Camy Tang/Camille Elliot discussion

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The Phenomenon of Not Downloading Free Ebooks

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message 1: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
So here’s a weird phenomenon. There are a bunch of free thriller books available today on Kindle but I’m not a huge fan of secular thriller because many of them tend to get a little more gristly than I like. I looked at the book blurbs, but they were mostly serial killer type of thrillers, which do tend to get bloody.

So I am actually not downloading free ebooks! I can’t believe it!

But it also got me to thinking. These days there are so many free ebooks that people can start to pick and choose which free ebooks to download.

Isn’t that a strange thing? Before, I’d be snatching up almost any free ebook available because, well, it’s free.

Now, I’m like, “Thrillers, eh. I read them but not my favorite genre. I’ll pass.”

I probably should have had this mentality for some of the other free ebooks I downloaded in the past, because I wouldn’t have so many ebooks that I probably won’t ever read.

Then again, they don’t take up space in my house because the ebook files are stored on my Amazon digital bookshelf or my Barnes and Noble Nook shelf, not on my computer. So I suppose it doesn’t matter if I download books I’ll never read since I don’t have to store the files.

I wonder, does this glut of free ebooks defeat the marketing purpose of a free ebook? I’m sure it works sometimes--a reader will pick up a free ebook from an author he/she hasn’t read before, and suddenly the reader is a new fan of the author.

But with so many free ebooks these days, does it make it less likely that reader will get around to reading the author’s book since there are so many other free (and paid) ebooks the reader has gotten?

So would I utilize free ebooks as a marketing tool? I’m not sure. Maybe. I might offer a novella for free if it was the first of a series. Or I might offer a full-length ebook for a really cheap price, like $0.50. The reason is because I’m wondering if the people who would pay those few cents for my ebook would be more likely to read it than those who got it for free.

What do you think?


message 2: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 225 comments I dont download all the christian free ebooks either. If I am not likely to read them I dont download them although I have quite a few I wonder why I downloaded them.
I think you are right about the glut of free books. I can see the benefit if authors have a new book out and offereing the first book in the series free to drum up some excitement for the new book.


message 3: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
I agree. I can definitely see how it would be helpful to have the first book in a series as free to see if people would buy the other books in the series.


message 4: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 225 comments the annoying thing about some of the free books are offered not that long after release but long enough that I have paid full price!
There are a few I have downloaded for free and also have the book version. I have then read it on the kindle and given the book away as a gift. I think of all the books I have downloaded free I have only read about 3 so far. I do like the idea of specials for ebooks. I have bought a few on special and read.

I do know there are some who only read free books and they also tend to be the ones who trash a book and author in reviews which I think is rude and nasty. I can understand when you pay full price for a book you dont like commenting on it but when its free and there are so many other free books I think its wrong.


message 5: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
Yes, I've seen several "Thank God this book was free" comments (even from Christians!) and while all authors understand that not everyone is going to love their book, that kind of comment is really rude and hurtful. I think people write reviews like that to make themselves feel better or feel important.


message 6: by Patriciaw (new)

Patriciaw | 49 comments Most of my ebook downloads have been free, more than I may ever read, but some are books I already own, others are books or authors I've wanted to read, and the rest are me taking a chance. I don't download everything though. And I have discovered some authors I'd not read before because I was able to read the free ebook.

I think authors have to find a way to draw readers to their work, even when its free or they just become part of the digital glut.


message 7: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
The big question is, how? It's getting harder these days.


message 8: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 29 comments I like what you are doing so far Camy. (Street Team) But I know it must be hard to reach put to get more readers/buyers. There are so many books readily available. As far as the free download thing I've found at least 3 new-to-me authors that I'll be buying ew books from in the future. :) We'll all have to do more brainstorming to get the word out.


message 9: by Pam (new)

Pam Hillman (PamHillman) I don't download every free book either. If someone posts about a free book by an author I like, I go read the blurb and make the decision based on whether I am likely to read the book.

Sometimes I check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon and if I see something I might like, I do the same: check the author, the reviews, the blurb, the publisher, etc.

But I have to admit I've downloaded a lot more free books since I got my Kindle than I would have bought in paperback.


message 10: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 29 comments Me too Pam. My sons got me a Kindle for Christmas and I've downloaded over 50 books since then. I had to pull back. I am a book-a-holic. I was getting a little carried away. I go for Christian titles, history and mystery. :)


message 11: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
I have been downloading a ton of stuff! I've even found some nonfiction that sounds interesting.


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra (goodreadscomsandraardoin) | 60 comments Great discussion. I download the ones I want to read and have several I haven't gotten to yet, but I've tried not to go crazy. I tend to wonder when the "free" will go away.


message 13: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
I'm not sure if they'll ever go away, but I'm wondering how it'll be affected as authors realize that the free ebook tactic isn't garnering them as many new readers and as many new sales as they'd like.


message 14: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 29 comments Camy, I was wondering about that. I myself have found at least 5 new-to-me authors who I now know are worth spending money on. ;) Joyce Magnin(sp) is one. I read Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise. I couldn't stay away from it. I'm so glad it was a free ebook as I may never have found her books on my own.


message 15: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
Now that's neat to know!


message 16: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (SharonTroyCentanne) | 3 comments I have never downloaded any ebooks, because I do not own an e-reader. I need paperbooks to fill my library shelves, and I enjoy reading paper books as well. I also enjoy stamping books, putting pockets in them, labeling them, and even making bookcovers. So I don't see myself getting into ebooks any time soon. I do enjoy organizing books here on goodreads.com tho, and reading the book reviews.


message 17: by Susan F (new)

Susan F | 29 comments I vowed never to have an ereader Sharon. Then I learned that I could download the free Kindle app to my computer. I will always love actual books but when my sons got me a Kindle for Christmas I couldn't turn it down. :) I have to go for treatments every 5 weeks. It's much easier to hold when I have an IV in.


message 18: by Camy (new)

Camy (camytang) | 1281 comments Mod
Sharon, I really don't have the space for paper books anymore, so ebooks have allowed me to still collect books without needing to buy a bigger house! :)

Susan I don't have a Kindle but I've used the Kindle app on my computer a lot for books that I only get on Kindle! It's great!


message 19: by Ausjenny (new)

Ausjenny | 225 comments I am finding the same books are offered free constantly and some of these are only new releases.
there are enough free christian fiction books each week that alot of people would never need to buy a book again. I wonder if in some ways it is defeating the purpose.
Think its its Judy Christie who has a series about green, I know one is Going to Green, I think there are 5 or 6 in the series and all but one have been free so far this year.


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