View Full Version : Free or not so free

04-24-2008, 11:21 AM
Sadly, Amazon withdrew the ebook versions of my thriller, Escaping Reality just as sales were doing well for those especially in the US. (paper version is still available) My small press publisher experimented putting a great science fiction novel, The Ardly Effect by Gary Baker, up for free download here>>>


Since Christmas over 7000 people have downloaded it! Note that he has a note at the bottom of the page (maybe it should be more prominent) for satisfied readers to make a donation. Sadly, not one of those 7000 have donated a penny.

So when he offered to put my Escaping Reality up for free download, I demurred, but should I? In my own experience, books I get for free, whether ebook or paper, I rarely get around to read. On the other hand, if thousands of people get to know my name and maybe some will actually read it, perhaps a few will want a paper copy. Any thoughts?


04-24-2008, 11:41 AM
Hello Geoff I think we were on a UK group together as your name rings a bell.

Wish I had experience with e books and could advise you. I put an e book on Lulu and two people have bought it at $1 each LOL.

I don't think people would want to buy a paper copy once they have read the e book.

How about giving away just the first chapter, sucking them in, then make em pay for the rest?

04-24-2008, 11:52 AM
Hello there, Helena,
Yes you might remember me - we've inter-connected in several places when I backed you in promoting your Railway Women book.

Hope you are well, and that books steam to success!


04-24-2008, 02:32 PM
Geoff, do you know if there are any other self-publishers in the UK on this board? I sure do need a buddy! Helena

04-24-2008, 02:43 PM
You are in the right thread to ask for self-publishers. Bear in mind I'm not one - my books have been published by small press publishers, not me. Not that I disparage self-publishing, I'm too lazy. There is a UK writers site I belong to called
http://www.ideas4writers.co.uk and there are several friendly self-pubilshers there.


04-24-2008, 03:07 PM
What I'd do, is find a novel that you like, that shows off your talent, but isn't your "ace in the hole" so to speak. Perhaps an early novel, or a collection of short stories. Something that basically gets your name out.

That way when you do decide to release a book that you feel could do really well, you might have a good crowd of people wanting to read it. I'd suggest looking into the Baen free library, as it largely follows this format.

05-05-2008, 04:12 AM
The strategy of trying to increase sales by providing a free eBook version is becoming a pretty established trick, since there are more and more stories of people who have had success with it.

What not everyone will tell you is that the successful ones, such as Cory Doctorow or Tobias S. Buckell, have a large pre-existing fanbase beforehand. Baen Books, the publisher who's been most successful with this, does so well because they publish a lot of multi-book series, and when people like their free eBook--usually of the first book in the series--they tend to buy the rest.

As a less-established writer, chances are that providing a free eBook won't generate many royalties. It can, however, help create a bigger following, and hopefully generate more income on subsequent books--provided you're willing to really take the online publicity schtick by the horns to get your momentum rolling.