People Like Free

My friend and former business partner had a saying, “Where’s there free, there’s me.”

It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by a lot of consumers. There’s nothing like a free sample or other little gift to interest people.

I know this from experience. Last month, I offered “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” for free on Amazon.com. By spending a little money to publicize that event, I gave away 4130 books in three days in at least seven countries.

People like free.

Shortly after that event, I blogged here about my results and how I got them. That saw me get the most number of hits and views I’d seen since launching “Pleading the Phyth” back in 2011. After all, free advice on how to get more sales is the sort of thing that draws attention.

Because people like free.

I do not claim to be a genius. However, I do like to think of myself as smarter than the average bear. I read a lot of other people’s experiences and adapt and apply them to my own business to see if they’ll work for me too. That’s how both the free event and the blogs about it were successful. Being, if not a genius, no dummy, I was able to draw a pretty easy conclusion.

People like free.

So as of today, I’m evolving my website again. I’m trying to drive traffic here, so I can sell more books. Thus, I’m going to focus on putting up more free content.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be putting up sample chapters. When I’m blogging about the writing of a book, I’ll upload some sample text. I’ll be blogging about characters, and offering sample chapters that demonstrate what I’m talking about. I’ll even put some website-exclusive content up.

For the next few months, I’ll be running free events on Amazon.com too. I’ll announce them here and put some teasers up to go with them.

RED DRAGON FIVE is free on Amazon.com April 22-24!

RED DRAGON FIVE is free on Amazon.com April 22-24!

Starting Monday, you’ll be able to download Red Dragon Five for free from Amazon. This is the first time this novel’s been offered for free. The event lasts April 22 through April 24.

I have no idea what to expect on this one. I’d love to do as well as “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale” did last month, but there are so many x-factors at play. The market is very different for Wolf Dasher’s adventures than for a re-imagined fairy tale, I’m not running a Facebook event this time (so as not to go to that well too many times), and I reduced the number of sites I paid for listings, since I could not directly attribute results to some of them.  I did add a couple of UK-specific sites to try to stimulate that market even better than I did last month, but we’ll see. Red Dragon Five also has fewer reviews than “Sleeping Beauty: A Modern Fairy Tale”, so I’ll have to see if that has an impact. So maybe I’ll do better. Maybe it’ll be worse. Maybe, it’ll be about the same.

At any rate, if you’re the kind of person who likes free, you should check out Red Dragon Five the first half of next week.

In keeping with my new strategy, you can download a sample of the first chapter right now! Just click here, to get a .pdf of the book’s opening scene in which Wolf Dasher has penetrated a secret Sons of Frey base. It’s action-packed!

You’ll also be able to get that sample chapter and a complete short story, “The Darkline Protocol”, over on the brand new “Free Stuff” page. Check it often for new material!

There are millions and millions of books available through Amazon.com, and at least tens of thousands of authors trying to sell them. I’m all for readers getting a sample to see what they like, and I’m confident my material will appeal.

So keep following my blog (and start if you’re not following it now). I’ll let you know when there is more free material available.

Because people like free.

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One thought on “People Like Free

  1. I understand what you are saying about free. It is as if our minds are drawn to it like the sight of our favorite person, our favorite food, whichever.

    The concern is with so many free-to-download books, are we setting consumers up to expect free and turn from anything that isn’t?

    I won Red Dragon Five on GoodReads and chose it mainly for my husband, who lost track of time and finished it in one very long night (he reads about three times as fast as I can). I consider that different than 4000+ free downloads.

    “Free” from the author’s point of view is to get people talking about the book. How’s that workin’ for ya?

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