Let’s face it. Kindle free ebook promotions are questionable. Yes, they can be great—really great—for luring unknown people in to at least considering your book. But the temptation to view them as review copies should be ignored. Reviews are often spammy and negative when they do occur, and usually they don’t because a lot of people download free books and never get around to reading them. I’ve done it plenty of times myself. I want to know if the book might be for me and free gives the feeling I can take a chance on it. But at least ¾ of the time I realize it’s not for me and I don’t’ finish it. AKA, don’t review it.
When other readers have the same approach—and when hordes and hordes and hordes of authors take the route of offering free books—free becomes oversaturated and useless. Putting down money for a possibility of getting downloads won’t bring back anything unless it generates READERS. And free promos don’t actually do that for most books. Plus, the exclusivity requirement for using Amazon’s free programs means being locked down away from other potential markets. For this reason, I don’t rely on free downloads as much as I used to, even as a gauge of reader interest. (More downloads = more interest, right?) But there’s one problem. Most of the freebies even from big publishers are from authors who are secondary or soon disappear. If people aren’t willing to pay for your book, maybe you should rethink the book instead of caving and offering it for free.
So now I only use freebies on Amazon limitedly and only for one KDP Select enrollment cycle, if I do them at all. After that, I do $0.99 deals. I don’t want to make readers lazy and think they can just get anything for free if they hold out long enough.
And there will be more updates.
Young Adult Fiction Writer
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