Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Free books? Hmm....

Once in a while, as a special promotion, Harlequin gives away books. This helps bring in new readers, so I’m told, although I don’t recall any of my books being part of such a promotion.

Whether to offer books for free—for a short period—is a topic of much discussion among authors. When we reissue our older books or self-publish new ones in ebook format, we do our own promotion, and that involves making decisions. Frankly, I find the idea of giving away my books scary.

Here are the drawbacks:

  • Readers who paid for a book, even if it’s only 99 cents or $2.99, may be offended.
  • Readers might refrain from buying a book in the hope that it will be given away.
  • Some readers get the mistaken idea that because a book is free, that means the rights to the book are public. Piracy is a big enough problem already! 
However, there are advantages to offering a free download for a limited time:

  • It draws in new readers for other books.
  • It bumps a book higher in the Amazon search engines. Since more people can find it, more copies sell even after it’s no longer free.
  • Because there are no printing or shipping charges, the author can do readers a favor with no direct expense. 
 I’ve decided to try an experiment. I won’t do this with many books (definitely not with my half-dozen Regency romances, which are my biggest sellers), but today, May 1, through Thursday, May 3, Amazon will be offering By Leaps and Bounds for free. Here’s the quick pitch:

She used to be a ballerina…

At the height of her success, Kerry Guthrie’s career was cut short by an accident. Now she’s on her feet again, teaching young dancers and hoping for a comeback…until she butts heads with the policeman father of her 15-year-old star student, and feels a new kind of spark.

If you’d like to read By Leaps and Bounds, you can download it free at By Leaps and Bounds Amazon. Don’t own a Kindle? You can download a free app for your computer, iPad or Android tablet, or smartphone here: Free Kindle App.

By the way, while reading on a phone sounds ridiculous, I’ve been glad to have my app when I was unexpectedly stuck somewhere with nothing to read.

 Will this be worth it? Will I regret it? We’ll see! Meanwhile, if you haven’t read By Leaps and Bounds, I hope you’ll give it a try. Thanks!

1 comment:

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

Thanks so much. I have a Kindle and I got it today. I love free Kindle books, but I will buy paperback books.