When I first entered the world of the independent author in 2011, I read every bit of wisdom I could find about each step of the process, from the first germ of an idea, though outline and character development all the way to marketing techniques.
One bit of advice which appeared frequently was to provide free books to increase your visibility and develop a readership base.
I have followed this advice, holding periodic promotions of free or deeply discounted Kindle versions of my books. In the early years these give-aways usually resulted in an uptick in either sales or reviews of my work.
Independent publishing has become easier every year and websites dedicated to free and discounted digital books have blossomed. With this surge, we may be seeing a saturation effect.
Some readers rarely spend any money on their digital reading and I’ve noticed readers who get books for free can be more critical in their reviews than those who have an investment in enjoying a purchase.
I think we may be entering a time when the book give away has less impact on future sales and it will become necessary to find new, creative ways to get our books noticed by our target audience.
I believe the flood of e-books may begin to ebb as some authors become discouraged and readers become more discerning and once again shop for books based upon quality rather than price-point alone.
In the meantime, it is up to us to come up with those original and creative promotional ideas.
As authors, we create whole worlds inhabited by personalities of our own design, creative promotion can’t be beyond us, can it?