Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Free E-Book Downloads

I didn't buy an e-reader when they first became available. I made all the usual excuses: too expensive, don't need it, I like printed books. But eventually I bought a Kindle, and have to admit that I like it. It's especially helpful if I need to read another author's galley (pre-print copy of a forthcoming novel) to give an endorsement. Besides, I can often download a book and enjoy it at no cost, thanks to special offers from the publishers.

The idea behind free book downloads, I'm told, is that someone might read your book and then buy others you've written. They may even talk to family and friends about it. So the bread cast upon the waters will bring returns. Seeing my books available free still causes a knot in my stomach as I picture royalties flying out the window, but I have to admit that all this seems to be working.

One negative, which I've mentioned before, is that some people download free books indiscriminately without looking at their content, and then blast my book and me because it's Christian fiction. I've come to expect some one- and two-star reviews as a result of this, but hope that good reviews from people who like the book will sort of cancel these out.

My second novel of medical suspense, Lethal Remedy, is supposed to be available as a free e-book download tomorrow from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and ChristianBook.com. I don't have the links as I write this, but if you open any of those sites and search for Lethal Remedy, it should show up as free. This book was a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and although all authors think each book they write is better than the last, I think this one is pretty good. If you agree, tell your friends. After all, that's the idea behind this.

Do you own an e-reader? If so, do you take advantage of free downloads? Do you often discover an author whose work you like enough that you buy other books by him/her? Let me know.


Anne Mateer said...

I do take advantage of free downloads--as do many of my friends who are readers but not writers. I can truly say that I know of several sales made (to myself and others) from first reading a free book from an author whose work is new to us.

Cindy said...

I keep an eye out for free downloads also. Gives me a chance to check out an author that I may not be familiar with. I actually used the PC reader but did purchase a reader last week.

Free downloads were how I got hooked reading your books. :)

Richard Mabry said...

Anne, I agree that free downloads are a great way to find authors we like, and they can lead to sales.

Cindy, glad you found (and "got hooked on") my books. You're a great example of the offer working.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I have downloaded free books for my kindle and I'm happy to say that I've discovered a few authors that I enjoyed so much I've purchased other books by them and will continue to do so.

I also know people who download every free book they can and say, "I'll never have to buy another book again!" And that makes my stomach knot!

Richard Mabry said...

It is discouraging to see free downloads replacing the actual purchase of books, but then again, these folks talk to other folks, and that's how the word gets out. At least, that's what I tell myself.