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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Should Authors Give Books Away for Free?

    The age-old question is whether or not an author should give books away for free. And my answer is that it depends. I’ve given books away in the past through Amazon KDP in order to establish my brand as a writer in the beginning, but I don’t give books away nowadays (except when I launch a new book). I once made the first book of my series free to draw in readers, and I’d gotten great feedback from them in the process. I also used to make one of my books free each week on Amazon in order to boost sales over a ninety-day period and start the process all over again once the ninety-day period was renewed, and this worked for me as well.

Amazon Kindle eBook

    However, over a long period of time, I’ve given away too many books to people who aren’t fans of my style of writing. The problem with making books free is that it attracts fans who like all genres of books, not just the people who like a particular author’s genre. Authors then get bad book reviews that aren’t warranted because the reviewers didn’t like those type of books in the first place. Brand awareness is great in the beginning of an author’s career, but veteran writers like me don’t want or need feedback from reviewers who rate free books badly just because they’re free. We’ve worked too hard to establish our platform only to have someone who doesn’t respect our grind come along and trash it. People will value something more if they pay for it as opposed to getting it for free.

    Giving books away for free is good in the beginning of one’s writing career, but once an author establishes a loyal following of fans, it isn’t necessary to have free giveaways anymore. My advice to the novice writer is to always value the sweat equity you put in your writing and limit the number of free giveaways you give to readers.   

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