‘There are fewer and fewer people who will read a free book’Posted: June 15, 2013
You’re a brand new writer sheepishly e-publishing your debut novel, why would anyone want to pay for words from a greenhorn like you?
Don’t be too quick to give your work away for free. While you may think you’re you’re removing the consumer’s biggest obstacle by giving your early e-books away, you might be devaluing them altogether.
” I think if it’s the first book in a series, it’s a valid strategy. I do it,” author Russell Blake told me. “But there’s a caveat.You’re reaching a relatively narrow audience: those that will read a free book.
“As e-readers have lost their novelty I think there are fewer and fewer who will read a free book,” Blake explained. “They’ve finally realised that their time is far more valuable than the few bucks they might save by going free. I think that’s why we’re seeing free diminish in its usefulness.
Blake pointed out that two years ago the idea of a free book was almost irresistible but that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Everyone’s having a stab at becoming the next JK Rowling and throwing it into the sea of literally priceless pulp. Now, rather than an obstacle, a small price to pay has become a sign of worth.
“The most strident supporters of doing free promos these days are those who aren’t selling,” reckons Blake.
I’ll post the full interview with Russell Blake soon. In the meantime, check out his thoughts on genre focus and how it can be a great way to maintain a fanbase.