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Nothing Says It Like A Free e-Book

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I gotta admit, nothing says it like getting a free book from places like Smashwords or Kindle Boards. Almost every desperate self-published author uses this method as a means of offering a ‘sampling’ to the general public. If the public likes it, they’ll want to see more as authors hope. While the gist of the idea sounds ever sincere and hopeful for the self-published or ‘indie’ authors as they like to call themselves, nothing screams louder than the words bad idea.

Although I understand the motives of promotion and wanting others to read the work, finding reasons why anyone would use this method to further promote a book  is stunning, not to mention that it’s dumb (at least that’s what most readers think, except for others like Henry Baum who thinks that everyone should make their book free).

While the majority of self-published authors are relatively new to the publishing industry, I think I am going to do my best to advise them with these words:


Readers aren’t stupid, they know exactly what the quality of your work is by the prices that you sell your book for. If you sell it for $.99, most (probably all of them) will think the story is not worth reading. Even if they buy your work, you are more apt into getting a ‘well that book wasn’t worth it anyway’ review.

Is there a possibility that I could be wrong?

You Bet.

However, I have began to notice a seemingly remarkable observation between the amount of books that are coming out and the quality of writing that comes from the self-publishing market. As the marketing becomes easier over time for someone to get their book out there, the standards of book writing grow increasingly lower by the very authors who write these books. Granted, the impulse of wanting to have your voice heard in the writing community is there, but that does not mean the message should not be clear. Of course I’m no grammarian or Ernest Hemingway, but I can say from the perspective of a ‘sophisticated reader’, that no one will take your book into serious consideration, especially when the book sounds like crap.




  1. beatricebru says:

    I read your blog and I have to disagree with you on Smashwords. It uses samples same as Amazon, people are free to download pages and get an idea of the book. There might be those authors who offer their work for free but I certainly didn’t. I put my book out there and it went to a lot of sites besides Smashwords, and some people actually bought the book. I found it a good promoting tool as well. As far as the price is concerned, readers are famously cheap with unknown authors. They feel it’s a license for getting the cheapest books in the market. They are wrong, of course, but we have to compete in this medium. I flat out refuse to offer my book for .99 cents but I priced it at a reasonable $2.99. Am I selling a lot? No so far, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day and cream always rises to the top. My book will be a success because it’s a good book, some are even saying it’s a great book, but I’m willing to bide my time and wait, the rewards will be a lot sweeter then.

    • haparker321 says:

      Well the reason why I don’t like Smash words is because of its lack of professional appeal. A lot of writers who put their works on the website seem to make the work childish. Some folks are exceptions, most aren’t.


  2. beatricebru says:

    You’re wrong about Smashwords. It’s a good promoting tool. I sold a few books with Smashwords. Readers download pages, same as Amazon, and if they like the book they buy it. I didn’t authorize free books and I wouldn’t do that. I agree with you that it smacks of desperation but this is such a competitive market that people try all kinds of things. As to the price, readers are notoriously cheap with unknown writers. They want to read our books for cents, and that’s absurd but it is what it is. I think mine is cheap enough at $2.99 but I had writers tell me on Kindleboards that it was too much, nonetheless I will not lower it anymore, it is low enough as it is. Am I selling a lot? Not yet, but I will, because it’s a good book, some are even saying a great book and cream sooner or later always rises to the top. I’m willing to wait because the rewards will be a lot sweeter then.

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