Free as a sales technique is losing its edge. That’s the current thinking, anyway. The reasoning is there are now so many ebooks offered for free at any one time, the market is saturated. More, some hypothesize, readers have learned to wait for books to be offered free, stockpile them, and thus save themselves the purchase price. Entire virtual libraries may now be built of free ebooks.
Meanwhile, authors with strong platforms continue to sell with confidence, keeping their sale prices high. Visibility is not a problem for those who already have it. Authors who don’t must work to gain it. The reader has an interesting choice: to collect free ebooks and hope to find a great undiscovered read among them, or pay the higher price for an established one (or do both).
The word FREE has a connotation unlike any other, particularly in a culture such as ours. It is very powerful. It grabs the attention. Ebooks selling on Amazon for $ .99 do not command near the same attention. Statistically, according to recent research, the “sweet spot” for sales of ebooks on Amazon (beyond free) begins at $2.99, not $ .99 or $1.99. It seems to be a question of assumed quality; a book priced at less than $2.99 has no self respect, hence is probably not worth reading. A book priced at $8.99 has a lot of confidence and belief in itself, but in the end the read must justify the expense. Ebooks selling for anything between $2.99 and $8.99 are quietly confident and deserving. Free, however, is FREE.
The word “Free” in the title of this little homily was intended to grab attention; the categorization “For Followers” was meant to indicate a special group (you!). Only you can say how well it worked. In fact, if you have read this far I will venture to guess it has worked. And so, you deserve your reward.
This Sunday, May 20, my Zack Tolliver, FBI ebook #4, CAT will be free on Amazon.com. If you already have it (and I hope you do) mention this to your best friend. But when you do, be sure to say it is free, gratis, no strings attached. Amazon will give it up to them graciously. It is the power of FREE.