Ms. Rich observes that although some publishers, notably Penguin, do not give away free books on principle, others including Harlequin, Random House and Scholastic offer free versions of digital books to e-retailers and on author websites. This is purely promotional in intent as the rationale is that doing so creates attention and buzz for the authors. E-retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble make no money on these giveaways, but the payoff is that they lure customers to their e-readers - Kindle, Nook et al.
More and more individual authors are embracing the free giveaway in order to increase visibility, increase sales and create goodwill. Of ten authors interviewed in one study, all were "glad they had made their work available for free, and most reported it had increased the reach of their work. Nobody perceived that sales had decreased as a result."
One author, according to the study, reported that his book sales were double the publisher’s initial estimates. Another said that many readers wrote to tell him that they liked his free e-book so much that they bought the paper book. A number of authors from my old house, Dorchester, have published their backlist and new work themselves; making free books available at some point is an important part of their marketing strategy.
Here on Novel Spaces we have dedicated the following dates for free fiction giveaways. These dates are open to group members, guest authors, visiting authors and publishers who would like to increase their reach, visibility and goodwill among readers.
October 30, 2011
December 30, 2011
January 30, 2012
March 30, 2012
April 30, 2012
May 30, 2012
June 30, 2012
Several authors may book on the same day: the bigger the giveaway, the bigger the buzz! To participate, leave a comment on this article stating:
- Your preferred date
- The title, author and genre of the novel(s)
- Hard copy or digital
Please note that although Novel Spaces will host the giveaways, individual authors whose books are featured on free fiction days will be responsible for contacting winners and either mailing paper books to them or providing guidelines / coupon codes for downloading e-books. So what are we waiting for? Let the giveaways begin!