I’ve written before about the plethora of free eBooks I have found on Amazon since getting my tablet, and about my concerns that free is not a viable price point for writers. So I thought I would mention that I actually gave into the temptation the other day and bought an eBook for $2.99. I had downloaded and read a free copy of Rebecca Forster’s legal thriller Hostile Witness. It was a good book. Forster writes well and succeeds in drawing complex characters with rich and believable back stories and does an excellent job of plotting a suspenseful novel full of twists and turns right up to the very last page. I enjoyed the story so much that after reading the sample of the next volume in the series, Silent Witness, I clicked and bought it from Amazon.
My friend Susan Wells Bennett, an #indie novelist, whose latest release Night Life is a Kindle exclusive right now, has suggested that authors may be well served by having a new book in the KDP exclusive program for a single ninety day period. Though Susan definitely feels that it would be a mistake to keep all of one’s books permanently in KDP. Savvy readers will know that more free days will be coming and many may opt to wait rather than pay for the book. The abundance of free books is what makes me worry that readers will become so accustomed to the price point free that they will simply completely stop buying books. I will certainly be interested to ask Susan and other authors about their experience with KDP and whether or not they believe giving the book away free for five days out of ninety is helpful in driving paid sales.
I am convinced that big publishing is making a huge mistake in pricing back list fiction in eBook format at $9.99 or more. I continue to believe that three to five dollars is a sweet spot price where authors can drum up real sales and build a paying audience. I hope that more authors will be savvy and not release more than a sample or a single volume at the free price point. I also hope that authors will continue to use Smashwords to make their books available from a number of different vendors and not let Amazon become a monopoly in the eBook market. AND I’m pleased to say that I am starting work today on a new fiction project. Here’s hoping it’s a great day in your world, too.