Free Kindle Downloads – Do We REALLY Love Them?

Rena George My Kindles 4 Comments

Last week I set up a free download for my novel, Fire in the Blood. To my delight it was taken up globally by almost 1,500 readers, pitching it into the 122 spot in Amazon’s Free Book Rankings. I was punching the air.

IMG_0234All those people reading MY book. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was. There was also the chance that if they liked it they might browse around my Kindle page to see what else I’d written.
But then a tiny black cloud began to scud across my horizon, and I started to wonder how many of those people actually did, or would, read the book. It’s easy enough after all to click on a free download – and why not? It’s free! Actually getting people to read the book when they probably have a zillion other unread novels in their Ereading devices – well that’s another story.

These free downloads don’t necessarily translate into sought after reviews either, and I’m not confident that those Amazon prompts to review a book a few days after it’s been downloaded actually work.

But then there’s the increased sales of your paid for books – well that’s the theory. The thinking is that once a reader has sampled an author’s work he/she will want to read more, however that kind of depends on whether the ‘downloader’ has actually READ that free book in the first place. Sigh!

105px-Pandigital_Supernova_8_reader_BB_jehTo qualify for the free book promotion facility, books must be register with Amazon KDP Select. Simple enough, a click and registration is immediate.
However, registering with KDP Select means Amazon has sole retail rights over your book. While enrolled in KDP Select, your digital book must be exclusive to Kindle, so selling on Nook, Kobo, Sony, Apple etc, isn’t an option.

There’s no doubt that free promotions get your book ‘seen’, but when it’s competing with the half million or so other free books up on Amazon at any given time, I wonder how seriously readers actually take it.

What do you think? Do free promotions work? Have your sales soared since putting up a free book? How about sharing your experience, we’d love to hear from you.

Rena xx

Comments 4

  1. From what I’ve heard, it was a good thing when it first started, but seems to be less effective now. I’m still undecided (very helpful aren’t I?!) 🙂 x

    1. Post

      Hi Teresa, The problem is, there are so many free books on Amazon now that it’s killing the golden goose. If authors want to reward loyal readers by offering them a freebie now and again then that’s fine, but we have to think carefully before committing to KDP Select when it cuts off any other chance of sales with other ebook outlets. x

    1. Post

      Your Cornish Walks are probably books that readers prefer to take with them when they’re out and about. That’s not a bad thing. Do you have an agent for your novel yet, Sue? I think you have a winner there, but if it doesn’t find a publisher I definitely think it’s worth considering self-publishing as an ebook. It really is a lot easier than you might think. x

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