Here’s a wake up call…


…for all the wooly-headed dreamers out there who fervently believe that giving away dozens of copies of any book they’ve written is the way to attract readers. Think again idiots! All you are doing is depriving yourselves of the hard earned pittance you as published authors are entitled to, known as royalty payments!!

Over a two day period (last Thursday and Friday) I deliberately offered my archaeological adventure for free. As a result eighty-seven tightwads/skinflints/cheapskates (take your pick) now have a copy, thanks to my generosity of spirit.

Deliberately giving away the product of a hell of a lot of hard work on your part is never a good idea.

About the only good thing I can say about the exercise is that the book’s ranking briefly improved over the two days. Back in 2012/13, thanks to selling (not giving away) slightly over 250,000 copies, it ranked in the top ten books in Amazon’s sales ranking system. No more – #220 in Kindle Store as of 0700am today. That won’t last. By tonight it will have slipped back well past 200,000…

How many of the eighty-seven free copies will be read? At best one or two. How many reviews will the giveaway result in? None. Personally I’d much rather have the one hundred and fifty seven dollars in royalty payments to help supplement my only income (my State Pension), which I won’t get…

Bah humbug


12 thoughts on “Here’s a wake up call…

  1. With my recently released collection of poetry, “My Old Clock I Wind”, I have given free (print) copies to the 3 people to whom the book is dedicated and a copy to my own, dear mum! I’ve also donated a copy to my local pub (where I know it will be read). Other than that I’ve no intention of giving my work away.
    I have received a few reviews as a consequence of offering my ebooks free (so offering free electronic books can help with reviews). However none of my poetry is in KDP Select and I won’t be adding further titles to that programme because I like the freedom of being able to offer my work through multiple channels.
    I don’t think one can blame humans for taking advantage of “free” bookss. Its just human nature as self-interest is inherent to the human make-up. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The following clearly demonstrates how quickly a book vanishes from the public view. This is where it now resides – Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,852,999 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

    #62958 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure
    #110933 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Action & Adventure

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sad aspect of this “free” tragedy at Amazon is – Amazon now keeps the “free” ratings separate from the paid ratings. Originally, one could list the ebook as free for a couple of days, get the title noticed and be moved into the top ranks. Those days are gone. As soon as the “free” aspect is removed, I’ve been told the ebook once more is tossed into the “regular” gristmill for recalculating its position. There is “some” fallout, those who purchase it, not realizing they are paying full price, which moves the book higher. BUT, as my friend discovered, the book can be returned and the so-called lofty ranking is lost.
      NOW, that said, I, like you, cannot see the logic of giving it away. A temporary sales ranking is barely grounds for such drastic measures. Authors write to make money, or, at least, I do. I’ll be honest, if somebody wants to give away their book, IF I find it worthy to read, I might take it but it won’t be on the top of my reading list. I have a friend who has probably near a thousand books to read and he claims to have only paid for 1 book over the years and reads, maybe, about a dozen of them each year. I remember, back in the late 50s/early 60s, saving my lunch money to buy my next paperback “fix” to read. In the Navy I scurried my books into nooks and corners on board the ship until I could store them off-ship and take them home. I read 2 or 3 books a week back then. Now, it is about 1 book a week.
      As the old adage goes – Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free. It applies to more than one aspect in life – think about it. Amazon thrives on free.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll give you the tip, Jack, on what your 87 free ebooks achieved. Nothing for you I’m afraid, but a lot for Amazon.

    Here’s how your hard labour works for Amazon. Free ebooks attract people to Amazon, who may download your ebook, but usually without any real intention of reading it. But being on Amazon reminds them that they need to order dog food, cosmetics or a game controller. I can see this from my Amazon Associates account because I get a report of what people buy after they click on one of my book links. Here are a few items from this month’s report:

    Clinique Rinse Off Eye Makeup Solvent 125ml/4.2oz $26.99
    Twisty Pins for Upholstery, Slipcovers and Bedskirts 50/pkg $5.50
    Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive $54.99

    So yes, free ebook takers are stingy toward authors, but they have buckets of cash to spend on cosmetics and tech accessories!!!

    I wonder how much the guy mentioned in an earlier comment with 1,000 free ebooks spends on Amazon?

    Liked by 1 person

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