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:
DON’T UNDERSELL YOUR BOOK.
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?
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.