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View Full Version : The benefits of a self-pubbed free read?



c.m.n.
10-17-2011, 07:46 AM
Well, I've come to the conclusion that the story that was giving me so many darn problems earlier this year is going to be a freebie.

What are the benefits of putting up a freebie at Smashwords, etc?


Are there any disadvantages other than "This book sucks, I won't read anymore from this author"?

Captcha
10-17-2011, 03:31 PM
As long as it's good quality, I don't think there are any disadvantages.

Make sure it's good quality, though! Is there a reason you don't want to get this one published through the usual channels?

You might also consider the timing of the release. I checked your blog, but it wasn't clear - do you have anything available for sale right now? If not, I can't quite figure what the free story would be promo for. Assuming the proposed free story is good quality, it might be better to wait until you have something for people to buy after they read and like your free story.

c.m.n.
10-17-2011, 05:10 PM
As long as it's good quality, I don't think there are any disadvantages.

Make sure it's good quality, though! Is there a reason you don't want to get this one published through the usual channels?

You might also consider the timing of the release. I checked your blog, but it wasn't clear - do you have anything available for sale right now? If not, I can't quite figure what the free story would be promo for. Assuming the proposed free story is good quality, it might be better to wait until you have something for people to buy after they read and like your free story.

Well, there's a couple reason why I was thinking of making it free. 1st, I have tried to pitch to publishers but was rejected. 2nd (main reason) is that after the first edit/beta read, my voice was kind of changed. 3rd, I have some friends looking forward to its release -- if they haven't grown bored yet waiting for 8 months lol.

I don't have anything for people to buy right now though. And I've thought of waiting until I do, but I'm more anxious to just be done and over with this.

Terie
10-17-2011, 06:06 PM
Well, to put it bluntly (:D), in the circumstances you describe there are no benefits to be gained. If you have nothing else published, giving away a freebie won't lead to other sales, and if you're not charging, you won't make any money.

There's nothing wrong with doing this, if it's what you want to do, but it won't do anything of explicit benefit to you. OTOH, neither will it do anything to harm you.

If you intend to build a writing career, why not just give copies of the story to your friends who want to read it now, and wait to post the story until you can get some actual benefit from it, either promotional or financial?

BySharonNelson
10-17-2011, 06:20 PM
Just because it was rejected by publishers doesn't meant it isn't a great book. If you are confident in your ability to produce a good quality final product you should charge for it. You worked hard on that book there is no reason you shouldnt profit from it. Charge .99 for it. It's cheap and it's a great way to get your name out there and start building an audience base for when you release other books, either self pubbed or mainstream. Oh and if you do decide on free only Smashwords allows you to publish at free. BN and Amazon won't let you set your price at free. I tried to do that with one of my books for a month but they wouldn't let me do it. I know there must be a way because I see others on there doing it but I haven't figured it out yet. So if anyone on here knows..... :)

JanDarby
10-17-2011, 06:24 PM
Also, to add to what Terie said, and if I read your comment correctly, and your voice has changed since this book, you don't want anything out for public consumption that's misleading. If readers like the voice in this book, they'll expect it in subsequent books. If readers DISlike the voice in this book, they won't even look at subsequent books, even though they might have liked the later voice.

c.m.n.
10-17-2011, 06:39 PM
I was thinking of charging 99 cents then giving coupons to friends for Smashwords.

Since this was my first beta reader, I have been keeping her suggestions in mind when writing other books. I'll try to replicate that style, since it is one I'd like to write, but in my own way. I just didn't know any better at first and changed the whole story with what she suggested lol.

c.m.n.
10-18-2011, 05:29 AM
Does anyone know of other websites that allow someone to submit a novel that is distributed for free? You know, maybe a .pdf or some text format that a person could download.

Is smashwords the only place?

I believe Goodreads does. But that's the only other one I know.

Captcha
10-18-2011, 05:52 AM
I don't think Goodreads distributes, does it? It's more of a reader-networking site...

Katrina S. Forest
10-18-2011, 05:58 AM
Does anyone know of other websites that allow someone to submit a novel that is distributed for free? You know, maybe a .pdf or some text format that a person could download.

Is smashwords the only place?

You can do that with any site that allows you to post files. Save the novel as a pdf or txt and upload it to wherever you want.

There's also DeviantArt, FictionPress, and similar sites that you can post original writing on.

IMHO, you're better off at trying to get paid for it (either through self-publishing or commercial publishing) rather than just giving it away, but it's your work.

c.m.n.
10-18-2011, 06:18 AM
I don't think Goodreads distributes, does it? It's more of a reader-networking site...

Goodreads has a "my writing" section where you can post short stories, chapters, fulls, etc.
I don't think you get an 'author' profile for this though. Not sure if you can do the same thing if you already have an author profile, either. But you probably can.

AmsterdamAssassin
10-18-2011, 10:42 AM
Thanks. Is the web address goodreads.com or does it have a different web address?
You can put it on Scribd, where people have to become a member and offer documents for downloading in order to download your work. Like an exchange program.

Amos Gunner
10-18-2011, 07:10 PM
By the way, what's a common count for free downloads? 100+ people have downloaded Loose Ends in the past 6 days and I have no idea if this is encouraging or dissapointing.

James D. Macdonald
10-18-2011, 07:37 PM
If you don't have anything else available, I can't see any benefit to publishing free, unless you're just doing the whole thing for fun or to learn the system. ("Just for fun" is a perfectly valid reason to do anything, as long as no one gets hurt.)

If you do have other works available, make sure you list them in the freebie file, along with a link to your home page and places where folks can go to find them.