I’m a huge fan of freebie ebooks. Most authors put up with freebies because they know if X amount of freebies are downloaded then Y amount of readers will buy the next one. Not me, I’m actually just a fan of the freebie.
If indie publishing was less expensive and I did not want to write books for a living (not just a hobby), I’d have more freebies in my catalogue. Unfortunately, I hate working in offices or outdoors. I like wearing my pajamas, like it’s almost an addiction and a problem. And each book costs me around $1,000 to publish before it ever gets to a reader. So, I can’t offer every book I write as a freebie. But if I won the lottery, I’d have a lot more freebies.
I have been a reader all my life. My mom read to me before I could read. I read to her once I learned how. Then I outgrew reading books aloud and started reading them silently. I know from experience that reading is not a cheap hobby.
Yes, libraries help. Without libraries, the world would be a sad place because we would all be forced to buy every book we read (sort of). However, when I was young, it was hard to keep me in books, even from the library. My local has a limit and I would check out the max every other week, but I would be done long before I could return to the library to get more (I was a freak as a kid… Still am, but it’s more acceptable now). The school library supplemented my reading habits when it was in session.
Of course, I buy a lot of used books (thank goodness for used book stores). Once I started having money, I could supplement my library trips with used books. And owning books makes me happy. Then I ran out of room for book ownership… Which meant I had to start trading in books to buy other books. That made me less happy, but at least I could still read a great deal.
Now, there’s ebooks. At first, I balked at the idea of an ereader and ebooks. I love physical books. I love the look, the feel, the smell, and seeing my crowded bookshelves first thing in the morning. However, I don’t have to return books to buy more books with ebooks. But, buying ebooks, even at $3.99, can get expensive. And I hate paying the same amount for an ebook as I do a physical book, so I won’t even consider paying $6.99 or higher for one unless I desperately want it (the most recent was The Scarlet Gospels by Clive Barker… I broke down and pre-ordered the ebook and my bestie got me the hardback as a gift since I am no longer allowed to buy physical books unless I agree to clean out my bookshelves first – if I do that, Village Books is going to hate me).
Back on point. So, even at the cheap prices of ebooks, it can get expensive. I read an average of 10 ebooks a week. Less if I’m really really busy writing, more if I’m not writing at all. Subscription services help and I do subscribe to Kindle Unlimited – I used to subscribe to Scribd, but I didn’t like the Android interface for some reason and the limitations. But those also cost money, Kindle Unlimited is $119.88 per year and Scribd is $107.88 per year.
So, the freebie ebooks are a staple. These are the ones that are free regardless of whether you subscribe to a reading service or not. I find a ton of new authors this way and even read books I would have normally passed on because it really didn’t look or sound like my type of book (Angela Roquet’s Graveyard Shift was one of these surprises! I didn’t think I’d like it, but it was free and I decided to give it shot and I actually enjoyed it).
Now, the writer in my has to keep making money, so I can keep publishing, but I’m working on getting a new freebie short story/flash fiction compilation together. Some of the stories have appeared on my blog, some will be brand new to the readers, all of them will be short, fun bits that I wrote. Right now, I’m releasing some of them on WattPad (accounts for readers are free and all ebooks on their site are also free, just FYI), but it will eventually make it into print, hopefully before the end of the year. Because we all need more freebie ebooks.