Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Case for Free ... or for 99 cents

As some of you may know, since WereWoof came out I've been giving it away to anyone who asked for it. Free PDF's.

Why give a book away? Well, to sell more of them. In a weird, perverse, goofy kind of way, it seems to be working. WereWoof is outselling my other books this month, and is currently my highest rated book.

Weird, huh?

The ratings aren't going out of the roof or anything, but the key is if you create buzz, people will come take a look.

But it all comes down to the quality of the work. Lately, I've downloaded a few books into my Kindle to 'check out' some intriguing self-published books, and I've been largely disappointed by the works. Shoddy editing, poorly constructed phrases, awkward scenes. In other words, there's some crap out there.

So in the rush for everyone to dump their books into the e-world, we've lost some of the quality assurance that keeps the pot clean for other dishes. I recently downloaded one that the author claims was edited and re-edited, poured over by his reading book and vetted by just about everyone.

Oh yeah? Well, then all of them missed some very obvious grammatical goofs, and the dialogue was strained at best.

Does this mean ebooks suck? No, not even close, but many of them do.

But here's what I REALLY, REALLY like about ebooks. Samples. You can download a sample of a book and read it before buying it. I love samples. If I want to check on an author's stuff, but am overloaded on reading projects, I just download a sample of his/her book into my Kindle, and later, when I'm not so busy, I read the sample. If I like what I read there, I download the whole book.

So for now, my books are inexpensively priced on Kindle. A buck will buy you The Adventures of Guy, which was originally traditionally published. A buck will buy you The Guy'd Book, which wasn't. And a buck will get you WereWoof, a self-published book whose prequel was traditionally published. You can get four of my ebooks for less than six bucks combined.

I asked anyone who asked for a free copy of WereWoof to put their reviews up on Amazon. So far, three have, and though I didn't ask them for a good rating, the ratings have been four stars or better. And no, I don't know these people, so they didn't give me the hometown discount.

That's because the bottom line is the writing. Write well, entertain your readers, then worry about whether you make money.


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