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Why You Should Never Give Away Your Latest Release

LallaGatta Erotic Romance with an Edge by Author Laura Tolomei
There are companies and authors that have been saying for years that you should just give away your latest release for a short period and this will help you to drive more sales to your backlist. Yeah, well I’m not convinced. With the advent of the KDP program at Amazon and the rise of e-book piracy, there is a devaluation of books, particularly if they are e-books. While some may argue that giving your books away means readers will read the free book, like it and buy from your backlist, there are no guarantees.

There are four reasons I think you should never give your latest releases away:

1. It devalues not just the book itself but also all the hard work you put into it.

2. Authors who think nothing of giving away their latest release are disrespecting themselves as authors. And in many cases, it makes an author seem as though they are desperate to make sales. If your publisher is enrolling your latest release in Amazon’s KDP program then they also are not respecting your hard work. And here’s another thing to think about, if you don’t value your latest release enough to sell it at a price that is fair and worthy, then why should readers?

3. There are hundreds of authors giving away their latest releases, and you know what, readers are downloading them, and…not reading them. Yup, they’re downloading and not reading. They’re “stocking up” in the event they don’t have money to buy new books. Maybe then they’ll scroll through the thousands of free downloads on their e-reader and maybe they’ll choose your book to read next, or maybe not.

4. The Kindle Unlimited program and other subscription programs encourage readers to treat your books as though they are going to the library. And you know what else?

You’re going to get paid peanuts, possibly less than 50% of what you would make on a legitimate sale, every time someone downloads your book. We’re back to the devaluation of your latest release and of all the hard work you put into it. Yet again!

Now this is not to say that you can’t give away a book. However, there is a right way to give a book away and a wrong way. KDP and other subscription programs are the wrong way if you want to make sales, and have your book treated as the treasure it is.There are companies and authors that have been saying for years that you should just give away your latest release for a short period and this will help you to drive more sales to your backlist. Yeah, well I’m not convinced. With the advent of the KDP program at Amazon and the rise of e-book piracy, there is a devaluation of books, particularly if they are e-books. While some may argue that giving your books away means readers will read the free book, like it and buy from your backlist, there are no guarantees.


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