Giving It Away: Why Fiction Authors Should Offer Free Ebooks by Jason Kong explores the reasoning that suggests new authors spread their work as widely as possible
Check out Jason Kong’s rationale for free book promotion on The Book Designer at the link below.
Regular readers of this blog know I’ve gone back and forth on this issue and I still get conflicting reports that make me shake my head. However, I made up my mind to get back on Amazon’s KDP Select train recently. This Plague of Days is exclusively on Amazon, at least for the next three months and I plan to use free promotions in a very limited and strategic way. (Also, my approach won’t be for everyone because a serial gives me new options I didn’t have previously. More on that after I conduct the experiment.)
What solidified my resolve was finding out precisely how the Amazon algorithms work. I read David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible. I found his take reassuring so I can still use free properly and feel good about it. If you haven’t read David’s book yet, you know the drill.
BEYOND THE ISSUE OF FREE: LOUSY COMPETITION
The other thing that made me sure of KDP was the abysmal state of Amazon’s competitors: unfriendly user experience and lousy search capability that works against indie authors. David explains in his book why that persists. The short answer is the other platforms are still trying to play the short game to profitability. Amazon is customer focussed and so they’re crushing. (I knew Stupid had to have a rationale, even if it’s not working and hurts them in the long game! Seriously, read Let’s Get Visible for details.)
I have some books on other platforms and they aren’t moving significantly. I’m not saying I’ll stick everything on Amazon forever, but I need the other platforms to show me something different and better before I migrate all my work to those platforms.
This Plague of Days is a lot of grim fun and an immense undertaking. I will not put it on a platform that goes out of its way to hide my books from customers. Amazon’s not perfect, but my work has a chance there.
See on www.thebookdesigner.com