noble.

I'll be interested to see if people download them and if I get feedback. Paid sales are still encouraging. The Crazy Old Lady In The Attic is still hanging in the Top Ten Amazon Bestsellers in 3 categories and Ghosts of a Beach Town in Winter is bouncing around in the Top Twenty. All of this just blows my mind.

One of the real joys of winter, for me, is snuggling up with a warm blanket, hot tea and a good book. In fact, I'm off to do that now.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. Kathleen, you paint such a cozy picture I'm going to join you - hot soup in place of the tea.

    Making a book free for a limited time has been a great marketing maneuver for me. 43,00 downloads later (total for both books) I'm sure to get some readers for the other books.

    A word of caution: one of the books I put up for free - a short story collection - did not do very well. I don't know the magic combination.

    Happy Holidays


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