Monday, July 25, 2016

Going Free

To Be Free or Not to Be Free? That is the question. What is the answer?

I see it all the time. Lots of books going free every day. I can see how it can help sales, but aside from Carina Press making Dangerous Race free with the release of Living Dangerously (Adrenaline Highs #4), I've never had any other books go free.

Until now.

Yep. I'm happy to announce that for 3 days this week, A Little Danger will be free for the first time. This was one of my favorite stories to write since the main characters have both worked hard to get to a place in life where very little scares them.... With the exception of their feelings for each other.

Okay, more on them later.

What I'd like to know is your feelings on going free. The general consensus seems to be that free works. I have to admit, sometimes I wonder about it though. In a perfect world, everyone downloads the book and falls in love with the storytelling then decides to buy all the other books in the series or all the backlist. I know I've certainly done it. But I wonder if there's a saturation point with free? That the more free books out there, the less people will buy. (Horrors)

And of course there are many authors with "perma-free" first books in a series. Maybe one day I'll get a point where I can do that, but I'm not there yet. One day, I hope to have so many books that it won't matter if I give away the first one in a series on a permanent basis, but right now I can't really wrap my brain around it.

What do you think? Does "free" work in the long run?

Here's the cover (one of my favorites) and the blurb for my upcoming freebie, A Little Danger:


Some killers never die.

Elena Fraser is on her way to the airport to catch a flight to New York for the premiere of her daughter’s movie. Before limo driver Bill “Fido” Fidelo can make it to the freeway, a 7.1 earthquake collapses the overpass above and traps them. With nothing but time between frightening temblors, Elena and Bill learn more about each other, including the fact they’ve lusted after each other for years.

Understanding they might not survive, Elena and Bill look to one another for solace and companionship. Bill tries to convince Elena that their seven-year age difference means nothing to him, and Elena soon realizes that life is too short to put off living.

The passion they discover is enough to torch the limo they’re trapped in, but can rescuers save them in time, or will a final aftershock bury them before they have a chance to build a life together? 

****

I loved Elena and Bill. They were so cute together even during a horrific natural disaster. Since I don't have a link ready today, you can click on this: A Little Danger  and find all the places the book is free. Grab one for yourself anytime between Wednesday, July 27 - 29. And happy reading!

Dee J.



7 comments:

Wynter said...

I hope the strategy pays off for you. I've tried the free for a week or two and had a temporary sales bump. Never done the perma free thing, either. I'm curious to hear the responses.

Anne Marie Becker said...

Sounds like a great book! I hope you get lots of downloads. :D

I'm considering making the first book in my new Redemption Club series permafree this fall. One of the reasons I chose to self-publish this series was so that I could have a first-in-series-free option, since so many people swear it helps generate sales and new readers.

But as a reader? I know how many freebies I've downloaded...and how many I've had time to read. Let's just say my Kindle runneth over. :) So yeah, I'm not purchasing a whole lot of books at the moment. But as I slowly work through my TBR pile, who knows? I may go on a buying binge when an author's voice or series grabs me. It's happened before.

Clare London said...

Anne Marie has a good point - I have many free books downloaded I haven't got around to reading yet! But I also know a few that have drawn me in immediately and sent me to buy the author's other work, particularly in a series.

And as an author, it's often disheartening to see a huge number of downloads when your book's free, when you'd love it if so many readers had *bought* it... but then the impulse to download a free book and the impulse to buy one are very different mindsets, I can see that myself!

JL Merrow said...

From my own experience, I'd say I'm much more likely to actually read a free copy of a book by a new-to-me author if it's the first one in a series - it feels like there's more in it for me, in potentially discovering a whole lot more books I'll like. I'm a picky reader, and there's not that same guarantee in unlinked books.

As an author, I always feel ambivalent about having books go free for a while - while I've noticed sales bumps, I feel bad for the fans who paid for the book!

Dee J. said...

Hi Wynter,
Thanks. We shall see. I'm looking forward to it. Mostly. I think. Haha. I'll report back the next time I blog. Hopefully I'll remember! Thanks for stopping in!


Hi Anne Marie,
Thanks! You and I seem to be experiencing a similar Kindle runneth over situation (although it's my iPad that runneth over). I download freebies, but it takes me forever to get to them. I'm hoping the book's reviews compel people to read it sooner rather than later, but we'll see. I certainly binge bought Toni Anderson's Cold Justice series after reading the first, so I realize it can happen. Thanks for dropping by. It was great seeing you in SD!!


Hi Clare,
Oh, I SO hear you! You said all the things I've been thinking. But I figure I need to give free a try and see what happens. It won't kill me and hopefully there will be a bump in sales. Thanks for popping in!


Hi JL,
Sometimes I wonder if readers wait it out... you know... until a book goes free before they download it. I understand what you mean about people who've already bought a book that goes free, but I think that works for a lot of things in life. Hopefully devoted readers don't mind. I've had a couple readers - who I've offered to send books to because they're so awesome about reviewing - tell me they're happy to pay for books because they're worth it. Nothing warms the heart like that. LOL. Thanks for stopping in!

Dee J. said...

I said I'd report back and I didn't expect it to be this soon. The book went free a little earlier than the official promo and there's definitely been a bump in sales. Not something I didn't think would happen, but it does feel good nontheless. Haha.

Toni Anderson said...

I have had the first book in my Cold Justice Series free for about a year and a half. It definitely works IF you promo it and leverage it. So don't let it sit free and expect to have a million downloads and sell throughs, like you say, the competition is too fierce. Get bookbub ads whenever you can. Use the other mailing list services in between times. The nice thing about permafree is you can cycle the advertising, and do FB ads (I need to do FB ads) you can draw in new readers who wouldn't plunk $5 on a new-to-them author. But don't do permafree if it isn't in a series (I'd say at least three other books in series before you go permafree, but that's just me), and try to make the free book a GREAT book. This is you loss-leader where you are trying to find YOUR readers. They'll be plenty of people who don't like it or don't read it. They don't really matter because these people aren't YOUR readers. They aren't the people you are trying to find.

Will the practice of FREE change in effectiveness at some point? I expect so. Will it work for everyone? I doubt it. But it has worked for me and countless others. Another thing, my book that is free earned a lot of money before I made it free. It owes me nothing $$$wise. I'm not naive enough to believe this is the case for everyone and everyone has to figure out their own needs and wants. The thing I really love? I can put a dollar price on that book any time I want. Nothing is set in stone. Experiment. Just don't give all your books away!