Is it time to stop giving books away for free?

Is it just me…
   There was a time when self-published authors needed to give their books away free to gain interest from readers. That time is over. I've personally published a nine-book series. I've been guilty of giving away book one to create interest six or seven years ago. While my promotions that gave away the book did well, the sales of book two were laughable. If it was one to every fifty given away, I call that lucky. Of course I realize my books may not be good, but I don't think so. They get good reviews from those few that did write one.
   I have downloaded more then five hundred free books. Once, only once, did I finish one of the free books and immediately bought the rest in the series (A Perfect Fit by Heather Tullis in case you are interested).
   I have fourteen others that I have marked to get the others in the series. I have marked over three hundred that I have enjoyed, but I only felt the need to mark fifteen to get the others in a series and another twenty two to look at other books by the author if the book wasn't part of a series.
   So I have to ask; is it worth it to give your book away for free? Why should I or anyone else buy a book when so many are free? Why would I pay four or five dollars for the next book in a series if the first was free? I see it as the author trying to make up for their loss of revenue by giving the first book away. I read two to three books a week. I have twenty dollars in my weekly budget for books. If the additional books in a series was a buck or two, I might have bought the others in the twenty two series I have marked to get. As an author it makes me sad that I rarely use my budgeted book money. When I do it's by a well known author. I would love to support other authors like myself, but with all the free books out there, why should I pay for a book?
   So is it just me or is it time to stop giving our books away. We spend a lot of time writing and even more time promoting our books, shouldn't we be compensate for our time? I'm not saying you have to charge a lot. A buck for this book, two bucks for the next, will give everyone a fighting chance at selling more books. It will also tell you if your book is good or not. There is no better validation then when someone buys the second book in your series or another of your stand alone books.
   Am I way off base here? What do you think?


 ​​Email: jvat@jvatbooks.com


Boycott commercials, Read a book

Why watch TV commercials for prescription drugs the will kill you when you can immerse your self in a book? Why sit watching a mind numbing fidget spinner spin when you can travel the world, or at least to another state? Okay, maybe just the next town over, but you get my drift. If you enjoy reading Nora Roberts books as I do, give Fatally Linked a try. If you like baseball or standing up for the underdog, you'll enjoy Runaway Haven. If you like romance, drama and crime, the Pact, the first book in the Nikki & Kenny nine book series, is the book for you.

Thank you for visiting. I look forward to hearing from you.

Juliann Vatalaro