It still eludes me exactly what makes a best seller in this market. It’s not only a great cover and catchy blurb. Not just wonderfully well-written story and great reviews. It’s not social media and guest blogs. You know how I know that? Because none of that is working for me. Been there. Done that. Have the bruises to prove it.
So I’m trying something again. I’m giving away one of books for FREE. That’s right, “BLIND HER WITH BLISS” is now free on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, All Romance Ebooks, and iTunes How long will I keep it free? I’m not sure.
There are a lot of free and $0.99 books out there these days so I don’t know if it’s going to work, but perhaps readers will find my book. And when they find the first book in the series I’m hoping it will lead them to DECEIVE HER WITH DESIRE and CHEAT HER WITH CHARM, the other two books in my sexy romantic suspense series. “Blind Her” will become a loss leader and hopefully bring readers to my books.
Now there are A LOT of authors trying this strategy. The KDP Select Program through Amazon offers authors the ability to offer their books for free for 5 select days without jumping through hoops and trying to price match. The problem is the book can ONLY be available at Amazon for 90 days. Anyway, with all the books available for free, readers can’t possibly read everything they’re downloading onto their kindles and nooks. And some readers have come to believe that free=unedited crap.
I’m hearing more and more people who say they download free books only to get through a page or two, perhaps a chapter before discovering the book was never edited. And since more and more of these books are out on the market many people think it’s giving self-publishing a bad name. Or worse, that authors are selling their hardwork short and not giving it value.
Kristen Lamb wrote a very long blog post about the FREE! phenomenon. You can read the full article HERE. Go on, take a minute and check it out, I’ll wait…
So what do you think? She makes some valid points. But I don’t know if anything is going to change with the free phenomenon in the publishing world any time soon. This whole book selling thing is a business. That means owners (authors) need to find a market for their product (books). If this means passing out coupons for a free sample, then why not? I wouldn’t mind getting a free bottle of Lemon Fizzle Soda. I enjoy a lemon wedge in my cola, but I’m not sure if I’d like it flavored like that. But I’d be willing to try it especially if the company offered it for free. Who knows I might fall in love with it and go out and buy their cherry, vanilla and regular flavor Fizzle Soda because it was so good.
So that’s what I’m going to try. Just a chance for readers to try my books without investing a whole lot of money. Will it work? I don’t know. I’d like to think readers won’t turn their nose up at it just because it is free. It’s hard to know. But since this whole thing is one big experiment, I figure it can’t hurt.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.