I’ve just seen an advertisement from yet another company that wishes us writers to give our books away for Free while they charge us for the pleasure of doing so. It does make me cross. As far as I’m concerned the only place books should be available for free to the reader is in a library.

All writers should value their hard work, as undertaking writing a novel isn’t easy, and is time consuming. Would you work for free in hope of earning money in the future?

I wouldn’t expect a toilet cleaner to work for free, yet it seems to me these companies like BookBub, HelloBooks etc expect us writers to first of all pay them and then give our books away for free. This is fine if a company like BookBub is working with a huge publishing company like Random House or Headlines who has a marketing budget of hundreds of pounds and is a world wide brand.

I run my writing career like a business. I have manufactured a product .i.e. my books, which I advertise for sale. Once my product produces a sale I reinvest the money into my business hoping to take it to the next level. Giving my books away isn’t a sound investment. All I’m doing is adding to the huge pile of unread books sitting on kindles and on Goodreads. The internet is awash with writers offering their books for free in hope of encouraging readers to read their books, but all this is doing is undermining the market, and encouraging readers to fill their kindles with free books. None of the big publishing companies would continuously give their big named authors’ books away for free, so why should we?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels.com

I have to date given nearly 6k books away for free, and have seen next to nothing back. Goodreads tells me that there is a good number of readers with my books in their to-read list. Some of those readers have over 20k books on their to-read list so I’m not expecting a flood of reviews, or to earn any money back from pages turned.

Maybe I’m just too much of a sceptic to believe these companies are a wise investment for us writers without the backing of a large publishing company, investing in our books. Too often I see it as others making money from my hard work without me earning a dime. I accept the second-hand market of a book sold in aid of a charity or given away to family and friends as the book has been bought at its full price at one point whether that be an ebook or paperback.

I feel the time has come to find a new way of generating sales for our books without giving them away for nothing.

What’s your view point and how much are you willing to pay for a book?

3 Comments

  1. Six thousand?! I’m horrified. You are too good an author to be giving away your books free of charge. The only free books I think make sense are ARC’s prior to release date, and only to readers who agreed to accept an ARC, and only if they are the kind of ARC readers who are likely to leave a review.

    I buy ebooks now to save money, paper, and room on my shelves. For an ebook, I recently paid 11.99 USD. It was from a traditional publisher, and the book was excellent, better than a movie experience (and people here pay more than 11.99 for a movie ticket.

    I don’t expect to pay that much for indie books because the small press and the author’s overhead is lower. Recently I’ve been paying anywhere from .99 to 4.99. I expect that to go up because inflation is crazy here.

    I also have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, and I use the library, so I save a little money when I can use either of these two options.

    The question I wonder about is:
    6000 free books…60 reviews generated…10 sales from those reviews
    OR
    No free books…20 intrinsic sales…2 reviews from sales.
    Which is better, reviews or sales? Of course, my numbers are just speculations, but I still question of reviews or sales are better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was thought that free download would create payment through Pages Turned. Amazon pays the author through pages turned but from my understanding that only works if you have an unlimited account. I can download free books on my white page kindle and my older version of kindle without used unlimited account. So any number of readers with the older kindle or without unlimited account are getting the books totally free which means I and hundreds of other writers won’t earn a penny from free download. I would love to have 60 reviews that generate 10 new sales but how can you be sure ‘free to download’ would generate any sales. The question to ask is if ‘free’ generate more sales then why doesn’t the top publishing companies give more of their top authors’ books away for free?
      They don’t, because it doesn’t make financial sense. It cheapens the value of both the author and their books.
      ‘Well, it can’t be that good if they are giving it away🤷‍♀️’

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Indeed not!! Why should one give their hard work away! After all, haven’t spent their time sweat, blood and tears. Editing and re-editing, time and time again agonising whether it’ll pass muster…Don’t those buffoons realise that writers, like many others, work to pay the bills! I’ve said many a time that someone is making a profit, But often it’s most definitely not the authors… Many of the greatest authors of times passed have self-published their work with good results…Today’s publishers have you by the short and curlies, and I guess nothing has changed since time immemorial…Which is an insult to all those writers hoping to see their work in print…The obtusity of those numskulls stealing your hard work, your time; is not essential in their eyes!! This is when I usually use an expletive…But I won’t bother; they’re worthy of nothing but my contempt…

    Like

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