Several years ago I was fortunate to hear Chris Anderson speak at a new media forum. His talk was on The Economy of Free and why this works, especially in our modern world, and why this is a good thing.
If you give something of quality away for free, you will gain trust, loyal customers, word of mouth, etc, etc. There’s more to it, but that’s the basic idea.
You’ll have more success if you reach the “tipping point” of society – which is where the early adopters’ enthusiasm pushes a product into the mainstream (the early majority). That tipping point is vital.
My publisher has been studying this phenomenon when it comes to e-books. Many e-books start off as free, or go free as a special campaign, to gain a reading audience. Amazon even has a special through Kindle Direct Publishing in which you give them 3 months of exclusive e-book rights, and they give you 5 promo days where you can offer your book for free. You can do them all at once, or over a period of time.
Hydra House is experimenting with this idea . . . using Ruins of Noe as a case study. The idea of this excites me, but also makes me anxious. It seems counter-intuitive to making a living as a writer. Even when I think about it logically, mathematically . . . let’s say 1,000 people download a free copy of Ruins of Noe. There are still millions of people out there who haven’t. Who may only hear about it because of one of those 1,000 people and word will spread.
So what am I afraid of, right? I guess the idea that after 1,000 people have downloaded it nothing happens. Word isn’t spread. Sounds silly when I say it, but I’m sure there are others like me out there who fret over these things, so there you go.
And I also have mixed feelings about Amazon. Sometimes I think they’re becoming a monopoly. They’ve cornered a big market, which is also a GOOD thing for writers. We can reach so many people through them. They’re publishing and selling the books, and they’ve also gotten into the film making business.
Regardless of this, it’s gonna happen.
So, here goes the OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT (sound the trumpets).
On MAY 1 Amazon will have a FREE download of The Ruins of Noe. One day only folks, so spread the word.
(note: ebook will be listed on Amazon starting May 1)
Now, Book One, Brigitta of the White Forest is still $4.99 on Amazon, so this will be interesting. Hydra House is going to look at two things, if Ruins of Noe is accepted and appreciated on its own (i.e. someone reading it who hasn’t read the first book), and if Book One sales (print and e-book) go up.
I will keep you posted because I think this is good information for small presses, authors, and self-published folks.
And, if YOU have any information from your own experiences, do share!