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amyall
08-07-2017, 05:38 AM
I've been working with another author on the development of his book and he was mentioning that he planned to release a free novella prior to the release of his full novel. Has anyone here done that?

I thought it sounded like a decent idea. My novel is a sci-fi story centered around a military unit and I could easily release a short "mission story" before the full novel. However, I'd hate to go through the work if common consensus says that it's a waste of time.

Thanks!
-A

WriterBN
08-07-2017, 07:58 PM
The market (at least on KDP) is drowning in free books, so what worked a couple of years ago may have minimal impact now.

Keeping that in mind, a free short story might be worth doing. A free novella? That's an awful lot of work to give away for nothing. You could price it at $0.99 and do an occasional free promotion, if you decide to enroll the book in KDP Select. You still have to advertise/promote the free promotion, though, if you want to get decent sell-through.

amyall
08-07-2017, 08:05 PM
... You still have to advertise/promote the free promotion, though, if you want to get decent sell-through.

That's a great point and I don't know why I didn't think of this. I'll still be working hard to promote the promotion. I wonder if my time is better spent just promoting the full book. Although, I do like your idea of using a free short story vs novella. Less time spent on something I'm just giving away.

Thanks for your input!

rihannsu
10-27-2017, 11:03 AM
I've gone back and forth about offering a freebie on Amazon. I write biographical historical fiction (Amazon's terminology), so there are few free books in my subgenre. It would mean little competition for me, but I'm not convinced that it's worth the hard work. Mostly, I don't want to jump through the numerous hoops of uploading to Smashwords, like putting up their notice, keeping the word "free" out of my offer of a free short story at my website, etc.

My ego is still smarting from the fact that my novellas didn't take off until I lowered the price and kept them artificially (IMO) low for a while. I don't want to feel like I'm constantly giving my work away for free and not getting paid for my work. I already have a free book available for newsletter subscribers, so I'm not that crazy about having a second free product out there.

RightHoJeeves
10-27-2017, 11:17 AM
I will be doing that in a few weeks.

But yes, you do need to advertise it, and its worth having a decent budget. What most authors do is use that free novella (or short) as a loss leader, because you can gather emails. You can then launch your novel to those email subscribers. It's not just about giving away a free book and then hoping people buy your other stuff.