Friday, April 19, 2013

Writing: For Free, Take...

The launch campaign for Stress Test moves on. In addition to giving away a Nook HD (click here to enter), I'm appearing on a number of blogs, and at most sites there is an opportunity for a commenter to win a signed copy of the book. I've given those links on prior blog posts, and if you want to get in on the action, simply scroll to my previous few posts and click away. And just discovered a nice video review of Stress Test on the Lifeway blog by Rachel McCrae, their book buyer. View it here.

But that brings up a question, one that occurs to every author as they progress down their road to writing. Does giving away newly released books lead to new readers? Or does it simply encourage people to postpone buying the book, hoping to win a copy? And what about those that don't win? Will they forget their good intentions, or will they go ahead and buy?

And what about previously published books (I hate the term, "backlist")? Is it a good idea to make those available free? Or at reduced prices? Does it help of hurt?

Since most of this is up to the publisher, I don't have to make a decision. What do you think of all this? I'd be interested to know.

(photo via freedigitalphotos.net)

6 comments:

Beth said...

For me, I have found many new to me authors from free e-books. I think it encourages new readers. When I find a new author I share w/ other readers.

Richard Mabry said...

Beth, the publishers say that's the reasoning behind free e-books. However, other publishers feel that if the book doesn't cost at least a nominal amount (and all four of my previous books are available as e-books today on Amazon, B&N, and CBD.com for less than $4) the person is less likely to read them.
Another factor is that many people download a free book, find that it's Christian fiction, and post a really bad review just because of the subject matter. Other than offsetting that via good reviews, there's not much that can be done there.
Thanks for your comment.

Sarah's Thoughts said...

I personal have found amazing authors when they off there books for free for ebook being as I was not working for 2 years I could afford the books now that I am back to work I am slowly buying the books as I like the feel of the book and like to reread. I do understand that the author is not getting the money they deserve or kudos and thats hard I personally try and do a review on the very websites that offered the books so that others know its worth buying but I also will write my honest opion which for me the book has to be hhorrible and unable to finish to get a bad review and I have had only 2 like that. But back to the point l personally have been very blessed by the free books

Richard Mabry said...

Sarah, I'm glad the free books worked out for you--that's the way it's supposed to be. And you're one of the few who take the time to post an honest review. Some people don't do that, and it does hurt the author, although if they (like you) buy other books in the future, the giveaway has accomplished something.
Glad you're back at work now, and hope you enjoy my books. Thanks for your comment.

KayM said...

I've won several books in contests and I've found that it has led me to buy more books from the author--assuming I liked the book. Also, if I get a free book that is not the first of a series, I will first purchase the previous book(s). I also make a point to leave reviews, "like" on Facebook, and follow on Twitter, etc. as ways of expressing my appreciation and support. I pray for many of my favorite authors, some of whom I would never have "met" if not for the free book.

Richard Mabry said...

Kay, I not only appreciate your comment, but appreciate the fact that you "do it right," by leaving reviews and helping point others to books you like.