Why Give Books Away Free?
When I first published my book, I was dead set against giving it away for free. Something about spending years of my life on something and then just handing it out gratis didn’t sit well with me. What I didn’t comprehend then was the massive uphill boulder roll of marketing a novel. It doesn’t matter how good your book is if no one knows it exists. Swirling in a storm of millions of books, it’s easy to disappear and maybe never even be seen at all.
So I tried the free book thing.
For a spell, I became obsessed with Amazon’s Ranking system. My novel hitting some of the Top 100 Lists was a drug, and I needed more. I began running monthly promotions and viola, my everyday ranking remained solid. Better yet, actual sales followed. HMMMM, maybe Amazon does know a thing or two.
Here’s a snapshot of my current non-promotional rank, which changes often.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,045,884 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #974 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Contemporary Fiction > Urban
- #2379 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Humor
- #5034 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Urban Life
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,989,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Why is seeing your book in the Top 100 is worth every free book? Because it means people are potentially reading your book. It means the cover, concept, writing, marketing copy, title, or something in that mix interested them enough to take the time to download your book.
Without readers, we writers lose our purpose. We are asking readers to take a risk. We are asking them to give us their time, which in many ways is much, more valuable than money.
Happy reading and keep writing!